How to Chop and Prop

What is chop and prop?

     Chop and prop-agate is cutting a portion of succulent to propagate it for more succulents. This can be acheived by chopping the head or stem off a plant which you will see displayed below.

Biggest tips before chopping and propping:

It is best to chop and prop in the beginning of the specific succulent's growing season (find an info guide here). The succulent will have more energy to push out new roots and growth. When chopping heads or offsets (pups) you'll want to ensure there is enough plant susbtance because it will be using its own internal energy to survive. The larger the plant the greater chances of success. You also want to keep propagated succulents in bright shade to avoid direct sun or high heat which can deminsh the overall health.

Let's get to it!

I am chopping these three Echeveria Monroe from the mother stem.

Use shears or a knife.

Cut closest to the base as possible.

Remove any leaves to access the portion needing to be cut.

A clean and smooth cut is best.

This one will be cut again towards the yellow oval. The leaves under will be plucked off.

To pluck leaves, grab firmly and peel them from side to side. Going from the most bottom leaf and working upwards.

Sometimes extra force is needed but continue to be gentle.

The plucked leaves should be clean without breaks or tears. Both leaves pictured are good plucks. The yellow oval is showing flesh from the stem which is okay.

The stem that the leaves were plucked off may need to be trimmed down. You only need 1/2" to 1" of stem to gain roots.

Clean up the mother stem as it can potentially push out more pups. Keep taking care of it with water and bright light.

Allow all plucked and cut items to lay out for 3 to 5 days to callus over. These are open wounds and need time to heal prior to contact with moisture.


Alert: My Phoenix heat and intense sun, even with shade cloth, deminshed the health of these leaves. They lost their plumpness so we will see how they pan out.

Fill your grow area with the succulent soil that you regularly utilize.

Place each plucked portion slightly under the surface of the soil.

Spread out evenly to allow space for future growth.

The chopped heads can be planted like a regular succie using an appropriately sized pot to grow in.

After planting, heavily saturate with water. Going forward, water before the soil is completely dry.

And that's it!

The length of time it takes to produce roots varies across genera and species. Echeveria may get roots within four weeks while some cactus may take more than six months. Be patient!