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Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Posted by wmuav8tor zone 5/6, Michigan (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 19:26

I woke up this morning to find my cat had climbed over one of my succulents (seems to be a crassula of some sort, it was a gift and had no tag) one of the stems was broken and laying on its side. The branch is still attached some to the rest of the small plant so I have already using toothpicks and string to prop the branch back up.

My question is will the branch heal its wounds at the break point since its still somewhat attached or would it be better to just break the branch off and try to propagate it in another pot (seems pretty easy from what I have read about succulent propagation)?

If this was a bigger plant I wouldn't have worried about one broken branch but its only got 4 small 2 inch tall branches coming out of the soil plus since it was a gift id like to save the branch as opposed to cutting it off if possible

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?


cut it off ... sharp razor blade so you dont crush it .... let the cutting dry for a day ...

in the mean time.. get a small pot.. wash it .. get some potting media ... dampen it ... let it rest over night ..

pack the media in the pot.. use something like a pencil ... insert in media to make a hole ... insert cutting ... close the hole by squeezing it in tight ... set it next to momma ...

and figure out what to do about gatto ...

and see if you can root it ...

google something like: crassula propagation .... for much more info ... or look at the post below about my jade plant ...

the break.. will NOT heal .. by removing it.. you allow momma to heal or seal off the wound ... and if you are lucky ... you will get a duplicate.. which you can gift back to the peep who gave you the gift in the first place ...

it is not a baby.. cutting it off will NOT hurt it ... and in fact.. will be better for it ...


RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Hi, welcome to Gardenweb. Sorry to hear about your plant. I would have said it with less punctuation, but agree with Ken. People often do this on purpose to start a new plant. Not much experience with jades in particular but the few pieces I've tried so far have had no problems taking off. Best of luck!

Did your cat step on the whole plant? If there's room at the soil surface for kitty to want to walk/scratch/whatever there, you can thwart that by sticking plastic forks in there, handle-first. Leave the tines sticking up just a bit, so it's uncomfortable for kitty to step there. One poke should be enough to turn kitty off of the plant permanently.

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

I would have said it with less punctuation, but agree with Ken.

===>>> ...... whats that supposed to mean. .. lol ...

there was a 'period' in my life when ... oh never mind.. lol ...


RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Thank you to both of you for the responses. I have cut the broken branch off as suggested and it is now drying on the table and I will re-pot it either late tonight or tomorrow before I head off to school.

In response to purpleinopp, No, the cat just managed to grab the top of the stalk with her belly as she stepped over the plant I assume. This is a indoor potted plant and normally my cat can not get to where I keep this plant but to make room for the Christmas tree I had to move my many plants around and thus this plant lost its normal place. My cat has never messed with my plants on purpose but apparently she thought the newly opened place on my small plant table was a great place to take a nap!

I included a picture that I took of my cat BEFORE I noticed the damage lol

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Awww, cute! Sounds like a very civilized cat, compared to a lot of stories I've heard about cats and plants. Our tree is going on the front porch, there's too many plants in here. Pop on over to the house plant forum if you are so inclined. Lots of crowded house (and cat) sympathy there.

What's in the duck? Interesting little plant... the one that got broken?

Would probably be a good idea to take that plastic thing off of that stem to the right... some kind of Dieffenbachia or Aglaonema?

Ken, no hidden meaning. Really just admiring your inputs in general, which can look like, if not actually utilize, ascii art. I like lively.

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Yea, our 3 cats all pretty much leave our plants alone, though they love to graze on lawn grass lol.

The plant in the duck is a crassula of some sort, not sure exactly since it came with no identification tags. but yes, thats the one that got broken. (you can see the broken branch in that picture)

The plant to the right is a Philodendron (

The plastic thing on it is a tie wrap that I am using to hold the plant against the support stake I have since the plant is so tall, I made sure to leave room for the stem to move and expand as it grows. The plant is supposed to be a climbing plant but I didnt start the stake until it eventually toppled itself over, requiring repotting so it never grew any "arms" of its own to grab the stake so I have to secure it myself. Its been like that for 6 months now and seems happy still though its already ready for another repotting to a bigger pot and need a taller stake lol. Its been growing a new leaf every 3 or 4 weeks every since I got it in Febuary from a funeral. Do you have an idea for a better thing to use than tie wraps?

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

and unfortunantly our christmas tree is fake and we live in Michigan so it has to stay inside and the living room is the only place in our small house where we can possibly put it (and the only place where we get any good sun thus its covered in plants much to my parents dismay lol) (the basement is too short for the tree with the drop ceiling)

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

The cacti/succulent forum folks could ID the duck plant I'm sure. I have no idea what it is but I like it.

If you'd like to put a pic of your Philo on the house plant forum, you'll get a lot of suggestions about supporting it. Looks like a substantial and cool plant from what I can see of the stem. There are about 900 species of Philo. I do have other ideas (which you could judge if they are better or not) but it would help to see what you're dealing with first. For tying in the same way, a piece of pantyhose works well, and they make plant tape for such purposes. But I would probably be more likely to suggest some type of support that wouldn't require tying, if possible.

Vine-type Philos are epiphytes which means they are trying to climb up/lean on a support naturally, with the aid of their aerial roots, so you're on the right track I believe.

The philo below is growing on a support and you can see the aerial roots going down to the soil.

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

This is the plant in the picture I've included. It does have aerial roots coming out but when I first got the plant it was just a small plant sitting up like normal non vine plants so I had no idea it was a vine plant until it toppled itself over one day and I researched it more, unfortunately by that time the areal roots have all dried up (i'm assuming because they didn't find anything to grab hold of) Though the ones near the bottom do go into the soil. I've noticed the bottom leaves have been dying off but i'm not too concerned since the bottom leaves are over a year old now and I assume they will be replaced once they fall off.

I will need to re-pot in in the spring simply because it has outgrown its current stake and the pot cant hold any longer stakes because they would fall over i fear because the current stake is only staying vertical because I have a small wood branch I found in the yard tied to the bottom of the stake to help hold it up

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

That's a beauty! Great job on the growth so far. Not sure which it is, possibly Monstera. Leaves will not grow back once they fall, but new vine tips can come from those nodes, especially if a root from that same node reaches the soil. The aerial roots may seem dry and brittle but as long as they are elongating, they will likely grow into the soil if they get there. I usually remove those cataphylls (leaf sheaths) when they turn brown like that, but that's not necessary except to please my eye.

I have a pot of Philo growing on oak branches too. The white thing is the same as what's in the other pot but I just stuck it in the pot the day I took the pic, so no vines had yet had a chance to twine onto it. If grown on a sturdy support, some vines can eventually produce mature leaf forms. Some will do it with age, but support seems to be a great way to encourage it.

If you've heard of/seen Pothos (Epipremnum,) you may enjoy these pics on Aroid forum. That would also be a good forum for discussing your Philo.

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Thanks! Most of the vines have stopped growing, the only ones that got into the soil were the ones near the bottom, The vine tips coming out the new growth don't seem to get more than 0.5 inch long before they stop growing but considering I have nothing for them to grab right now at that height i'm not too surprised. I still cant believe that huge plant only had 5 leaves when I first got it lol Right now new leaf growth seem to be slowing down but since we now only get about 9 hours of sunlight a day as opposed to over 12 a few months ago i'm not surprised.

I have heard of Pothos, in fact that is the plant that got me started with plants, a little over a year ago my sister got it for me for my birthday and right now its sitting above the computer cascading down the side of the computer desk, its grown quite a lot in a year!

Your plants look great as well! :)

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?


"Most of the vines have stopped growing, the only ones that got into the soil were the ones near the bottom, The vine tips coming out the new growth don't seem to get more than 0.5 inch long before they stop growing but considering I have nothing for them to grab right now at that height i'm not too surprised."

Are you talking about the aerial roots here? You may find this discussion helpful in understanding epiphytic vines a little better.

You're right about shorter days causing some plants to slow their growth.

Your Pothos sounds lively!

How's the broken succulent piece doing?

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Yes, that's what I was talking about. That was useful, and I actually went ahead and searched some more info on my own and found this cool site or Growing Philodendrons.html

The Pothos is very lively! Last year I was living in a college apartment and I had it on my nightstand next to my bed and there was a window next to the nightstand, all the windows at that place were not sealed very good so on cold windy winter days/nights a cool draft would come in the window (plus to save money I had the thermostat set to 60 degrees lol) but the Pothos never complained!

I'm thinking in a few years when my grafted orange tree gets to its full size in a 5 gallon pot that I might try getting a cutting from the pathos and try to propagate it in the trees pot and see if I can get it to climb my tree (The tree should get about 6 feet tall according to the company I got it from)

So far no change in the succulent cuttings appearance, it still appears just like it did when it was attached to the plant so, so far so good! I know from propagating a Zygo cactus from a cutting last year that the leaves may shrivel up before the roots form but so far it hasn't happened.

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

You do have lots of cool plant stuff going on, I thought so. The Pothos would definitely grow up the tree, sounds like a fun experiment, and much better looking than a stake. That always looks to me like the plant is being punished for being bad. Ha!

That's a bold move where you are, the tree itself I mean. Best of luck and good vibes to all of your plants!

Great job finding more great info (AND PICS!)

Here is a link that might be useful: the link you pasted

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

I have 20 plants total in the house and have many more that I want but alas we have no more window space and my parents would kill me if I add another plant (though I am working on growing a Bird of Paradise from seed) lol

Since I got a grafted orange tree, my plan is to have it outside during the late spring and summer then when it starts to get cold outside I'll roll it back inside for the winter. Its only about a foot tall now but the grower claims I'll have some small oranges this next summer and every year it will create more and more as it gets to its full grown 6 foot height!

I thought it would be a fun experiment too! even if the tree gets lots of dense leaves the Pothos wont mind because you can put a Pothos in almost any light and have it prosper it seems lol

Thanks and best of luck to your plants as well! :)

RE: Broken succulent, try to propagate or save?

Thanks! Might need some luck this winter, I've brought in a ridiculous amount of potted plants and some of them probably aren't in enough light.

I don't know your name, but now any story about a "kid" who's parents were pushed over the limits of their sanity by one too many house plants, that's probably about you. Certainly don't want to read about that, so probably best to wait on any more plants, no doubt. Maybe after the Christmas tree is out of the way... If you are able to hang some plants, that can help save space. I've got more than one hanging plant in each window that gets enough light.

All plant experiments are fun, at least at some point... hope it goes well!

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