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Rooting My Medley Of Succulent Cuttings

rooting succulent cuttings

I have a funny little story to share on how I learned that rooting succulent cuttings is super simple.

When I drove 9 hours from Santa Barbara to Tucson, my car was jammed packed with plants, pots and 2 cats. I was crammed into the driver’s seat with limited vision. My nerves were slightly frazzled from Oscar yapping away the whole trip.

On the other hand, I felt like I was commanding a mobile greenhouse. I am at my happiest when I’m surrounded by plants. I left most of my fleshy succulent plants behind but brought cuttings which I took the day before the move.

This is all about rooting my medley of succulent cuttings which made the journey across the deserts like a band of troopers.

Rooting succulent cuttings is quite easy.

Don’t be surprised if you see roots appearing from your cuttings while they’re healing over.

I found the Golden Barrel Cactus tossed out along the sidewalk in Santa Barbara with no grow pot. They are one of my favorite cacti, especially when planted in mass and glowing in the sunshine.

At that point, I already knew that I was moving to the desert. I picked it up and gave it a temporary home under my Queen Palm. It lived for 9 more months sans pot which is further proof that cacti are tough as nails. I put it in a brown paper bag the afternoon before I left so the dirt wouldn’t fall off the root-ball when it got wedged in the back seat amongst the other plants.

Taking the sweet little Queen Victoria Agave out of 1 of the beds in my front garden was a last minute decision.  I’m glad it came along for the ride because I have a spot all lined up for it on my side patio. Both it and the Golden Barrel will remain in the planter until their new homes are ready.

rooting succulent cuttings

I have spots lined up for the Golden Barrel Cactus & Queen Victoria Agave.

I managed to get quite a few cuttings and a couple of plants into a  7″x 22″ planter.

The melange of succulent cuttings occupied the rest of the planter. I did loosen a few of them but this is the Arizona desert after all. They were planted in mid-June and it’s now the end of August so all in all they faired well in the blazing summer heat.

Now, keeping them alive and going is another story but more on that in the next post.

rooting succulent cuttings

This simple plastic planter was just right for this project but I did need to drill holes in the bottom of it. As I’ve said many times before, succulents need excellent drainage!

I used straight cactus and succulent mix to root my cuttings because it’s best not to add any amendments like compost. This is a temporary fix or as I say in the video, a plant Airbnb or hotel. You can add the good stuff like worm compost when you move the rooted cuttings into their permanent home.

Whatever medium you use for rooting, make sure it’s very light so those new roots can easily emerge out.

If you’re a newbie gardener, welcome to the wonderful world of cultivating greenery and flowers! The good news is that succulents are very easy to propagate. When rooting a variety of succulents there’s no need to put them in separate pots. Simply put them all together in a carefree fashion. Make sure they’re in a bright spot with no direct sun. Keep them lightly moist but not overwatered.The medley will be happy as can be while rooting in and it’ll be much simpler for you.

Happy propagating,

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rooting succulent cuttings

The planter has been happily residing on my side patio in bright shade. The cuttings are all rooted in & now it’s time for them to be moved to their new home in a pot near my front door!

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  1. Just moved from SoCal (Riverside) to Oklahoma. Nervous about seeing which of my succulents can handle the clay soil and wet summers. But yuccas grow all over here! So, there’s hope. Thanks for the inspiring and reassuring article!

  2. Hi – We’ve both moved to hotter climes from SoCal with our succulents! I’ve left most of the plants behind & just took the cuttings because I wasn’t sure how they’d do outside year round. I’m keeping them out of hot sun & giving them a bit more water here in Tucson. Watch out for that clay soil – succulents need excellent drainage. Enjoy your new home, Nell

  3. Hello there; my name is StevieRae and I have never participated in any type of ‘group’ communication such as this so if I am not doing it correctly, please let me know? K? K!! I have been reading some of your tips about succulents. Very thorough and helpful. I am the regular flower person in the family and my husband is the ‘Succulent Guy’….Tons of Hens & Chicks; this year he has been collecting all different species and it is quite fun to do the gardening ‘thing’ together! (We’ve discovered that it is quite therapeutic and fun!) Anyhow, we live in Portland Oregon which I think we are zone 7? I am going bookmark your site? (Is that correct?) And sign up to receive whatever info you make available. Thank you for your time! Have a great day!

  4. Hi StevieRae – I’m glad you’re finding the info to be helpful. Succulents can be addicting, that’s for sure. I think Portland is zone 8 but you can double check with the USDA zone map. A wonderful day to you also! Nell

  5. Now that you have moved to Arizona~you have my full attention! (I live in Vegas~a transplant from lush San Fernando Valley, CA where everything grows by itself, even tomatoes). I love your sense of humor, I miss green and flowers! I will watch every video looking for color…you make it look so easy

  6. Jayne – Oh yes, a move to the desert means bidding adieu to all that lushness! Here in the Sonoran Desert we get summer rains as well as a bit in the winter so it’s more vegetated & diverse in plant life than most deserts. I have a few annuals but mainly drought tolerant, easy to maintain green babies. I also like to bring in color with pots & a bit of garden art. Time to get the spray paint out!! Nell

  7. I am new to growing succulents, but I am in love with them all! My boyfriend lives a few blocks from the beach in SF and I have cut a few flats of his amazing assortment. His yard is FULL of them!! Thank you for your informative videos and articles, I am potting a few dozen cuttings today to be used as wedding favors :).

  8. Hi! I’m obsessed with succulents, BUT I’m in upstate New York haha and over the past few months I’ve bought probably almost every succulent known to man. lol I’m aware you have perfect weather out west for these plants, but I do NOT lol. Not sure you have had to use any grow lights before, but I would really appreciate any info you have about grow lights and what lighting I should use in the winter and really cool shady days so my plants don’t lose their color or get real leggy. Love your videos thank you so much for all the info! I really don’t want to lose all the money I’ve invested in plants over the last few month/years. *tear*

  9. Hi Erin – Thank you. Succulents are addictive! When I lived in Santa Barbara my fleshies thrived in my garden. Here in Tucson where I now live they’re doing fine but it’s a challenge because of the heat & sun. They need at least 6 hours of bright light to do well. I don’t have adequate knowledge of growing plants under grow lights. Sorry, I can’t help you out because I don’t want to steer you wrong. Nell

  10. Hi Kitty – You’re most welcome! I live in San Francisco for 20 years so I know what you mean. Succulents make great wedding / shower favors because they’re so darned interesting & look good out of water. Nell

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