The Ultimate Guide for Grafting Succulents

Grafting succulents allows you to produce a one-of-a-kind plant. It also helps succulents enjoy a more solid and secure rootstock. Unfortunately, only a few find success in producing a healthy grafted plant.

The reason behind this problem is that many of us don’t know the right succulents to combine. This can result in the scion getting rejected. Not to mention that improper preparation, equipment, and methods can lead to fungal infections.

This article will walk you through the different succulents to graft and some proven methods for combining them successfully. Let’s jump right in!

Succulents You Can Graft

When grafting succulents, the stock plant and the scion must share the same genus. This is to keep the scion from getting rejected.

Some of the cactus plants you can graft are Echinopsis and Pereskiopsis. You can also graft two different succulents like Asclepiadaceae and Ceropegia. In addition, grafting Portulacaceae and Portulacaria afra is also possible. Let’s have a look.

Echinopsis

Isolated blooming echinopsis

There are several types of Echinopsis species, but one of the most common is the Easter Lily Cactus. Scientifically known as Echinopsis oxygona, many admire this plant for its spring-colored and sweet-smelling blossoms. 

Moreover, its flowers are nocturnal, meaning they bloom during the night and close during the day. Its eye-catching flowers could easily complement backyard pathways.

Another Echinopsis that’s ideal for grafting is the San Pedro Cactus. It’s sometimes called Trichocereus pachanoi (syn. Echinopsis pachanoi). This plant is mostly found in Peru, Argentina, Chile, and Columbia.

Plant enthusiasts grow San Pedro Cactus for its ornamental and medicinal value. You can expect this plant to go as high as 5 feet and 11 inches tall.

With all that being said, why not try grafting the Easter Lily and San Pedro Cactus to other Echinopsis?

You might want to check out the Flower of Prayer, Jealousy, Red Paramount, and Bolivian Torch Cactus and see what they could produce.

Related: The 3 Most Common Pagoda Succulents: Care and Propagation Guide

Pereskiopsis

If you’re looking for a plant that you can easily graft to almost all cacti, then the Alfilirello is your best bet. This is thanks to its small stem of about 4 to 8 millimeters in diameter.

Known for its genus name Pereskiopsis diguetii, the Alfirello has wedge-shaped and pointed leaves. It can grow as high as 6 feet. Additionally, this cactus has plenty of glochids and produces flowers and fruits.

However, what’s nice about the Alfirello is that once you have grafted it to other cacti, you can regraft it on larger stocks. Just make sure though that the grafts are strong enough.

The most ideal candidate for regrafting Alfirello is the Triangle Cactus.

Grafting Asclepiadaceae to Ceropegia Genus

Stapelia grandiflora,, Asclepiadaceae

You can easily recognize an Asclepiadaceae plant by its long stem as well as its whorled heart-shaped leaves. Its flowers produce nectar that attracts insects for pollination.

You can graft the Asclepiadaceae to a Ceropegia genus. The most common species of the Ceropegia is the String of Hearts. A native to Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and other countries in eastern South Africa, this trailing vine plant is used as ornaments.

Additionally, this hanging plant decoration also produces flowers and its stem could grow up to 12 inches long. That said, if you find these two succulents interesting, then why not try grafting them and enjoy the grafted plant’s exotic appearance?

Grafting Portulacaceae to Portulacaria Afra

Also known as purslane, the Portulacaceae caught the attention of many when the World Health Organization named it “Global Panacea” because of its many nutritional benefits. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, and potassium.

If you want to create something new out of this nutritious succulent, then try grafting it to Portulacaria afra. This low-maintenance shrub is also called elephant bush or porkbush.

Preparation and Equipment for Grafting

Proper preparation and having the right tools play a vital role in producing healthy grafted plants. So, make sure that you have either a scalpel or a sharp grafting knife. You should also have rubber bands and or tapes as well as grafting wax if you plan to graft large plants.

Lastly, use denatured alcohol to sterilize your knife. You can apply this disinfectant by wiping it on the blade using a clean cloth. You can also soak the knife directly in alcohol and then dry it afterward. This will protect the plant from infections.

Also Check: Why Are the Leaves Falling Off My Succulents? 8 Probable Reasons and Solutions

How to Graft Succulents Efficiently

Now that we’ve learned what plants to graft and the tools we need, it’s time to take a look at some of the proven succulent grafting methods.

Flat Grafting

You may begin flat grafting your succulent by cutting horizontally through the stock. It’s best that you cut about 1 inch below the growing point. Just make sure that you can see the stock’s core tissue and that its top has been detached.

Once done, remove around 6 millimeters (0.23 inch) of the skin from the cut area. After that, choose a scion and cut through its base. Just like the stock, bevel the cut area of the scion by removing 6 (0.23 inch) millimeters of the skin.

The next step is to put the scion and stock surfaces together and make sure their core tissues touch. To remove air pockets from the joint parts, simply twist the scion on the stock and secure the two with rubber bands. This method is best used for cacti.

Side Grafting

The first step in side grafting your succulents is by cutting through the side of the stock. Make sure though that you only cut one-fourth through the stem.

On the same cut, slice it down until you form a thin, tongue-like cut. Be careful that the tongue doesn’t get detached from the original cut.

Now that you have the stock prepared, make a sloping cut at the base of the scion. Likewise, make a tongue-like cut on the scion. Once done, interlock the two tongues together and then wrap the two parts with grafting tape.

You may also apply grafting wax for big succulents. You may remove the top part of the stock when the cuts are healed.

Cleft Grafting

This method begins by cutting a “V” groove into the stock to make a cleft. Once done, make two angled cuts on the opposite sides of the scion. 

The next step is to insert the scion’s wedge-shaped bottom into the cleft opening of the stock. However, it’s best to have a second scion that you could insert into the other side of the stock. This will help the grafting wax and the tape seal the cleft securely.

Succulent

Caring for Grafted Succulents

With the cuts healed, it’s time to think about how to care for your grafted succulents.

Needless to say, grafted plants need plenty of sunlight. However, we don’t recommend that you put them under direct sunlight.

Also, succulents have the ability to store water. That said, prevent overwatering them and only give them some when the soil is completely dry.

Thirdly, it’s important to check the soil’s acidity every now and then. Succulents such as cacti like somewhat acidic and well-ventilated soil.

Lastly, consider using some succulent fertilizers to help your grafted plants grow healthy.

Final Thoughts

So there it is; the ultimate guide for grafting succulents!

Looking back, we learned the importance of grafting plants of the same genus. It increases the chance of producing healthy grafted succulents.

We also saw that there are plants versatile enough to accommodate other genera. Regardless of the combination, what’s important is that we have a clean set of equipment and that we apply the right grafting and maintenance method.