How to Propagate Jade Plants From Stem Cuttings: The Easy Way

Succulents can be very easy or difficult to propagate, depending on the species you choose, and the conditions you give them. 

Jade plants are one of the easiest succulent plants to grow, and they are also one of several plant species that you could potentially pass onto another generation as they can live for a very long time!

It helps that these plants can be propagated regularly, as long as you treat the cuttings right from the get-go. 

Interested in growing several jade plants from a single plant, all for free? Here’s everything you need to know.

Propagating A Jade Plant Through Stem Cuttings

You can propagate pretty much any succulent plant you can think of using stem cuttings, but this method works particularly well for jade plants (see also How To Encourage Dense Growth On Your Jade Plant).

 Any jade plant cultivar will do well with this method, so you don’t need a specific type to propagate.

You will need a good, clean and sharp knife or scissors, and a healthy jade plant to start with.

Choose Your Cuttings

With jade plants, it’s important not to go overboard when making new plants from cuttings. At the most, make your cutting 4 inches long.

Anything bigger than this will struggle to root. It’s also a good idea to take several cuttings, so that you have a greater chance of success.

If you need to, you can remove the lowest leaves on the stem, but don’t throw them away. You can propagate jade plants from leaves, too (see also Jade Plant Leaf Propagation).

Put The Cuttings Aside For A While To Heal

Don’t be tempted to put the cuttings straight into water to root. This will mean your cuttings will take up too much water at once, as they have no roots to regulate this, and they will drown.

Instead, set the cuttings aside for a couple of days in a warm, bright place. This will help the wound scab over a little, limiting the amount of water it will take up, preventing the cuttings from rotting in water.

Some people like to propagate the cuttings straight into soil, and this is something that you can do, provided that the soil is kept slightly damp, and you have a lot of patience. 

Stem cuttings planted this way can take forever to root! It’s much easier to place your stem cuttings in water once they have calloused over.

Allow The Cuttings To Form Roots In Water

As the wounded ends start to close up (around four days after you cut the stem from the plant), fill a small jar or glass with fresh water, and put the cuttings in there.

Make sure no leaves are touching the water, otherwise they will rot. Put the container somewhere warm and bright, somewhere as bright as possible but with no direct sunlight.

Stem cuttings can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to root. To help them along, change the water every few days.

As soon as you see roots emerging from the stems which are about half an inch long, you want to pot them up as quickly as possible. Don’t wait to plant them up, otherwise it can be difficult for them to adapt to soil.

Pot Up Your New Jade Plant

Once your cuttings have formed roots, it’s time to pot them up as separate plants. Pot size is important here, so go no bigger than a 4 inch pot for each plant.

If you have any terracotta pots, these are perfect for your succulents. 

They retain less water than plastic, which helps avoid root rot, but you will need to be more vigilant when it comes to watering, as they will need watering more often.

The clay being in contact with the roots is also a good thing, as it promotes healthy root growth (even when the clay is fired).

You could use a generic succulent compost mix, or, you can amend it slightly by mixing it with pumice, which will help sharpen up the drainage and create a strong root system.

Give your plant water, making sure no water gets on the leaves, and then put the plant in its final position, somewhere warm and bright.

Let the top inch of the compost dry out between watering. Succulents can go for longer without water than this, but there is a trick to telling if your plant needs water.

Simply squeeze a leaf between your fingers. If it puckers or wrinkles, it’s time to water your plant. If not, hold off for a while longer. 

Give The Plant The Right Environment

In order for your jade plant to thrive, you need to put it somewhere bright, away from drafts and sources of heat. 

The way to maintain the compact, thick growth of a jade plant is to provide it with as much light as possible, preferably with some direct sunlight for part of the day.

In high light levels, your jade plant may even take on tinges of red at the edges of the leaves, further adding to this plant’s beauty.

How To Make A Jade Plant Fuller: Encourage Branching

Jade plants can look a little spindly at times, but there is a way to encourage them to produce thicker, better growth.

If your plant is looking a little sad, you can give it a good chop, propagating what you cut off the plant to make new plants, too.

You can also propagate your jade plants through single leaf cuttings, if you like. 

It’s important to note that single leaf cuttings can be temperamental, and while some will grow roots, they might not produce anything else, so it’s a good idea to take several cuttings at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Jade plants are absolutely beautiful, and if you can give them the right growing conditions, they will live for decades to come.

It’s always a good idea to propagate your succulent plants, just in case something happens to the mother plant, and then you have a couple of insurance plants that you can grow.

Propagating succulents couldn’t be simpler, as long as you remember to put aside the cuttings for a few days before putting them into water, otherwise they may rot when you try to water propagate them.

It’s also worth experimenting with soil propagation, and seeing which works better for you in terms of how many plants you get out of it, and even leaf propagation, too.

You might find that you have little success with one method, but you have a much better result from a different method.

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