How to Propagate Jade Plants

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Propagate Jade Plants
Propagate Jade Plants (Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/903190)

Jade plant, also called Japanese Money Tree, is a succulent plant with thick, fleshy leaves. It is said to bring good fortune and prosperity to the home. Without pruning, the jade plant can grow into a beautiful tree-looking plant with many "branches" of leaves. These leaves are the key to successfully propagating the plant. Jade plants reproduce quite easily under the right conditions, often with no work at all, but if you know how to speed the process along, you will have an abundant yield of plants, year after year, from just one parent plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Healthy jade plant
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • Sandy, well draining soil
  • Indirect light source

Remove a leaf from the live jade plant. Do this carefully; do not damage the plant. Make sure your plant is healthy enough to survive losing a leaf. A very young plant or a sick or wilting plant will likely not survive taking leaves or will not produce leaves that will readily propagate. If you have a large, thriving jade plant, it is likely you have some leaves that have already dropped. If not, you can take several leaves from this plant.

Water your jade plant well, preferably from the bottom. Watering from the top will displace the soil, and we need the soil to remain intact and relatively undisturbed for this process. If you cannot water your jade plant from the bottom, start a new pot for your propagation that can be watered from the bottom.

Dip the tip of the leaf in rooting hormone, if you have some. This is optional, but helps the process along. Place the leaf on the top of the soil. Do not cover it, or bury it. It needs to sit on top of the soil. Move a little bit of soil up over the leaf to cover the tip that you removed from the parent plant. This is the only part of the leaf that should be buried in the soil. The rest of the leaf should be exposed. Often, jade plants propagate simply by falling off the parent plant and lying on the top of the soil without any cover at all.

Water the pot from the bottom, regularly, to keep the soil constantly moist, but never wet. Allowing the soil to get too wet or too dry will result in failed propagation. Place your pot in an area that is not exposed to direct sunlight. Jade plants need little to no sunlight to propagate.

Watch for new shoots. In a few days to a few weeks, you should notice little leaf-looking shoots coming from the soil. Do not move or disturb these plants at this point. When they are about a quarter to half an inch tall, move the plant to a location where is will receive plenty of indirect sunlight, but no direct sunlight. Once it is mature, it will tolerate a little direct sunlight each day to flower. Allow it to remain in its pot until it outgrows it, which should be a year or more. Disturbing the root structure by transplanting can kill the plant.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also propagate jade plants by taking a stem cutting, right below a node, and panting it directly in soil. This cutting will grow new roots. Keep in moist, sandy soil with good drainage.
  • Do not bury the jade leaves when propagating. They will rot and turn black instead of shooting out new roots.

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