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How to Start Jade Plants From Cuttings

succulent plant image by Alison Bowden from

Jade plants are succulents, which means they retain water in their fleshy leaves and stems to get them through long dry spells. They go through periods of dormancy when they stay green but don't grow or produce new leaves. Jade plants don't need water at these times. While they are actively growing, watering once a week is plenty. Some jade plants have broad leaves 2 inches or more in diameter. Others have leaves that are 1/4 inch long and pointed.

Cut the jade plant about 4 inches from the growing tip right below a pair of leaves. Wipe the knife with alcohol between cuts.

Remove the leaves from the lower 2 inches of the stem by snapping them off or cutting them off. Most jade leaves are easy to remove with your fingers.

Place the cuttings on an absorbent surface like a wooden board. The board absorbs any fluid dripping from the cut ends and where the leaves were. Place the board in a warm, dry location until the cuts callus over. This may take two or three hours in an arid climate or two or three days in a humid climate. The callus should look and feel completely dry.

Fill pots with cactus potting soil. Do not water. Tamp the soil down.

Hold the cutting in your dominant hand and the pencil in your non-dominant hand. Poke the pencil in the soil to a depth of 2 inches. Slide the cutting into the hole while you're sliding the pencil out. Tamp the soil around the cutting to make sure it makes contact.

Place the pot in dappled shade or inside under indirect bright light. In two weeks the callus should be growing roots. Tug on the cutting very gently. If there is resistance the cutting has rooted.

Water the cutting only if it is rooted. Fill the pot with water to thoroughly saturate the soil. Do not water again until the soil has completely dried out.


Grow more than one cutting to a pot. Transplant when they've rooted and grown a bit.


Rot is the enemy of rooting succulents. If the cutting is placed in damp soil it has a tendency to rot. If it is watered before it's rooted it may rot.

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