Friday, April 2, 2010

Echeveria Propagation



I so respect and admire the true plant lovers, who nurture cactus in the Yukon or bananas in Alaska: indoors, with bottom heat, full-spectrum lights, de-humidifiers, miticides, and so on. These are people with real skill and love for growing things.

All I have is the right climate.

Here, the more Echeverias, the better. I remove the leaves from the flowering stems (they flower here--eat your heart out, Scotland!) and lay them on a dish of cactus soil mix--the plain old packaged kind, not the special hand made mixes that real plant lovers make and experiment with and perfect for their own conditions over the course of decades (eat your heart out, Latvia!).


In a couple of months, new baby Echeverias. They're like people--adorable as babies. Unlike most people, they're adorable when they grow up, too. Keep in mind that baby Echeverias need more water and some shade--they are not as tough as well-established plants.





Besides propagation from leaves, if the main stem of the Echeveria becomes long and bare, you can cut the rosette off, let the wound dry for a week or so, and reroot the rosette. An expert recommends suspending the rosette just barely out of reach of a layer of growing mix. The rim of the pot can act as support. The rosette will send roots reaching down towards the mix. When you see a good amount of roots, it's ready to plant in the soil.

A "beheaded" rosette sprouting new roots:
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What's even cooler than re-rooting the rosette is that you need not discard the old long stem! Leave it to grow a bunch of brand new baby rosettes!
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These too can be cut off and rooted. Echeverias--the more, the better! Why? So you can make tapestries out of them. Here's a page with Echeveria tapestries. I don't have any of my own yet, but now you understand why I'm propagating so many.  Here's a post on a spectacular Succulent Tapestry.

Some other good design tips for succulents here.  Another post on Echeveria propagation here.

Update July 31, 2014: 
One of my Graptoveria 'Fred Ives' has formed a crest.  A crest is a flattened rosette.  It's an interesting and fun variation:
 photo poppy0721_zps5f3ef026.jpg
I cut the stem and placed it in a pot of dry gritty mix, and the pot went into bright shade with no direct sunlight.  Five days later, roots!  Note the circled area in the photo.  That bit of emerging root sprouted from where a leaf had been.  I pulled some of the leaves off to expose more stem.
 photo poppyZ0722_zpsbac112eb.jpg
Now that it has roots, I'll water it just once, and wait a bit--a couple of weeks, perhaps, to give it time to grow more roots.  Then I'll start watering it regularly, once every one or two weeks. 

For easy growing, I highly recommend  Echeveria 'Imbricata', which is thought to be a natural hybrid, and Graptoveria 'Fred Ives', a hybrid of a Graptopetalum and an Echeveria. 

20 comments:

  1. Hi there

    Found this through a google search for "echeveria babies"! I didn't know what to call the small growth I have coming out of the side of a large echeveria.

    Anyway, thank you for the information! I need to take a look around. :)

    Trish
    greenfreak.net

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  2. Happy to have found your blog through my search for echeveria propagation. I have a few leaves lying on top of soil, and it's useful to know that it might take a few months for their little root-babies to form. Thanks for the great photos, too!

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  3. I wasn't sure if I COULD propagate them from leaves. I'm glad to know it's fairly simple! I will take the slightly-withered babies I've got and start some new plants. I don't have the right climate (well, not in the winter, cold dessert) but I am still hooked on these awesome plants!

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  4. Oh my what a great blog post! Super information for beginning succulent growers and even for those that just don't know how to propogate!

    I went outside in my garage today and found some some graptosedum that had fallen off the plant onto the garage floor. And they had baby plants on them! Laid them on some soil and off they will go!

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  5. I am one of the crazy people that grow these plants indoors during winter, in Minnesota! It's not as hard as is sounds. I keep my succulents in a south facing window and hardly water all winter. As for the bananas, they also do great near a south facing window with little care. :-) Lucky you to live in such a warm climate, I am envious!

    Amy

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  6. @Candy, happy to be of use. Hope it helps.

    @Amy, you are a true gardener being able to grow desert plants in MN. That takes skill and talent! All I do is buy climate-appropriate plants and hope. :)

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  7. Love your post. I discovered quite by accident that succulents were so easy to propogate when a dog trompled down one leaving broken leaves all over the bed. It was late fall and the next spring...many little plants came up! I've been sharing them ever since.

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  8. Hi, I have an echevaria that has two main stems that are really long (up to 6", both stems) and the rosette at the top (I took out the bottom leaves to try and propagate them). Is it possible to take bare stems (say I take off the rosette off the top of both, and then take out a part of the super long stems to leave a smaller 'stump') and propagate those? Thanks!

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    1. It may be possible, yes. You could try laying a piece of stem on soil and see what happens.

      HOWEVER, think about this: a stem with existing roots trying to produce new rosettes, or a stem without roots trying to produce new rosettes. Won't the rooted stems have an easier time? You could also see how the stems do. If they produce new rosettes near the top, you could cut that part off, and see if the remaining stem also produces new rosettes, thereby shortening your stems gradually rather than all at once. Hope that helps. Good luck with your plant!

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  9. what kind of echeveria is that last one? lookin' all crazy..

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    1. That might be the hybrid 'Etna'. The bubbly texture is called carunculation and can vanish during drought as the plant uses up the moisture stored in its foliage.

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  10. Hi, I have got a huge collection of succulents, especially echeveria. I got a recent new addition, which sadly died quite quickly, I think they over watered it at the store, before I brought it home, wasn't quite sure what it actually was. It was like a dark green version of your first picture. I have a echeveria glauca and duchess of Nuremberg which are doing fine so far, still small. The one which died/withered/rotted away had an offshoot (not sure my terminology - it's grown off from the main plant.) I heard you could propagate more plants from cuttings, so, this offshoot dropped off, and I left it to callus over, because it had some roots. left it for a while, and a lil rosette has grown, at the top of the offshoot, not by the roots or base like in your pictures. is that still normal ? should I separate the rosette and plant it, or leave it to get abit bigger ? it's still no bigger than 1cm.
    Hope you can help - succulents and I are still trying to find some common soil -
    Thanks,
    Pamela

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    Replies
    1. Hi! If your little offset is only 1 cm, don't touch it, just let it grow. Any growth you might get is good. Watch for mealybugs and spider mites. A LIGHT misting of water if it looks dry. Depending on your climate, a mix of pumice and coarse sand or grit with just a bit of peat (less than 10%) can be a good mix, but if your climate is damp be very careful not to over water. They are quite happy with damp but not with wet mix. Good luck!

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  11. Thanks so much. I was really bad and brought back a sweet, dark red rosette from San Francisco and want to grow it on. I also brought back a small stem from a giant jade plant hedge! Oh lucky Californians! :)

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  12. Hello, We have this plant at home (Echeverias), but not knowing we take care of it right, live in Brazil.
    What are your benefcíus.

    Please, who can help me, send information to: joaldocatai@hotmail.com
    Thank you..

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    1. Hello Joaldo! Here is a good introduction to Echeverias: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/996/

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  13. Hello, I love this blog and your website. A couple questions, if I may. When propagating Echeveria, can you only get results using the leaves from the flowering stem and not from the branches? Also, when you lay the leaves on top of the dirt should the dirt be dry or moist? Thanks for your help.

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    1. Thank you, you are very kind!

      Any leaves in good condition will work--stem or branch or rosette. As to moisture--until you see roots, moisture is unnecessary. Shade (bright shade, not a closet) is more important--because if the leaves are in full hot sun they will dry out before they have a chance to grow roots. Hope that helps.

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  14. Great information! Hoping this is an easy question ( though I've googled for details and can't find them) I have a blue rose echeveria I finally bought and planted yesterday in my garden...yesterday. I live in California and we are expecting 100 degrees today/this week. Trying to do my homework to care and propagate these. Plant already has offset rosettes growing, would like to separate them and spread through garden. Lots of websites use the word, twist off or cut. Does it matter? Is there a better time of day or year to do this? How big should I let the " chick" get? Do I need to let it dry some before planting? Thanks a million.

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    1. I just cut with secateurs. Echeveria 'Imbricata' aka Blue Rose is the easiest Echeveria so you chose well. It is easiest to get started in mild temperatures. Leave the rosette to dry a day or two in full shade before putting it into soil. The larger the offset, the greater the chance of successful rooting. At least an inch in diameter is a good size.

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