What is Proplifting? (Newbie Friendly Guide)

This word sounds so weird at first. Proplifting. What could it be? Well, it’s a pretty common thing nowadays, but the act is simple. If you look up the definition on Urban Dictionary, then you will get “The act of taking leaves or pedals fallen from succulent plants one doesn’t own, typically without permission, for the purpose of succulent plant propagation (creating new plants.)

This seems easy and harmless, right? Well, think again.

What is Proplifting - Newbie Friendly Guide
Succulent cuttings in palm @vernonfamilyplants

How to Proplift Properly?

You might be tempted to do this, so you need to know how it’s done because there’s a right and a wrong way. But that depends on where you want to take from mainly.

From a public area

If you are walking around in a park or something that is considered public space and the ones maintaining the plants are workers that are paid to do this, then your job is simple. You can pick up fallen parts or pick them straight from the plant. It’s okay as long as you don’t completely mutilate whatever you are trying to grow at home. You shouldn’t leave any succulent behind that barely looks like itself anymore.

Grab a flower or a leaf and take that entirely. But do this mindfully because, just like you, someone might want to grow it at home too.

From a plant reservation center

There are times when you see a pretty flower or a beautiful succulent while in someplace you shouldn’t take anything from. And that can break a plant lover’s heart.

But you can do something about it, all you need to do is go out of your way a bit. Go up to a guard or someone in the center’s office and talk to them. In a lot of cases, they will be able to permit you to take some petals or leaves home with you so you can grow that plant at home. The rules are there to prevent people from harming the flora withing the reservation center.

If you are completely honest with someone who works there and show them that all you want to do is preserve that life, then they will have no problem helping you.

Be sure you also go check out “How to Propagate Your Succulents Successfully” for more helpful info on propagating after proplifting.

From someone’s garden

This is the riskiest place of them all. Mainly because you need to go up to the owner and talk to them. And this will either turn out well, or you will be rejected. 50/50, there’s no way to know.

Many people spend a lot of time and energy keeping their plants alive, and thus, they don’t like people mutilating them. After all, how would you feel if someone went up to one of your plants (a stranger at that) and asked if they could tear a part of it off? It just sounds weird.

If you want to take some seeds home, then you need to ask in a particular way. “I’d love to have one of these at home, do you have any spare seeds?” Depending on the answer, you can follow up with a “Could I maybe get a leaf or a couple of petals to grow it from?” This way, you let them know your intentions, and you give them a chance to pick the specific part they take off.

But be prepared to get rejected. It shouldn’t hurt your feelings if someone doesn’t want to give you a part of their plant. It’s completely human to want to protect your seedlings.

Make sure you check out “Best Gardening Tools for Succulents” for a list of all the tools you need to gardening and propagating your succulent.

Why Should You Start Proplifting?

There are a lot of reasons why every plant lover should proplift. Although, make sure you have enough space for all these plants because even we have run into the trap of collecting too much.

The learning curve

The main reason is that this way you will start acquiring new plants that you don’t know much about. Because let’s be honest, if you knew about the succulent that you want to proplift, then you would already have it. But this way you see something you like and take it. You can learn the ropes later.

This provides a way for you to learn along the way instead of just looking everything up online. It’s way more fun to watch a plant grow, not knowing what’s going to happen next or what you need to know in the next life phase of it.

If you buy something in the store, then you already know the name of it. Then you will search for its’ needs and what pH, temperature, and shade it likes. And yes, it does make it easier. But easier most definitely doesn’t mean more fun.

Take a look at “8 Beautiful Succulents That Flower” for a list of succulents that bloom during season.

The price

This one is pretty obvious. If you go to a store or a market to get new plants, then you will spend money. There’s no going around it.

Although we know, seeds don’t cost that much, and if you want something of quality, then you shouldn’t be a cheapskate. Yeah, but have you counted how much you spend on seeds usually? That could be used for better soil or nutrients for your already grown plants. Because in reality, it’s not a huge amount, but it could still be used for other things.

Each time you proplift something, count it as a saved dollar. It will add up quickly if you pay close attention to your surroundings and try to find things you like.

Also, who doesn’t like free seeds?

Socialization

Asking for seeds is a great way to start talking to other plant lovers. It opens up the conversation to not only talk about that one given succulent but to also converse about others you two have. This works exceptionally well if you are asking this favor of your neighbor.

You will quickly find a friend that is equally as invested in growing plants as you. You need to put yourself out there.

Check out “How to Grow Succulents from Seeds” to see also a guide on growing succulents right from scratch.

ALSO READ:

What is Proplifting - Newbie Friendly Guide
A potted succulent @tinyfoliage

If you want all the benefits listed above, plus the happiness that comes with acquiring a completely new plant, then you need to start proplifting. If you do it the right way, then nobody will see you as a thief or a bad person, just as someone who has a love for succulents. It’s a perfectly fine thing to do, so don’t let people deter you with their judgment.

Have you proplifted before? What kind of plant was it? Tell us down in the comments below!

Make sure to check out related articles to improve your succulent knowledge like “Choosing the Right Pot for Your Succulents” or even “Thanksgiving Cactus – Schlumbergera Truncata“.

Enjoyed learning about proplifting succulents? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

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