Succulents are most commonly propagated by stem cuttings. Rooted stem cuttings produce a plant that is genetically identical to its parent. If you want to cross the genes of two different succulent cultivars, you must cross-pollinate them. There are thousands of species of succulents. All have slightly different flower shapes. But their inner structures are all the same, meaning propagation and pollination techniques are the same from plant to plant.
Pull a flower off of the pollen donor plant as soon as the anther is laden with pollen.
Remove the petals from the flower to expose the pollen-covered anther on top of the long, slender stigma. Pull off the stamen and anther.
Rub the anther's pollen on the receptor flower's stigma as soon as it becomes sticky. The stigma is the bumpy, rough protrusion in the exact center of the flower. If the stigma is not accessible, remove the flower's petals to reveal it.
Tape the receptor flower's petals closed (If present. If not, tape a small bag over the exposed stigma)if present) if the succulent is growing outside. This will prevent cross pollination by insects. If the flower is indoors where no insects can access it, there's no need to tape the flower closed. Mark the flower you pollinated by writing on the tape or a tag. If the pollination is successful, the base of the flower will swell in a few weeks to a few months depending on the succulent.
Collect the seeds in fall once they mature.
Pollinate as many flowers as you can. Not every pollination will be successful.
Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.