Succulents in water

Water propagation is a popular method of using water as the only rooting medium to root succulent cuttings. It is an easy and effective way to propagate your succulents to make new plants and beautiful planters without paying top dollar! How do you propagate succulents in water?

How To Propagate Succulents In Water Using A Leaf

Propagating succulents using a leaf will take 2-6 weeks to root. It is encouraged to check your leaves daily to prevent the water from evaporating, leaving the leaf to dry out. You can also change the water if it gets too dark, as it will increase the possibility of success. 


Propagating your succulent using leaves will have the highest chance of success, although it will take longer compared to using stem cuttings.

You will need the following:

  • Your succulent
  • Narrow-neck bottle
  • Filtered water
  • Cling wrap

How to propagate a succulent leaf in water:

Step 1: Remove The Desired Leaf From Your Succulent

Look for the healthiest leaf on your succulent. Larger and more mature leaves will grow roots much faster than smaller leaves, and the roots will also be stronger. Your success rate will also increase when using healthier and larger leaves. 

Carefully remove the leaf from your succulent’s stem. Keep in mind that the leaf will fail to grow roots if a part of it breaks off and another part remains attached to the mother plant.

Step 2: Leave The Leaf To Dry

After you have selected a healthy enough leaf or leaves to propagate, lay them down on a flat tray for some time. This will allow them to callus over.


Succulents 1

Letting your succulent leaf cuttings dry is crucial, as it will prevent rot. Leave the leaves to dry for five to seven days, or just until tiny roots start forming, which means they will want to be placed in water.

Keep in mind that you should not skip this stem, as it will decrease your chances of successfully propagating your succulent. 

Practicing this step will help determine whether your chosen leaves are healthy enough to propagate. 


If the leaf is healthy enough, it won’t die without water during this period. However, if the leaf withers while you wait for it to callus, it is not a valid propagator. You will then have to start with step one again.

Step 3: Place Your Leaf In A Narrow-Neck Bottle

After your leaves have dried, gently place them in your narrow-neck bottle. Make sure the bottle is filled with water. Try to keep each leaf’s edge just above the water’s surface. 

If the leaves continue to fall in, you can also cover the top of the bottle or container using a small piece of saran wrap. Remember to poke a few holes in it, sticking the leaf through. 

Using saran wrap or cling wrap for your cuttings won’t only keep them in place, but if you live in a cold climate, the plastic will help to increase the humidity in the jar. 

As the succulent becomes warmer and the water starts to evaporate, the leaves will be much more likely to grow due to the increased temperatures and humidity levels.

Propagating Succulents in water 1

Step 4: Wait For The Magic To Happen!

Be sure to place your bottle containing your leaves in bright but indirect light. After some time, these leaves will grow roots reaching for the water! If you’re lucky, they may also start to grow into tiny succulents. 

Once healthy enough root systems have formed, you can start your journey to plant them into potting soil suitable for succulents.

How To Propagate Succulents In Water Using Cuttings

Propagating succulent cuttings in water will generally take between two and six weeks to sprout, although it will depend significantly on your environment and climate.

If you want to prevent sprouting delays, it is encouraged to check the jar daily to ensure the water so not evaporate, causing your cuttings to become dried out.

Keep in mind that it may take longer to propagate succulent cuttings than it will with leaves. However, propagated succulent cuttings will more likely grow strong and healthy roots, leading to a strong and healthy plant when it reaches maturity.

You will need the following:

  • Sharp and clean pruning shears/sharp knife
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • A mature and healthy succulent plant
  • Filtered water or rainwater
  • Narrow neck bottle or clear glass jar
  • Cling wrap

Step 1: Find A Healthy Offshoot Or Growth On Your Succulent

It’s important to find the perfect offshoot or growth on your succulent, and if you locate more than one healthy and large leaf, you can take a few to propagate. 

Similar to propagating your succulent using large healthy leaves, you need to take a healthy, lively offshoot, as a healthier offshoot is more likely to grow roots. Do not take any leaves with discoloring, brown or yellow spots, or looks like they’re wilting or sick, as they are less likely to grow healthy, strong roots or any roots at all.


Step 2: Make Your Succulent Cuttings

After locating the perfect growth or offshoots, it’s time to get your pruning shears. Although any scissors or knives will do the trick, you need to ensure they are sharp enough to make precise and sharp cuts and that they are freshly cleaned or sterilized. You may need rubbing alcohol to do this, as it will remove any bacteria or germs that may be present.

Use your pruning shears, knife, or scissors to carefully cut between two and four inches of cuttings, leaving at least one or two leaves from a healthy part of your succulent’s stem. 

Then, cut about a quarter of an inch just below the node. You may remove some of the bottom leaves to expose the succulent stem more.

Succulents CUTTINGS

Step 3: Dry Your Cuttings

After making your cuttings, it’s crucial to let your cuttings callous for a few days. You can place them on an empty tray in a place with bright but indirect light for between two and three days or just as you notice a callus forming. 

You can also place a piece of paper or tissue paper underneath your cuttings, as it will help to dry them out faster. 

This is an essential tip in this method as well, as your cutting may absorb too much water, causing it to rot instead of shooting roots.

Step 4: Fill A Container Or Jar With Water

Using a clear glass container, bottle, or jar to propagate your succulent cuttings with water is strongly encouraged. This will not only allow you to see every progress your cutting makes, but it will also significantly help to propagate them, as sunlight will easily pass through the glass. 

It is recommended to fill your vessel using rainwater or distilled water instead of tap water. The chances that tap water has chemical additives could negatively impact your vulnerable cutting, which could inhibit the chances of rooting or prolonging.

Propagating Succulents in water

Step 5: Place Your Cuttings In The Chosen Container

Once you notice your cutting callus over, you can place them in your jar or container! Some people prefer to submerge their cuttings in water, while some prefer that the stem and leaves remain to try, as to avoid any changes of them rotting. 

However, the best way would be to place the calloused end of your cuttings in your glass container or jar with only one end slightly submerged. 

If your succulent cutting is especially small, it is recommended to cover the car using plastic wrap. You should then poke a few holes in the wrap, sticking the stem of your cutting through it. 

This will securely hold your cuttings to prevent them from completely falling into the water. It will also ensure that the bottom part of the cutting constantly touches the water and gets everything it needs to start forming healthy and strong roots.

Step 6: Place Your Container Somewhere Safe

Place your container with your cuttings in a safe spot where animals won’t be able to reach it. It would be best to find a spot with a lot of indirect sunlight, such as a window with closed drapes or in your bathroom or bedroom. 

Step 7: Wait For Your Succulent Cutting To Form Roots

After you have found the ideal spot, be sure to check on your succulent cuttings daily. You may change the water every few days, ensuring that algae will not start forming and growing in the water. 

This will also prevent the water from becoming too cloudy, which could make it difficult to check on your cutting’s progress. 

Once you notice them growing roots, which could be anywhere from three to four weeks, moving the container to a spot that gets more direct sunlight would be good. It could take up to six weeks for some succulent roots to emerge. 

See this video below for more information about “How do you propagate succulents in water?


Knowing how to propagate your succulents in water could be fun, but it could also be a process of trial and error. Keep in mind that the results will differ depending on your environment. Similar to dirt propagation, some will have greater success than others, as it depends on the climate.

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