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by Tawna
(Columbia USA)

I just beheaded my Echeveria and I am worried I cut its stem too short.

I have it sitting in a shady area, upright with the stem in a glass.

I cut it an inch from the base, but my fault was that the leaves curve downwards almost the length of the newly cut stem.

I figure I might be able to cut back the leaves after it roots and is ready to re-pot…? Do you have any other ideas? Thanks for your time!

Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi Tawna, it sounds like you’re on the right track.

Don’t put any water in the glass – you knew that, right? The stem must stay dry until it’s calloused over, and you can even leave it until roots actually show.

If you feel that there isn’t enough room on the stem for roots to emerge, then simply twirl the leaves one direction until they twist off, as many as you think you need to for the stem to be exposed.

These leaves will root too – they will of course take much longer to form a new plant, but each one will eventually show a clump of little leaves.

For the main beheaded rosette, once it shows that it’s calloused, place it on top of a pot of well drained soil, and water it once you feel there are some roots to hold it in place.

It may take a couple of weeks or longer for this to happen, so be patient.

Keep your plant in bright light – if you have a southern facing window with a sheer curtain across it, or a grow light, this will work perfectly.

See the page on Succulent Plant Propagation for more.

Good luck, and hope you have great success with your Echeveria.

Comments for Beheaded Echeveria

Mar 21, 2011

Now What?
by: Tawna

Hi Jacki!
Thank you so much for the quick reply last weekend! So far we are one week out and my beheaded Echeveria is still not rooting out. It has callused nicely though.

So I went back and re-read your instructions. I noticed that I was supposed to keep my “stump” in the light, but now am unsure where to put the beheaded crown?

I thought I had read somewhere to keep it in the shade (out of direct light especially), but is that correct? Also, how long until I expect my “stump” to produce little ones? 🙂
Thanks again!

Drought Smart Plants reply:

It’s confusing at first, and concerning to do such radical surgery on your plant – but don’t worry, they’re very forgiving! Once you see how this works, it will be much easier next time.

First of all, for light; yes, keep the beheaded rosette out of full sun, but not in the dark. It should be kept in the right position (ie: not upside down) as the roots will try and grow downwards regardless of the position, so will be hard to plant in a pot.

Once it’s calloused, place it on top of some dry soil in a pot, and believe it or not, it will root there.

Depending on the species or variety, and your growing conditions, it can take several weeks. As long as the top is healthy, leave it alone.

The stump can be kept in the same place (bright light), and will take up to several months for the tiny babies to show. This is a long term project!

Good luck, and let me know how it works for you,