Every year succulents burst into flower creating an amazing show of colour. Some only flower once a year while others produce blooms randomly throughout the seasons. And some can take years before showcasing their blooms. The flowers themselves also vary in appearance and colour between genera and species.
When pollinated, succulent flowers produce seeds and by cross-pollination between certain species or even genera, new plants can be created (for instance, Graptoveria is a cross between plants in the Echeveria genus and Graptopetalum genus). However many succulents are hard to propagate by seed and the results can be unreliable. But given the succulents ability to grow a whole new plant from cuttings or leaves, is it possible to propagate succulents from flower stalks?
The answer is yes and no. While some succulents will regrow when planting the flower stem, others won’t. In our experience succulents, in most cases, are unlikely to regrow from a flower stem.
Let’s have a look at which plants could potentially give you a whole new plant from a flower stalk based on our many years of experience and experimentation. Please note that this is our experience only and may not mirror other peoples experiences.
We found that succulents with robust, thick flower stalks are more likely to produce a new plant when planted like a cutting. For instance Echeveria Agavoides species nearly all have thin flower stalks that we don’t think can be propagated this way. Echeveria Pulvinata species (the hairy Echeverias), on the other hand, are more likely to grow a new plant from their thicker flower stalk. Here are some succulents we have successfully propagated using flowers.
We have stumbled across this one by accident. The flower, at an early stage resembles an offset and so while propagating we have accidentally planted a few flower stalks. When a stalk is planted, it will start growing taller and eventually burst into flower. Most Echeveria pulvinatas will also start growing whole new plants at the base of the stalk. This takes a little while and usually happens after the flower stalk sends roots and them starts fading away.
Echeveria Affinis are usually dark in colour, with pointy, shiny leaves. Echeveria Black Knight, Echeveria Serrana, Echeveria Grey Affinis all belong to this category. The Black Knight and Serrana Both produced pups for us from at a base of a stalk, though the Black Knight flower stalks die most of the time.
This lovely red Echeveria, like the above, has a thick large flower Stalk that will grow pups after the stalk has rooted and finished flowering.
We’ve had success with the Painted Lady, Bella Rogue and Maruba Benitsukasa. The Flower stalks at an early stage can be easily confused with offsets and are much thicker than other succulents flower stalks.
Many Kalanchoes will regrow from a flower stalk. Kalanchoes are usually quite prolific and produce many offsets that can be propagated so there is often no need to try and propagate flowers as they have lower success rates. But if you feel like giving it a go, by all means go for it.
Although planting the flower stalks of haworthias and aloes will probably not result in new plants, sometimes when a flower is pollinated a new plant will conveniently start growing on the flower stalk. These new small plants should be left on the stalk until they are at least a couple of centimeters and can be twisted off without the leaves breaking off.
Flower stalks can be propagated just like cuttings. Cut off close to where its growing from, leave for a day so the wound dries, plant in succulent potting mix/seed raising mix and wait.
It is best the cuttings are placed out of full sun, especially in summer, though, they should be left in a bright spot outdoors.
In our opinion, it is not really worth it propagating from flowers stalks as the chance of them producing new plants are considerably lower than if you were to propagate by cuttings or offsets. It also takes a lot longer as the flower stalk first has to root and only then will it start producing pups.
It is, however, a nice little project if you are into experimenting with plants and do not like throwing bits away. Some flower stalk leaves can also be used for leaf propagation. This is quite unreliable and some stalk leaves may only produce new flower stalks rather than a plant.
Flower stalk attract pests in their droves and mealy bugs and aphids can attack before the flowers even open. Inspect your flowers regularly as when they finish flowering the pests will then move on to surrounding plants.
Flowers also take quite a bit of energy out of succulents and some plants may even look a bit sad. If the flowers look too big and heavy for the plant, they can be cut off and put in a vase. Succulent flowers make excellent and long lasting cut flowers.
Some succulents almost die off after flowering, but then start growing back after a few weeks of the flowers dying.
It is very hard to cut the flower stalk right at the base without damaging the leaves. We recommend cutting just above the foliage. The remaining stalk will eventually dry out and can be pulled out.
If you had success growing succulents from flowers, you can share your experience in the comments below 🙂