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 from 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?
Some succulents will regrow when planting the flower stalk, others won’t. In most cases, succulents 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.
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 mostly 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.
Echeveria Pulvinata Species
I have stumbled across this one by accident. The flower, at an early stage can resemble an offset and so while propagating, I've accidentally planted a few flower stalks.
When a stalk is planted, it will start growing taller and eventually burst into flower. Most Echeveria pulvinata will also start growing new plants at the base of the stalk. This takes a little while and usually happens after the flower stalk sends roots and then starts drying out.
Some pulvinata stalks can produce only one pup while others will grow a few.
Echeveria Affinis Species
Echeveria Affinis are usually dark in colour, with pointy, shiny leaves. Echeveria Black Knight, Echeveria Serrana, Echeveria Grey Affinis all belong to this group. The Black Knight and Serrana both produced pups for us when we planted the flower stalk, though the Black Knight flower stalks die most of the time.
Echeveria Affinis may be a little more tricky to propagate this way as the flower stalks have a good chance of not sending roots.
Echeveria Painted Frills
This lovely red Echeveria, like the above, has a thick large flower stalk that will grow pups after it has rooted and finished flowering.
The pups seem to produced where the leaves are and can be pinched or cut off the stalk when they are a bit bigger.
Echeveria Nodulosa Species
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.
Haworthia & Aloe Bulbil
Planting the flower stalks of haworthia and aloe will probably not result in new plants, but sometimes a new plant will start growing in the middle of the stalk. This growth is called a bulbil.
The small plants should be left on the stalk until they are at least a couple of centimetres and big enough to cut off When a bulbil is not yet ready to be separated the plant can fall apart into a heap of leaves.
The flower stalk will naturally bend under the weight as the bulbil grows so it can eventually land on some fresh soil and send roots. This is a very clever way of reproduction as the new plant will land some distance from the mother plant and will have lots of space to grow.
How to propagate the flower stalks
Flower stalks can be propagated just like cuttings. Cut off close to where it's 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. The best spot is under 30% shade-cloth.
In our opinion, it is not really worth it propagating from flower 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 fun 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 mealybugs 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 are monocarpic and the flowering rosette will die off after flowering. Before the rosette flowers, it should produce quite a few offsets, so while it dies, the plant on whole will continue to live on.
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. You can watch our video below to see how to do this.
In conclusion, succulent flowers are quite hard to propagate on their own and the whole thing can be a bit of a hit and miss. It can, however, be a fun project and you just never know how many new plants can be gained this way.