Hello. I have what looks like a Kalanchoe pumila plant. I want to make stem cuttings but I am not sure where to cut since the leaves grow all the way to the bottom of the stem. Do I take off some leaves at the bottom, let it callus, and proceed as if the leaves weren’t there?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Dwarf kalanchoe (Kalanchoe pumila) is a beautiful succulent, and like most succulents it is easy to propagate from stem as well as from the leaf cuttings.
You will want to use sterile scissors or a sharp knife to cut a new shoot as close to the main stem as possible. Remove a few of the lower leaves from the stem. Roots will grow from these leaf nodes as well as from the bottom of the stem. You could also save the leaves and propagate these. The propagation process for leaf cuttings is slightly different from stem cuttings.
Stem cuttings: allow the stem to callous over in a dry shady location for about 3-4 days. Then bury the bottom of the cutting in damp, not soaking wet soil so that it stands upright on its own. Keep the soil damp. Roots will develop in a few days or weeks. If you feel resistance when you tug at the stem gently, roots have developed and you can water it the way you water your established plant, giving them a good soak and then letting them dry out before watering again.
Leaf cuttings: to remove the leaf, give it a gentle twist. Allow the leaves to callous over for a few days. Lay them on damp soil. Do not bury them. Keep the soil damp by misting. The leaf will develop roots and the new plant from the calloused end. Once the new plant is about 1/2 inch in size, cut back on watering. The success rate for leaf cuttings is about 50%.
You can apply the above propagation methods to any succulents.
Enjoy and good luck!