How to propagate a Jade plant: A beginner's manual
Updated: Apr 16
To start off, let me introduce you to our plant for the day.
Jade plant is also known as Crassula ovata based on its binomial nomenclature. It is also called lucky plant or money plant. It is a succulent.
It loves sun and well- drained soil. It cannot tolerate frost and waterlogging but despite this it is a very 'tough cookie' and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. It is the prefect indoor plant for young adults.
So, what does it look like?
Like most succulents it has thick leaves and green stems that turn woody as it grows older. Some varieties have pink-tinge on the leaf margin.
Now, let's proceed to how we can propagate this 'tough cookie'.
Succulents are fairly easy to propagate, specially this one. We can propagate them by using leaf, softwood cuttings and seeds (which takes ages!). Since this is for beginners, I would walk you through leaf and softwood cuttings.
First, we need to pick a leaf that is disease free.
To separate the leaf, move the leaf up, down and sideways. Make sure not to damage the leaf by pulling it.
To take cuttings, first pick a healthy shoot. They have a lot of nutrients in them that would support the cuttings while developing its roots.
Cut about a cm below the node. You should use secateurs to do this or a sharp scissors to prevent damage. Nothings worse than cutting plants with 'blunt' scissors.
Also, take cuttings early in the day when the plant is turgid.
After you've collected your cuttings, place them in a tray or container. No soil or water needed and observe for 5 days. We need to wait until the tips close and forms a callus.
Once callus has formed, it is now safe to plant our babies.
In order to encourage root sprouts from our callused cuttings, we need to put them on top of soil or rocky top dressing. First, we need to prepare a growing media. Cactus compost mix is available in garden stores but in my case, I just made my own mixture of 1-part compost and 1-part seramis. You can also use sand or grit it's just that seramis is what I have now.
The reason for this mixture is because succulents like 'well-drained soil'.
Once you have your compost mix, fill a pot or tray and water it.
Then, put your cuttings on top of the soil.
Observe for root formation and most importantly water the soil, not the cuttings and only when the soil is dry.
I can't stress enough how important it is to know when to water and how much to water.
Just remember that succulents love the sun and well-drained soil, give them that and they will thrive.
This is how succulents propagate in the wild, by leaf or stem drops.
We just mimic their natural habitat indoors.
After 3 weeks, I noticed roots sprouting on both the leaf and stem cuttings. It seems like it appeared simultaneously. This only means that it doesn't matter which part you choose to propagate when it comes to Jade plant, because you'd get root sprouts in a couple of weeks.
I took the cuttings last March 24 and noticed roots last April 14. I got 9 cuttings in total and 8 of them sprouted. (I'm not giving up on the last one!)
Look at how cute they are!
I am just so happy that they are doing well. I started with 23 succulent plant varieties and I am hoping to come out of this pandemic with more than 35.
If you are bored and want to learn something new, try propagating your plants. Honestly, this is easy it just takes a bit of time so, if you have a succulent there beside you, take some cuttings off and just leave it by the windowsill to air dry. In a couple of weeks, you'd notice some roots sprouting out.
But if you are a 'curious little cat' like me, you could also try different methods and see which works better.
You can check out this out if you want to try and propagate succulents in water.
Thank you for experimenting with me, stay tuned for more succulent and veggies content, because I have some more sprouting in the coming weeks.