Planting succulents: A beginners guide

You are currently viewing Planting succulents: A beginners guide

I love to see plants in my home but I don’t have a green thumb. I don’t know how to take care of them, I forget to water them not to mention I don’t know anything about grafting. This is when succulents came to the scene. They are really sturdy, difficult to kill, and provides a pleasant aesthetic. So, that’s what I did, I started planting succulents in my house.

It started during COVID lockdown as I was desperately trying to find ways to occupy my mind. And now I have graduated to propagating them with leaves.

I plucked the leaves from the adult succulents: hen-and-chicks (probably, a bit confused on its nomenclature) and jade plant and wiggled the leaves to get a clean cut with no rip and tear. Then I allowed them to dry without direct sunlight for 5 days to form callus. But I have seen people successfully propagating it directly without letting the leaves form callus. I then positioned the leaves so that it stays right at level of the soil allowing the roots to attach and grow and watered them. I again avoided direct sunlight for the process.  

Succulents propagating and planting process

I used normal soil found near my home and used ‘Tapari’ which are lightly curved Sal tree leaf plate made by stitching leaves to grow them. The roots started forming slowly and after a month many had sprouted roots ready enough to be replanted.

To replant the plant I choose to recycle, ‘matka’ cups which are earthen cups used for drinking tea and making and eating curd. These are locally made by artisans many of whom have been making these earthen wares from generations. Getting these cups was also an excuse to taste the delicious tea!

Once I had the cups, I washed them and made holes at the bottom of the cup by making it wet and pressing scissors lightly at its bottom. Its really easy to do so, I also tried making holes on broken ceramics cup (cups with handle broken and such) back during the lockdown and had a success ratio of 2:3 because I had to apply light pressure using hammer and nail which sometimes meant that the ceramics would completely shatter. However, with the earthen cups its rather easy.

Then I used the soil found near my home, grounded them finely if there were large chunks using my hands. I plucked the roots cutting the succulents leaves if I had to. The roots were then placed onto the soil. I didn’t fill the cup completely with the soil, at the top to avoid water spill. I then watered them and now have placed the potted succulents by a window.

It a satisfying process throughout and I plan on expanding my knowledge on succulent plantation and experimenting with other plant varieties as well.

Anu Rai

I am an aspiring environmental researcher.

Leave a Reply