How to Propagate a Jade Cutting (4 Expert Tips)
Having a jade plant is an excellent addition to your home—but having two is even better. If you don’t want to settle for just one jade plant, we have some good news. You don’t need seeds or a seedling to grow a jade plant; a cutting will do.
Propagating jade cuttings is the fastest and easiest way to do it. In this article, we’ll discuss how to propagate this plant, the best type of potting soil, and several tips you should use.
How Do You Propagate a Jade Plant From a Cutting?
The timing is the most important thing to remember when propagating a jade cutting. Most young plants need a lot of natural light and warmth to thrive. Therefore, the best time to propagate is in the spring when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold.
You also need the right supplies, including suitable potting soil and minerals. Another thing you need to observe during propagation is the tools you use. Using a sharp and sterile knife to make the cutting will prevent germs from entering and infecting the cutting.
There are two ways you can propagate a jade plant using cuttings:
1. Propagating From Leaf Cuttings
Although propagating plants from a leaf cutting is less common, it’s straightforward.
The jade plant is suited to propagating via leaf cuttings. To do this, pick the healthiest leaves on your jade plant and cut them directly from the shoot with a sharp, sterile knife.
After cutting the leaves, allow them to dry for a few days before putting them into individual pots with the right soil combination. To make suitable potting soil for these cuttings, get cactus soil with 10% organic material. Then, place the pot in a spot with enough light and warmth; the optimal temperature for growth is 20 degrees Celsius.
The roots should start forming on the leaf cuttings after a few weeks. However, these cuttings are not independent plants just because they have developed roots; they still need a lot of special care. The propagation is only considered successful once new shoots start forming on the leaves.
2. Propagating From Shoot Cuttings
If your jade plant is due for some pruning, you can use the cut shoots as propagating material instead of cutting perfectly healthy shoots. You can take the shoot from the crown or the side shoot of the jade plant.
A perfect shoot cutting should be about 7–10 centimeters (2.7–4 inches) and woody. Ensure you remove all the lower leaves on the shoot and leave only the top leaves. You should then put the shoots outside to dry for about 2–3 days before planting them in the prepared wet potting soil. Instead of placing a single cutting in each pot, you can group them for a higher success rate and a more bushy plant.
Like we did with the leaf cutting, place the planted shoot cutting in a bright and warm place for them to thrive. You should also use a spray bottle to moisten the soil occasionally. If these cuttings don’t sprout roots and new leaves, consider building them a mini greenhouse that will provide all the optimum growing conditions for the young plant. The cuttings can be repotted in a bigger container within a few weeks.
Is It Better to Propagate Jade in Water or Soil?
There are two main methods of propagating plant cuttings, and you can use either method. You should, however, keep in mind that roots don’t like being disturbed when growing, so you shouldn’t mix the two approaches until the roots are strong enough to be transplanted.
The method you choose will depend on how you want your jade cuttings to propagate. To propagate the plant in water, ensure the roots are placed in water and misted daily. Propagating in the soil is also as easy; simply place the cutting in a container filled with potting soil and keep it indoors until the roots sprout. If you want the cutting to grow as fast as possible, propagating in water is better.
If you are unsure of the method, you can try both and watch which one grows faster and healthier. Water is easier, however, because you can simply transplant them into the soil without disturbing and destroying the roots.
Why Is My Jade Cutting Not Rooting?
Jade plants are easy to propagate, but some things may make the jade cutting not develop a root system. Some of these reasons include the following:
1. Too Much Water
If you are propagating your jade cutting in soil, you need to ensure you don’t overwater it as succulents jade plants should get the exact water quantity as a cactus. If you give your jade plant too much water, the roots will likely rot, preventing the young plant from growing successfully. Overwatering also creates undue stress on the roots since they cannot extract more than the required water from the soil.
2. Lack of Enough Vitamins
Propagating the jade cutting in water may be a problem when using filtered water, and in most cases, you might have to add additional nutrients to the water. Remember, the right potting soil needs at least 10% of nutrients for the young plant to grow and flourish.
Dealing with low mineral content in the potting soil is super easy; add some fertilizer, and the existing roots will show fast growth within a shorter period. However, if your jade cutting has no roots, there is a possibility that you are using too much fertilizer. The existing roots may get damaged and slow down the growth of new ones.
3. Dry Air
The growth rate of the jade cuttings depends on the environment the cutting is grown in; if the air is super dry, it might take a long time for the cuttings to grow roots. If you are growing the cutting in a place with dry air, spray water around the plant occasionally. Growing young plants during winter also has the same negative effects on the growth and development of the roots.
4. Inadequate Sunlight
Although inadequate sunlight may not directly impact the roots, it can slow down their growth. If you don’t provide enough sunlight to young jade plants, they will not grow as efficiently. Since sunlight also affects the temperature, growing the jade plant in a corner without direct sunlight may freeze the roots.
Sunlight also helps dry the surface of the soil, drying up the excess moisture. So, if you have been growing your jade plant in a place without enough natural light and warmth, that could be why your roots are not growing.
The 4 Tips for Propagating Jade Cuttings
Jade cuttings take around 3-4 weeks for the roots to grow and mature. If you don’t have any other option for growing the jade plants apart from propagating cuttings, here are some tips you might want to follow:
1. Cut off the Rotten Part Before Rooting Again
A rotten root system can cause the jade plant to die. This happens a lot, especially if you plant the cuttings in soil. If this happens, you don’t necessarily need to use a fresh cutting; if the plant is big enough, remove the damaged part and put it in soil or water. Also, ensure you cut off any other rotten parts to prevent the rot from spreading.
2. Avoid Planting During Winter
Winter is the worst season for propagating jade cuttings. The temperature is quite low, which can cause the leaves to freeze, burn, or freeze the water in the soil, thereby killing the young plant. If you cannot avoid planting the cutting during the winter, place it in the kitchen since it tends to be warmer than most rooms in the house.
3. Place the Plants Near Sunlight
There are many benefits of placing young jade plants in a spot with enough access to sunlight. They grow relatively better in warm conditions. Ensure the plant gets natural light for at least a couple of hours during the day.
4. Keep the Soil Moist
You don’t want your cuttings to grow in dry soil. Since they are succulents, you don’t want to water them too much either; finding the middle point involves spraying the soil with water from a spray bottle. You might need to repot the plant if the soil is too dry or too wet.
Even though this plant is considered low-maintenance, you need to show it the same care you would with a demanding, high-maintenance plant. To take care of a jade cutting, you need to supply it with nutrients throughout the year. You can use a cactus fertilizer or a slow-releasing fertilizer because of the longer effect; you only need to use it once a year during spring.
As a succulent, the jade plant can store water in its stem and leaves for long periods and is accustomed to dry spells. Therefore, you should only give it small amounts of water and only when the top layer of the soil is dry.
Featured Image Credit: FotoHelin, Shutterstock