Jade Plant: A Generational Plant to Pass Down

The jade plant, or Crassula ovata, is a fascinating succulent with rich green, paddle-shaped leaves and woody stems. Once they start to fill out, they almost look like miniature trees! They’re pretty easy to care for, but the watering requirements are a little different than your typical succulent—they don’t like their soil to dry out and will need a top-up whenever the first few inches of soil dries out. However, what makes the jade plant remarkable is how easily you can make it reproduce by transplanting its cuttings. 
-transplanting rooted jade cutting oc succulents

Transplanting from Cuttings

Not all plants need to be grown from seed—transplanting cuttings is a fun way to multiply your plant collection without buying anything new! Plus, you can share your plants with family members, even passing them down through generations. Jade plants make fantastic legacy plants to pass down through the family—with the proper care, they can live up to 50–70 years! 

Transplanting jade cuttings can be done in two ways: with a single leaf or with a larger cutting with a long stem. Leaf cuttings take much longer to develop, and the success rate isn’t as high. On the other hand, stem cuttings grow stronger and faster but require you to cut out a bigger piece from the mother plant.

jade plant leaf propagation quote

How Do You Start a Jade Plant from a Leaf?

Because Crassulas are succulents, the leaves are plump and full of moisture so that they can tolerate periods of drought for longer. If you remove a leaf and pop it on a sunny windowsill, it will sprout tiny roots from its dry, cut end. If you don’t repot it, eventually, the leaf will start to shrivel up and lose its moisture, but if you transplant the rooted cutting and water it sufficiently, it will plump back up and continue to grow. 

Plant the rooted leaf in some succulent potting mix that’s loose and chunky, with excellent drainage. You’ll need to water more frequently for those early stages of growth, but be careful not to overwater, which encourages bacterial growth. Though jade plants may not enjoy when their soil completely dries out, they also really don’t like overwatering, so you need to be mindful of how much water you’re adding to the pot. If you’re not too confident in your watering skills, a pot with drainage holes can prevent complications from overwatering.

From Our Staff at OC Succulents:

“One of the oldest plants in my collection is a Jade plant that my friend Romteen gifted to me in the summer of 2016. The gift was a house warming. It was just after I had moved into my very first home which I rented with some of my college friends.

Our house had a small backyard area where I began my very first garden. Romteen knew I was developing my green thumb and gifted me a small Jade plant to add to my collection. The Jade plant has now quintupled in size and lives in her forever home in my parents backyard…


Mois jade plant progress OC Succulents

I’ve had the Jade plant for 5 years now and still keep in touch with the friend who gifted me the plant. I love how I am reminded of that friend every time I visit my parents and see the plant in their backyard.”

-Moi Villegas

Learn more about Moi here!


How to Transplant Jade Cuttings with Stems

Using sterile shears, cut a stem from your plant that’s at least a few inches long, right above a node. A node is a ridge in the stem where leaves stick out. You’ll want to leave at least one additional node on the stem above the node you cut. Remove any leaves close to the base, especially if they’re big—those large leaves will drain energy from the cutting when it should be focusing on growing big, strong roots. 

Leave your cutting on a windowsill—one that isn’t too intensely bright and sunny—and allow the cut end to callous. If you plant it immediately, it’s just going to rot. Once those roots start to appear after a few weeks, your cutting is ready for transplant! Pop it into a container full of succulent mix, water it well and keep an eye out for wrinkling leaves—that means it’s thirsty and needs more moisture!

Once you master the art of transplanting jade plant cuttings, you can continue a legacy that could last for generations. Who knows how many centuries it might span? To buy your own California jade plants, visit OC Succulents to see all our beautiful Crassula varieties, plus plenty of other spectacular succulents. 

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