I grew up in the age before there were articles written about ‘Instagram’s Top 10 House Plants’, but also at a time where both my Grandfather and Grandmother were both exceedingly good at keeping plants, both indoor and out. My Grandmother’s signature plant was the humble cactus, she didn’t have a vast variety of them but the ones that she had were huge. When I was a child, I used to stick my fingers on the spines thinking that they would be soft, which of course they rarely ever are.
When I was around 12/13, I too had grown a plethora of cacti that I carefully placed in my bedroom window. There are some that I have absolutely no idea where they went, a few I gave to my Mother whom I believe could have killed them, and the others I still have to this day.
Over the years I wondered how I could grow more for myself, partly to gift to others, partly because I didn’t want to spend more money on them. I read a bunch of articles online and pulled so many parts of one succulent off in the hope that the disembodied leaf would grow sprouts, that I killed the mother plant (sigh). But thankfully, I’ve come a long way since then. Just recently I successfully propagated more succulents than I managed to count and gifted nearly all of them with no complaints of them randomly dying.
What I have found to be the answer to my prayers – rooting powder. Yes, it really is that simple. The one that I bought was from Aldi, it cost me £1.99 and will probably last me longer than its shelf life. The plant that I planned on propagating was a succulent that really required some maintenance, so it was a great time to try out the rooting powder whilst I was already snipping off little bits of plant.
I removed the straggly bits of new growth that don’t seem to form well whilst attached to the main plant, wet them, dipped them in the rooting powder and planted them straight away. I then pulled away some of the older growth at the base of the plant to reveal some babies the plant had shot off itself, repeated the same process I did with the others and then gave them all a really good water.
After 4 weeks, all of the cuttings were forming nicely. Some had rooted a lot quicker than others, so I gifted those early. Others I am just gifting now but could have gone a long time ago. So far, I have gifted 5 people succulents and have a lot still to go for birthday’s, so for £1.99, the rooting powder was a success.
If you’re a lover of succulents and cacti, send me some pictures of your favourite plants in the comments below!