I have a lot of succulents and I’m always happy to share, but I haven’t always been as successful as I would like when it comes to propagating new plants. Succulents are pretty easy to root but it helps to have a little info to work from.
I was discussing this with a friend who is very knowledgeable about succulents and she gave me a photo-copied sheet of different cutting points on a succulent stem. I wish I could give attribution to this great guideline to follow for cutting succulents for propagation but I was unsuccessful at finding the source. Anyway, I realize now that I have been cutting too long a stem and will change my propagation technique to get better results. Here’s a picture I created for your information.
A – Cutting this high on the stem is known as “pinching out.” The reason to pinch this high on the plant stem is to create growth for multiple cuttings or have the plants develop into a multi-headed plant. Cutting this high will force side stems to grow that will be viable cuttings themselves once they’ve grown out. The top part that is cut off is not a viable cutting and will not root so just throw it away.
B – Cutting here is optimal for creating a new plant from the top part and forcing new shoots to grow off the stem. This method works best if a few leaves are left on the stem, allowing it to recover more efficiently, producing the most new stems.
C – Cutting at this mark is officially called deadheading. A cut made here will result in a plant that will root easily. The stem most likely won’t develop any shoots and can slowly wither down.
D – Cutting lower on the stem creates a longer stem, but takes much longer to establish roots. The lower stem might produce a few shoots, but can also wither down.
E – Cutting further down the stem is not recommended because the head will have to work hard to get established and the lower stem is likely to die.