For this project, you will need:
- Cactus & Succulent Potting Mix
- Knife (quite sharp)
- Spray bottle of water
Do you love cacti and succulents but don’t want to spend a fortune to buy them? Did you know that you can just divide the ones you already have to get more? In fact, if your cacti or succulents are stretching towards the light or appear under the weather, multiplying (or cloning) these little darlings may be the solution to helping them thrive.
When to take cuttings?
Although succulents can be multiplied all year, the best time to take cuttings is in the spring, at the end of their hibernation period.
What part to cut?
Most cacti and succulents multiply easily, but first, you need cuttings. There are several ways to make cuttings depending on the plant variety. Cuttings can be made by cutting off a single leaf, a section of the stem, or a seedling.
>> Leaf cuttings
This technique is the easiest and most basic. It involves retrieving a leaf that has already fallen off the plant or cutting one from near the base of the stem.
Leaf cuttings work very well for the following varieties:
- All other varieties with thick leaves that detach easily from the stem.
>> Stem cuttings
Another simple method involves using stem cuttings obtained from a healthy stem section (with at least two leaves), about 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) long from near the main stem, and removing the leaves from the lower 5 to 10 cm.
Stem cuttings are ideal for the following varieties:
- Thin cacti (Rhipsalis or Epiphyllum)
- All other varieties with fleshy stems and leaves.
How to multiply them? – Step by step
1. Select a healthy parent plant that you love. Its leaves should be uniform in colour and blemish-free. They need to be thick, firm and free of any rips. This will increase your chances of success.
2. Depending on the cutting method you choose, delicately cut the leaf or stem using a sharp tool and leave it to dry in the sun for 2 to 7 days depending on the thickness of the stem and/or the leaves until the end that was initially attached to the stem is dry and crisp.
3. In the meantime, fill a container with Cactus & Succulent Potting Mix. Mainly composed of sphagnum peat moss and sand, this soil mix is designed to multiply your cacti and succulents.
4. Once it is dry, place the cutting on the soil with the cut end touching the surface but not penetrating too far down. For stem cuttings, insert around 2 cm of the stem into the soil to prevent it from rotting.
5. Place it near a window out of direct sunlight to prevent the cutting from wilting. The young cacti and succulents need light and a little warmth to thrive.
6. Mist the soil surface with water every 2 days. Roots should start to appear after a few weeks. Make sure you allow the soil to dry out before watering.
7. Use this technique until a new plant grows. Be patient! Your cuttings will need time to root effectively. There’s no need to cover the cuttings with a plastic dome (mini-greenhouse). This may cause the cuttings to rot due to excessive moisture.
After 4 weeks once the roots are well-established (at least 2 to 3 cm long), transplant it into a bigger container. Continue to regularly mist with water to encourage growth. After another few weeks, your young plants will be sturdy enough that when you lift them, the root ball will follow. Mission accomplished!
What to do if your cuttings don’t take?
If your cuttings die or fail to root during the process, don’t despair – just try again! Important to note, some varieties, such as stone plants and euphorbia (in contradiction with the above text – stem cutting examples) do not multiply with cuttings and require seeds.