So you may be thinking: how can a plant grow from a leaf/cutting?
Well, it’s different for a succulent, propagating from its own leaves might be just how the plant reproduces. For me, I started propagating my own succulents, with a ghost plant (graptopetalum paraguayense).
A ghost plant is actually one of the easiest succulents to propagate. I live in Singapore, a tropical country with high humidity levels, loads of sun and sometimes loads of rain. Yet, the ghost plant still thrives on!
I purchased my ghost plant from a local gardener in Singapore. When I received the plants, I really hated how they looked as it was almost topping over. They were probably given too little sunlight and had to reach out towards it.
After a few weeks of contemplating, I beheaded them on 19th March 2017.
After beheading the ghost plant, I waited 4 days for the wound to callous fully. As I beheaded them, some of its bottom leaves fell off. Don’t throw the leaves away! Keep them, let them callous too and then place them on top of soil.
The Leaves that Dropped Off:
I used a leftover sushi box from the sushi restaurant, cut open some drainage holes on the bottom of the plastic box, laid out soil, and placed the leaves on top. Drainage holes are really important for succulents/cactuses!
Tips for Repotting the Mother Plant:
For the rosettes which I beheaded (I know it’s a recurring word, and it sounds cruel, but it’s the best word for this process), I simply placed them in another pot. You just have to make sure that it stands, with support of the soil and that’s it. Don’t touch them afterwards. Don’t even water them. Don’t.
Place them under direct sunlight for weeks and weeks so that it would encourage rooting. The first hint the plant would give when it is rooting would be when you see its bottom leaves starting to dry up. When that happens, you can water the soil (not the plant!) completely till water starts to drip out of the drainage hole.
On 24th March 2017, which was 4 days after (that’s some impressive self healing from a plant!), I witnessed the first signs of growth on the leaves.
And not long later, little buds started to grow below the beheaded area of the original plant. Here’s how they looked like on 2nd April 2017:
I was so thrilled, it made my day and increased my passion/interest in gardening. All I had to do was wait! Today, on a very Good Friday, 14 April 2017, that little bud up there grew into a super tiny rosette and its friends around it grew more and more.
TD;LR for propagating from leaves/cuttings:
- Pluck some leaves from your mother plant/purchase some cuttings.
- Wait for the wounds to callous for 3-4 days.
- Place the leaves on top of soil (appropriate for cacti and succulents).
- Sprinkle them with water once or twice a day.
- And.. you wait.