How to Propagate Jade Plants (Essential Tips)

Jade Plants, including the popular Crassula ovata, are a type of succulent. This means they’re straightforward to divide and multiply by the method known as propagation. You can use the same basic techniques that commercial growers use to grow thousands of plants per year to turn your own symbolic Jade Plant into a few to share with others. There are multiple methods of propagating jade plants, so try them all to see which one works best for you.

How to Propagate Jade Plants (Essential Tips)

How to Propagate Jade Plants – The Essentials

Succulents like Jade Plants are some of the easiest houseplants to propagate. Use individual leaves or stem cuttings to grow new Jade Plants successfully. Place the cuttings on a well-draining seed-starting mix or potting soil and cover with plastic. Keep the plants warm but out of direct light until they root and begin growing new foliage.

Can Jade Plants be Propagated? 

Can Jade Plants be Propagated? 

While many leafy houseplants are difficult for the average keeper to propagate, Jade Plants are among the easiest. As a succulent, one of the benefits of the Jade Plant is that it requires relatively little special care to reproduce through cuttings or trimmings. When it’s necessary to give these plants a pruning, the larger cuttings that are healthy and green can all be used for propagation. 

You may want to invest in a few standard tools and supplies, but there’s no need for rooting hormones or costly cloning chambers. A little misting and the right jade plant soil mix will go a long way.

Key Considerations When Propagating a Jade Plant

While Jade Plants are among the easiest houseplants to propagate, they still need specific handling and care to succeed. 

First, you’ll need to set up an environment that offers humidity and medium levels of light rather than the drier and brighter conditions the mature plants prefer. 

You’ll need to choose a propagation method as well and determine which part of the plant to trim off for the best chance of success.

Level of Effort and Difficulty

Level of Effort and Difficulty

Succulents like Jade Plants are some of the easiest houseplants to propagate. They reproduce quickly from both sections of healthy stems and individual leaves. This means that almost any healthy plant material you trim off or that falls off may become a new plant. 

However, some cuttings just won’t grow into new plants no matter how well you take care of them. Taking extra cuttings ensures you get as many new plants as you’re planning for with a healthy failure rate.

If you’re using leaves only, double the number of cuttings over the desired number of plants. Stem cuttings have a higher success rate but add a 25% margin for failure. 

Do Jade Plants Grow Better in Water or Soil?

Due to their sensitivity to root rot, most types of Jade plants generally propagate better and faster in soil than water. It is possible to place stem cuttings in water and let them develop roots, then move them to soil for further growth. 

Keeping the cuttings in water will eventually cause them to rot. Jade Plants need to dry out and callous over on the cut sections before going in soil or water to prevent rotting. If the cuttings are put in water to root, they won’t need a bag covering them or regular misting to keep their humidity up.

Can You Propagate Jade Plants From Just a Leaf?

If you have a shallow tray of fluffy seed-starting soil mix, you can put down several individual leaves and start many new Jade Plants at once. You must take the entire leaf, all the way to the base that meets the stem, for it to root and grow. 

Broken leaves that are only partially whole will not root. Leaves, in particular, need to dry slightly and be calloused before being set on the soil for rooting. If you remove an entire side shoot of a Jade Plant to balance out its weight and shape, try setting up all the largest healthy leaves for propagation. Leaves can’t be put in water for propagation since they’ll rot rather than rooting while floating.

How to Propagate a Jade Plant: Options & Techniques

How to Propagate a Jade Plant: Options & Techniques

No matter the method, it’s essential to follow a few basic steps the same way. 

First, use clean tools when trimming plant material from your Jade Plants. You don’t want to risk spreading a disease or damaging the plant by using dull or dirty tools. 

Second, let any cuttings used for propagation sit and dry in a warm area out of direct light for at least a week. When the shiny area where the plant’s cutting is removed dries up and looks healed, it’s ready for your chosen propagation method.

Also – it’s worth noting that Jade plants are considered mildly toxic to pets and humans so it’s best to wear gloves during the process.

Propagating Jade Plants in Water

If you choose to try the water propagation method, keep in mind it’s not a permanent cultivation option for this plant. The new Jade Plants will eventually need to transition into a container with a well-draining soil mix to support continued root growth. Find a clear container if possible for this method so you can monitor root development and as a reminder to change the water regularly.

Use stem cuttings that are firm and at least a few inches long with multiple nodes on each piece. Trim off any existing leaves and use them for other propagation methods in soil. Insert the cuttings into the container and fill it so that only half of the material is covered in water. 

Change the water weekly to ensure it doesn’t develop any mold or bacterial issues that could rot the Jade Plant cuttings. It may take a few weeks for roots to form, but eventually, you should see them growing out of nodes along the stem or at the end of the cutting. 

You can let the roots grow until they’re an inch or two long before carefully moving the new Jade Plants to their permanent home in containers.

Jade Plant Propagation in Soil

Jade Plant Propagation in Soil

Using a shallow soil container is a much easier method of propagating Jade Plants. It works well for both stem cuttings and individual leaves. 

For the faster establishment of a larger Jade Plant, try cutting off an entire side stem and trimming it, so there are just three to four inches of stem below the foliage. Insert that cutting into the soil to get a rapid start on rooting and growth. If you take stem cuttings with only a few leaves on them, remove those leaves and propagate them separately. Then place the cutting horizontally on the soil to encourage rooting. Individual leaves should be placed, so the base of the leaf is just barely below the soil.

Use a light mix used for seed starting to encourage moisture to stay around the cutting and let delicate new roots spread rapidly. The mix should be mostly peat moss or coconut coir to hold water without being too soggy for the Jade Plant cuttings. 

After arranging prepared cuttings so they’re on the surface of the soil (for stem cuttings) or slightly pressed in (leaves), cover the container with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This traps humidity to encourage rooting, so you don’t have to water the cuttings and risk rotting them. 

If you don’t have clear plastic that will fit over the container you choose, try misting the cuttings with a spray bottle once every few days.

Propagating by Division

Large and mature Jade Plants, especially root-bound ones, can be split in half to create two full-sized plants immediately. Simply slide the plant out of its pot, carefully cut the root ball apart with a sharp hand trowel, and plant the two new divisions in smaller containers with a well-draining mix. Don’t overwater, and avoid bagging the plant since it already has roots. In addition, hold off fertilizing your jade plant until the roots have had a chance to develop on their own for a few weeks. 

Propagating Jade Plants FAQs: 

How long does it take a Jade Plant plant to root in water? 

Jade Plants can take a few weeks to show roots when in water. Use a clear container so you can watch the progress.

Can a Jade Plant live in water forever? 

It’s unlikely that the Jade Plant will grow or flourish if left in water. Once the roots are two to three inches long, relocate the cuttings to soil.

How long does it take Jade Plant to propagate? 

In soil, Jade Plants may root within two to three weeks. It can take a month or more for roots to develop in water.

Are Jade Plants hard to propagate? 

They’re easier to propagate than most other houseplants, although they still aren’t guaranteed to succeed.

Can you grow a Jade Plant from a broken leaf? 

A whole leaf that breaks cleanly off the stem has a good chance of growing. Leaves that snap in half or too far from the stem will not root.

Can a Jade Plant grow from one leaf? 

A single healthy, large leaf snapped off at the base is all you need to grow another Jade Plant.

Why is my Jade Plant not rooting? 

Some cuttings simply won’t root due to luck. If none of the cuttings or leaves are rooting, they may be too wet, too dry, have poor drainage, need more humidity, or need less light.

Wrapping Up

Jade Plants can make great gifts to share with friends after propagating a dozen new plants after your routine pruning. Make sure to take trimmings correctly so they have the best chance at rooting.

If you’re looking for your next Jade plant, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering jade plants nationwide.

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