The elusive Xerosicyos Danguyi can be a tricky one to find and rooted plants are usually quite expensive. Growing Xerosicyos Danguyi from leaves can be tempting.
It is not possible to propagate Xerosicyos Danguyi from a leaf. While the leaf will send roots the plant will not continue to grow unless part of the main stalk is present.
Our nursery has been growing the Silver Dollar Vine for many years and we were never able to produce a plant from a leaf. The leaves send roots, but never grow further or produce new branches. If, however, a section of a stalk is cut off with the leaf, it will eventually grow into a new plant. Without the stalk, the leaf will stay alive for some years and eventually die.
It is no surprise that people try and make most out of Xerosicyos Danguyi and are reluctant to spend north of $30 for a single tiny plant. One of the obvious ways to maximize succulents is to grow them from leaf. Xerosicyos Danguyi is one of those succulents that will have leaves root, however, we have never had success in growing a full plant from leaf. The roots usually form, but even after 5 years there is no other growth.
Xerosicyos Danguyi is one of our most popular rare plants with its unusual coin like leaves on a long stalk. Due to the oval shape of the leaves it is particularly popular with people practicing Feng Shui in their homes.
Nicknamed the Silver Dollar Vine or String of Coins, many keep it in their homes as a lucky money plant that will bring good fortune. It is also a favourite amongst collectors and succulent enthusiast.
I have also written a new article that looks at Xerosicyos Danguyi and how to grow it in more detail.
The round leaves can reach a couple of centimetres in diameter and are arranged in opposite fashion on a long, green, hard stalk. The leaves plump up as the plant matures and change from light to dark green. Xerosicyos Danguyi has the ability to attach itself structures with tendrils, which makes it even more unique.
The reason Xerosicyos is so dear and mostly quite expensive is that it takes a while to send roots down and grow into a mature plant that can then be propagated.
When we acquired our first Xerosicyos Danguyi plant at the nursery, it wasn’t until 3 years later that we had enough stock to sell and even then we can sell out quite easily as, even though the plant can grow relatively fast in spring and summer, the branches and leaves have to be left alone for a few more months, sometimes up to a year so they can fully mature and harden. If they are cut off while soft, they can either die before striking root or the plant will rot or the leaves can deform.
The plant also goes dormant over the cooler months and cannot be propagated at all during this time.
If you would like to go down the road of propagating the Silver Dollar Vine, the best method, in our opinion, is by cuttings. The plant will first need to grow a few branches that will then have to harden up. The difference from soft new growth to hard branches can be easily spotted. The stem on matured growth will be much stronger and almost woody and the leaves will be hard, plump and dark green.
Once the branches have matured, cut enough so there is a good stalk to insert into a pot with succulent potting mix.
Only propagate the Silver Dollar Vine in spring and summer. Place your cuttings in a bright but shaded spot/ filtered light as strong summer sun could burn the cutting.
We have 100% success rate when placing cuttings in our shade house with a 30% shade cloth. The cuttings should send roots in about a month in the growing season.
In conclusion Xerosicyos Danguyi will simply not grow from a single leaf. The leaf will root and stay alive for some months, but no further growth will happen. To propagate, use cuttings.