Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Advice for growing from cuttings

Views: 749, Replies: 11 » Jump to the end
Los Angeles
Caesurra
Mar 9, 2017 1:30 PM CST
Hi all! I am asking for advice from anyone who has grown succulents and cactuses from cuttings. Someone gave me an amazing gift of cuttings from all over their garden. They are beautiful plants and I really want them to survive, but I don't have a lot of experience *Blush*

I waited a couple of days after they were cut, then put them in pots with cactus mix. I have been keeping the pots in my garage by a window and under a grow light to keep them out of the rain we had recently. They have been in their pots for a little less than a week.

Mostly they look unchanged, but a few seem to be suffering during the transition. I've included photos of the ones that concern me. I haven't grown any of these plants before so I don't know if it is normal for them to get brown spots, dents, or wilting while they are rooting. I've also seen some varying suggestions about how often to water/mist them when they're just starting out. Really, any suggestions to help my succulents flourish would be appreciated!
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/ed8820
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/534d93
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/0707ee
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/91e037
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/d2a5f7
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/680c89
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/d9ec1b
Thumb of 2017-03-09/Caesurra/526719

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Mar 9, 2017 5:11 PM CST
Don't expect a lot from less than one week of being potted up. If some don't have roots, then they are not going to be at their best. Give them time to develop and acclimate to your environment which is different from where you got them. Your saying that you got "cuttings from all over their garden" may indicate that each one may have been at different exposures and microclimates in the yard they came from so putting them all in the garage will not be the same for them. You have quite a variety with different needs and I wouldn't lump them together as just succulents that have the same needs. The thing is to identify them and see what their individual needs are. I'm guessing here, as I see an Aloe type, a Kalanchoe type, an Aeonium type, a Haworthia type, etc. All differ from each other in form and needs.
In regards to watering/misting, succulents should be misted and watered at the soil level and not at or over the plant itself if that can be helped. The brown spotting could be caused by that. Also a draft/cold air from the window could affect the looks of the plants. Plants can also be dented by being too close to each other as you are trying to get around them to tend them. Good ventilation is important too as long as the temps aren't too low.
Temperature, ventilation, light exposure, watering frequency and method can all affect the speed at which roots can grow and plants can acclimate to whatever seasonal conditions you have where you are located (you don't mention what zone you are in).
Los Angeles
Caesurra
Mar 9, 2017 6:02 PM CST
Thank you for all of that information! I am located in Southern California, so I will probably bring them outside now that it's warming up. Water touching them could be the culprit - I watered something near them and they may have been splashed Sad I will try and make sure I don't do that again. Thank you again!
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Mar 9, 2017 6:14 PM CST
Ah, Southern CA...near succulent paradise! You should be able to get the most out of your new babies being down there. All my tender succulents from CA brought up to Northern Oregon bit the dust this winter. From here on out, it will have to be hardy succulents for me (those that need to tolerate 50 and below in temps). ENJOY!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 9, 2017 6:39 PM CST

Moderator

We have a climate much like Southern California (mild cool coastal) and it is a wonderful advantage in the growing of these plants. Do you experience winter cold? We get down to about 45°F for our winter minimum and it always warms up during the day.

Some things to consider when growing succulents from cuttings. Not to unnecessarily repeat the very useful observations Bev has already made, just trying to be complete. Above all the key ingredient is patience, since these are not fast plants (though their speed will vary).

Stem: leave about half an inch of naked stem below the rosette if that is reasonably possible. You don't want more than that to be buried below soil level because buried succulence is usually a bad idea.

Light: until they are rooted, your cuttings will be sensitive to too much direct sun (outside). Aim for bright shade, or filtered light, for starters. I like to use an area on the NE side of the house, right by a wall and under an overhang, which gets lots and lots of reflected light but very little actual sun (and that only in the morning). My light meter reads the brightness in the shade there as 20% of direct sun. The overhang (eaves of the house) makes it possible for me to leave these plants out in the winter rain, knowing they are somewhat protected. You will note a yellow sheet of flypaper, which I use to control the fungus gnats.

Thumb of 2017-03-10/Baja_Costero/25a0cf

Soil: I know they sell the product as cactus mix, but if it doesn't already have a good amount of rock in it, you might consider modifying it by adding an equal volume of pumice, perlite, lava rock, aquarium gravel, whatever you have around (I use pumice). Of the products without much rock in them, the best ones are the barky kind with bigger chunks, or at least not the peaty kind with small size particles.

Container: Try to imagine the plant with roots so you have some idea of the space it will enjoy. In general it is easier to root your cuttings in a relatively small container, or at least a shallow one. So-called "azalea pots". That helps you with the watering so you can give regular water without the bottom of the pot staying wet all the time. Once you see rejuvenation up top, which may take in the range of 4-12 weeks for those plants, you can up the pot size. Holes at the bottom are required. Unglazed clay pots (which it appears you are using) will dry out much faster than regular plastic pots because moisture will pass through the sides as well as the top. You will have to compensate for this feature by watering more often. It is particularly evident in the sun, when temperatures are high and humidity is low. Like your typical Santa Ana wind episode, for example. At which time watering is a great idea for another reason: the evaporating water which passes through the sides of the container cools it substantially. As long as it lasts, of course.

Water: I like to water my cuttings like my normal succulents, which here (very mild climate) is about once a week in sunny weather. That interval is calculated to be around the time the soil is drying out at depth. As long as you use a shallow container, you don't need to be overly concerned about rot.

Airflow: always a good idea, I would say mandatory for the best health of your plants. We benefit from near-constant onshore winds here that, while very humid, are exactly what you want for airflow.

IDs: you may learn useful things about your plants by identifying them and finding out what kind of special needs or features to look for. Your plants are (in order)

Aloe
Aloe
Kalanchoe
Aeonium -> key feature here is summer dormancy, which works great in SoCal
Haworthia -> not a fan of full sun but requires bright light. Dry grower. Looks overpotted.
Aloe
Kalanchoe (front)
Senecio?
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 9, 2017 9:35 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1386183 (5)
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 9, 2017 8:40 PM CST

Moderator

While I'm at it, photos of the indoor growing area (baby seedlings by a SW facing window), also a great location for starting cuttings. Plus a seedling native Dudleya in good form (this was a volunteer actually Smiling ), and some Aeonium cuttings showing their first signs of life (look for the green color on these purplish plants). The purplest one is actually one of the parents of the other one. The other parent was (guess what color) green. The six cuttings are maybe 4-6 weeks old and they started with a tiny stub of an almost nothing stem. They will be ready for an upgrade in about a month, maybe less. Then I will combine 3 each into 2 community pots. They grow really well in a big container so I allow them that luxury once they have rooted in one that's maybe 1/6 the final volume.

Thumb of 2017-03-10/Baja_Costero/4172c5 Thumb of 2017-03-10/Baja_Costero/2ed055 Thumb of 2017-03-10/Baja_Costero/9e7257
Los Angeles
Caesurra
Mar 10, 2017 11:07 AM CST
Thank you so much for all of this information! I have some pumice on hand so I'll add it to the soil. I'll also go look for some smaller pots for them to start out in. And I didn't realize about keeping their stems out of the soil *Blush* Several of them could probably be raised - I will go check this morning!

I will be moving them outside today. I had to make a ledge outside to keep them off the ground and away from preschoolers (I have a four year old son Smiling ). Once they are all situated I will post a picture. Thank you again for all the advice! I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and have never experienced a climate where anything could be kept outside year round.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Mar 10, 2017 11:34 AM CST
Enjoy the CA Sunshine! Smiling
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 10, 2017 1:36 PM CST

Moderator

Caesurra said:I didn't realize about keeping their stems out of the soil *Blush* Several of them could probably be raised - I will go check this morning!


Maybe an inch is fine, I don't know. More than that there is a risk of rot. I try to think of it as putting a cutting on top of the soil more than into the soil. Whatever amount of stem that actually goes into the soil is just there to facilitate quick rooting, and it doesn't take much. This is just a good general rule, and there are plenty of exceptions. I once buried a succulent Euphorbia cutting 3-4 feet into the ground to secure it (the cutting was huge), and it has since become a giant tree which will soon be due for its second topping (otherwise it would become a monster beyond my ability to tame). Smiling

Los Angeles
Caesurra
Mar 12, 2017 2:04 PM CST
Finally finished Hurray!
Thumb of 2017-03-12/Caesurra/9a81f0
Thumb of 2017-03-12/Caesurra/8bd8ce
Thumb of 2017-03-12/Caesurra/be7b65
Thumb of 2017-03-12/Caesurra/922022

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 12, 2017 2:15 PM CST

Moderator

Beautiful. Smiling
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Mar 12, 2017 4:00 PM CST
Organized and very neat...ENJOY the fruits of your hard work! Smiling

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Cactus and Tender Succulents forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by fiwit and is called "Still Gazing at Stars"