After painting their terracotta pots, the kids wanted to plant something in them. We have a single succulent plant growing out by our letterbox that seems pretty hardy, and I thought it would be fun to try to propagate some new plants from it’s cuttings.
The succulent in our garden is a good size, so we were able to take several stem cuttings. We removed the lower leaves from the bottom of each stem. We left the leaves and the cuttings to dry out for a few days.
Succulents generally like well-drained soil, so L collected some red gravel from one of our garden beds to place in the bottom of each pot to improve drainage. She then filled each pot with some cacti and succulent potting mix. My mother had told me to try dipping the base of the cuttings into honey prior to planting them. This is supposed to kill any bacteria on the cutting, and improve growth. I’d never tried this before, but we pulled out some honey and dipped each cutting in. It’s hard to know whether it worked, but all of our cuttings survived, and had new growth on them, so I think we will use honey on our cuttings again in the future. L placed a single stem cutting into each pot, patted the soil down and gently watered them in.
We placed them in a sunny spot, and checked on them every day, keeping the soil moist, but not too wet. After a week or so, we noticed some of the cuttings had produced some new leaves, and some little roots had appeared near the base of the stems.
All of these succulents in their decorated pots were given away as Christmas presents, mostly to their teachers. The kids were so proud to show off the pots that they painted and the plants that they had grown. They made unique gifts that were well received and appreciated.
As we began to clean out the laundry this week, in preparation for painting, we discovered some unused pots under the laundry tub. These will make excellent vessels for our next round of succulent growing. I would like to try propagating some cuttings from other types of succulents too.