The Q&A Archives: Making more jade plants

Question: I have a big jade plant and would love to propagate some babies from it for gifts. What's the easiest way? Noble Skoag Bothell, WA

Answer: Jades are one of the easiest plants to propagate. I've even seen leaves fall on the ground and root themselves, says Michael Kartuz, owner of Kartuz Greenhouses, growers of hundreds of varieties of flowering houseplants in Vista, California. The fastest way to root a jade plant is to use the tip of a branch. The cutting should include two or three pairs of leaves. Make a clean cut with a knife just above the last pair of leaves you want to remain on the mother plant. Stick the stem of the cutting in a small container of moistened perlite, up to the base of the first pair of leaves. Place the pot with the cutting in bright, but not direct light. Don't cover jade cuttings with plastic, says Kartuz. The biggest problem jade plants have is rotting from too much moisture, he explains. Be patient, as the cuttings may take more than a month to root, especially in fall and winter. The second method takes longer, but you'll be able to produce more plants. Take a single jade leaf, place the cut end in perlite or coarse sand deep enough so it stands upright and keep the pot barely moist. The roots will form quickly, but it may take several months to get a new plant from the bud on the leaf, says Kartuz.

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