Distinguishable by their pudgy, dark green leaves, jade plants are one of the most familiar of all house plants. Jade plants can grow up to 10 feet tall, and often live so long and are so prized that they are handed down from generation to generation. Although it can be tricky to determine exactly how much water a jade plant requires, they are a cinch to propagate by taking a stem cutting.
Use a clean, sharp knife and cut a 3 to 4-inch stem cutting from a jade plant. Make sure the stem is plump and healthy with no sign of insects or disease, and that it has been watered lightly the day before you take the cutting.
Set the jade plant cutting aside to dry in a warm place, and leave it until the cut end develops a callus. If you skip this step or plant the cutting before it's fully callused, there's a good chance the cutting will rot. To improve the chances even more, dip the cut end in powdered rooting hormone before you set it aside to dry.
Fill a pot with a commercial cactus and succulent potting mixture and plant the jade plant cutting about an inch deep in the potting mixture. Be sure no leaves are under the soil. Water the potting mixture sparingly, and set it a warm room, in dim light. The cutting should root in about a month.
Move the young jade plant into bright but indirect sunlight when it's taken root, but avoid hot afternoon sun and sunny windowsills. After a couple of weeks, begin moving the jade plant gradually into bright sunlight. Eventually, it should be in bright sunlight for at least four hours every day.
Water the jade plant cutting when the top of the soil dry to the touch, and not before. Always water the plant sparingly, because too much moisture will cause the plant to rot.
Fertilize the jade plant every three months, using a general purpose liquid fertilizer. Always follow the manufacturer's directions, and never fertilize dry soil, which can injure the plant's root system.