How to Grow Succulents from Seeds: Beginners Guide for 2021

how to grow succulents from seeds

Succulents are some of the easiest, low-maintenance plants to grow. They require minimal care and only the occasional watering. Succulent plants are widely available at garden centers and other retailers but growing them from seed is also an option and can be quite rewarding.

Why Would You Grow Succulents From Seed?

As I mentioned, succulent plants are widely available to purchase. However, if you’re an avid collector and you want a large number of plants, they can be quite expensive.

Growing succulents from seed takes your passion for these hardy plants to another level. There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes from seeing a tiny seed turn into a full grown plant.

Plus, it gives you the ability to add to your collection in a much more affordable way, especially if you want some of the more rare varieties that can be hard to find.

You’ll also find that growing these beauties from seed will mean you’ll have a lot of plants. These make excellent gifts for family and friends.

However, growing succulents from seed is different to growing other plants. I’ll go into this in more detail.

Make Sure That You Obtain Good-Quality Seeds To Start With

When sourcing your seeds, make sure that you buy them from a reliable retailer. Succulent seeds are extremely small and can easily be mistaken for dust or dirt. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people in the world who will take advantage of inexperienced buyers.

If you’re going to purchase your seeds online, then make sure that you read the reviews to ensure that you’re buying from a good source. There are several good sellers on Amazon and Etsy.

What You’ll Need To Start Your Seeds

Here’s a small list of supplies that you’ll need to start growing your succulents from seed.

  • A planting tray with really good drainage. You’ll only need a shallow tray because the emerging succulent roots won’t grow too deep. The most important thing to remember is that the tray should be able to drain freely, otherwise you might drown the seed.
  • Premium succulent potting mix. Once again, the mix that you plant your seeds into has to be free draining. Ultimately, it’s best to purchase a mix that is specifically meant for succulents. However, you can make your own by mixing standard potting mix with coarse sand.
  • A cloche or plant dome. This is a translucent cover that will protect the emerging seedlings and create the ideal environment for them to grow. You can either purchase these online or make one yourself from a translucent soda or fruit juice bottle.

How To Plant Your Seeds

You might want to sterilize your potting mix first before using it to kill off any disease that might be lurking in it. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  1. Place the soil on a baking sheet and place into an oven set to a temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes.
  2. Place in a microwave-safe dish and cook for 10 minutes.

Once you’ve sterilized your mix, let it cool down completely before using it.

Planting Steps:

  1. Fill your planting tray with the sterilized mix.
  2. Water the tray and allow it to drain completely. This allows the seeds to stick to the soil once they’re planted.
  3. Place the tiny seeds in the palm of your hand and spread them over the mix in the planting tray. Make sure you do this in a sheltered spot so that the seeds don’t accidentally get blown away. As much as possible, leave some space between each seed. Obviously, this is easier to do with larger seeds but not so easy with very tiny seeds.
Pro Tip
You can use a toothpick or paintbrush to position the seeds on the soil as they are so small.
  1. Don’t cover the seeds. This is because once they germinate, the tiny shoots won’t be able to push through the soil to the surface and the plants will die.
Pro Tip
Grow each variety of succulent in a different tray. They will all have different germination periods, so it will be easier to plant them on when they all germinate at the same time.
  1. Cover the planting tray with the cloche or plant dome. Most succulents naturally grow in warm, humid climates. The cloche will ensure that you’re providing just the right environment for your seeds to germinate.
Pro Tip
If you don’t have a cloche or plant dome handy, you can put the planting tray into a plastic bag and tie the top.
  1. Place the tray in a warm, sunny spot in direct sunlight. Alternatively, you can place the tray under a grow lamp if you don’t have a sunny spot.
  2. Once the seeds have germinated you can remove the cloche and place the tray in a spot that receives plenty of light but out of direct sunlight. Make sure that you keep the soil moist at first to let the roots establish. But once the root system is established, you can allow the soil to dry out in between watering.
  3. After the first few leaves have developed, you can then re-pot each tiny plant into a pot of its own. Remember to handle the seedlings carefully so that you don’t damage any of the root system.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the easiest succulents to grow?

The easiest succulents to grow are the Jade plant, Aloe Vera, Echeveria, the Zebra plant, the Panda plant and Crown of Thorns.

How long does it take to grow succulents from seeds?

Succulent seeds can take anywhere from 3 weeks to a whole year to germinate and start growing.

What type of soil is best for succulents?

Succulents need an open, porous sandy mix. Using coarse sand is best to offer the best possible drainage.Final Thoughts

Growing succulents from seeds can be a rewarding experience. If you follow our instructions above, you’ll soon have more succulents than you know what to do with.

Of course, these will make excellent gifts for your friends and family and any other succulent lover you meet.

Have you had success growing succulents from seed? Feel free to share your stories with us in the comments below.

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