Propagation of a jade plant is usually done asexually by making leaf and stem cuttings, and then placing them in soil for encouraging root formation. With basic guidelines, you can produce new jade plants by vegetative propagation methods.
Jade plant (Crassula ovata) is popular as a low maintenance houseplant. Many a time, avid hobbyists prefer growing it as an indoor bonsai. Indigenous to South Africa, it is succulent by nature, and stores excess water in the leaves and other parts.
Round shaped, thick evergreen leaves and small, white or pinkish flowers are desirable traits of a jade plant. And if you are interested in indoor gardening this succulent, start with a single specimen. Later, you can propagate a jade plant by simple methods.
Methods for Propagating Jade Plants
You might have known this evergreen houseplant by other names – money plant, lucky plant and friendship tree. After seeing its rich jade green leaves and young stems, you will surely agree with these common plant names.
As compared to regular plants, succulents are much easier to propagate. And multiplying a jade plant is not so challenging as you would think it is. For your understanding, the techniques of jade plant propagation by means of cuttings are explained further.
If you have mature jade plants at home, you can obtain stem cuttings for dividing them. This approach is perfect for exceptionally tall jade plants that are maintained outdoors. Of course, you can proceed the same for large and healthy indoor plants too.
In order to avoid rotting problems, the cut stems are allowed to dry a bit (say for 1-2 weeks) before immersing in soil, or inducing them to root.
Obtaining new jade plants with the help of leaf cuttings is easier than that of the stem cutting technique. However, they usually take a longer period to develop roots as the leaves have less food reserves to support rapid growth.
Collecting jade leaves, for this purpose dose not affect the mother plant, however one must see that the parent plant is healthy and mature enough to survive after removing some green foliage.
How to Propagate Jade Plants from Cuttings?
In the natural habitats, jade plants grow in abundance. The leaves and stems, which accidentally separate from the mother plants fall on the ground. Within a matter of few weeks to months, they develop roots, resulting in new plants.
In short, it is so simple to propagate these succulent plants that any layman who knows nothing about horticulture can accomplish it. Before you start with your gardening project, choose a method for making new jade plants. Or else, you can try both ways of jade plant propagation.
- For collecting the stem and leaf cuttings and rooting them, you will need some basic supplies. These include a sharp knife (sterile), a container filled with potting soil (formulated for succulents), healthy parent plants and newspapers.
- Prepare a working area by laying some spare newspapers or clean rugs. Here, you can keep the cut stems and leaves. To start with jade plant propagation by taking stem cuttings, choose a healthy branch of about 3-4 inch and cut it close to the node.
- Gently remove the leaves from the base of a twig (about 1 inch from the bottom) without injuring the stem. Place this prepared twig over the laid newspapers. You can obtain more branches (if available) and follow the same steps of removing the leaves.
- While growing jade plant from a stem cuttings, the first step is to induce rooting. This can be achieved by drying the cut portions before placing them in rooting media. Just keep them in a dry and warm spot for 7 days.
- This drying step is done to minimize disease attacks at the cut surface and rotting problems, which are likely if rooting is done directly. After about 1-2 weeks, you will notice calluses forming in the cut surfaces of the twigs.
- Rooting of jade plant cuttings can be induced with or without rooting hormone. If you want results within a short time, apply powder or liquid rooting hormone in the lower section. Follow the product directions for deciding the dosage and applying it.
- To introduce a twig in the container (filled with potting soil), make a hole (about 1 inch deep) with the help of a pencil or stick. The diameter of the hole should be such that it fits the stem properly. If you are using a large pot, you can make two holes.
- Place the stem cuttings in the holes, and cover the pot with a plastic bag. This helps in conserving moisture, while the stems start forming roots. However, make sure there is enough space between the plastic and top potion of the stem cutting.
- Now, place the pot in a shaded area of the garden or indoors. If you notice small water droplets inside the plastic bag, remove it. After about 20-30 days, the stem cuttings will form new roots. At this stage, allow them to receive more light by placing it near the windowsill.
- This way, you can propagate jade plants by using stem cuttings. As for the propagation from leaf cuttings, collect healthy leaves from the base of the parent plant, and place them on the rim of pots filled with soil. Simply allow the base of the leaves to touch the soil surface.
- Don’t water for the first 3-4 days, as the soil moisture is sufficient to encourage rooting. After 4 days, water the soil lightly until, eventually, small roots begin to form at the leaf base. In a few weeks, you will get small shoot like growths from the leaf. Allow the new shoot to grow up to ½ inch, and then place the pot in indirect sunlight.
Follow jade plant care tips, and your established plants will produce star-shaped, pinkish or white flowers in spring time.
Jade plants require less maintenance and care. They need well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH 6.1-6.5), moderate to bright light, and temperatures between 75-80° F at daytime and 55° F at night. Make sure that watering is done once in a week during summer, and once in two weeks during winter months.