Pretty tough: These drought-tolerant plants are a great option for big gardens, small courtyards and even windowsills. All they need is love and lots of sunshine.

Many types of succulents can be grown from just a single leaf. The easiest varieties to use 
are Crassula, Echeveria, Graptosedum, Graptoveria, Kalanchoe and Sedum, but it is worth trying any succulent plant if it’s easy to detach a whole 
leaf. Here’s how to do it.

and tools]

  • Succulent
  • Wire rack
  • Potting mix
  • Seedling tray
  • Water mister
  • Plant pots

Step 1

Select healthy leaves that are well-coloured and unblemished. Avoid those at the base of the plant, which may be old. Also avoid new leaves at the top of the plant or centre of the rosette, as these are very young. Snap or twist the leaf off the stem so it is undamaged.

Step 2

Spread the leaves over a wire rack and place in an airy spot to dry out and form a hardened callus at the base of the leaf where you tore it from the plant. Using a wire rack will allow the air to circulate and reduce the likelihood of rot occurring. Place them in bright light, but not direct sun.

Step 3

This step requires you to… do nothing. You just need to sit 
tight and wait for your amputated plant parts to dry out and create a callus where they’ve been severed. Leave them out 
to dry for up to a week.

Step 4

Fill a seedling tray with potting mix and lay the calloused leaves on top. Not in, just on top. Leave space between the leaves. They’ ll need lots of indirect sunlight and precious little else. Mist with water about once a week to keep the potting mix moist and the babies happy.

Step 5

Roots, followed by a cluster of small leaves, will start to form at the base of the leaf in 2–4 weeks. As the roots form, mist them from time to time. It is not usually necessary to cover the roots in potting mix as they should make their way down into the soil, but gently cover them if they are drying out. Remove any leaves 
that have failed to grow roots, or are withered or rotting.

Step 6

After several months the small plant will be large enough to detach from the parent leaf, or it may fall off unaided, and can be planted into its own pot filled with coarse potting mix or a special mix for succulents and cactus. 
Use a dibbler, such as a chopstick, to make a hole and gently place the small roots in the hole and firm the baby plant into place. Water gently.

Step 7

When the new plant is well established (this 
will take 6–12 months), plant it out into the garden 
in a warm, sunny place, or use it to make up a pot 
of mixed succulents.

After you’ve removed 
all the leaves from the original plant, snip the stem off close to the soil and leave it in the pot to dry out. After a while you’ll notice that it has also started new plants where you’ve removed the leaves.

Related gallery: 9 succulents you’ve never heard of