Propagating Jade Plants – How To Root Jade Plant Cuttings

Propagating Jade Plants – How To Root Jade Plant Cuttings

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By: Heather Rhoades

Many people enjoy growing jade plants at home because they are easy to care for and lovely to look at. What many people do not know is that starting a jade plant from a stem or leaf cutting is almost as easy as caring for jade plants. Below you will find the steps for how to root jade plant cuttings and leaves.

How to Root Jade Plant Cuttings

Growing jade plants from cuttings starts with taking the cutting. Select a branch on the jade plant that is healthy and free from disease. The branch should be 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm.) long for rooting a jade plant. If there is not a branch that long on the jade plant, you may want to try the directions for propagating jade plants from leaves (which is lower in this article). Use a sharp, clean knife to cut the selected branch off the plant.

The next step for starting a jade plant from a cutting is to allow the cutting to dry. The wound on the jade plant cutting you have taken will be wet and will invite disease if you try to root it wet. Allow the jade plant cutting to rest in a dry, preferably warm, spot until a callous develops (in about one to two weeks). In order to further make sure that disease does not infect the jade plant cutting, you can dust the open wound with rooting hormone, which will also contain an anti-fungal compound.

Once the cut on the jade plant cutting has dried, place the cutting into a potting mixture made of half vermiculite or perlite and half soil. When rooting a jade plant, water sparingly so that the potting mixture is only damp until the jade plant cutting takes root. After it has rooted, you can treat it as you would a normal jade plant.

Propagating Jade Plants from Leaves

If the jade plant is small or if you are only able to harvest a few leaves from the plant, you can still propagate jade plants with only the leaves.

When starting a jade plant from a leaf, start by selecting a healthy leaf from the plant. Snip the leaf from the plant. The next step in propagating jade plants from leaves is to lay the jade leaf onto a potting mixture of half vermiculite or perlite and half soil. Water the potting mixture once after you lay the jade leaf down and water sparingly until the leaf puts out roots.

Once the leaf has taken root, the leaf will start to grow plantlets, or tiny plants, from the edges of the leaf that touch the soil. It should take anywhere from two weeks to two months for plantlets to appear.

Once the plantlets are a few inches (7.5 to 10 cm.) tall, you can treat them as normal jade plants.

Growing jade plants from cuttings or leaves is easy to do. Knowing how to root jade plant cuttings and leaves can help you to make more plants for friends and family. Good luck with starting a jade plant in your garden.

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How to Make Jade Plant Cuttings Grow

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Sometimes called money tree, jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a succulent species of shrub grown for its fleshy, ovate leaves and treelike growth habit. Although it is mainly cultivated as a houseplant due to its cold sensitivity, jade plant will also grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12. Jade plant grows effortlessly from cuttings, which will root any time of year if kept under warm, slightly dry conditions. Hormone powder is not strictly necessary to make jade plant cuttings grow, although it will quicken the process and help produce a transplantable specimen sooner.

Understanding Succulent Basics

"Succulent" is a catch-all name for a plant group that includes thousands of species, some closely related and others not related at all. From cacti, aloes and agaves to sedums, sempervivums and echeverias, their botanical connections vary widely. But one characteristic unites them: Succulents store water in their leaves, stems or roots.

When propagating non-succulent plants such as hydrangea cuttings or rose cuttings, dehydration can cause big problems. With succulents, that's not a concern. Instead, the focus is on keeping leaf and stem cuttings free from rot and fungal disease. 2

Because of this difference, whether you're propagating succulents from leaves or stems, allow several days between the time you take cuttings and planting day. Allow the cuttings to dry in a warm, dry place out of direct sun. The open wounds should form protective calluses in three to four days.

Root succulent leaves and cuttings in planting trays or small pots.

Updated: How to Propagate Jade plants

Hello everyone! I’ve decided to update this post a bit. I’ve added some additional information, and hope to update with better images soon! Thanks for reading!

Jade plants are my favorite houseplant, and are also one of the plants that I think I know the most about. I started with one or two of them, and over time that number has increased to the six Jades that I have now. Jade plant propagation is very easy!

When I first wanted to propagate my Jade plant, I thought that I could take a leaf or cutting and just put it in some water. That is what I had done with some of my Ivy plants, so I figured that the propagation would work the same way. Needless to say, no new roots appeared and the plant cutting just died after a while in the water.

After this happened, I talked to my mom (she is my gardening teacher) and she told me that all I needed to do was take a leaf or cutting and put it in soil.

*Update: I’ve learned that a rooting hormone powder really helps with Jade plant propagation. My favorite is Green Light Organic. It’s pretty affordable, and seems to work well.

So, all you do is take off a leaf and rest it against the side of the pot with the end of it just resting on the top of the soil. You don’t need to water it at all at first. I just water it sparingly about a week or so after sticking it in the dirt. You can start watering it more often once some roots start to develop.

Starting a new plant from a leaf does take some time, but if you would like to have a larger Jade plant in a shorter amount of time, you can use a cutting from a healthy Jade plant to put in the soil. You may want to use the rooting hormone (as mentioned above), then stick the cutting into the dirt at least an inch or so however much it takes to get it to be stable. If you don’t have rooting hormone, then I would recommend letting the end of the cutting dry out for a week or so before putting it into dirt. Again, water sparingly at first, and increase waterings as the root system develops.

It’s important to note that Jades are notoriously slow growers! My mom’s Jade is about 2.5 feet tall, but it’s over 30 years old. So, don’t get discouraged if your jade doesn’t shoot up as quickly as you’d like!

This technique should work with most similar succulents as well! If you have any questions, just let me know and I will be glad to give/find the answer for you!

Like this post? Check out my article on How to Propagate African Violets!

Jade plants are succulent houseplants, which makes them fairly resilient and easy to grow indoors—plus, they’re long-lived. See how to care for your jade plant.

With their thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves, jade plants have a miniature, tree-like appearance that makes them very appealing for use as a decorative houseplant. They live for a very long time, often being passed down from generation to generation and reaching heights of three feet or more when grown indoors.

Jade plants adapt well to the warm, dry conditions found in most homes. It’s important to keep the plant watered during the growing season (spring, summer) and drier during the dormant season (fall, winter). However, even during the growing season, the soil should be allowed to dry out fully between waterings, as jade is very susceptible to rot.

Jade plants may be grown outdoors as landscape plants in areas with a mild, dry climate year-round (typically Zone 10 and warmer). They are very susceptible to cold damage, so in locations where temperatures get to freezing or below, it’s best to grow jade in containers and take them indoors when it gets below 50°F (10°C).


How to Plant Jade Plants

  • Choose a wide and sturdy pot with a moderate depth, as jade plants have a tendency to grow top-heavy and fall over.
  • Use a soil that will drain thoroughly, as excessive moisture may promote fungal diseases like root rot. An all-purpose potting mix will work, though you will want to mix in additional perlite to improve drainage. A 2:1 ratio of potting mix to perlite is great. Alternatively, use a pre-made succulent or cacti potting mix.
  • After planting a jade plant, don’t water it right away. Waiting anywhere from several days to a week before watering lets the roots settle and recover from any damage.

Older jade plants may develop a thick, scaly trunk, giving them their classic tree-like appearance. Photo by trambler58/Shutterstock.

How to Start a Jade Plant from a Leaf or Stem Cutting

As a succulent, jade plants are very easy to start from single leaves or cuttings. Here’s how:

  1. Remove a leaf or take a stem cutting from a well-established plant. An ideal stem cutting would be 2–3 inches in length and have at least two pairs of leaves. Once you have your leaf or cutting, allow it to sit for several days in a warm place a callous will form over the cut area, helping to prevent rot and encourage rooting.
  2. Gather your pot and a well-draining potting mix. Use soil that is slightly moist, but not wet.
  3. Take the leaf and lay it on top of the soil horizontally, covering the cut end with some of the soil. If you have a stem cutting, place it upright in the soil (prop it up with a few small rocks or toothpicks if it won’t stand on its own).
  4. Place the pot in a warm place with bright, indirect light. Do not water.
  5. After a week or two, the leaf or cutting will start sending out roots. A week or so after that, give the plant a gentle poke or tug to see if it has rooted itself in place. If it hasn’t, wait a bit longer, testing it (gently!) every few days.
  6. Once the plant seems to be firmly rooted, water it deeply and carefully. Use something like a turkey baster to gently water the plant without disturbing the roots too much. Make sure that you don’t just get the surface layer of the soil wet, as you want to encourage the roots to grow downward for water, not towards the surface.
  7. Let the soil dry out between waterings and keep the plant out of intense direct sunlight until it is well established.

Watering the Cuttings

Watering your cuttings before they have roots can cause the stem to rot. But, it can be a little tricky to figure out whether or not it’s grown any roots. The most common method is to gently tug on the cutting, if there’s resistance then it’s probably formed some roots, if it comes out then it hasn’t. The big issue with that method is if there are any new delicate roots then tugging on the stem could damage them.

I prefer to look out for signs of new growth on the plant and its overall health compared to when I first planted them. Here’s where that picture you took comes in handy!

Once you’re fairly certain roots have started to form it’s time to give your plant its first drink of water!

The night before you plan to water, leave some tap water out overnight (unless you happen to have rain water or ro water or something). I’ve heard that leaving tap water out overnight lets some of the chemicals evaporate off plus, it’ll let it come to room temperature.

Then, the next morning give your plant a nice deep water. I prefer morning watering because it gives the soil a chance to dry out a bit over the day and it’s when the plants waking up and getting ready to put in a good day of hard work growing.

Water it until the water flows out of the drainage holes. Make sure the soil gets saturated through and the waters not just running straight through the pot – sometimes with certain soils they can become hydrophobic (the water runs off the soil instead of being absorbed by it). Sometimes the soil compacts a little with watering so top up the soil if it gets low.

It’s best not to get the leaves wet if you can help it but if you do, blow off any water that’s puddling on the leaves and leave them to dry out.

Your cutting’s still not ready for full sun so keep it in bright indirect light until there’s more signs of life.

Take another picture of your Jade Plant cutting.

Jade Plant Propagation

Cut a section of stem a few inches long with at least three or four pairs of nodes from a healthy, disease-free parent plant.

Remove leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.

Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone, if desired. A rooting hormone helps to encourage uniform, vigorous rooting, but is not necessary for a jade cutting to produce roots.

Insert the jade cutting into a prepared rooting medium that could contain half peat moss and half sand or a well-drained potting soil. Place the cutting so that the lowest leaves are just above the medium surface. Thoroughly water or mist the medium so that it settles around the cutting.

Cover the container with plastic or glass to maintain a high level of humidity and place it in bright, indirect light where temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mist the cuttings and medium regularly so that the cuttings never wilt and the medium never dries out.

Transplant the cuttings once they develop roots at least an inch long, typically within about two months.

Watch the video: Propagate Jade Plants - 7 week Update!