How To Plant Succulent Cutting [ Full Guide ]

Succulents are a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens due to their unique and beautiful appearance, low maintenance requirements, and ability to propagate through cuttings. Planting succulent cuttings is a straightforward and rewarding process that allows you to grow new plants from existing ones. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about successfully planting succulent cuttings, from gathering the necessary materials to choosing the right type of cutting, preparing it for planting, selecting the perfect pot and soil, and more.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Succulent Cutting

Before delving into the detailed step-by-step process, here’s a quick overview of how to plant succulent cuttings:

  1. Gather necessary materials, including clean pruning shears, a shallow container, well-draining potting soil, and a watering can with a narrow spout.
  2. Choose the right type of succulent cutting, ensuring that it is healthy, mature, and free from any signs of damage or disease.
  3. Prepare the cutting for planting by allowing the cut end to callus over for a few days to prevent rotting.
  4. Select a suitable pot and soil, opting for a container with drainage holes and a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for succulents.
  5. Plant the succulent cutting by gently pressing it into the soil and providing proper care, including minimal watering and adequate sunlight.

Now, let’s explore each of these steps in detail to ensure the successful planting of your succulent cuttings.

Gather Necessary Materials

Before you begin the process of planting succulent cuttings, it’s essential to gather all the necessary materials. Having the right tools and supplies on hand will streamline the planting process and contribute to the overall success of your propagation efforts. Here’s a list of the essential materials you will need:

Clean Pruning Shears: Sharp and sterilized pruning shears or a sharp knife will be required to take cuttings from the parent plant. Ensure that your pruning tools are clean to prevent the spread of diseases to both the parent plant and the new cuttings.

Shallow Container: A shallow container or tray will be used to lay out the succulent cuttings as they callus before planting. The container should have ample space to accommodate the cuttings without crowding them.

Well-draining Potting Soil: Succulents thrive in well-draining soil that allows excess water to escape quickly, preventing waterlogged conditions that can lead to rot. Look for a specialized succulent or cactus potting mix or create a well-draining blend by adding coarse sand or perlite to a regular potting soil.

Watering Can with Narrow Spout: A watering can with a narrow spout will allow you to water the succulent cuttings precisely, avoiding excessive moisture that can cause issues such as rot.

Having these materials readily available will ensure a smooth and efficient planting process and set the stage for the successful propagation of your succulent cuttings.

Choose The Right Type Of Succulent Cutting

Selecting the right type of succulent cutting is critical to the success of your propagation efforts. When choosing a cutting, you should look for a healthy, mature, and disease-free segment of the parent plant. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing a succulent cutting:

Health of the Parent Plant: Ensure that the parent plant from which you are taking the cutting is healthy and free from any signs of disease, pest infestations, or stress. Healthy parent plants are more likely to produce viable and robust cuttings.

Maturity of the Cutting: Opt for a mature segment of the succulent to use as a cutting. Mature cuttings are more likely to successfully establish roots and grow into healthy plants compared to young or immature segments.

Damage-Free Cutting: Inspect the cutting for any signs of damage, such as cuts, bruises, or blemishes. A clean and undamaged cutting is more likely to callus and root successfully.

Type of Succulent: Different types of succulents have varying characteristics and requirements. Some may propagate more readily from leaf cuttings, while others may thrive when propagated from stem or rosette cuttings. Research the specific propagation methods that are most suitable for the type of succulent you are working with.

By carefully selecting a healthy, mature, and undamaged cutting from a thriving parent plant, you can increase the likelihood of successful propagation and the establishment of new succulent plants.

Prepare The Cutting For Planting

Once you have selected a suitable succulent cutting, the next step is to prepare it for planting. Proper preparation is essential for promoting the healthy development of roots and minimizing the risk of issues such as rot. The primary objective of preparing the cutting is to allow the cut end to callus, forming a protective layer that prevents excess moisture from entering the cutting and causing rot. Here’s how to prepare the cutting for planting:

Allow the Cutting to Callus: After taking the cutting from the parent plant, allow the cut end to dry and callus over for a few days. Place the cutting in a warm, dry location with indirect sunlight to facilitate the callusing process. Avoid exposing the cutting to direct sunlight or excessive moisture during this time.

Monitor the Progress: Keep an eye on the cutting as it calluses, checking for the formation of a dry, hardened layer at the cut end. Depending on the environmental conditions, the callusing process may take anywhere from a few days to a week.

Ensure Proper Healing: It’s important to allow sufficient time for the cut end to callus completely before planting the cutting. Rushing this step can increase the risk of rot and hinder the establishment of healthy roots.

By allowing the cutting to callus before planting, you can significantly enhance its ability to root successfully and grow into a thriving succulent plant.

Select The Perfect Pot And Soil

Choosing the right pot and soil is crucial for creating an optimal environment for the succulent cutting to develop roots and thrive. Both the pot and the soil should provide adequate drainage and support the establishment of healthy root systems. Here’s how to select the perfect pot and soil for planting succulent cuttings:

Pot with Drainage Holes: Select a pot or container with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape easily. Without proper drainage, the soil can become waterlogged, leading to root rot and other issues. A shallow pot is often preferred for succulent cuttings, as it helps prevent overwatering and allows the roots to establish more effectively.

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Well-Draining Potting Soil: Use a specialized succulent or cactus potting mix that provides excellent drainage. Alternatively, you can create a well-draining soil blend by mixing regular potting soil with coarse sand, perlite, or pumice. The soil should be loose and airy, allowing water to pass through quickly while providing stability for the roots.

Fill the Pot: Fill the pot with the well-draining potting soil, leaving enough space at the top for planting the succulent cutting. Gently tap the pot on a solid surface to settle the soil and remove any air pockets.

By selecting a pot with proper drainage and filling it with well-draining soil, you can create a favorable growing environment for your succulent cuttings.

Plant The Succulent Cutting

After the cutting has callused and you have prepared the pot and soil, it’s time to plant the succulent cutting. Following the correct planting procedure will help ensure the successful establishment of the cutting and promote healthy root development. Here’s a step-by-step guide for planting succulent cuttings:

Make a Small Hole: Use your finger or a small stick to create a shallow hole in the center of the potting soil. The hole should be deep enough to accommodate the base of the succulent cutting without burying it too deeply.

Position the Cutting: Gently place the succulent cutting into the hole, ensuring that the callused end makes contact with the soil. If you are planting multiple cuttings in the same pot, space them out evenly to prevent overcrowding.

Provide Stability: Once the cutting is positioned in the soil, gently press the soil around the base to provide stability and ensure that the cutting remains upright. Take care not to press the soil too firmly, as this can impede the movement of air and water within the soil.

Water Sparingly: After planting the succulent cutting, give it a light watering using a watering can with a narrow spout. Be sure to water the soil around the base of the cutting, avoiding direct contact with the cutting itself. The goal is to provide enough moisture to encourage root development without saturating the soil.

Place in Indirect Light: Position the newly planted succulent cutting in a location with indirect sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight immediately after planting, as the cutting may be more susceptible to sun damage or dehydration during this initial phase.

Monitor and Maintain: Check the soil moisture regularly and water the cutting sparingly as needed. It’s important to strike a balance, providing enough moisture to support root growth without causing the soil to become waterlogged.

By following these planting steps and providing the right care, you can greatly enhance the likelihood of the succulent cutting establishing roots and thriving in its new environment.

Planting succulent cuttings is a rewarding and enjoyable way to propagate new plants and expand your succulent collection. By gathering the necessary materials, choosing the right type of cutting, preparing it for planting, selecting the perfect pot and soil, and following the correct planting procedure, you can effectively promote the healthy growth and development of your succulent cuttings. With proper care and attention, your newly planted succulent cuttings will take root, flourish, and bring beauty to your garden or living space. Whether you’re a seasoned succulent enthusiast or a beginner looking to try your hand at propagation, the process of planting succulent cuttings offers a fulfilling journey of growth and renewal for both the plants and the gardener.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

Succulents are a popular choice for home gardeners due to their unique and striking appearance, as well as their ability to thrive in different growing conditions. One of the most common ways to propagate succulents is through cuttings. Planting succulent cuttings can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s important to follow the correct methods to ensure successful growth.

Succulents are known for their ability to store water in their leaves and stems, which allows them to survive in arid conditions. However, this also means that they are prone to root rot if they are not provided with proper drainage. When planting succulent cuttings, it is essential to choose a well-draining soil mix. You can create your own by combining potting soil with sand, perlite, or pumice to improve drainage.

To ensure even better drainage, it is advisable to place a layer of coarse gravel or small rocks at the bottom of the planting container. This will prevent excess water from accumulating in the pot and help prevent root rot.

Make Sure To Use Sterile Tools

Before you start planting succulent cuttings, it is important to make sure that your tools are clean and sterile. This will help prevent the transmission of diseases and pests to your cuttings.

Start by cleaning your tools with warm, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any soap residue, and then sterilize them by wiping them with rubbing alcohol or a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. This will effectively kill any bacteria or fungi that may be present on the tools.

Planting And Positioning The Cutting

When selecting succulent cuttings for planting, it’s best to choose healthy stems with no signs of damage or rot. You can take cuttings from the main stem of the parent plant by using a clean and sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears. Make sure to cut just below a leaf node, as this is where new roots will form.

Once you have your cuttings ready, give them a day or two to callus over. The callus is a protective layer that forms over the wound, which helps prevent rotting when the cutting is planted. Place the cuttings in a dry and shaded area to allow the callus to form.

After the cuttings have callused, it’s time to plant them. Fill a small container with the well-draining soil mix, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Make a small hole in the soil using your finger or a pencil, and gently insert the bottom end of the cutting into the hole. Make sure the leaf nodes are buried in the soil, as this is where the roots will emerge. Press the soil lightly around the cutting to secure it in place. If you are planting multiple cuttings, make sure to space them adequately to allow for growth.

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When positioning the cuttings, it’s important to consider their light requirements. Most succulents prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Place the planted cuttings in an area that receives bright but filtered light, such as near a window with sheer curtains. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can cause sunburn and damage to the delicate new growth.

Watering And Caring For The Cutting

Proper watering is crucial for the successful establishment of succulent cuttings. Unlike fully grown succulents, cuttings do not yet have an established root system to absorb water, so they require special care. Initially, it is best to water the cuttings sparingly to avoid overwatering, which can lead to rot.

To water the cuttings, use a spray bottle or a gentle stream of water to moisten the soil around the base of the cutting. Be careful not to wet the leaves or stems excessively, as this can increase the risk of rot. Allow the soil to dry out almost completely between waterings, as overwatering can cause the new roots to develop shallowly and make the plant more susceptible to disease.

As the cuttings begin to establish roots and grow, you can gradually increase the frequency and amount of water. However, it’s still important to avoid waterlogged soil. Always check the soil moisture before watering, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Creating Optimal Growing Conditions

To promote healthy growth and development, it is important to create optimal growing conditions for your succulent cuttings. Here are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Light: Succulents require bright, indirect light to thrive. Place the cuttings in an area that receives at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day. If you are growing your cuttings indoors, you can supplement natural light with artificial grow lights.

  2. Temperature: Succulents prefer warm temperatures between 70°F and 90°F (21°C to 32°C). Avoid exposing the cuttings to extreme cold or hot conditions, as this can cause stress and growth problems.

  3. Humidity: Succulents are adapted to arid environments and prefer low humidity. Avoid placing the cuttings in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms or kitchens. If the air in your home is too humid, you can use a dehumidifier or place a fan near the cuttings to increase air circulation.

  4. Fertilization: When the cuttings have established roots and are actively growing, you can start fertilizing them. Choose a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for succulents and cacti. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for the correct dosage and frequency of applications.

  5. Pests and Diseases: Keep an eye out for common succulent pests such as mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. If you notice any signs of infestation, such as webbing, yellowing leaves, or distorted growth, take appropriate measures to control the pests. In addition, ensure good air circulation around the cuttings to minimize the risk of fungal diseases.

Planting succulent cuttings can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, as you watch your new plants grow and flourish. By following the correct procedures for planting, providing proper drainage, and caring for your cuttings, you can give them the best chance of success. Remember to choose healthy cuttings, use sterile tools, provide adequate light, water sparingly, and create optimal growing conditions. With patience and care, you can enjoy a beautiful collection of succulents that you have propagated yourself.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Succulent plants have become increasingly popular in recent years for their unique and striking appearance, ease of care, and versatility in various indoor and outdoor settings. One way to grow succulents is through cuttings, which involves taking a stem or leaf from a parent plant and propagating it to establish a new individual plant.

While planting a succulent cutting is a relatively straightforward process, there are a few common mistakes that can negatively impact the growth and establishment of the new plant. Here are some tips to avoid these mistakes:

Using The Wrong Soil

Succulents, including their cuttings, require well-draining soil that allows air to circulate around the roots. Using regular potting soil or soil that retains moisture for too long can cause the cutting to rot and die before it has a chance to root. Instead, use a specialized succulent or cactus mix, which can be purchased at most garden centers or online. These mixes typically contain more sand or grit to improve drainage.

Planting Too Deep Or Too Shallow

When planting a succulent cutting, it’s essential to get the depth just right. If the cutting is planted too deep, it may not receive enough air circulation around its base and may start to rot. Conversely, if it’s planted too shallow, the roots may not have enough room to establish and grow. The ideal planting depth for most succulent cuttings is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) below the soil surface.


Succulents are drought-tolerant plants that store water in their leaves and stem. Overwatering can cause the cutting to rot, develop fungal diseases, or stress the plant’s roots. To avoid overwatering, wait until the soil is completely dry before watering the cutting. It’s also a good idea to water the plant from the bottom by placing the pot in a shallow saucer of water and allowing the soil to soak up the water.

Underestimating Light Needs

Most succulents require bright, direct sunlight for at least 6 hours per day to thrive. Placing the cutting in a low-light area or in direct shade can prevent it from growing and developing properly. If you don’t have access to bright sunlight, consider using artificial grow lights or positioning the plant in a south-facing window that receives ample sunlight.

Promoting Root Growth And Establishment

Once you’ve avoided the common mistakes and are ready to plant the succulent cutting, follow these steps to promote root growth and establish a healthy new plant:

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Choose The Right Cutting

Not all succulent cuttings are suitable for propagation. Look for a healthy cutting that is at least 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) long and has several leaves or nodes from which to produce new roots. Avoid cuttings that are wilted, discolored, or damaged.

Allow The Cutting To Callus Over

Before planting the cutting, allow it to callus over for a few days to a week. This means letting the cut end dry out and form a hard, protective layer that helps prevent fungal or bacterial infections when planted in soil. To do this, place the cutting in a dry, shaded area and wait until the cut end feels dry and hard to the touch.

Plant The Cutting

Fill a small pot or container with succulent or cactus mix, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space at the top. Make a small hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil and gently insert the cutting, making sure the base of the stem or leaves is in contact with the soil. Firmly press the soil around the cutting to help it stay upright.

Water Sparingly

After planting the cutting, water it sparingly by soaking the soil from the bottom. Wait until the soil has completely dried out before watering again. Avoid getting water on the leaves or stem, as this can cause them to rot.

Provide Adequate Light And Warmth

Place the pot in a bright, warm area that receives direct sunlight for at least 6 hours per day. If necessary, use artificial grow lights or position the plant in a south-facing window. Avoid placing the pot near drafts, air conditioning vents, or heat sources that can cause the plant to become too cold or too hot.

Wait For Root Growth

After planting the cutting and providing the necessary care, it’s time to wait for root growth to occur. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the species of succulent and environmental conditions. Be patient and maintain consistent care during this period to give the cutting the best chance of rooting.

Monitoring And Maintaining The Cutting’s Health

Once the cutting has developed roots, it’s important to monitor its health and maintain optimal growing conditions. Here are some tips for doing so:

Gradually Increase Watering

Once the cutting has established roots, you can gradually increase watering. However, be careful not to overwater and monitor the soil moisture levels regularly. Succulents prefer to dry out completely between watering.

Fertilize Sparingly

Succulents do not require frequent fertilization, as they are adapted to growing in nutrient-poor soils. If you choose to fertilize, use a well-balanced, low-nitrogen fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) and skip fertilizing during the dormant season (fall and winter).

Prune As Needed

As the cutting grows and matures, it may develop leggy or overgrown stems. You can prune these back to promote branching and a more compact growth habit. Pruning can also be done to remove any dead or diseased leaves or stems.

Watch For Pests And Diseases

Succulents are relatively pest and disease-resistant, but they can still be susceptible to certain problems. Monitor the cutting regularly for signs of pests such as mealybugs or scale insects, and treat as needed with an insecticidal soap or neem oil. If the cutting develops fungal or bacterial diseases, remove any affected parts and treat with a fungicide or bactericide.

Transferring The Cutting To A Larger Pot

Once the cutting has outgrown its original pot, it’s time to transfer it to a larger container. Here are some tips for doing so:

Choose A Suitable Pot

Select a pot that is slightly larger than the current one and has proper drainage holes. Use a succulent or cactus potting mix and do not add any gravel or other materials to the bottom of the pot.

Gently Remove The Cutting

Carefully remove the cutting from its current pot by gently loosening the soil around the roots. Be careful not to pull the cutting out by its leaves or stem, as this can damage the roots.

Plant The Cutting In The New Pot

Place the cutting in the new pot and fill in the surrounding space with fresh potting mix. Press lightly to secure the plant in place and water thoroughly. Wait a week before resuming normal watering and care.


Planting a succulent cutting can be a rewarding and satisfying way to propagate new plants and expand your collection. By following these tips and steps, you can avoid common mistakes, promote root growth and establishment, monitor and maintain the cutting’s health, and transfer it to a larger pot as needed. With proper care and attention, your succulent cutting can grow into a beautiful and thriving individual plant.


What Is A Succulent Cutting?

A succulent cutting is a portion of a succulent plant which is cut off and allowed to grow into a new plant.

How Do I Prepare A Succulent Cutting For Planting?

To prepare a succulent cutting for planting, let it sit for a few days until the cut end forms a callus. This helps prevent rot while the cutting is rooting.

What Type Of Soil Should I Use For Planting A Succulent Cutting?

Succulents need well-draining soil, so it’s important to use a soil mix that contains sand, perlite, or vermiculite to ensure good drainage.

How Often Should I Water My Newly Planted Succulent Cutting?

Water your newly planted succulent cutting sparingly, about once a week. Succulents store water in their leaves, so overwatering can lead to rot.

What Is The Best Location For My Planted Succulent Cutting?

Succulents thrive in bright, indirect light, so it’s best to place your plant near a window with plenty of natural light. However, be sure to protect it from hot, direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.