How to Divide, Propagate and Transplant Cotyledon
Cotyledon plants, also known as pig’s ear and dog’s ear plants, sometimes grow in an expansive pattern, which can impede on other plants. While they don’t take up too much water, they can still steal sunlight and root space for your other flora in your arid garden. You may just want to divide your pig’s ear because you want to have more of them. Either way, with the right tools and environment, you can get clippings to grow so you can have multiple cotyledons in your possession.
Step 1 – Divide Cutting
When you divide a cotyledon, you’re simply taking a branch off. Succulents don’t like metal cutting them. It’s best to snap your cutting off of the plant with your own two fingers. This minimizes the wound in the succulent branch, which should be firm, but slightly spongy when you pinch it. It would be like pinching an artery to slow the flow of blood; so it is with the sap in your pig’s ear stems. Make sure you wash your hands! You don’t want to cause infection to your plant because of some dirt on your fingers.
Find the appropriate stem, which should have at least 2 inches of stem length and at least 1 or 2 nodes of leaves on it. Pinch it, and break it off.
Step 2 – Get it to Root
Now you have to get your cutting to root. First, dip your cutting stem-end first in rooting hormone, enough to coat the part that was broken off of the plant.
Next, wet your paper towel sheets (about 3 of them) in your warm water, and wring out some of the water—you want them just one step above damp. You don’t want them to be wet enough to cause rot.
Wrap your paper towel around the stem and lay it on a plate, but try to keep the leaves dry. Put it in a warm, sunny spot, keep the paper towel clean and change it out as necessary, repeating the wetting and wrapping process whenever you change the paper towel. Keep the paper towel damp, keep your cutting in the sun as much as possible, and in about 3 to 4 weeks, you should have a rooted cutting.
Step 3 – Plant Cotyledon
Now all you have to do is pot or plant your cotyledon orbiculata. Do this by putting it in very well drained soil, which is made from cactus mix with a handful of pea gravel. Mix the two together, and make a well in the center using 2 or 3 of your fingers. You only want the hole as deep as the root is long, no longer. Gently place the rooted pig’s ear plant into the hole, and pat the soil around it. Mist the soil with a little water, keeping it sparing, and if you want to fertilize the soil, you can use an organic cactus-mix compost to do that. Just follow the directions on the package.
Step 4 – Take Care
You’re finished with the planting part, but that’s only half the story. You have to take care of it and ensure it grows into a healthy adult plant. Water it sparingly now, maybe once a week with a misting bottle right around the base of the plant. Keep your cotyledon in full sun, or at least partial sun, and it should flourish for you with no problem.
That’s it, you’re done. You’ve got a brand new plant exactly like the parent plant, and you can put it in any sunny spot you please.