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Should I Propagate My Succulents From a Leaf or a Branch?

Updated on April 20, 2020

Echeveria propagation, branch vs leaf

Ok, I'll just say it - branch propagation gives the best results!

In the photo above you can see two plants, on the right, a tiny rosette and on the left, a 4-head thriving plant, almost filling its pot.

You don't need to guess which grew from a leaf and which came from a branch, do you?

December 30 - a headless and rootless branch is planted

I've received this Echeveria branch from my mother in law, in late December.

Her plant became distorted and etoilated, so I helped her behead, and we repotted the best looking part of the plant.

The middle of the plant (no head, no roots, just stem and leaves) was of no use to my mother in law, so I decided to give it a chance on my porch.

I put the branch in some potting mix and just let it be, only watering occasionally. It remained unchanged for about a month - leaves wrinkled and droopy, no new growth... and then it just took off!

March 12 - the plant took root and is growing

One day I noticed that my beheaded, rootless Echeveria was looking much better.

The leaves firmed and started growing larger, and then... new growth! The plant sprouted new branches, four of them.

April 20 - a thriving Echeveria

It took 3 and a half months to turn a tired, headless and rootless Echeveria branch into a thriving plant.

I'm sure that the growing heads will reach full size sometime this summer!

How many succulents do you own?

See results

So what about leaf propagation?

When I rooted that branch, I also rooted several of its leaves, at the same time. In the picture above, you can see the best leaf result.

If you look closely, there are actually 3 heads growing, 2 of them extremely tiny.

This is a closeup on the little plant, but you can look at the top picture of the article to see that it's so much smaller than the new growth from my branch.

I expect this little guy to take a year or longer to reach full grown size.


Succulents can be effectively propagated using several methods, Including leaf and branch propagation.

However, if you want to increase your succulent collection quickly, go for branch cuttings.

The chosen branch doesn't have to have roots or a head - a stem with a few leaves is enough.

© 2020 Marina K

Do you propagate? What's your favorite method?

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