Expert Tips on Propagating Pigface

Pigface is one of the easiest succulents to propagate. Even if you’ve never propagated a single plant before, you’re sure to have success.

The ease of propagation means gardeners of any experience level can multiply their collection of pigface to grow in other spots in the garden.

Here are the easy steps to follow to propagate pigface plants.

Propagating Pigface using stem cuttings 

The first thing you want to do is take your cuttings. Select stems or runners that have several leaf nodes on them and cut off a section of this stem.

Once you have your stem sections, divide these up by cutting just below each leaf node, making sure that you have a small section of bare stem at the base. This should give you several cuttings from each stem section.

Fill some small pots or tubes with a quality potting mix that is free-draining. Place the base of your cuttings into the soil so that the bottom of the stem is partially buried just beneath the surface of the soil.

You might want to use a pencil or something similar to make a hole for your cutting first so that you don’t damage the stem as you push it into the soil. 

Firm the soil gently around the stem so that it’s supported and the plant sits upright.

Fill a shallow tray with water and place your pots or tubes into this. Leave the pots in the water for just 1 week and then take them out or empty the water from the tray.

Continue to water your cuttings and don’t allow the soil to dry out completely. In warmer weather, water them twice a week but reduce this to once a week in cooler weather.

After a short time, you should see your cuttings put on new growth. Once the plant is around three to six centimetres taller than it was in the beginning, it should have produced a good root system.

Your new plants are now ready to plant out into the garden.

Pigface Carpobrotus modestus | Plant care

Propagating Pigface using seeds

If you have some pigface growing in your garden that produces fruits, you can collect the seeds from these and use them to propagate new plants.

Just harvest a few of the fruits and break them open to reveal the tiny black seeds inside. They look very similar to the seeds of a dragon fruit.

Separate the seeds and pop them into a seedling tray filled with a quality seed-rasing mix. Cover the seeds lightly with more of the mix and water the tray.

It should take no more than two weeks for the seeds to germinate and produce new plants. Just make sure that you keep the mix moist but not waterlogged.

Propagating Pigface with the layering method

As your pigface grows, it produces runners. Whenever these runners are in contact with the soil, they will produce roots. You can use these to grow new plants.

Pigface runners | Plant care

All you have to do is select a section of stem that is growing along the ground. At the leaf nodes, check to see whether there are roots in the soil beneath.

If the runner has several rootings along its length, just pull it out of the ground gently and cut it from the main plant. You can then cut up the runner into individual sections making sure that each section has some leaves and roots attached.

These sections can just be planted straight into the ground if you have sandy soil. Keep them well-watered for a few weeks until they’ve fully established themselves in their new home.

If you have heavier soil, you might want to plant these cuttings into some small pots filled with potting mix first to allow them to produce some more roots and top growth.


Can you propagate pigface in water?

Absolutely! You can place cuttings into a glass or jar of water and pop this onto a sunny windowsill. Replace the water every couple of days and your cuttings will soon produce roots.

Can you plant pigface cuttings straight into the ground?

If you have reasonably sandy soil, you can plant stem cuttings with several leaf nodes straight into the ground and these will form roots. This is one of the easiest ways to produce new plants from existing ones.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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