Recognize growth-producing tissue
Most succulents can be propagated vegetatively---via stem cuttings, pulling apart offsets, or rooting leaves. The key is to locate the growth tissue that grows roots. This meristematic tissue is at...
- bands on stems where leaves once were attached
- the base of leaves where they attach to stems
- where damaged tissue is (most obvious on cacti)
- at the crown, where leaves and roots meet at soil level
If it's a stem succulent, simply snip off the top few inches, let the raw end heal overnight, and stick the cutting upright in the soil.
Jade is among the easiest succulents to propagate, because it's obvious where the meristematic tissue is.
If you're propagating a succulent from a pup, typical of agaves, dig it up or wiggle it loose.
What if it's not that easy?
Some succulents are more of a mystery when it comes to propagation.
For example, lithops (living stones)...is it possible to take cuttings from those thick, molar-shaped leaves? How about ruffled echeverias...can a solitary rosette be made to offset? And stacked crassulas...what do you do when stems are tightly lined with leaves?
Even more challenging are succulents that make propagators pull out a power drill, coffee grinder, or tub of roofing gravel---all tools routinely used by nurseryman-grower Aaron Ryan of Petaluma, CA.
Aaron is down-to-earth in more ways than one. At past Succulent Extravaganzas at Succulent Gardens Nursery, he graciously showed standing-room-only audiences a half dozen ways to propagate a variety of succulents.
Somehow watching Aaron grind seed pods, guillotine a frilly echeveria, or snip a stacked crassula is soothing. You know those babies are gonna make it. You also know that with Aaron's methods, you'll soon have plenty of new plants to play with.
Succulent Propagation from Cuttings
Succulent Propagation by Division (Offsets)
Succulent Propagation by Coring to Create Offsets
Succulent Propagation from Leaves
Succulent Propagation by Beheading
Propagating Succulents from Seed, Part One: Dudleyas & Echeverias
Propagating Succulents from Seed, Part Two: Lithops