Cacti and other succulents have been popular houseplants for years now—and given how easy they are to care for, that’s hardly surprising. The downside? They can also be pricey.
But the good news is that if you have at least one succulent, there’s an easy way to propagate new plants, so you can grow your collection without breaking the bank. Here’s what to know.
How to callus succulents
The key to successfully propagating cacti and other succulents is letting them callus—which is basically allowing the ends of a cutting to dry out and harden. Here’s what to do:
Cut (or collect) it
Take a cutting from the mother plant, ensuring that you get the entire leaf, with the petiole at the end of the leaf still attached. A piece that has fallen or broken off the plant on its own also works.
Use a sharp knife to trim any rotten or dead bits off the cutting.
Put the cutting on a paper towel in a warm, dry place that has bright light, but not direct sunlight. Leave it there for about a week, turning it roughly once a day to make sure roots don’t develop along the side edges.
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Once the cut end of the cutting has callused, it’s time to plant it. Put either stones or volcanic rock in the bottom of a pot, then top it with dry organic cactus soil mix. Plant the cutting, but don’t water it until roots start to grow. Typically, it takes at least a week—if not a few weeks—for the roots to develop. About a week after planting the cutting, gently lift it out of the soil to check for roots.
After the roots sprouted, water it a bit, but only to the point of the soil being moist—not wet. Moving forward, allow the soil to dry out before watering it again.