There’s something so unique about jade plants that I just love. They’re beautiful succulents that are easy to grow, making them a great gift for beginners and a great gift!
If you love jade plants as much as I do, you’ll obviously want to own more plants, or even extra jade plants to gift some to your loved ones!
And guess what? You can multiply your jade plant for free in your own home! Read on for steps on how to propagate a jade plant.
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The Crassula ovata, more commonly known as the jade plant is a succulent houseplant. It also goes by the name money plant or lucky plant.
Renowned for their miniature tree-like appearance, this South African native is a favorite amongst home gardeners. There is a main, woody stalk from which it grows fleshy leaves that are oval shaped.
With proper care, the jade plant can grow to a height of 3 feet tall; however, it is a very slow growing plant. Jade plants only grow 2 inches tall per year, so expect to have your jade plant in your life for a very long time. If you’re a pet owner, I would be wary about owning a jade plant; both stems and leaves are highly toxic to cats and dogs.
Jade plants are a very forgiving plant to care for; they are low-maintenance and undemanding. In their native land of South Africa, they were considered a good-luck charm to homeowners, which makes them a unique gift.
Are Jade Plants Hard To Propagate?
Not at all! Jade plants are one of the easiest plants to propagate. As long as you remain patient and follow directions carefully, anyone can propagate a jade plant. Propagation is a simple and straightforward process.
There are many different types of propagation methods out there, but we’ll be focusing on propagating from leaf cuttings and from stem cuttings.
The best time for jade plant propagation is during the summer months, when temperature and humidity levels are at their most ideal however they can be propagated any time of the year. Having the right conditions will help ensure that your new plant grows properly.
With all propagations, make sure you use a pair of shears that are sharp and sterile to avoid spreading bacteria. Dip your clippers in a cup of isopropyl alcohol to sterilize them.
Propagation from Leaves
Here’s how to propagate your jade plant through it’s leaves!
1. Remove a healthy leaf from your plant
The best way to start is to select a healthy leaf from your jade plant and remove it from the main stem. You’ll like want to remove a few leaves so you can have a fuller pot.
2. Leave cuttings out on a table leaves to callous for 2-3 days
This is a necessary step when doing stem propagation but wouldn’t hurt when doing leaf propagation. Lay your leaf cuttings out to dry out over the course of several days.
During this time, place the leaf cutting in a bright, warm location. Do not move on to the next step until you are certain the cut has dried out and scabbed over. Also be certain to not let them stay out too long that they shrivel up.
3. Dip in root powder
Another optional step but one that will benefit your chances of getting a plant to root is to dip the cut end in hormone powder (you can find this at a garden retailer or even on Amazon).
This will just increase your chance of success for any soil propagation.
4. Put clipping in soil
Place the cutting on top of a potting mix that is made from half soil, half perlite. Do not worry about having to bury the leaf; making contact with the soil is enough for propagation to occur.
When I did mine I buried the bottom of the clipping which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend. It made it harder for me to see if the plants were rooting. For some plants it’s necessary to bury the clipping but if it’s not necessary (like for jade plants or other succulents like burro’s tails), don’t bother!
5. Place in a warm, sunny spot
Keep the pot in a warm, bright location and make the soil is lightly dampened. Within a few weeks to a couple months, you should see roots and new growth beginning to form around the leaf. Care as you normally would for a jade plant.
Pros of Propagating from Leaves
You can get more plants out of propagating singular leaves, rather than whole stems.
The process is fairly quick and you should see progress within a few weeks to a couple months.
Cons of Propagating from Leaves
As opposed to a stem cutting, you’re propagating a single leaf. It may take longer for that leaf to propagate and grow into an established jade plant.
Propagation from Cuttings
Let’s move on to propagation through stem cuttings.
1. Cut your clipping
Cut off a piece of the plant that is at least two inches in length. Be sure to use sterile clippers, scissors or shears and get a clean cut. This cutting must come from a healthy part of the plant with no signs of damage or disease.
2. Let your clipping cure for a couple days
Allow the cutting to sit and dry out for the next several days. The cutting should be placed in a warm and dry conditions. Do not move onto the next step until the cutting has dried out and scabbed over.
3. Dip in root hormone
Dip the cut-end of the cutting in root hormone powder. Again, like in leaf propagation, this isn’t totally necessary but a good idea to help increase your chance of root formation.
4. Place in soil
Place the cutting into a soil mixture that is 1:1 parts soil and perlite.
5. Water sparsely
Water your plant from time to time, just making sure the soil is lightly damp. The cutting should develop roots and establish itself in approximately three weeks.
Pros of Propagating from Cuttings
The process is quicker than leaf cuttings and the stem should be established within a few weeks.
The propagated jade plant stem has more of that classic “tree-like” look rather than a single, propagated leaf.
Cons of Propagating from Cuttings
You cannot propagate and multiply as many new jade plants as you could if you propagated singular leaves.
Both of these methods could also be done using water propagation! Rather than putting the leaf or stem in soil, you can put them in water!
All you need to do is fill a propagation station or small vessel with water. Next, put the base of the leaf or the stem in water. Be sure to remove an lower leaves before putting the stem in water.
I personally prefer water propagation so I can see the actual root growth! I find it the easiest way to know that my rooting process worked before moving them to a pot and soil.
Care After Propagating
Sun & Light
Jade plants absolutely adore light; especially younger jade plants that thrive on sunlight in order to grow. You should be giving your jade plants bright, indirect sunlight in your home.
The ideal amount of daily light exposure is around 4 to 6 hours. Please avoid placing your jade plant in direct sunlight, as the strong rays can cause damage to the leaves (this is especially important with a young, newly propagated plant).
During the warm seasons of spring and summer, jade plants should be watered regularly, giving them an evenly moist soil. This watering should be reduced by winter; during this time, only water your jade plant once a month.
Too much water can cause root rot, which is detrimental to succulent plants. If you see brown spots on your jade plant, that’s a sign that you’re likely overwatering it. Allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering it.
It is important to house your jade plant in a soil that is well-draining, yet can retain a steady amount of moisture to keep your plant fed. I would recommend seeking out soil mixes that are specially designed for cacti and succulents.
Succulent soil contains well-draining material such as coarse sand or perlite, which drives out excess water. The soil mix should also have a slightly acidic to neutral pH level optimal growth.
Using a controlled-release fertilizer during the beginning of the jade plant’s growing season(spring and summer) will ensure the best growth for your plant. Use a fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio.
Temperature & Humidity
Jade plants are very forgiving of most household temperatures and humidity requirements. The lowest temperature jade plants can tolerate is 55° F; though they prefer a range between 65° and 70° F.
As we’ve mentioned previously, drainage is crucial when caring for a jade plant. As a succulent, jade plants do not enjoy sitting in water, as this opens them up to a world of bacterial and fungal disease. Please keep this in mind when choosing the right container for your plant. It should have at least one drainage hole for water to easily exit.
In addition, you might want to consider purchasing a plant pot that is made from a porous material such as terra cotta or unglazed ceramic. Both of these materials are porous and will help soak up excess moisture in the soil.
As for size, jade plants do not require a big container to be housed in. A 4 or 6 inch plant pot will work just fine. If your jade plant needs a larger pot down the road, size up gradually; choose a pot that is only 1 or 2 inches larger than the previous one.
Typically you should repot your jade plant every 1 to 2 years, or earlier if you notice roots beginning to creep out from the bottom of your planter.
Yes, you can root jade plant cuttings in water! They can’t live in water forever but you can definitely propagate them in water.
Personally I prefer propagating a jade plant in water so you can see the root formation but either water or soil propagation work.
For both stem and leaf propagation, it only takes around three weeks to begin to see growth progress.
You cut your jade plant below a leaf, ideally with 3-5 inches of stem so you have enough stem to bury in soil.
Yes, Jade plants can be propagated both from leaves and stem clippings.
Where to Buy Jade Plants
Jade plants have got to be on my top list of favorite succulents. Its signature tree-shaped silhouette makes it a fascinating addition to the home. Not to mention, its lucky reputation doesn’t hurt either!
Now that you know how to reproduce jade plants at home, try propagating them for yourself; you can even spread house plants to the people in your life! A new jade plant would certainly bring a smile to anyone’s face.
Want more propagation fun? Check out one of these!