Starting succulents and keeping them healthy

Most succulents are very easy to start: just plant a leave or stalk in some soil and water a bit more regularly than you’d water a grown plant. You’ll know when to go to a ‘regular’ (once every two weeks or so) by them growing above the ground or sprouting extra leaves.

The easiest way to start a new succulent is by simply cutting off a part of the plant that’s already sprouting roots. Aloe does not do this, but most other succulents do. Then put the cutting in soil and give a little water (a very little). Water again a week after.

Repeat till the plant has visibly grown (good proof that it has a decent root system). Then you can go back to the watering system for the adult, which is usually closer to once every two weeks or even (in winter) once every month.
The biggest risk for most people in dealing with succulents is OVER watering, not lack of water.

Remember: Succulents grow slowly. So they don’t need much food, nor water.

I’m generally great with succulents: they require little water – but you do have to remember to water them every few weeks. This suits me perfectly.

About re-potting a succulent

The only other advice I can give on keeping succulents is that they need to be re-potted regularly. I re-pot my plants every year or so. In general: plants need about as much volume above the ground as below. So give them space.

When you re-pot a plant, always check out whether it was getting cramped. Succulents often don’t. Even after a year, they still don’t need more room. However, they can do with new soil, for the nutrients.

Shown above, two succulents I grew from cuttings.

On the left is a plant I grew from a leaf. On the right a plant I grew from a stalk that fell off the parent plant. It was already developing roots. Both are several years old and no bigger than my hand.

See also: how to start an aloe plant.

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