A few months ago I decided to divide my zebra cactus (haworthia attenuate if we’re being persnickety), and it’s one of my favourite plants so I wanted to be careful. I’ve had the mama plant for about 4 years, and can I just mention how proud I am of that gorgeous root system? Zebra cacti are suuuuuper slow growing (it was about 2 inches tall when I bought it at Superstore of all places), but it had finally outgrown its pot and had teeny little babies hanging out around the base of the mother plant. But…how to go about propagating them?
Propagating succulents is generally pretty simple; they basically “re-grow” themselves. With zebra cacti though you need to slice the babies off of the mother plant much like how you would handle aloe vera. Yes, you have to chop up your plant. Carefully.
My basic steps for the process of dividing zebra cacti:
- Once your plant is mature and has a viable baby plant you can try dividing them
- Disinfect a small, sharp knife (I run mine under the hottest water possible) for cutting
- Slice the baby off of the mama plant by placing the knife at the very base of the plant where the 2 plants join and making a clean cut. Try not to “saw” at it – again, make sure your knife is sharp
- Let the baby dry out for a couple days until the “wound” dries out a bit. This prevents the cutting from rotting once it goes into the dirt
- Once the babies have dried you can plant them in a well-draining potting mix (you can find my fave blend here)
- I generally wait a few days to water the babies once they’re in the soil just to try to prevent root rot
That’s it. Really. Not so bad, right?
It’s been a few months and I’m happy to report that most of the babies have done well! I lost the 2 itty bitty ones, but I kind of figured I would. They were simply too small to be able to survive the trauma of leaving their mama, I guess.
K gimme a sec, I’m having first year of college flashbacks.
Maybe you have a zebra cactus that you want to propagate in the future, and you want to support that mama plant as much as you can (i.e. not kill it). Here are a few tips to give your plant the plant lady love it needs.
- DRAINAGE. Zebra cacti need good drainage! They’re prone to rot (no thanks) so make sure you use good soil, and for god’s sake use a pot with a hole in the bottom. Your plant will thank you.
- Don’t overwater your plant. The most you should be watering it is every 2 weeks; they’re pretty hardy.
- Good light. Bright indirect sunlight is best for these aloe vera-like plants.
I was so happy about the teeny plant babies I propagated that I decided to document the process. After all, my first love will always be scrapbooking – ya feel me?
This layout is unusually simple for me; I tried to keep the design minimal for whatever reason. I was probably just feeling lazy that afternoon, who knows?
To achieve the different shades of the word “grow”, I simply re-used the stamp without reinking first. I wasn’t overly careful about the placement or the overlap; I wanted it to be a bit wonky.
How perfect is that metal brad with the itty bitty plant on it? I don’t even remember the last time I used a brad, but I’m stoked that Simple Stories is bringing ’em back!
Oh a little tip…let your Nuvo drops dry completely before you stack stuff on top of them (unless that’s the look you’re going for). If that’s the case, then you do you, babe.
Overall, a fairly basic propagation process + a really simple bit of layout inspiration.
If you’re interested in seeing some more behind the scenes details of my plant lady/craft lady shenanigans, you can join me over here!