Jade plants are lovely succulents. Their small and fleshy oval leaves are appealing, and they perform well both inside and outside. It should come as no surprise that many people want to learn how to do jade plant propagation to expand their collection!
Sometimes called money plant or lucky plant, this easy-care, low-maintenance plant is well worth growing. And money tree propagation is surprisingly easy. Let’s talk about everything you’ll need to propagate jade plant cuttings and how it’s done!
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What Is Plant Propagation?
Propagation is the process of creating new plants. If you will learn how to propagate money plant, you can grow lots of new plants in your garden rather than having to purchase them from a nursery every time.
There are two ways to create plants: sexual and asexual. Sexual propagation is a natural process that involves the floral parts of the plant and its ability to create seeds. This method is how most plants develop. Asexual propagation involves the vegetative parts of the plant such as stems, roots, leaves, and rhizomes.
Asexual methods are usually human-instigated. It can be an easier and faster alternative to natural plant reproduction. Interestingly, it happens in the wild as well, when plant stems or leaves are broken free and can take root on their own.
While there’s many advantages of cultivating plants for seed, as that’s how new hybrids are formed and disease resistance is cultured, it’s a very slow process. Most home gardeners want a little more immediate gratification, which the asexual method provides!
How to Propagate Jade Plant
A single jade plant can be used to cultivate many younger jade plants. The trick to propagating jade plant is in understanding the right techniques to obtain jade cuttings and then providing them the right conditions to grow.
The best thing with jade plant propagation is that it’s quite easy. They’re one of the best plants to start with if you’ve never done it before.
When is the Right Time For Money Plant Propagation?
There’s no single right time for rooting jade plant cuttings. However, there are conditions you’ll want to provide for them to enable them to grow.
Your cuttings will need to be in a humid environment and kept at roughly 60-75 degrees in temperature. Initially, you’ll want to keep your jade cutting out of direct sunlight, but it will need lots of bright, indirect light. This means it should be adjacent to a window or grow light where it’ll have access to indirect lighting.
As long as you provide these conditions, you can start leaf or stem cuttings of jade plant year-round.
Equipment and Materials You Need
You will need the following things before you get started.
- Mature jade plant
- A sharp knife or sharp pruning shears
- Succulent potting soil or cactus mix
- Clean pots (4 inch pots work well for cuttings)
- Water, preferably in a misting bottle
- Rooting hormone
How to Take the Cuttings
The quickest way to develop a new money tree plant is from a stem cutting. However, they can also be cuttings from leaves. Both will take root, it’s just a little slower with a leaf than with a stem.
When you’re pruning your jade plant, you can save your stem cuttings and then replant them. Cuttings should be taken at least 2-3 days before you plan on planting them. This allows the end to dry out and form a scab or callous over the cut surface. If you’d like, you can dip it into powdered rooting hormone before allowing it to dry.
Your stem should be cut just above a leaf node and should be at least 3″-4″ in length. If there are leaves on the cutting, remove all but those up at the cutting’s tip.
Once the end has dried off, fill the pot for your cutting with new succulent potting soil. Water the soil to completely moisten it, and allow excess water to drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot before use. Once it’s no longer dripping, you’re ready to plant.
Use a fingertip to make a hole in your pre-moistened potting mix, and then set the cutting into the hole. You’ll want to make sure it can support itself, so plant it deep enough for it to stand up straight. If needed, use a chopstick, popsicle stick or straw to provide added support.
Larger leaves removed from the base of your stem cutting can be used, too! You can also select big, healthy leaves on your plants and cultivate plants from those. This method has a slightly higher chance of failing, but you can still develop a plant from no more than a leaf.
Select new leaves that are healthy and plump, with no signs of damage on their surface. Medium to larger sized leaves are better than small, young ones. At the base of the leaf where it joins to the stem, use a knife to gently remove it. You want as much of the stem joint on as you can take without damaging the main stem.
Allow these new leaves to dry just as you would for your stem segments. If you wish to use rooting hormone, dip them in a powdered mix right after you’ve cut them. This allows the hormone to work its way into the leaf as it dries.
Once your jade cuttings are dry, which will take 2-3 days, it’s time to prepare your potting mix. Follow the directions in the stem section above to prepare your pots. Once they’ve been pre-moistened and the excess water has drained, use a pencil or chopstick to make a hole in the mix. Set your leaf into the hole, covering the stem joint completely and up to the base of the leaf.
Tips and Tricks to Grow and Maintain the New Plants
For both leaf and stem cuttings, rooting will take a while. Until they’ve developed a new root system, you will need to make sure they stay in moist but not soggy conditions, with plenty of humidity around the leaves. They will need to be out of direct sunlight so they don’t dry out quickly.
It’s best to use a plastic or glass starter dome over your cuttings. This will keep the humidity around your jade plants up. It also reduces the amount of watering you will need to do.
As your potting mix dries out, use a misting bottle to spritz your plants and their soil with water. Remember, the goal is to have moist, damp soil. If you see water pouring out of the bottom of your pots, it’s too much!
Now that you know how to care for your cuttings, there’s only one question left. How long does it take for a cutting to root?
From stems, you’ll want to check in about a month to see if it has formed roots. You can very gently tug on the stem to see if there’s resistance. Alternately, remove the whole thing from its pot and dust off soil to see if it has been rooting.
With leaves, you will see new growth at the base of the leaf. A tiny little plantlet will develop, signifying that it has successfully taken root. It may have tiny little leaves of its own and look like a miniature jade plant.
When it’s obvious that your new plant has put down roots, it’s time to gradually readjust them to a less-humid environment. Introduce more airflow into your dome over a period of two weeks. Keep the soil moisture consistent, but gradually leave the top off for more time during the day or night to adjust your plant to drier conditions. Your stem or leaf cuttings should adapt quickly, but if you see signs of wilting or leaves losing their plumpness, slow down.
After they’re accustomed to drier air, gradually introduce them to full sunlight in stages. Just like introducing dry conditions, you’ll want to be careful that your jade plants don’t get too much sun all at once. When they’ve fully hardened off to sunny conditions, your plants are ready to go outside!