Propagating Kalanchoes

Many (or most) succulents can be swiftly propagated via stem cuttings, including all the prettiest kalanchoes. So in just a few steps, you can have a lot of new plants for free! Regularly taking cuttings is also a form of pruning that curbs the natural etiolated growth they tend to produce after a few growth seasons. Read on to learn about propagating kalanchoes!

Things you will need:

  • Sharp knife or secateurs
  • Plastic pot or other container with proper drainage holes
  • Succulent potting soil
  • Old pencil
  • Mist spray bottle

About the soil medium

You can cut corners by buying a commercial succulent mix, or make your own by mixing equal parts of coarse river sand, perlite and hydrated palm peat.

Before you begin

Use household bleach to thoroughly sterilise your cutting tools, and soapy water to wash the pots you are going to use. It is best practice to work as cleanly as possible to prevent fungal infections.

Prepare the cuttings

Choose healthy, vigorous, non-flowering stems and make a straight cut, severing the stem as close to the base as possible. The cuttings should be about 7 – 10cm long. Remove the lower leaves along the stem, leaving just a few at the tip of the cutting. The cutting will live off the nutrients stored in its fleshy leaves.

Place the cuttings in a dry pot or box in shade for 2 – 3 days to allow a callus to form over the cut in the stems – this prevents rotting.

Plant the cuttings:

  • Fill up your clean pot with damp soil.
  • Using an old pencil, make regularly spaced holes in the soil and insert each cutting into a hole, firming the soil down around it to keep it upright. Any leaves should be well above soil level to prevent them from rotting.
  • Use your mist spray bottle to water them well before placing the cuttings in a warm place with bright light but not direct sunlight.
  • Mist the cuttings often to keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet.
  • Rooting should take 2 – 3 weeks. If a gentle pull on a stem meets with resistance, it is a sign of root growth.
  • The cuttings can be transplanted into separate pots when you see the first signs of new top growth.

READ MORE: How to master Indoor Plant Propagating

The Gardener