Ask a Question forum: Help! Asking how to save aeonium succulent "cuttings?" (broken off branches)

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San Francisco, CA
Jan 31, 2018 3:37 PM CST
Help! Asking how to save (dark/ purple) aeonium succulent "cuttings?" (broken off branches)
A large plant had grown up against a wall and then broke at its trunk under its own weight- so now I have lots of branches to try to save.

I found a link on gardeners world dot com that says:

"Take cuttings of healthy shoots with stems around 10cm long. Hold the stem in your hand to steady it and cut it off flush with the main stem so you don't leave a snag. Use sharp secateurs to make a clean cut.

Place the cuttings on their side and leave them somewhere dry and warm for a few days until the wound has calloused (see cutting on left of picture). This will reduce the chance of the cutting developing rot later on."

(The branches just broke off last night- so I/ trying to clarify whether to cut them now to 10cm/ 4 inches long? And is this necessary as I've had success before just putting broken branches in potting soil and they've done fine)

I assume the worst thing I can do is put the broken branches in water- as this may cause rot?

Can I wait too many days "until the wound has calloused" and cause the plant to dry out and die?

Thanks in advance,
Chris in San Francisco

Thumb of 2018-01-31/chrisrouth/ef2a45

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jan 31, 2018 4:07 PM CST
Cut all the side branches off the main stems with a sharp paring knife or exacto knife. Let them sit for a couple days to callous over and plant them in porous cactus mix with added grit or perlite. Bury about half the stem and keep the soil barely moist until you see top growth. The tops won't grow until the cutting has grown roots. Keep them in a warm bright window. You can cut them to 4 inches or so but its not necessary.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Jan 31, 2018 4:25 PM CST
I agree 👍
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
San Francisco, CA
Jan 31, 2018 5:19 PM CST
Thanks Daisy and Philip!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Feb 1, 2018 12:42 AM CST
Cut the stems back for fastest rooting and optimal growth. A short stem (say half an inch of naked stem below the rosette) will generally give better results than a long stems in the picture, or the 4 inches recommended. It may seem like you're giving up size but not so in the long run. A shorter, better rooted cutting will be more vigorous and branch sooner. Allow the cuttings to heal for a few days and then pot them up with just the half inch of stem buried, waiting another week or more to water. Then water when dry from there on out.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Feb 1, 2018 12:43 AM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Feb 1, 2018 3:50 AM CST
Hello chrisrouth, the instructions you got is okay. This is actually a good time to do the cutting and root them since we are in the cooler season, and there is no rain in sight for awhile. I have learned now to do my cuttings in Fall, but now is okay, our weather is quite cool and dry, compared to last year when it was more rainy. They are more actively doing some rooting and rosette formation activity when the season is cooler. But got to keep them dry. I just do about 4 to 6 inches, allow them to callus for a few days and remember when you chop down the stem, mark which side was up, then you can stick in a well draining, gritty media. Being a succulent do not root in water. I only start to water the cutting if there is a sign of new growth, till then keep it dry.

You are in the San Francisco, so you will have extended cooler period than we do here on my side since I am more inland, so I do my cuttings before temps start soaring from 90F's and higher, by then my Aeoiums starts to slow down in growth and will not do any active growing till temps return again to the cooler 65F to 75F range in Fall.

Some of my cuttings and new growth in 2016:
Jan 2016
Thumb of 2018-02-01/tarev/613424 Thumb of 2018-02-01/tarev/2c015b
Mar 2016-May 2016
Thumb of 2018-02-01/tarev/b050e1

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