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You only need water, proper translucent jars, and healthy succulent leaves. And you are all set! The bonus is that, you can watch the roots stunningly grow day by day.
Succulents are a favorite plant to add a touch of green to your indoor spaces. In addition, it’s easy maintenance makes them gain popularity as decorative plants. In addition, they can also be propagated in water, thus benefiting those who don’t have large areas (e.g., those living in apartments).
Considering these features, it’s no wonder people are starting to try to broaden their insights about how to propagate succulent leaves in water.
Furthermore, the air propagation method is preferable because it minimizes disease infections that generally occur in those propagated in the soil. Wet soil becomes a place for fungi and bacteria to breed due to continuously humid conditions. It is, of course, a threat to the newly growing succulents that are still vulnerable.
If you are interested and curious to try water propagation for succulents, please read this article to the end so that you won’t miss any important info. Check them out!
What is water propagation?
Before we jump into the how-to guide of water succulent propagation, it is better to know what water propagation is. As its name bears, water propagation is a multiplication or plant reproduction method using water.
Usually, the stems or leaves of the plant will be cut, then put into a transparent bowl of water for a particular duration. Then, you will witness the parts soaked in the water starting to germinate and grow roots.When the roots are well-established, you can transfer the plant to a new pot and cover them with potting mix.
Furthermore, several important factors that need to be considered during water propagation are light intensity, water change, and temperatures.
- Light Intensity. During root growth, propagated succulents require bright indirect light to thrive. Intense direct sunlight may harm the fragile root system, which is still developing.
- Water Change. Water becomes the most critical component in this propagation process. It provides nutrients to the roots so that they can grow properly. Therefore, maintaining the water level in the vase or pots you use to propagate is very important. You can change it every few days and add fresh water to provide more oxygen supply for the roots.
- Temperatures. You may think that providing cold water provides freshness to the roots of your succulents. However, it may shock them instead. The best water temperature is around 68°F which is a typical root temperature. At such a temperature, the roots will have a great pump ability to distribute water and nutrients throughout the plant.
So, can all succulent plants be propagated in water? Unfortunately, only a few succulent varieties work well with water propagation. The most popular one is jade succulent, followed by sempervivums and echeverias. Even cooler, they can sit on the water and soak for years!
Now, it is time to move on to why you should propagate succulents from leaves. What are the benefits and consequences? Find out the answer in our next section below!
The Reason Why Propagating Succulents From Leaves
Propagating succulents from leaves is a method of propagation by cutting the active leaves from the mother plant and then planting them in new pots. In the case of water propagation, clear jars or vases are the best planter options as you can easily observe the growing roots.
In addition to leaves, you can propagate from stems. However, because it is easier and faster, the leaves become a favorite part of the propagation of this plant. In addition, succulent leaves can also store water better, thus ensuring the water needs of plants during the growth process are met. In addition, the leaves reduce water loss due to the narrow surface area of the rounded shapes.
Nonetheless, not all succulent plants whose leaves can be propagated. Only those with plump and fleshy leaves, like jade plants and sempervivum rosette, will grow beautiful succulents. Additionally, you must ensure that you cut healthy leaves and stay whole to perform best in the water.
Meanwhile, succulents that grow distinct stems, like stacked crassulas and upright sedums, are better for stem cuttings. Prepare a sharp knife and cut the stem around 2-3 inches with two leaves intact.
How To Propagate Succulent Leaves In Water?
One of the main advantages of water propagation to grow new plants is that the medium is relatively free of pests and diseases. Thus, it is a perfect starting point for newly growing succulents.
The wet soil medium is generally home to fungi with a high risk of infecting fragile roots. Moreover, pests like gnats, bugs, fleas, and beetles live in the soil. So, rooting plants in water is a great choice to avoid those culprits.
Other than that, the water propagation won’t make your hands full of challenging tasks. You only need water, proper translucent jars, and healthy succulent leaves. And you are all set! And the bonus is that you can watch the roots stunningly grow day by day. But if you want to know more about what you need to start water propagation, let’s explore more below!
What do you need?
To start the journey of water propagation, you need to prepare equipment. What are those?
- Clear vessel. You can use small jars, planters, or vases with transparent material to ease your observation of the growing roots. They also help you check the water level needed for the plant to thrive.
- Succulent to propagate. It is the most important part of this propagation. Since we only use the leaves, you must prepare them first. Just twist a leaf from the stem. Make sure it is a clean cut with no part of the leaf left on the stem, as it will die soon after you remove it. If that happens, try another one. Or, you can use a sharp knife to ensure fine cutting.
- Water. As we mentioned, the water must be at room temperature of at least 68°F. This temperature suits the roots and allows them to distribute the nutrients well. Also, ensure distilled water or rainwater to prevent disease infection.
- Hand gloves. Some people underestimate hand or garden gloves when propagating succulents. In fact, they will help you ensure that the water you use remains clean of dirt that may stick to your hands.
After preparing all of the equipment, you are ready to propagate your precious succulents. Check out our step-by-step guide in the next section for further info. Take note if you don’t want to miss it!
Step by step on how to propagate succulent leaves in water
In this section, we would like to provide you with a complete step-by-step of succulent propagation with water. It is quick and easy, and you can do it at home!
- Prepare all the equipment needed for water propagation, including glass jars filled with room temperature water.
- Twist the 2-5 leaves with plump and fleshy characteristics from the stem to increase the chance of success. But please pick a healthy mother plant and ensure a clean cut.
- Put the succulent leaf cuttings into the jar until submerged in the water.
- Place the jars in the area with a bright indirect light since the direct sunlight will harm the roots.
- Wait for the roots to grow patiently. It usually takes 4-7 days until they start sprouting.
- While checking on the roots, observe the water level. If it is too low, add more water. Also, replace the fresh one when it gets hazy.
- Don’t rush to remove the leaves. Give them time to grow properly. Usually, it will take around 4-6 weeks, or the roots start to grow at least an inch before they are ready to transfer to a new planter.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Which succulents can be propagated in water?
Since not all succulent plants work great for water propagation, you need to decide which one you would like to try carefully. Several varieties, like sempervivums, jades, and echeverias, are commonly propagated in water. They can, in fact, soak up in the water for years as long as you change the water regularly. This probation method is preferable by many as it is easier and quicker. At the same time, you can witness the root growth in real time!
How long does it take for succulents to propagate in water?
Generally, succulents need around 2-6 weeks to sprout and grow roots in the water. However, the duration highly depends on the climate and environmental conditions. If you wanna keep the growth rate steady (or faster), don’t forget to keep checking on the water. Make sure you change the water and add more to ensure proper rooting.
Is it better to propagate succulents in water or soil?
Basically, soil propagation is faster than water, around 1-3 weeks compared to 2-6 weeks. However, propagation success must also be seen from factors rather than duration. Succulents propagated in water tend to be more resistant to disease because there is no direct contact with fungi and bacteria that inhabit the soil.