Is it Easy to Grow Jade Plants from Leaves and Cuttings?

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After pruning my Jade plant recently, I was left with many leaves and stem cuttings. Instead of just wasting them by throwing them away, I asked myself whether I could use them to propagate new Jade plants, and how easy that would be?

Jade plants can be easily propagated from both stem cuttings and leaves by planting them in a light and free draining succulent potting mix. All being well you can realistically expect stems to start rooting after a couple of weeks, and leaves after around 3 weeks to a month.

Read on to learn more about how I, as a relative beginner with succulents, was able to successfully propagate Jade plants from both leaves and stem cuttings on my very first attempt!

My original Jade plant

It all started when was given the Jade pant below around April time:

Top heavy Jade plant in April with leggy stem growth

It had been somewhat neglected and as a result was extremely top heavy to the point that it couldn’t stand up on its own – the trunk would not support the plant’s upper weight. Without a cane in place it would just completely collapse.

To find out how I fixed the issue of my Jade plant not standing up (end result below), follow this link to my post on how to deal with top heavy Jade plants.

Fixed: the same Jade plant in July. Lots of new, compact, growth has allowed the trunk to properly support the plant again.

To cut a long story short, I ended up having to carry out a hard prune of the plant to remove a lot of the top weight and this process meant that I had plenty of leaves and stem cuttings going spare:

A stem cutting and leaves

The best time to propagate Jade plants

You can propagate Jade plants at any time of year, but the best chances of success will be in spring and summer, when temperatures and light levels will be higher.

The best potting mix to use when propagating Jade plants

If you are propagating Jade plants, the first thing that you need to do is to make sure that you use the right potting mix – a light, free draining potting mix will give the best chance of successful rooting.

I used a 2:1 multipurpose compost to perlite mix. The addition of perlite helps to ensure good drainage. If the mix holds too much water it can cause the leaves and stem cuttings to rot rather than grow!

You can get hold of both multi purpose compost and perlite on Amazon below:

My potting mix in a separate container, ready to be used

Propagating Jade plants from stem cuttings

When selecting a cutting the optimum length is around 10cm, and it is worth checking that the stem you are using looks healthy and disease free. To further minimise the risk of disease and infection it is important to use sterilised equipment when making a cutting or removing a leaf.

I removed the lower leaves of the stem so that about half of its total height was bare.

It is best to leave your freshly cut stems for a few days before planting so that they can callous over, I left mine for around 4 days. By doing this, you reduce the chance of disease and rot setting in.

Once the stem has calloused over, it is time to plant! The potting mix will need some moisture content in order for the stem to root so I soaked the potting mix and let it drain immediately prior to planting. I pushed the stem into the potting mix so that around half of it’s total height was submerged:

Newly planted stem cutting. Lower leaves removed.

I positioned my cuttings on a warm windowsill that got a good amount of natural light.

I watered approximately once a week, not letting it get waterlogged and allowing it to dry out between watering. Four months later and the original cutting pictured above had successfully rooted and now looked like this:

The same stem cutting four months later – now rooted and growing well

You may be wondering how deep the roots will have grown during a four month period? In the name of science I removed one of my other four month old rooted stem cuttings from the pot to find out:

An impressive root system of 8cm in length after only four months!

I am continuing to look after and nurture the cuttings and am hoping they successfully grow into fully grown plants.

Propagating Jade plants from leaves

If you only have a small plant to start with and you are finding it difficult to find a suitable stem for propagation, another option is to use a single leaf instead. The main disadvantage of using leaves over stems for propagation is that the whole growing process will take longer….

As I did with my stems, I checked to make sure that the leaves I used were healthy and disease free. I broke off the leaves at the base, as close to the stem as possible, and left them for a few days to give them a chance to callous over (reducing the chance of disease). The larger and plumper the leaves, the better, as they will contain more moisture so will be more capable of supporting new growth.

Broken off Jade leaves

I pushed each of the leaves lightly into the potting mix. Only the very tip of the leaves were in contact with the potting mix. Some leaves I did in separate containers and others I used the existing containers already containing some of my stem cuttings:

Lightly push the leaf into the potting mix

I placed the leaves on a warm, light window sill and watered in the exact same way as I watered the stems – initially soaking the potting mix before planting then watering around once a week. This seemed to work fairly well. I did have a couple of leaves that failed to root but my success rate was high. As you can see below, after six weeks, the leaf pictured above had rooted and new leaves had begun to sprout:

After six weeks wait

A different leaf, planted around four months ago, had multiple new leaves growing from the base:

After four months wait

As with the cuttings, I will continue to look after and nurture the leaves until they develop into full grown plants!

Should I use rooting compound?

I didn’t use any rooting compound at all when propagating my plants. However, using rooting compound will both promote root growth (helping to increase your chances of a leaf or stem rooting and developing strong roots) and also help the leaf or stem cutting that you are using to stay disease free. Rooting compounds are available in either powder, liquid or gel form, when I do use rooting compound I find the powder ones easier to work with.

Rooting compound is available on Amazon, simply click on the the link below. For best results, remember to always follow the directions supplied!

Results after four months – I got all of this from one plant!

Original plant is at the back!

From pruning my original Jade plant I now have six stem cuttings that have successfully taken root along with several leaves that have rooted and are growing well. I could have got more but had limited space available in which to put them all!

So if you want to increase the number of Jade plants you have it is relatively easy to do, you will just need some time and patience!

Can’t wait?

If you can’t wait and want a ready grown Jade plant now, why not check out the below available on Amazon?