So you want to root some jade plants? Also known as the lucky plant or the money plant, the popular succulent jade plant thrives as a houseplant in most indoor conditions with minimal care. They resemble a tiny tree with thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves.
When kept in mild, dry conditions or climates, jade plants can live for generations. They need a sand-and-soil mix with excellent drainage along with about four hours of direct sunlight a day. As part of their overall hardiness, it’s relatively easy to root a jade plant.
How Do You Root a Jade Plant?
You love your Jade plants, and you want more to grow and share with some friends. It starts with leaf cutting.
Using a clean knife or pair of clippers, cut a three-inch or longer branch from a jade plant. Allow the jade plant cutting to dry, and then apply a light dusting of rooting hormone to help prevent disease. Place the cutting in a pot containing a mixture of soil and sand, vermiculite, or perlite.
Factors to Consider When Rooting a Jade Plant
Propagating a succulent plant is usually fairly simple, but a few techniques help the process succeed.
Cutting and Drying the Stem
The best way to root a jade plant is by using the stem. Select a branch that’s healthy and disease-free. Cut a portion between three and four inches long. It should have at least one node above the cut, and you’ll need to remove any leaves.
(If your plant doesn’t have any stems of that length, you can propagate from the fleshy leaves, a process described below.)
After removing the stem cutting, allow it to dry completely. Rooting a wet stem and excess moisture increases the risk of disease and root rot developing. Place your cut stem in a warm, dry location where it won’t be disturbed. The spot should get lots of bright, indirect light.
Apply a root hormone to the open “wound” of the stem. Plant growth is regulated by different hormones called auxin. Rooting hormones are auxin in gel, powder, or liquid form. You can buy commercial rooting hormones or even make your own using honey, aspirin, and in other ways.
The drying process takes about a week or two. First, the cut edge will form a callus. Next, roots will emerge from the callus. It’s now ready for transfer.
Planting the Stem Jade Cutting
Jade plants do best in sandy, light-textured soil. Balanced mixtures of either potting soil and vermiculite or potting soil and perlite are both known to work well.
Next, you want to “drill” a hole for the stem. Using your finger or a small garden spoon, make an indentation in the middle of the pot. Place the roots into the hole and lightly fill in the soil.
Water sparingly at first. Keep the soil lightly damp during the rooting process. In about two weeks to two months, small plantlets (the term for young plant clones) will appear through the soil. When the plantlets are several inches tall, you can begin a regular watering schedule whenever the top inch of soil is dry, typically once a week.
When Is the Best Time to Root a Jade Plant?
Warm, humid weather is ideal for root growth. If possible, start new plants in the summer. However, jade plants are still relatively easy to move at any time of year.
Propagating from Fleshy Leaves
If you don’t have a mature plant with long stems, you can root a jade plant using only the leaves.
Find a large, healthy leaf. You can either cut it from the stem with a pair of sterile clippers or break the leaf off by hand.
As with the jade plant stem cutting, the leaf needs to dry. However, you don’t want to let it dry as thoroughly as with the stem. If the leaf is too dry, rooting becomes very difficult. Instead, wait until a callus develops on the cut and the leaf has just begun to curl slightly.
Tuck the leaf’s callused edge into the same type of mixture as above, either potting soil and vermiculite or perlite. If the rooting takes hold, plantlets will appear where the leaf edge touches the soil.
Leaf propagation typically takes longer than stem cuttings, so don’t feel discouraged if weeks pass with no plantlets. However, if none appear after more than two months, you’ll probably need to try again with new leaves.
Cautions when Rooting a Jade Plant
The sap from a jade plant has a mildly irritating effect. Exposure to your skin can result in redness, itchiness, and other temporary issues.
Learn more: Are Jade Plants Poisonous?
Additionally, ingestion can result in vomiting and diarrhea in people, cats, and dogs.
When cutting the plant, wear gloves to avoid getting the sap on your skin. Also, make sure the sap isn’t accessible to pets. While not fatal, exposure to the sap still causes issues you want to avoid.