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Liquid Growth: How to Grow Succulents in Water

Growing succulents in water can be a special and visually appealing way to enjoy these supple plants. While succulents are well-known for their ability to thrive in arid conditions, there are some varieties that can adapt to this water propagation method.

Here are 10 succulent water propagation tips:

1. Choose Your Succulents: Not all succulents are perfect for water propagation. Select one of the varieties that are known to root well in water, such as certain types of jade plants, strings of pearls, and sedums. Avoid the overwatering varieties, because they may be more subject to rot.

Here are just a few of the water rooting succulents you might like to grow:

  1. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata): Jade plants are known for their resilience and adaptability. Their succulent leaves root well in water, making them a great choice for the water propagation process.

Jade Plant

  1. String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus): This hanging succulent with bead-like leaves propagates easily in water. The string-like stems develop roots when placed in water, making it a visually interesting method to follow.

  2. String of Pearls Succulent Plant (Senecio rowleyanus).

  3. Sedum Succulent Plants: There are over 130 varieties of Sedum plants and many are well-suited for water propagation. Their fleshy leaves can be easily propagated by placing cuttings in water until roots develop. Once rooted, transfer them to well-draining soil for continued growth.

Sedum Succulent Plant

  1. Devil's Backbone (Euphorbia tithymaloides): Also known as Redbird Cactus or Jacob's Ladder, this succulent plant forms zigzagging stems with interesting leaf patterns. It is also a good choice for rooting succulents in water.

Devils Bank Bone Succulent (Euphorbia tithymaloides)

  1. Aeoniums: Aeoniums, with their rosette designs, can be propagated in water. The cut ends of the stems root well, and once developed, they can be transferred to soil.

Aeoniums Succulent Plant

  1. Kalanchoe: There are more than of 100 varieties of Kalanchoe plants, and many, such as Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands), can be propagated in water. The plantlets along the leaf margins tend to root easily.

Kalanchoe Succulent Plant

  1. Pothos (Epipremnum aureum): Pothos is not a succulent, but it's a popular houseplant with succulent-like characteristics. It's easy to propagate in water, and some succulent lovers, myself included, enjoy experimenting with water propagation for pothos cuttings. They are so easy to grow!

Pothos Epipremnum aureum Plant


2. Pick Healthy Cuttings: Use a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to take cuttings from a healthy succulent plant. Choose stems that are at least a few inches long, with no signs of damage or disease. Allow the cuttings to callus for a day or two to reduce the risk of rot.

3. Choose the Right Container: Use a clear glass or plastic container so you can keep an eye on the root development easily. Make sure that the container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. A shallow container is generally better than a deep one.

4. Add Water: Fill the container with filtered or distilled water. It's important to use water without added minerals or chemicals, as tap water can obstruct the rooting process. Place the cuttings in the water, assuring that the stems are submerged while the leaves stay above the water line.

5. Place the Pot in Indirect Light: Place the container in a spot with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, because it can heat up the water and possibly harm the succulent cuttings. A windowsill with filtered light or a well-lit room is ideal.

6. Change the Water Regularly: To prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and algae, be sure to change the water every few days. Rinse the container and refill it with fresh, clean water. This helps restore a healthy setting for the roots to develop.

7. Be Patient: Rooting succulents in water takes time. It can range from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the succulent variety and location's conditions. Keep an eye on the cuttings regularly to check for signs of their root development.

8. Transplanting: Once the succulent cuttings have developed strong healthy roots, they can be transplanted into soil. Be sure to use a well-draining succulent or cactus soul mix. Gently remove the cuttings from the water, allowing them to air dry for a day, before planting them to stimulate their adjustment.

9. Adjust to Soil: Gradually insert the newly transplanted succulents to their new soil environment by placing them in a shaded area to start with. Then over the course of a week or two, slowly expose them to more sunlight.

10. Watering in Soil: After transplanting, water your succulent plants sparingly. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering which will most likely lead to root rot.

A few more tips on how to grow succulents in water:

  • Use a rooting hormone if you want to encourage faster root development. Rooting hormone products consist of chemicals designed to encourage the development of roots, usually applied to plant cuttings to promote healthy root growth.

  • Maintain a consistent room temperature for the most rooting.

  • Avoid over crowding the cuttings in the water, because this can lead to rot.

Remember that not all succulents will flourish through water propagation, and success may vary based on the ones you choose. Trying out different varieties can be a fun way to explore this growth method and show you how to grow succulents in water.

Enjoy growing your succulents! 


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