How Using a Rooting Compound Helps you Propagate Your Favorite Succulent Plants

Over the past couple of years, succulents have had a boom in popularity. According to an article posted in association with the University of Illinois, in 2017, succulents made up 15% of garden sales in the Midwest. That percentage further increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeowners and renters alike were all desperate to add a bit of color to their home offices and apartments, and succulents were one of the most popular houseplant choices.

So, what makes the succulent such a smash hit? The aesthetics are certainly a large part of their charm. Succulents come in a full rainbow of colors, so it’s easy to match the plant to your home decor. But beautiful plants are nothing new. Hobby and professional growers have been growing finicky yet beautiful flowers for centuries. What truly led to the succulent boom is the succulent’s hardiness and durability. Unless you deliberately overwater a succulent and keep it in a pot with zero drainage, the plant will be just fine. Forget to water it for several weeks? It’s probably not that big of a deal. Succulents evolved to be drought-resistant, and the engorged, thickened leaves and stems that captivate succulent-owners are actually stuffed full of water-storing tissue.

While it’s tempting to go to your local garden shop and stack your cart full of miniature cacti, snake grass, aloe, and Mexican snowball, one aspect of succulents that is often neglected is their ease of propagation. Many succulents can be propagated from either a leaf or a stem, but a unique part to propagating succulents is that you should let the cutting completely dry out first.

Here’s a quick guide to propagating succulents.

Step 1: Make sure the leaf or stem you select is healthy, plump, and does not have obvious discoloration. A healthy clipping is necessary for the cutting to have a fair shot at taking root. Look for cuttings in areas of the plant that need to be trimmed or pruned.

Step 2: Use pruning shears to make a single cut to separate the leaf and stem from the rest of the plant.

Step 3: Place the cutting in sunlight and wait at least 24 hours for it to dry. The area exposed by the plant will have healed over, similar to how a cut will scab over. In plants, this is called callusing.

Step 4: Dampen the cutting, then dip the callused end into Hormex Rooting Powder #1 or Hormex Vitamin B1 and Rooting Hormone Concentrate. Immediately place this end of the plant in your growing medium.

Important: Succulents are one of the easiest types of plant to propagate, but propagation can still be finicky. Using a rooting hormone will greatly increase the chance of your succulent cutting growing into a mature plant.

Step 5: Make sure that your growing material drains well. Store the pot or garden bed in a location with abundant indirect sunlight. Lightly mist the cuttings daily. The soil should be completely dry by the next misting.

Step 6: At the two week mark, gently tug on the cutting. If you feel some level of resistance, roots are established. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to a successful propagation!