How to identify succulents?

The broad category of succulent plant includes thousands of plants, including both indoor and outdoor plants, so identifying a specific genus and species can be difficult. Identification is difficult in part because succulent plants often have multiple common names that can be used interchangeably. There are a few steps a person can take to obtain an accurate identification, which mainly focus on using the plant’s physical features as descriptors.

What is a Succulent?

Succulents are plants with fleshy leaves that store water. Cacti, which tend to have spikes, fall under the broad succulent category, but not all succulents are cacti. For both cacti and succulents, it is unlikely to find pure, liquid water within the plant’s leaves. Instead, there is typically a gel-like, moist substance within the leaves.

In general, a plant that has evolved to live in warm, dry climates by storing water in its leaves and stems may be considered a succulent. Some popular types of succulent plants include Crassula, Haworthia, Mammillaria, Aloe, Sedum, and Lithops, all of which offer their own unique traits and characteristics.

The Identification Process

One way to avoid a long identification process is to simply ask the plant seller which succulent plant is being purchased. If the seller does not know or it is not possible to ask, start the identification process by first discerning whether the plant is a succulent or a cactus, and then getting more specific from there by looking at the plant’s leaf shape and overall configuration.

Photo via

Leaf Shape

Succulents can have dramatically different leaves, from the long, thin, triangle-shaped leaves of an Aloe vera plant to the small, almost perfectly spherical leaves of a Senecio rowleyanus, also known by its common name, String of Pearls. Knowing the leaf shape alone can be helpful for quick identification, like in the case of the String of Pearls, or for succulents with unique leaf shapes, but this is not always the case.

Rosette Shape

Certain types of succulent plants have a rosette shape, which feature tight clusters with leaves that radiate out from a central point, much like a flower. Some rosette succulents have pointed leaves, while others have rounded leaves. Details such as this are helpful for identification.

Overall Configuration and Age

Succulent plants sometimes grow long stalks or strands, while others stay squat and close to the ground, growing outwards rather than upwards. Age tends to have an impact on a succulent’s appearance, with some starting as a cluster of leaves poking out of the soil and growing into a tall, treelike structure with woody stems and leaves only on the outermost parts of the plant. For this reason, it may be easier to identify some succulents as they continue to grow and age.

Plant Size

A plant’s overall size can be helpful for identification as well. Succulents that are just 2.8 or 3.1 inches (7 or 8 centimeters) tall or wide are generally indoor plants, while those that are larger in size are typically grown in a garden. Size descriptors of a plant can help a succulent owner narrow down options.

Flower Color and Shape

If the succulent features distinctive flowers, that information can be useful for identification. The time of year that the succulent blooms can also be significant. For example, Christmas cacti have long, bright flowers with petals, and they bloom in early to mid winter, usually right in time for Christmas — hence the name “Christmas Cactus”.

Other Significant Details

There are a few additional details that can help lead to the positive identification of a succulent plant. If the plant has any physical features that are easy to describe, those words can be the very keywords that help identify the plant. For example, if a person owns a succulent with green, spiky leaves that have white stripes on them, you most likely have a Haworthiopsis attenuata (formerly known as Haworthiopsis attenuata) or Haworthiopsis fasciata (formerly known as Haworthia fasciata). If the succulent plant features long, overlaying leaves, a plant owner may own a Sedum morganianum, which is commonly known as a Burro’s Tail or Donkey’s Tail.



  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

It’s essential to know your succulents type if you want them growth health.

Different types of succulents need different treatments, the more you can correctly identify your succulents type, the better you can take care of them.

You might be wondering how to identify my succulent between all these succulents types in the world!

But don’t worry. There are 4 simple ways to identify your succulents type correctly.

Benefits of Identifying Succulents Correctly

Benefits of Identifying Succulents Types Correctly

Knowing the types of succulents you have is critical because their water and light needs vary from plant to plant. Although some succulents may have similar appearances, their characteristics are quite different.

At times, the winter hardiness of a plant can be the difference it has. Failure to correctly identify your succulents may lead to death caused by cold or other climatic conditions. Some succulents are unsafe for pets and kids.

Therefore, correctly identify your succulents ensures the safety of both plants and family.

Basic Succulent Identification Tips

All succulents have clues and features that can help with identification. You just need to know what to look out for.

While some types look entirely different, some succulents are similar.

For instance, the Sempervivum and Echeveria species look identical and confusing. Both of them reproduce in the same way, with each succulent creating an offset which grows adjacent to the central rosette.

Whereas one can survive in temperatures below zero degrees Celsius, the other cannot and may die with any slight freeze.

Can you tell the difference between Sempervivum and Echeveria?

There are finer details that differentiate various succulents. Like we have seen, some have ciliate hairs on their leaf’s edge, while others are smooth all around. Thickness is another feature that makes the difference. Generally, the Echeveria has thicker leaves than Aeonium or Sempervivum, but again not more packed than Graptopetalum.

There are lots of features that give you clues to what species it is:

  • Size, shape, and thickness of the leaf
  • Bumps or marks on the leaves
  • Stem, flower, and leaf color
  • Ciliate hairs
  • Texture, color and length of the stem
  • Growing conditions
  • Spikes, smooth or spines
  • Shape and color of the flower as well as some petals and blooms
  • Cold hardness
  • Shape and size of the plant
  • Epicuticular wax

Proven Ways to Identifying Succulents Correctly

Unless you are explicitly asking someone, you need a high-quality photo of the plant. Ensure you take a picture of the succulent on its own, not in groups.

If the succulent is in a group of plants, zoom in or crop it so that only the plant you are identifying can be seen. Nonetheless, ensure the plant in question is visible enough that anyone can recognize it. The quality of the picture will help with easy identification of the plant.

Using Facebook Groups

You can take advantage of Facebook groups by posting the photo of your succulents to get the identity. It’s not only fun, but you are likely to get tons of responses in a few minutes.

Unlike forums, Facebook groups users are available and more willing to respond to questions. The following are some Facebook groups you may love to be part of:

  1. All About Succulents🌵💜
  2. World of Succulents Group
  3. Succulents, Tiny Gardens & Terrariums
  4. Cacti & Succulents Identification

It is necessary to show some gratitude to people who respond and reply to your posts with brilliant suggestions. Facebook groups require you to be more interactive.

Generally, the more interactive you become in a group, the more likely you will get help.

Using Phone Apps

PictureThis is a plant’s identification app for a smartphone. It features a simple, beautiful, and user-friendly interface. To use it, you need to have a picture of the plant you want to identify. Ensure it is inside the viewfinder of your screen then snap your shot. The app will return the name as well as another picture of the plant you are identifying. It also returns a link you may click to accept if the image returned is a match to the plant you are defining, and another for getting more details regarding growing, lightning and watering conditions.

PictureThis costs $19.96 per year, with seven days of a free trial. You can cancel your subscription through your iTunes account settings. It is quite impressive, you can test it by snapping the pictures of succulents you know to see if the app works correctly. You will realize this app works accurately for a wide range of plants other than the succulents.

Using Garden Web Forum

Garden Web forum is a reliable way to identify your succulents. To get started, you need to register for free and be able to post in the forum. After setting up the account, you can upload the photo of your succulents as part of a post in the forum. If you can guess the species or genus of the plant, mention it in the comments.

In general, members of the Garden Web Forum respond quickly and may reply to your post in a matter of minutes. Again, ensure you are thankful to people who give you feedback.

Using the Succulents Gallery

This is perhaps the hardest means of identifying succulents, but it is equally a great resource. Here, you have to browse the images one by one to help you identify the plant that matches your succulents. A great way to get started will be getting the genus of your succulents first.

Final Words

In conclusion, once you have identified your succulents, do a quick search of the name in google images. If the majority of the photos look like your succulents, then awesome, you have the right name for your plant.

If the photos are not similar, then the name should be your starting point. Ask a few people if they know that plant or think it’s a different thing altogether because even hybrids and cultivars are succulents too. This fact alone can confuse during the succulents identification process. Nevertheless, provided you’ve got the right genus and species of your succulents, you are close to getting the correct name of your plant.

Please comment below about this post on identifying succulents, and we will get back to you.



Most times, gardening fanatics find it hard to differentiate between the Echeveria, Sempervivum and Aeonium succulents, since they belong to the same family Crassulaceae. While they share many similarities in terms of color and shape, there are some basic pointers that help you figure out what genus they are.



Echeveria Agavoides Christmas |

Native to North, Mexico, and South America, these succulents grow well in desert conditions but can also tolerate some moisture, as long as you don’t water them until the soil is well-drained.

Echeveria can often be recognized by its gorgeous rosette-shaped with striking plump, spoon-like leaves. They usually have pointy tip but the edges of the leaf are smooth.

Types of Echeveria Succulents |

Echeveria are polycarpic plant, meaning they bloom every year. In the spring or early summer, growers can spot their flowers stemming from chubby-leaved rosettes. These stems are long, slim and are topped by bell-shaped blooms. The flowers’ colors ranges from pink, peach to orange, sometimes can be white or yellow.

<Left: and Right: Instagram @echielady>



Sempervivum Mahogany |

If you are looking for a cold-hardy, colorful succulent, Sempervivum might be your best bet. Mostly found in Europe, this succulent develops an incredible resistance to frosty weather. Sempervivum can survive well in zone as cold as −40 °C.

Sempervivum has some distinctive traits on the leaves that allow growers to identify its genus. Unlike Echeveria, Sempervivum has narrower and pointy leaves. The edges are covered with tiny sharp teeth. Sometimes, these teeth can only be seen through a magnifying glass due to their small size.

<Left: and Right:>

Sempervivum has a different blooming habit compared to Echeveria. As a monocarpic plant, it only bloom once in a lifetime. Once the flower withers, the plant also die. Hence, many growers try to prevent their succulent’s death by cutting off the blooming stalk as soon as possible. However, this does not always guarantee success since it is difficult to spot Sempervivum blooming signs and time period.

Another noticeable trait is the star shape of Sempervivum’s flowers and the fact that they stem from the center of the rosette, not between the leaves.

<Left: Instagram @miss_ephelia and Right: Instagram @echielady>



Aeonium Black Rose |

Without a doubt, Aeonium is another gorgeous and striking additions to succulents. Commonly known as Tree Houseleek, most Aeonium species are native to Atlantic Islands and a small number can be found in Morocco or east Africa.

The most obvious difference between Aeonium and the other two can be spotted by looking at the rosette. Among the three, Aeonium has flattest leaves. They also have a spoon-shaped leaves but not as rounded as Echeveria. For most Aeonium genus, their leaf margin has a range of tiny teeth that is hardly visible.

< and Right: Instagram @thosearesucculent>

Aeonium and Sempervivum have pretty similar flower shape and blooming pattern. They have the same star-shaped flower head and bloom once after many years. Luckily, both Sempervivum and Aeonium produce many tiny offsets before flowering so there will always be new plants to replace the dying one.

<Left: and Right: Instagram @thosearesucculent>

Now that you have learnt the visual differences between the three succulents, it is time to pick out our favourite.

Check out this quick video to identify 13 most common types of succulents:

See more about How to identify succulents II: Agave, Aloe, Gasteria and Haworthia.

to get all the details.

How to identify succulents III: Cactus, Senecio, Crassula, Sedum, Kalanchoe and Cotyledon.

to get all the details.

If you found this article interesting, share it with your succulent loving friends!
And get a free plant when your friends make an order. Sign up here!

Some leaves will pop right off with a gentle tug, while others may require a sharp knife. Using clean hands or a sterile knife, remove a healthy leaf from the base of the plant, ensuring that an entire, undamaged leaf is removed.

Once removed, let the leaf heal in a warm area with bright light for about four days to allow the “wound” to callous over. After the leaf has calloused, prepare a new planter with soil, wet it, and place the leaf on top of the soil for propagation.

Use a spray bottle to mist your leaves when the soil is dry. Be sure to keep them in a warm place with plenty of bright light, but not direct sun. They need to be kept moist and warm.

Within three weeks or so, little roots and leaves will begin to sprout! It could take a few months before a succulent gets big enough for repotting (photos above are after about 8 weeks). You’ll know it’s time when the leaf eventually turns brown and falls off. This means the succulent has taken all of the nutrients from the leaf and no longer needs it.

Propagating Succulents with Offsets or by Division:

Propagating succulents with offsets is a great way to grow your collection because the parent plant has already done the majority of the work for you. Offsets, AKA “pups,” are the little succulents that sprout up around the base of the parent plant. These pups occur when roots bearing leaf clusters, shoot out from the mature plant and develop into a new succulent. Pups can also occur on the leaves of some succulents, like the Pink Butterfly Kalanchoe. You can use the offsets from either location to grow a new, individual plant.

To divide offsets from the base of the parent plant, brush away the top soil until roots are visible, and gently pull them apart while preserving as many roots as possible. More mature offsets will have already developed their own root systems, but if the offsets are still connected to the parent plant by a stem, simply use a clean, sharp knife to cut them apart. Brush old soil from the offsets’ roots, and let them dry out for a couple of days in a warm place with plenty of indirect light to prevent rot and disease when repotted. Once they’ve calloused over and healed, prepare new planters with cactus/succulent soil, wet it, place the succulent in a shallow hole, and fill in the hole to stabilize the plant.

Separating offsets from leaves of the parent plant can be achieved by simply pulling them off or using a sharp knife. Be sure your knife or hands are clean, so bacteria is not transferred to the plant or offset. If using a knife, make a clean cut where the offset meets the mature plant. Without a knife, gently tug on the offset, wiggling it from side to side until it pops off cleanly. Once removed, let these offsets dry out for a couple of days, so they can callous over. When they’re healed, fill a planter with soil, wet it, and place the pups on top of the soil. Within a few weeks, they will begin forming roots!

Propagating Succulents with Stem Cuttings:

Propagating with stem cuttings works best with plants that have “branches” or rosette-shaped succulents that have stretched out on a long stem. This process is most successful if done when the succulent is about to begin its active growth period, either at the end of a dormant period (usually winter months), or at the beginning of a growth period (usually spring months) to give the succulent the best chance for survival.

To take a proper cutting from a succulent that has branches, you’ll need a sharp, sterilized knife or razor blade. Choose a stem that is relatively short to ensure it is active and growing, hold the stem as close to the base as possible, then use your knife or razor blade to cut it cleanly from the parent plant. If the stem is damaged at all during this process, you’ll likely need a new cutting. The branch will need to heal for about four days before it is repotted. Once repotted, give the plant plenty of bright light and barely water, and it will root itself in its new planter in about four weeks.

Rosette-shaped succulents can also be propagated with stem cuttings when they begin to grow a long stem from maturity or lack of sunlight. The rosette can be cut off with a sharp, sterile knife, leaving a short stem to enable repotting. Allow the cut rosette to callous for about four days to prevent rotting and disease when it’s repotted. The long stem from which the rosette was removed will continue to form new leaves, so leave it potted or planted as it was, and barely water until new growth appears from the stem.

Propagating Succulents with Seeds:

Propagating succulents with seeds is typically the slowest way to grow new plants, but if you have the time and patience, give it a try! Seeds of mature plants are located in the swollen base of the flower (AKA the “fruit”), and they can be collected when the succulent is done flowering. In some instances, the seed will be an orange-colored dust, which can be slightly more difficult to propagate with. Whether collecting seeds from a mature plant or buying seeds to use, always use fresh, dry seeds in the beginning of spring to give them a long growing period before winter dormancy.

First, prepare a planter with cactus/succulent soil, water it thoroughly, then soak your seeds in warm water for about 30 minutes to loosen up the seed coat. Once soaked and softened, spread the seeds on top of the prepared soil, keeping spaces between them to allow growth. Next, cover the seeds with just enough “top dressing,” like sand or sifted cactus/succulent soil, without burying them. Use a spray bottle to water the seeds daily with a fine mist, only allowing the top surface to dry out between waterings.

Keep the planter in a warm environment, anywhere from 75-80ºF. A fun trick is to cover the planter with clear plastic of some kind (ziplock bag, plastic bucket) to create a greenhouse effect. This will keep the seeds moist and warm, and it’s a great option for those in cool or dry climates. The seeds will begin to germinate in about two weeks, and after about six weeks, you should be able to water about every other day.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different methods of propagation, you can experiment! Be patient if you’re just learning to propagate succulents, as there is always a bit of a learning curve. While we aim to provide you with the best information possible to be successful, every individual will have different experiences when propagating. The more you practice, the more likely you’ll be successful!

Succulents are a favorite for indoor gardeners. They grow slowly, require minimum care and don’t outgrow their pots quickly. They are simple plants needing only direct sunlight and well-drained soil.

Succulents are also some of the easiest plants to propagate. Many of them can root and produce a new plant from a stem cutting, a division, an offset or a leaf. Whether you’re looking to expand your indoor garden or share some of your plants with friends, the easiest and quickest method is by using a plant part.

An overview

Using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings and offsets is a common way to multiply succulents. Unlike other houseplants, you don’t have to worry about succulents wilting because they have a thick, waxy cuticle on their stems and leaves. Their resistance to water stress and increased growth rate are obvious benefits.

Selecting offsets and cuttings

The key to growing healthy plants from stem cuttings, leaf cuttings and offsets is choosing healthy host plants.

After you’ve cut a healthy piece of the stem, remove the lower leaves to create a bare portion to stick into the soil. You can use the leaves, as well as, the stem to propagate new plants.

Growing offsets and cuttings

Once you’ve harvested stems, leaves and offsets it’s important to let your cuttings dry out for a few days to allow any cut surface to callus over before you stick it into moist potting soil to root. Lay the stems and stripped leaves on a piece of paper to dry in a location out of direct sunlight.

Due to their resistance to water stress, failure to give succulents a drying period may cause rot.

It can take anywhere from a few days to couple weeks for the cuttings to dry out enough to pot. Once they are ready, you can use an ordinary pot or flat with commercial potting mix or propagating mix. Stem cuttings should be inserted up to the lowest leaves. Leaves should be pushed in so that the bottom 1/4 inch of each is covered by soil.

After your plants have been stuck in the potting soil, you just need to sprinkle them with water every few days to keep them from drying out completely.

How to propagate succulents

Stem cuttings. Stem cuttings must be taken at the end of a dormant period or at the beginning of active growth in the spring. However, it can also be done in the summer.

  1. Using a sharp, sterilized knife or razor, remove stem cuttings from your plant. It’s important to make a clean cut to ensure fast healing through the callusing stage. Ideally, you want to select a short cutting — about one to three inches long — from a new shoot. Next, you want to remove the bottom leaves and let your cutting dry out.
  2. Fill a small pot with propagating soil, leveling it off about a half inch from the brim.
  3. Plant the calloused stem cutting in the prepared potting mix. Succulents can be watered immediately, while cacti need to wait a few days. The potted cutting needs a warm, bright, airy location and must be kept moderately moist to thrive.
  4. After several weeks, the cutting should have an established root system and may be transferred to a larger container. You can tell the roots have grown when you can see visible plant growth above the soil.

Leaf cuttings. Like stem cuttings, leaf cuttings should normally be taken at the end of a dormant period or beginning of active growth in the spring.

  1. Just like stem cuttings, you need to use a sharp knife or razor blade to remove a single leaf cutting. Make sure to avoid taking leaves from the base of the plant as they don’t root well. For best results, take leaf cuttings from new, active growing shoots. Dip the base of the leaf cutting in a rooting hormone, and let it dry out to callus. Leaf cuttings are more difficult to propagate, so it’s important to just let them sit long enough for the wound to scab over.
  2. Fill a small pot with propagating soil, leveling it off about a half inch from the brim.
  3. Plant the callused leaf in the potting soil so that the bottom 1/4 inch is covered. Water the leaf cutting immediately and allow the pot to drain. The pot needs to be placed in a warm, airy location with at least eight hours of indirect sunlight. Mist the cutting with distilled water once a day.
  4. After several weeks, the cutting should have an established root system.

Offsets. Most succulents produce underground lateral shoots, which create offsets that can be severed in the spring or summer to create a self-sustaining new plant.

  1. Moisten the soil and carefully remove each offset from the parent plant. Then allow both the offsets and parent plant to callus before replanting.
  2. Fill a small pot with propagating soil, leveling it off about a half inch from the brim.
  3. Repot the seedlings, waiting three or four days to water them. Make sure to put the plants in a warm, dry location with indirect sunlight.

Transplanting tips

It typically takes six to 10 weeks for cuttings or leaves to root and start showing signs of new growth. The plants that have small roots growing before you remove them from the parent plant will root even more quickly and start growing in just a few weeks.

Once you can visibly see your cuttings are growing again, it’s a sign they are ready to be transplanted.

Leaf cuttings take longer to produce a new stem and established roots than stem cuttings. For leaf cuttings, you want to wait until the plant is at least one to two inches tall before transplanting.

When you are ready to transplant use a small stick to lift each individual rooted cutting from the potting soil. Then place them in the new potting soil so they will be growing at roughly the same depth as before. Finish up by firming the potting soil around your new plants and place them in a brightly lit location for a few days. Once your plants are established in their new pots you can gradually move them to a location with brighter light.


  • South Dakota State University Extension
  • North Dakota State University

Related Content

  • 6 tips for growing succulents indoors


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!

Do you enjoy growing succulent plants? They’ve become all the rage for adding a unique appearance to your outdoor gardens.

But they are also an excellent option for growing as houseplants too. If you’d like more succulents in your garden or home you don’t have to buy more, instead, you can propagate the plants you already have.

For those new to gardening – propagation is the process of taking cuttings or offsets from parent plants to make more plants.

If you are interested in knowing how to do this, I’m going to share the process with you. It’s easy to do and can become a fun new hobby.

Here’s how you propagate succulents:

Method One: Propagating Cuttings

If you’ve ever raised a succulent plant which wasn’t getting enough sunlight, you might have noticed the plant has begun to stretch towards the closest light.

This makes the plants lanky in appearance. These are the perfect plants to propagate their cuttings.

Take the parent plant and place it closer to the sunlight which will give it a second chance to grow into a bigger and healthier plant. Here’s how you do this:

1. Locate the New Rosettes

When your parent succulent is growing, you’ll begin to see smaller rosettes pop up next to the parent plant. These are what you’re looking for to cut and remove to form new plants.

Once you see new rosettes popping up, you’ll know you’re ready to propagate. However, be sure you don’t begin snatching or cutting out the rosettes at first sight.

There’s a method to remove them properly. When you’ve located your rosettes, you can move on with the process.

2. Remove the Rosette

Removing the rosettes should be done carefully. You’ll need first to make sure you include the stem of the rosette.

When cutting, be sure to be gentle to keep the plant in one piece. Remove the leaves below the rosette on the stem.

Once the leaves are removed, you can cut the stem back slightly. You’ll want it to be a couple of inches long to ensure it can reach into the soil for one propagation method or water for the other propagation method.

3. Dry the Cutting

Next, you’ll need to allow the cutting to dry for two to three days. The areas you’ve cut will look new and tender at the beginning of the drying period.

You’ll know the plants have dried when the areas you’ve cut are dry to the touch and have developed a tough outer layer.

After the cuttings are dry, you have two different methods to choose from to complete the propagation process.

Propagate the Cutting in Soil

1. Proper Soil

Fill a tray with succulent or cactus soil and place the cuttings on top of the soil.

When you’ve done this, wait two to three weeks. At the end of the waiting period, you should see roots forming and tiny plants forming as well.

2. Water Properly

During the two to three week waiting period, you should only water the cuttings when the soil is totally dry. This is to avoid overwatering.

After you see the root systems developing, you should water the cuttings once per week to ensure they receive an adequate amount of water without overwatering the plant.

3. Remove Original Cutting

The final step to this process is to remove the original cutting. As the process continues, the original rosette will die off. When this happens, remove the rosette as gently as possible to avoid disturbing the roots of the new plants.

Also, be sure you don’t place the plants you’re propagating in direct sunlight. If you’d like to replant the cuttings, you can after the root systems has developed.

Now you’ve officially propagated a succulent in soil.

Propagating the Cutting in Water

Your next option for propagating a succulent cutting is to propagate it in water. This method requires fewer supplies to get started with and could be considered easier by many.

When the succulent cutting has dried fully, place it on the edge of a glass of water. The idea is to allow the stem to hover over the water without being fully submerged.

Place the cutting on a sunny window seat and wait. Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll begin to notice roots developing. They’ll stretch towards the water as the root system develop.

When the root system has fully formed, you can either leave the plant in the water or transplant it into a tray or pot with soil by using the method shown above.

Method 2: Propagating Offsets

Transplanting offsets are similar to transplanting cuttings. To begin let’s discuss which plants will produce offsets and what you do with them once they’ve grown offsets.

Plants such as aloe, cacti, and hens and chicks produce offsets. Offsets are smaller versions of the parent plant which grow at the base of the plant.

When you see the succulents producing offsets, allow them to grow for approximately three weeks. At the end of the three-week waiting period, check to make sure they have a developed root system.

If they do, remove the offset from the parent plant. You can do this by cutting it loose with a sharp knife or by gently twisting the offset until it releases from the parent plant. The focus is to prevent damage to the roots.

Don’t be afraid to remove the offset because it’s good for the parent succulent. It allows the original plant to put its energy back into its own growth and should be a healthier plant because you removed the offset.

Once the offset is removed, decide whether you want to propagate the plant in soil or water. If you choose soil, follow these steps:

Propagate an Offset in Soil

1. Fill Tray with Proper Soil

Fill a tray with succulent or cactus soil and place the offset on top of the soil in the tray. Wait two to three weeks while the root system is forming.

At the end of the three weeks, a root system should be developed, and other tiny plants should be in the beginning stages as well.

Before the roots form, water the offsets only when the soil is totally dry. This is to avoid overwatering the plants.

However, when the roots have begun to form, be sure to water the offsets once per week. Give them an adequate amount of water without overwatering.

3. Give Adequate Care

Finally, when you see the original offset beginning to die off, remove it carefully from the tray without disturbing the root system.

Remember not to place the offsets in direct sunlight when they’re growing in soil. Once the root system has developed, it’s okay to transplant your offsets into other pots if you desire.

Propagate an Offset in Water

If you don’t have all of the materials to propagate in soil, you have another option. You can propagate your plants in water too. Here’s how:

1. Place on Rim of Glass

When you’ve removed the offset from the parent succulent, place it on the rim of a glass of water. Again, the idea is for the offset to be hovering over the water and not be fully submerged in it.

2. Give it Sun

Be sure to place the glass of water with the offset in a sunny location in your home. The plant will flourish and begin producing its own root system.

3. Let it Grow

Finally, wait for the offset to grow. You will see roots forming and heading towards the water. When this happens, you can leave the offset in the glass of water to continue growing, or you can transplant it into a pot or a tray of soil.

In most cases with offsets, I’d personally recommend transplanting them for best growth. You could find your experience to be different which is why it’s a good thing to experiment with different growth methods with your plants.

As you can see, propagating succulent plants isn’t difficult. You need to decide which method you’d prefer, determine what type of succulents you’d like to propagate, and follow the steps.

Not to mention, propagating your succulents can save you money in raising more houseplants, or it could even be a nice side business to boost your income.

You now know multiple ways to propagate your succulents, and we sincerely hope you’ll find great success in the process.

Was this article helpful?


How can we improve it?


We appreciate your helpul feedback!

Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be.

Follow us on social media:

Facebook Pinterest

Dividing and separating various offsets and new growth on several types of succulents, plus an update on the Echeveria subsessilis I topped back in the February video on repairing stretched and damaged succulents.

to Sucs for You(Tube)(◕ᴗ◕✿

-To learn how SFY can help you help your plants,

The line up: Echeveria subsessilis, Echeveria pulvinata, Haworthia tessalata, Opunita, Echinopsis oxygona cv.

02:26 – Echeveria subsessilis- update on topped portion, 07:20 shows stem baby removal

11:20 – Echeveria pulvinata – taking stem/branch cuttings

17:52 – Haworthia tessalata- dividing offsets

21:45 – Rescued Opuntia pad – new growth segment removal, 27:54 shows a dry potting method

23:15 – Echinopsis oxygona – offset removal

To see another demo on Haworthia Fasciata ‘Zebra,’ Echeveria Prolifica, and an Echeveria Lola check out this video


Future video ideas and comments? Please drop them below!

✿ Help me help you! If my tips and advice have been of value to you, you can leave me a tip via Paypal, Venmo, or sign up to be a monthly supporter on Patreon!

✿ Check out the ‘Get Help’ page to learn how I can help you help you plants-

✿ Read about care tips, my dirt recipe and more at:

✿ Supplies I use:

✿ Follow me elsewhere!

-Facebook Sucs Talk and Shop group
-Facebook page
✿ About- Sucs For You! Featuring demonstrations of how to propagate and care for succulents and cacti, and other tips on working with these beautiful plants in challenging climates. With Andrea Afra, based out of Houston, Texas, Garden Zone 9A.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *