Houseplants forum: Jade Plant Propagation - Large Cutting

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Jan 18, 2017 11:20 PM CST
Hi Everyone,

I have a gigantic jade plant where I work, and it has about 4 large stems growing out from a main trunk. I need to cut off one of these stems, and although I'm sure the plant is large enough that it won't affect it (done this many times before, anyhow...), I'm wondering if the cutting could actually be propagated at its current size?

The "stem" I'm cutting off is about 2 feet tall and the diameter of the main branch is at least 2 inches wide.

I've propagated many, many plants from this one over the years; but cuttings have all been the usual suggested 5 inches or so in length, smaller stems, relatively new growth.

Would a large branch of this size actually survive if I were to follow the usual directions in propagating smaller stems, or is it too big do you think? It would be awesome to create another big tree instead of having to resort to 5-10 smaller ones.

Thank you for any & all help, and my apologies if I'm not using the terminology correctly. :)

[Last edited by Orion5 - Jan 18, 2017 11:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Gene Staver
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Jan 19, 2017 12:22 AM CST
You can propagate a Jade tree from a single leaf or a stem cutting of any size. Let it dry out before you plant the cutting. Yes, larger stems are a little more iffy but it is up to you. Gene
Name: Sally
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Jan 19, 2017 7:08 AM CST
If you go ahead, we'd love to know whether it works.
Maybe look at that branch and see if there are 'medium' size pieces you could take off and try separately, as well.
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Name: Baja
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Jan 19, 2017 1:03 PM CST
You can root a piece that size no problem. It will suffer stability problems in the interim, and you will have to stake it or otherwise secure it carefully so it doesn't fall over. When I did a similar thing I actually hung the cutting (3 feet tall) upside down by a fat rope around its trunk for a couple of weeks so that the cut surface could dry and heal properly without the rest of the plant being crushed under its own weight. It worked out very well in the end.

In my mind a medium sized cutting and large sized cutting are different mostly in time... that is to say, the medium sized plant will become a large sized one on its own if allowed to prosper. Given the space limitations I face on my patio growing area, I will often choose the former over the latter, knowing this outcome. But a lot of the impressive jade bonsais you see in tiny pots were grown to that size in the ground or a big pot, then cut down and re-rooted for display. So there's plenty of room to play.

Provide plenty of healing time for a cutting with a big cross sectional area (fat stem). The bigger the exposed area, the longer it will take the plant to heal. It's good to dry the cutting out in a protected area with good air flow, but if you want to jump the gun you can pot it up after a few days into its new home. Just be sure to wait a good while (2 weeks?) until you water well for the first time, and allow the soil to mostly dry out between watering after that.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 19, 2017 1:10 PM (+)]
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Jan 19, 2017 8:19 PM CST
Thank you so much for your responses everyone! I took the cutting today, about 1.5 feet tall, and did my usual routine when propagating jade cuttings (more or less outlined by Baja_Costero. Thanks buddy!) I will be sure to let everyone know how it goes.

I always dust the edge of the severed stem with StimRoot #1 when I take a cutting. A long time ago a very experienced Master Gardener told me this is a good thing to do when allowing the cutting to callous over, saying that it helps keep fungus from entering the stem as it dries. Apparently there is an anti-fungal agent in it? Not sure. But it works so I'm going to keep the routine. Smiling Anyone else hear of this?

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