How to Properly Propagate and Care for Paper Spine Cactus

The Paper Spine Cactus is our new bizarre entry in the succulent plants class. As its name says, it comes with spines that look like paper giving it an exotic look. This intriguing flora provides a nice background to any part of the home, and like any other succulents, it is easy to grow and maintain.

The Paper Spine Cactus is also known for its scientific name Tephrocactus articulatus var. papyracanthus. It is closely related to the Pine Cone Cactus and defined by its segmented stems that look like stacked pinecones. The adjoining parts are very delicate and can fall off easily because they are loosely attached to each other.

Each portion is covered with thin white spines that appear like paper cutouts. The spines are harmless since they have paper-like softness, so they’re actually harmless.


The Paper Spine Cactus can be grown from seeds, cuttings, and offsets. Propagation through seeds can take longer compared to the other methods, so the alternatives are highly recommended.

Propagation using an offset is pretty straightforward. Simply separate the small copy of the cactus from the mother plant by cutting their lateral stem near the roots. After that, just repot the offset using a well-draining container with potting mix.

Doing this through stem cutting requires surgically separating the topmost clump of the segmented cactus, and letting its wound heal for around a week. When roots start appearing from the cutting, repot it using the same method as the offsets.

If propagating through seedlings, you have to carefully extract them from the plant. This requires a lot of patience because it can take up to four years for the seeds to germinate. Simply spread them on top of a moist potting mix and sprinkle some water on it at least once a week or when the soil begins drying up.

Caring Tips

The Paper Spine Cactus is native in the western part of Argentina, and it is commonly found on the lower slopes of the Andes Mountains. As a desert cactus, the succulent thrives in places that get maximum exposure to sunlight. Therefore, the ideal planting area for it is in an outdoor garden. It can still be grown as an indoor plant but just make sure that it is placed near windows or areas that get plenty of sun during the day.

As mentioned, the plant loves warm climates. However, it has been tested to withstand temperatures as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Then again, we don’t recommend taking it to its limits. During cold weather, we suggest supplementing the lack of sunlight with grow lights or simply keep it in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe.

The Paper Spine Cactus requires little water to survive because it is acclimated to hot conditions. Thus, only sprinkle an adequate amount of water when the succulent and its soil appear too dry. Another sign of drying up is when its stems show signs of cracking or some parts start getting lighter patches.

On the other hand, symptoms of wilting usually start with soggy stems and dark discolorations on them. That’s the sign that the plant has been overwatered. Leave it to dry, or replace its soil if the need arises.


With proper care, the Paper Spine Cactus can grow up to 12 inches tall. Upon maturity, growers of the succulents are rewarded with bell-shaped flowers that have white petals and a yellow center. The flowers can reach up to 1.6 inches in diameter.

Brain Cactus Easy Propagation and Maintenance Guide

In our journey to discovering bizarre types of succulent plants, we recently came across the Mammillaria elongata ‘Cristata’ of the Brain Cactus. As its name says, it looks like the gray matter found inside your skull.

The Brain Cactus may not appeal to everyone because of the way it looks, which is somewhere in between creepy and weird levels. However, it makes a nice Halloween succulent plant decor. You can place it on top of a hollowed pumpkin, or a human skull-inspired pot for zombie-themed parties—just because this undead creature simply loves brains. Despite its appearance, growers of this plant are rewarded with little blooms during summers.

What gives the cactus a brain-like arrangement is a mutation in its cell that occurs during the plant’s development. Somewhere along the young stage of the cactus, a sort of damage happens that causes the cells at the injury site to multiply at a faster rate. As a result, the pads end up curling or twisting.


Brain Cactus can be grown in many ways. This can be made through its seeds, stem cuttings, and offsets. All the said methods are easy but propagation from seeds can take a lot of time that’s why we always prefer doing it using the other two alternatives.

We recommend buying a full-grown or near mature version of the Brain Cactus. This will be your source of cuttings or offsets.

For the cuttings, start by identifying the healthiest part of the succulent. It should be free from signs of withering, dryness, or pest infestation.

Next, sterilize a pair of scissors or pruning shears to make sure that they will not introduce foreign elements or harmful organisms into the wound of the plant. Using the tool, cut the stem of the succulent, and let it callus for at least a week.

After that, fill up a succulent plant pot with a horticultural mix. The compound is made of three parts potting soil with the same proportion of coarse sand or gravel, and two parts of perlite or pumice. When the cutting has already healed up, transfer it to the potting mixture.

The same process can be used when propagating using offsets. Just separate the offset from the mother plant by cutting the lateral stem connecting the two, and repeat the mentioned planting methods.


The Brain Cactus is native to the wilds of Central Mexico. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the plant can survive along the 10 and 11 regions. That means the succulent can take temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Like most succulent plants, the Brain Cactus is sensitive to overwatering. Doing so can cause soggy leaves or rot. Therefore, only apply water when its soil starts getting dry to the touch.

The water should also be directed towards the base because the stem of the cactus tends to trap moisture in its folds, which may attract gnats, mold, and mildew that can kill it if left unattended.

Lastly, see to it that the container or pot you are using has holes at the bottom that will serve as drainage for excess water.

How to Successfully Propagate Echeveria Blue Atoll Succulents

The Echeveria Blue Atoll or the Echeveria Coolvue is one of the most common succulents out there. You can easily find it in gardening stores and online shops. It is also easy to propagate and grow even if you are just a beginner in gardening. So, if you are looking to get the plant for your succulents starter kit, this article discusses the things you must remember when growing and reproducing it for your outdoor or indoor garden.


The Echeveria Blue Atoll is a rosette type of succulent plant. It can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) if given the proper care. As its name says, its fleshy leaves come with a shade of blue, and sometimes, it can be blue-green in color. During summers, the small buds around its tall stems eventually bloom into bell-shaped orange or yellow flowers.

Ideal Environment

The Echeveria genus belonging to the Crassulaceae family of succulents is a drought-resistant plant that thrives in semi-desert or arid regions. Most Blue Atoll succulents sold here are native to Mexico, which means they can survive in long periods without water.

Based on the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Blue Atoll is suitable for hardiness zones classified in 9a to 11b. In other words, it can withstand climates as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is perfect for rock gardens or succulent pot arrangements. It can be placed under direct sun or partial shade, but the latter is strongly recommended for more balanced growth.

Best Propagation Technique

If you want to reproduce the Echeveria Blue Atoll on your own, start by getting either its leaf cutting or offset. Growing from an offset is the easier method between the two, so let’s focus on it.

Basically, an offset is a result of a plant’s asexual reproduction. It looks like a smaller version or clone of the mother plant. When separating the two, only use a sterilized pair of shears or knife to avoid contaminating the succulents with bad bacteria and other harmful impurities. Carefully make the cutting in the portion of the lateral stem closest to the mother plant.

Next, fill a small succulent pot with dry garden soil or potting mix near the brim. See to it that the soil is well-draining to prevent excess water from stagnating in the pot and enable good air circulation in the plant’s roots. Another way to properly drain excess water is by making sure that the container has small holes in its base that will serve as drainage.

Like any other plant out there, watering is a crucial part of a succulent’s growth. Although the Echeveria Blue Atoll is accustomed to dry seasons, it is highly recommended that you water it whenever the soil appears to have dried up.

The Echeveria Blue Atoll doesn’t require fertilizing too. However, it could still benefit from the added nutrients it offers. Therefore, apply a little amount of slow-release fertilizer on it every springtime to help keep it looking healthy and vibrant as it matures.

How to Grow Aloe Vera Succulent Plants

Aloe barbadensis, commonly known as Medicine Plant, Aloe vera, or simply Aloe, is one of the most popular succulent plants in the world. Aside from its beauty, it is known for its agricultural and medicinal uses as one of its names implies.

Like any other succulents, Aloe vera is very resilient that’s why it is very easy to propagate and maintain given the right conditions. We highly recommend that you tick this in your succulents home starter kit checklist.


Aloe vera grows up to two to three feet tall and it can get wide upon its maturity. Its leaves are green, thick and moist due to their high water content. The plant also grows bright yellow flowers during spring, and they can last until summer.

Aloe can be partnered with just about any ordinary household plants or succulents. It serves as a nice companion to other green fleshy succulents such as the Jade Plant, Mini Pine Tree, and Burro’s Tail if you want a more greenish and refreshing visual in your home garden or room. You can even match it with succulent plants in varying colors like the Crown of Thorns, Christmas Cactus, Woolly Senecio, and others.

Ideal Location for Growth

Aloe vera is native in the Arabian Peninsula. The ideal temperature where it can thrive is between 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but over the years it has been proven to survive in climates that go as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The plant can be grown both outdoors and indoors. Since it needs plenty of sunlight to survive, it is best to place it in a southern-facing window when planted inside the home.

How to Propagate Using Offsets or Cuttings

First, prepare a succulent pot for your Aloe Vera. Make sure that it has drainage holes to prevent excess water from accumulating at the bottom of the container. Fill it with a combination of loose garden soil and building sand, or better, use a potting mix. The soil should be filled up to a centimeter below the top section of the pot.

Then, take an offset of Aloe Vera for propagation. An offset is a result of the mature plant’s asexual reproduction. It is a small, complete daughter plant with its own roots, stem, and leaves. Carefully separate the offset from the mother plant. While you’re at it, take this chance to clip off the dried roots or leaves of the plant.

Poke a hole in the soil and insert the offset in it. The soil should be enough to cover the roots and the bottom part of the stem. Gently press down the soil around the plant to make its base firm, and so it won’t topple as it grows.

Alternatively, you can propagate Aloe Vera from its cuttings. Using a clean knife or a pair pruning shears, cut a healthy part of the plant down to its stem, and leave the cutting to dry.

After a week, it is recommended that you use a rooting hormone or honey as antiseptic to prevent the flesh wound of the succulent from getting infections and to stimulate the growth of roots before putting it in the pot filled with soil.


We highly suggest using fertilizer at least once a year during the spring to promote the healthy growth of your new Aloe Vera plant. Water it only when the soil around it dries. Overwatering can result in wilting or rotting, so avoid this common mistake committed by Aloe Vera owners.

7 Tools For Propagating Succulents Correctly

If you have been planting different varieties of succulents whether as a personal hobby or for business, you may be wondering when it’s time to propagate them and grow new plants from your existing ones. The process of propagating succulents is actually a fairly simple one.

As long as you have the proper knowledge (which you can learn on the internet) and these seven tools, you will be propagating succulents well.

Sharp Shears

Anyone who wants to propagate succulent plants should have two kinds of sharp shears in his or her toolbox. You will need pruning shears and trimming snips in order to get into tight places such as the lowest stem of the plant.

Using the proper shears is important when cutting succulents because you may damage the sensitive plant tissues with a blunt pair of scissors. You should invest in a high-quality shear because this could damage your plants with even your trained hands.


A knife is needed if you are propagating tough agaves, cacti, or other plants with a dense core. You have to try different kinds of knives before deciding on which suits your needs. Just remember to have a sheath for this tool because accidents do happen in the garden.

When choosing a knife, pick one that isn’t heavy and that has a firm but easy grip. There are really expensive options out there, but we’re sure you can find the one that fits your budget and your needs.

Rubbing Alcohol

Clean tools are essential to propagating succulents. Use an alcohol to clean the tools before and after using them. A clean blade will ensure that no infection or disease will be passed between the plants.

Simply apply rubbing alcohol to a piece of cloth or paper towel and wipe the blades clean with it. Use the alcohol to clean your hands before and after removing your gloves too.


Spiny agaves and cacti might cut or prick your skin. Some succulents also have poisonous saps that should not come in contact with your skin. Protect your hands and yourself by wearing leather gloves or gloves with a rubber layer.

Tool Sharpener

There’s nothing more annoying than working with blunted shears. Keeping your tools sharp is as important as keeping them clean and dirt-free. A dull blade can damage the leaves and the tissues of the plants. If you have to cut a succulent plant, you have to do it in one swift motion.


You need a light, well-aerated, and well-draining soil to make sure that the succulent plants will thrive. The roots must easily penetrate the soil, and this can only be accomplished when the soil has large particles that can move around once the roots begin spreading.

Cell Trays or Flats

Cell trays are incredibly important when propagating succulents because you can start the plants small there and transfer them to bigger succulent pots or containers once they have thrived. Flats are useful for leaf and seed propagation and they make everything look organized.

Successfully Growing Succulents From Seeds Using These Easy Methods

Growing succulents from seeds are no different from other plants. The only problem is succulent seedlings are very tiny that they can easily be missed. There are also a number of things you have to remember when growing succulents from seeds to ensure that your plants will grow healthy like CAL Farms 2″ Beautiful Assorted Variety Succulents.

The first step towards the successful planting of succulents is to buy quality seeds from reputable sellers. It will make a huge difference if you buy good or bad seeds. A lot of succulent seeds look just like dirt or dust so they can easily be mistaken for something else.

There are a number of stores that cater to those who love to grow succulents. There are also online shops and stores that sell different varieties of seeds, including some very rare ones. You must also ensure that the quality of seeds is topnotch by checking the reviews and recommendations of the other customers. Succulent seeds are not really expensive but it will take some time to realize what they actually are and what they will look like afterward.


There are a couple of supplies you need to plant and grow succulents. You will need some sort of container that has holes below for proper draining. You must also choose the proper material—ceramic, glass, reclaimed wood, or terra cotta—for the container or pot. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of stability, the presence of draining holes, and aesthetics. It is up to you to determine the kind of material that would work best in your household and the climate in your area.

We recommend getting a planter and a seed tray. It would also be best if these came with built-in grow lights. Otherwise, you would have to buy the lights separately.

The soil is another major consideration. You should use a kind of soil that would be great with the plants even if they are already fully grown.

Planting the Seeds

The succulent seeds are very tiny that they almost look like a speck of dust. Make sure you have a clean working space and clean hands when planting the seeds. This would ensure that you won’t misplace the seeds or mistake them for dirt.

Carefully place the soil in your container and clean the surroundings of the tray or the container. Again, wash your hands before handling the seeds. Peel off the package where the seeds are placed and put them directly on the soil. You should not place then on another container (a petri dish, for example) before planting them. There’s a big chance they could be blown out by a gust of the wind. Since the seeds are very tiny, it is hard to tell whether they are placed rightly so better put the seeds directly from the package.

Taking Care of the Seeds

Once the seeds are planted, you have to make sure that they have plenty of access to light and water. If you purchased a planting tray, the best way to ensure there’s enough water is to flood the container from below. Simply put the first container inside another container that can hold water. Pour enough water to coat the bottom of the first container (assuming it has draining holes) and refill the water every time it gets absorbed by the plants.

How To Propagate Succulents From Leaves And Cuttings in 4 Easy Steps

You don’t always have to shell out money for succulent plants. If you want to grow your own succulent garden, you need only a couple of different variants of your favorite succulents and you can grow the garden from there. All you need are some shears, the right soil, a pot, and some water. Voila, you can propagate succulents just from leaves and cuttings from your current plants.

Ever wonder how you can propagate succulents so you can simply spend your money on one CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents and grow the garden from there?

The succulent’s genus and species will determine how easy or hard it is to propagate them. Though most of the variants of succulents are easy to propagate, nothing is the same when it comes to the climate and the nutrients of the soil where it is being planted anew. Here are some examples: Sedums and Echeverias can be propagated through cuttings and leaves while Aeoniums only work with cuttings.

1. How To Take A Leaf For Propagation

If you want to take a leaf for propagation, you only need to gently twist the leaf off the stem. Make sure it’s a clean twist and pull because you don’t want to leave anything on the stem. If you want, you can pull off a bit of the stem, too, just make sure you have the whole full leaf with you. If you get only part of the leaf and cut it off right before the stem, there’s a big chance your succulent will not thrive.

If you don’t want to cut leaves off your succulent plant, you can actually buy the leaves to propagate. Some are really sensitive about cutting off from their beloved plants. Buying just the leaves is an inexpensive way of growing your succulent garden rather than buying a succulent plant that has already grown.

2. How To Take A Cutting For Propagation

Before you do a cutting of your succulent plant, you have to make sure that your shears are sharp. Otherwise, you may be jeopardizing the quality of the cuttings. Cut off a piece of succulent just above a leaf on the stem. You can choose to cut off the top of the succulent or a new offshoot. Either way will work just fine.

3. Drying Out The Leaves

It is important to make sure that the leaves are dried out completely before beginning to water them. Depending on the amount of heat and the climate in your area, you should let the leaf dry out for one to three days. It will then scab over. If it doesn’t, it will take too much water when you start watering it and it can drown without even having a chance to grow. If you see that the leaf has started to shrivel, that’s about time you start watering it.

4. Watering Your Leaf Or Cutting

Fully-grown succulent plants don’t need to be watered every day, but leaves and cuttings do. You just have to make sure you don’t use too much water because there is a tendency for leaves and cuttings to drown. If you see that they have turned orangey-brown, then that’s a sign that they are getting too much water and they are about to die.

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