08 Mar Propagating – How – To
Do you have a sparse, empty or new flowerbed that needs a little sprucing?
Propagating is easier than you think and lucky for us in South Africa, a lot of our succulents are fantastic, not to mention easy (!) to propagate.
For this article we’re referring to propagating on a small scale.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A few empty containers – we have, of course, repurposed our containers, which are compostable.
- A small spade
- A selection of plant cuttings*
*Cuttings can be leaves OR roots – the process is almost the same. Root cuttings just develop more quickly.
Tip: We suggest using cuttings from parent plants that have their own rootstocks and if possible, plant a number of cuttings to allow cross-pollination to occur.
To collect your cuttings:
From leaf – get the whole leaf, right at the join without tearing it. If the leaf tears there is a high possibility that it will not grow.
From root – gently remove a section of the parent plant and ensure that you have good amount of roots so that the plant can develop.
Let your cuttings dry (not in direct sunlight) for 24 hours – this allows the cut area to seal a bit and protect the cutting from too much water or bacteria once you “plant” it.
- Leaf cuttings – You can place your leaf cuttings on top of the soil, the root is still able to grow regardless of it is placed into the soil or onto the soil. Make sure that your container is shallow and has good drainage. You don’t want the soil too waterlogged otherwise your new roots can rot. Once your plant has established itself and grown a bit bigger you can either move it to a larger pot or, if it’s in a compostable container, simply plant it all directly in the soil.
- Root cuttings – you can pop your root cuttings into a shallow container as per the above and let the roots establish for a little longer and then move them into a pot that is proportional to their size and continue to do so until they have reached the size that you like and then you can start your propagation process again if you would like.
Which plants propagate well?
Almost all succulents but especially Vygies, Prickly pears, Paddle plant, Spekboom etc. As well as Geraniums, some herbs and even Pineapples! (Which makes for a lovely houseplant).
A shallow succulent dish makes for a lovely alternative to a bunch of flowers. Think housewarmings, dinner parties, gift for a host etc. It’s pretty to look at and it’s a gift that will continue to give and grow!