Ask a Question forum: Why won't the jade leaves propagate?

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Canada
PleaseGrow
Jan 23, 2018 8:30 PM CST
I've attached pictures of some leaves I've had lying around for at least 2-4 weeks. I thought you could propagate the plant from them. No roots. Some keep turning dark and shriveling up from where the roots should come out. What am I doing wrong? I have some in soil and some just on the table and some on some moist paper towel. Why won't any of them grow?

(Not sure they're jade plants since the people I bought them from didn't have labels and didn't know. So if you can identify them as something else let me know.)
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Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Jan 23, 2018 10:12 PM CST
Well... thinking....

I'm not sure they are Jade plants either. But it doesn't really matter. What does matter is its the wrong time of year. Succulents root much easier in the spring. And, they don't look very healthy. The best candidates for rooting are leaves that are mature but not aged and bright green. Your leaves look old and have a yellow cast to them. Sighing! I don't see much hope.

But don't give up quite yet (never give up as long as you see green!). Dust them with some cinnamon (a natural fungicide) and lay them on some very porous soil (cactus potting mix with perlite mixed it). Make sure the leaf end is in good contact with the soil (without burying it). The soil should be damp but not wet. When the soil dries out, water but remember, leaves without roots can't really use the water so water SPARINGLY.

Keep us posted.
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Name: Bill
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BigBill
Jan 24, 2018 5:12 AM CST
I always had luck with them rooting in potting soil, kept slightly moist. I used mature, green leaves and they were never reluctant to root. But the are by no means quick about it either, maybe 6 weeks to 2 months.
Good luck.
Oh yeah, I rooted them in lower light, not in sun.
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purpleinopp
Jan 24, 2018 9:21 AM CST
Agree, not Crassula ovata. More like a Graptoveria, Echeveria, Sedeveria, something like that.

For any of these, the tip where the leaf was connected to the stem needs to be healthy for roots/baby plants to form. 2 weeks is a very short amount of time to give up, but agree, the ones turning dark and shriveled are not going to yield baby plants. Let the removed leaves lie next to the mama plant, or other spot with the same amount of light.

This discussion might be helpful, or at least interesting:
https://garden.org/thread/go/6...
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Name: Sue
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Zuni
Jan 25, 2018 12:52 AM CST
Not sure about this, but I have a vague memory of learning that you can cut the leaf and stick it in sand/soil and it will grow roots. So, perhaps you could cut off the brown part and stick the rest of it in moist sand, etc. I'm too lazy to look it up right now. But, my memory is based on learning how to propagate African violets at one point in my life. I don't think you need the entire leaf to get roots.

I think there needs to be moisture involved, though. I don't think a leaf just sitting in air will propagate - not your run of the mill plant, anyway.
[Last edited by Zuni - Jan 25, 2018 12:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Celia
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Zencat
Jan 25, 2018 6:35 AM CST
I think you need to let the end dry for a day or so then try rooting. That's to help prevent rot. If MY memory serves. Hilarious!
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BigBill
Jan 25, 2018 6:56 AM CST
The jade plant culture page I read said no reason to cut or treat with anything such as a rooting hormone. It just made mention of using prime leaves that have recently matured.

If PleaseGrow is using leaves that are older or yellowing as a sign of senility and getting ready to fall off of the plant, it sounds to me that those are not the leaves to use. I would imagine that leaves too young would also be more reluctant to root.
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jan 25, 2018 6:47 PM CST
You cannot cut the leaf and expect a new rosette to grow out. It has to be intact all the way to the base.

Any leaves with a brown or otherwise discolored base should be thrown out because they are not going to work for propagation, and they are a potential source of rot.

Leaf propagation is generally a very hit or miss project. Try at different times with different setups and you'll find out what works best for each plant. You do not want to bury the leaves. Place them on top of soil in bright but indirect light and then water that soil when it is going dry.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 25, 2018 6:48 PM (+)]
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Canada
PleaseGrow
Jan 25, 2018 7:48 PM CST
Thank you all for the replies!

I've dusted them with cinnamon. I sprayed the soil (store bought succulent soil) with water a few times so the surface was damp but not wet. Placed the leaves on top and pressed down a little (didn't bury). Threw out the ones that had blackened and those that were yellowed and see-through-ish.

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Canada
PleaseGrow
Jan 25, 2018 7:54 PM CST
Here's what the mother plant used to look like when I bought it. I had no idea what to look for in a healthy plant. Didn't even know what type it was. When I came home with it I realized that the leaves fell off extremely easily. A few months later the stems rotted away. It's gone now. The leaves are all I have left of it. Salvaged in that state of leaves often falling off.
Thumb of 2018-01-26/PleaseGrow/a31696

Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jan 25, 2018 7:56 PM CST
Good luck! Patience is probably what you need most right now. Smiling
Name: Bill
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BigBill
Jan 25, 2018 8:36 PM CST
I have a suggestion. Go out and buy a new one and suddenly say, "Wow, look at how that leaf has sprouted!" Now isn't that something!! Rolling on the floor laughing

The mistakes you may have made will help you to take care of jade #2.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 25, 2018 8:58 PM CST
Jade #1 wasn't. Smiling
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Faridat
Jan 25, 2018 9:37 PM CST
I tried propagating from leaves with no success some times and I am going to start again in the spring. Not only it is more difficult now, but silly me I did the mistake BigBill and Daisy mentioned, my leaves were not cut rightly, nor were they the right type of leaves. More than once I figured, hey, that leaf fell off, let's propagate it, lol. It doesn't work that way, I know now. They were all rotting after some weeks, no sign of roots or new babies there, the mother was sterile. Sticking tongue out Green Grin! Maybe try some cuttings, I had better luck with tops.
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[Last edited by Faridat - Jan 25, 2018 9:40 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jan 25, 2018 9:44 PM CST
DaisyI said:Jade #1 wasn't. Smiling


Yes, it was Graptopetalum or similar (same family just not a bush).

Faridat, yes, tops are always going to be easier than leaves. Faster for sure. And given the decapitation tends to induce branching, it can be a win-win maneuver.

Don't be discouraged by failure in leaf propagation. Like I said, it is very hit or miss. There are folks here who propagate from leaves for sport and there is much to learn from their random experiments. For example:

The thread "Propagating from leaves" in Cactus and Tender Succulents forum

In my experience you can grow a full-size rosette of the biggest plants like this in a year or two from a leaf. It depends on the plant, but that's your approximate time frame. The bigger the better as far as leaves go. Starting from a "top" (the rosette plus half an inch of stem, also the bigger the better) you can have a well rooted plant in weeks to months.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 25, 2018 9:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
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purpleinopp
Jan 26, 2018 3:19 PM CST
I would not "press" a leaf. I try to handle them as little as possible to snap them off of the stem & put them in a spot where I can observe & wait for the new baby plants to form. This will happen at the end that was attached to the stem, so burying the tip puts the tiny new leaves at a disadvantage, unable to get light under the soil, and does not replicate what would happen in nature where a passing life form might knock off leaves, causing them to land on the soil surface in relatively the same amount of light as they as when they were attached to the mama/original plant.

You could do it sooner but so much fun to watch the progress! When tiny leaves & roots start to form, it's ready to lay on the soil surface. The roots will find the soil.





👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Canada
PleaseGrow
Jan 28, 2018 4:05 PM CST
So was the mother plant a Graptopetalum? I need to know because one of the leaves I planted a while back sprouted.
Thumb of 2018-01-28/PleaseGrow/613989

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 28, 2018 9:40 PM CST
YEAH!!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

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