Propagating Jade Plants

01/13/2016 | Ken Davis Houseplants, Plant Care, Uncategorized

Jade Plant

By Ken Lain, the mountain gardener

Jade plants are extremely easy to propagate. They’re so eager to reproduce that often a leaf will break off and start to grow roots in the soil without any help at all. Jade plants can be propagated from stem or leaf cuttings, though it takes several years to get a nice-sized plant from a leaf cutting. A stem cutting will root from the leaf joints all along the stem. If you’re trimming back leggy growth on your jade plant, or you’re simply giving it a haircut, save the cuttings for propagation.   Here’s how.

Step #1 – The first step in plant propagation is to choose where you want to cut the stem to make a new plant. If you’re taking stem cuttings, make sure to get at least a few inches of the stem so you have plenty of area for rooting. Use clean, sterile clippers or knife to make the stem cut. Dip your clippers into rubbing alcohol or wash them with hot soapy water to sterilize them. If you’re planning to use the leaves to propagate your jade plant, carefully break off each leaf.

After taking a cutting from your jade, allow the ends of the cuttings to cure (dry out and callus over) for a few days before planting. This will help prevent rotting of the new jade start.  The larger the cutting, the longer you should let it cure. This isn’t as much of a concern in the summer months, but definitely something you’ll want to do if you’re propagating jade in winter.

Step #2 – Dip each plant cutting into some Bonide Rooting Powder, available here at Watters Garden Center.  This powdered rooting hormone helps plant cuttings root quickly, a must for successful plant starts.  Make sure the cut end of each cutting is coated in this white powder, then plug it directly into seedling soil.

Jade Plant close upStep #3 – Using a clean pot and sterile potting soil, loosely fill the container with a potting soil made for growing seedlings. Jade plants prefer this quick draining soil, and they tend to root faster in it. You also can use a sand-based succulent mix. Use a pencil or your finger to make a hole in the soil for the cutting. Gently place the new cutting into the hole so the rooting hormone doesn’t rub off. Then lightly pack the soil around the base of the cutting so it stays in place.  The soil should be in constant contact with the cutting.

Step #4 – Place your newly planted cuttings away from direct sun. Moisten them and then don’t water them again until they have roots.  If there’s not much humidity in the air, lightly mist the cuttings with water daily. New growth on each cutting is a good sign that roots are forming.  Most cuttings take about 3 weeks to show signs of rooting, followed by established root formation in 4-6 weeks.

Once roots have formed, water the cutting like you normally would any jade plant. Jade plants don’t need a lot of water, so allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. If you tend to over water plants, plant your jade in a clay pot rather than plastic.

Until next week, I’ll see you at Watters Garden Center.

Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at or .