How to Propagate a Jade Plant in Water


If you have a jade plant that you are keen to propagate, you can use soil or water as a substrate to get your new cuttings started. Today, we are going to cover how to propagate a jade plant in water.

Step One: Take a Cutting

Start by sterilizing a pair of sharp scissors or some secateurs. You should not cut a plant with tools that haven’t been sterilized, or you might introduce bacteria to the plant and the cutting.

Next, take your jade plant and identify a healthy stem. Cuttings will grow from as little as one leaf, but a large stem tends to achieve greater success rates, so it’s best to choose a nice, healthy part of the plant. It must have at least two nodes, preferably more, and a few good, healthy leaves.

Once you have identified the stem you want to try and propagate, cleanly cut it below the nodes, and then remove all but the top few leaves.

Step Two: Allow the Cutting to Dry

Place the cutting in indirect light and leave it for a few days. It needs to callus over where you have cut it, or it will soak up too much water when you transfer it to a glass, and will rot instead of growing.

Around three days is usually enough, but larger cuttings need longer to cure than small ones.

Step Three: Place in Water

Next, prepare a glass with water. It is best to leave this for twenty-four hours so that the chlorine can evaporate from it before you put the plant in. You don’t have to use a glass container, but this will let you watch as the roots start to form.

Once the water has rested, place your cutting in it. Make sure that no leaves are below the level of the water or they may rot. The glass should then be placed somewhere with bright but indirect sunlight, so that the plant can start developing new roots. Do not put it in direct sun, or it will burn.

Step Four: Wait for Root Growth

All that is left to do is to wait for roots to start forming. You do need to change the water every few days to stop bacteria or algae from forming beneath the surface and making your plant rot.

It is again a good idea to allow the water to sit out for twenty-four hours before you transfer your cutting to it, allowing the chlorine to evaporate.

Wait until roots start to appear, and then allow them to get strong enough before you try to transplant the jade cutting into soil.

Step Five: Transplant the Cutting

The last step in how to propagate jade plant in water is to take the plant out of the water and put it in a container.

Once the roots are a few inches long, the jade cutting is ready to be transferred to soil. Jade plants like loose, well-draining soil, so prepare a container with plenty of gravel for drainage at the base. They should also be given a potting mix that is suitable for succulents so that they don’t end up waterlogged.

Once you have got your jade plant’s container ready, simply transplant the cutting into it. You can add a little water, but don’t drown the plant.

On the whole, these plants also prefer shallow containers so that they don’t end up with soggy roots.

The plant should then be placed in a reasonably bright spot, without too much direct light. It should continue to grow happily, provided you meet its needs and do not over-water it.

You can leave your jade cutting in water if you prefer; this plant does not have to be grown in soil.

Once the roots start to get established, simply transfer it into a pretty vase or container to enjoy it as a water-based jade plant. Remember, you will need to refresh the water regularly to oxygenate the roots and prevent bacterial growth.

Can You Propagate a Jade Plant From a Leaf?

If you don’t have access to a whole stem from a jade plant, you might be wondering whether you can still grow a new plant. The answer is that yes, a jade plant will grow from just a leaf, but it will have lower chances of success, and it will take a long time for you to get a plant.

You must make sure that you have got the whole leaf, and not just the top of the leaf. If the leaf breaks without the base where it attaches to the main plant, it will not grow, because it needs this node in order to sprout.

It is tricky to do the water method with just a leaf cutting, because you need to make sure that the leaf cutting is not submerged in the water.

It can be done, however. Cut a piece of mesh to support the leaf, or use toothpicks to hold it up. You want the very end of the leaf to be touching the water, but the rest should not be submerged.

Hopefully, you will see roots sprouting from the growth node at the bottom of the leaf.

However, if the leaf does not root and instead starts rotting, you will need to try again. On the whole, it is better to take stem cuttings if you want to propagate your plant using water.

Do I Need to Use Rooting Hormone?

No, you do not need to use rooting hormone if you are propagating a jade plant in water. Rooting hormone is designed to work well in soil, but in water, it will simply wash off the end of the plant and leave the water murky.

Final thoughts

So, now you know how to propagate a jade plant in water. You can also propagate jade plants in soil if you prefer, which is easier if you wish to propagate leaf cuttings. The advantage of using water is that you can see the roots developing.

Find out more about jade plant care here.

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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