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Potting Jade Cuttings

This summer I had the opportunity to visit California for a few days. The last time I was there I was a pre-teen who didn’t care about plants. Returning as a gardening addict, sometimes adult, I was completely floored by a lot of things about California, most of them plant related. In particular I couldn't believe the succulents growing in my aunt’s garden. I’m accustomed to seeing Jade plants of various sizes, but I’ve never seen them in person growing as shrubs before. Knowing succulent plants were easy to propagate from cuttings, I brought back a few cuttings with me from one of the shrubs. Unfortunately, I forgot about them once I arrived back home until just the other day when I found the Jade cuttings in a bag.

Propagating and planting Jade plant cuttings

When you’re propagating succulents you have to make sure you allow the cut end to dry for a few days and callous over before potting them up. If you don’t let the cuts dry you may end up with rotted stems or leaves. No problems here as these cuttings were from August and it is now December.

Roots growing on a Jade plant branch

With little to no help from propagators succulent plants will sent out new roots in search of soil and moisture. Here you see the roots growing on a piece of one of the cuttings. The root development is pretty good; too bad they’re forming on a branch and not at the base of the stem.

Jade stem cutting growing roots

Although one of the cuttings has about three roots emerging from the cut end that I wanted them to root from. The roots are tiny and I had to make sure I didn’t damage them in the potting process of potting them up.

Jade Plant Soil. 

The soil you use to pot your cuttings is very important. Houseplant potting mixes and even commercial cacti and succulent potting soil mixes contain too much organic matter. Succulents need a coarse, fast draining soil. If you are using a bagged soil available commercial you want to cut it with coarse sand or a bonsai soil mix.

Jade Plant Pot.

The stems, or trunks, are pretty thick, tall and top heavy. I chose small terracotta pots a couple of inches wider than the stems are thick. Terracotta because it absorbs excess water and breathes and is heavier than plastic. Plastic pots work fine for succulents, but they’re too light for heavy plants and cuttings like these Jades. Anything larger is just a waste of space and potting soil at this point. Until the Jade plants start growing roots they will not be taking advantage of the moisture in the soil. 

Potting the Cutting.

Potting Jade plant cuttings

To pot the Jade cuttings up all you have to do is set them in the soil, provide warmth, sunlight and water. Keep the cuttings out of direct sunlight until they are actively growing roots. You’ll see the stems and leaves start to plump when this happens. The cuttings have to be set in a spot where they will not be bothered by people touching or knocking them over. If you move a cutting around while it is developing roots you’re liable to break the roots you’re trying to grow.

Have you ever noticed how newly planted trees are tied to stakes around them? This is done for stability, allowing the tree to form roots that will anchor it into the soil. The same thing applies here. You can stabilize your cutting using some chopsticks and string. I like to use rubber bands to hold them in place like so to keep them from falling over.

Stabilize Jade plant cutting while rooting

Once you've placed your cutting in a good location and anchored it give it a good drink of water. I’ll water my Jade cuttings about once a week, keeping the soil lightly moist without it getting soggy.

Here are the three Jades plant cuttings all potted up.

Jade plant propagation

Notice how the leaves of these cuttings all are pointing in one direction? That's because they were laying flat inside a bag and were reaching up towards the light. I'll have to place them with the bare side facing the window to get them to straighten out.

The best time to propagate Jade plants in the spring when they are actively growing. Had I just taken a minute to insert my cuttings in soil when I came home in August I would have a trio of little trees to show you. Since they bloom around this time of year in my area I might have had some nice blooms to share.

Jades grow like weeds with minimal care and root very easily. You can even propagate a Jade tree from a single leaf  like with Echeverias.  The biggest obstacle you’ll encounter growing Jades is giving it more water than it needs and not enough light. Shriveled leaves and stems are signs of a plant that needs a drink of water. Mushy leaves and stems on a Jade mean the plant is rotting. Jades that don’t get enough sun often have a sickly color to the leaves, along with spindly stems and wide leaves. A Jade getting enough sun should have shiny green leaves that are small to medium sized depending on the variety.


  1. Wow, the cuttings are looking fabulous for having been in a bag for 4 months!! {Don't say it, don't say it, don't say it... Nuts, I have to say it.} I'm just not wild about jade plants. Whew, that feels better. ~Your fellow sometimes adult

    1. Anonymous8:46 PM

      They grow extremely well in AUS very fast always cutting mine back but now I am going to try and propagate them thanks so much

    2. Anonymous7:21 AM

      Lol!! I used to not like them either but now I do. I recently purchased a small jade plant from Amazon. It came in good condition and last
      week I took some leaves off to probagate. I'm hoping they do. :)

  2. Hi Mr. BT!'ve seen Mario around this season, eh??? Me too! My grandson plays all those games! Hehehe.

    You know, I don't think I've ever had a true Jade Plant...and they can be so lovely when thick and full. Good luck with your cutings...can't wait till a few years from now when you repost how they are doing!!!

  3. Hi Mr. BTh! I'm going to tell you what I think is very sad news. I've had a beautiful jade plant for quite a number of years. It was getting to be a good size! Anyway, I set it outdoors in the shade all summer and it seemed to love it. However, about 2 weeks after bringing it indoors, it got a funny whitish stuff all over the leaves. I got depressed and threw it away. I can really start over, but it was a sad day...

    1. Anonymous7:10 PM

      Those are mealy bugs that the succulent plants sometimes get.

  4. I love jade, it's one of my favorite succulents! I can't believe those cuttings survived in your bag for so many months. Just amazing!

  5. You need to visit South Florida, too!

  6. Those are some great tips! I'm trying to pay more attention this winter to ways to grow indoor plants. As much as my outside garden thrives, I have a terrible time keeping inside plants alive. Jade sounds like it may be the one for me. Plus I love anything that propagated from a leaf!

  7. @Monica, I don't know if we can be friends after that revelation.

    @Julie, Yes, my nephew is a big fan so it has been a Mario kind of fall/winter with BDay cakes, pumpkins and the sort. Thanks for the well wishes.

    @Shady Gardener, I can image how sad that was! Although, I've been there before with plants that annoyed me.

    @meemnyc, I'm amazed at their desire to live too. There's a message in these Jade plant cuttings for us.

    @Terra, I know. I can just image what they must grow like down there. To say nothing of some of my other favorite plants.

    @Laura, Good luck trying to grow your indoor garden. Houseplants are a great way to extend your season and since they're fairly inexpensive it, doesn't take a lot of money to do it.

  8. Great info - I've been lucky enough to tour a local nursery called Western Independent Greenhouses (WIG) that specialize in growing succulents. You should see their propagation operation - amazing.

    Would love to see a photo of those jade hedges - did you snap any?

  9. So, no feeding required or recommended? Those cuttings are amazing. What a will to live!

  10. LOL! Yeah, I'm more or less a houseplant hata, what can I say!

  11. @Stevie, I can imagine. One of the big box suppliers of succulents here is actually a Canadian company. I don't think I took a pic of the hedges, but I'll check my archive.

    @Walk2Write, None while it is putting on roots. Once they start to grow I'll revisit them and talk about that.

    @Monica, GRRRRR!

  12. Thanks for the reminder. I have a bag of sedum and jade cuttings sitting on my table. I think they've been in there for about a month or so. Succulents are my kind of plant.

  13. Hi BT, I have 3 jade plants. 2 of them are indoor and one is outside in a pot. One of the 2 that is indoor had rotted (I think from over water, I watered it every day before knowing better). The second one is thriving on and off. I also found bugs on it, cleaned it and so far it's bug free. Some of the leave are long and flat and soft while some are small and firm as it should be but has brown lines all over it also growth seems unusually slow. What am I doing wrong?

    The one outside is thriving beautifully but I live in Canada (Toronto) and it will be cold soon. When should I bring it in the house and what precautions should I take so I don't kill it?

    Sorry for the long post.

  14. I am totally interested in Jade Plants now. It's hard to believe that they survived that long without water. I'm going to the plant store this weekend and buying myself a jade plant! Thanks for posting this information.

  15. I'm going out this weekend to my garden store and buying a Jade Plant. After reading your article I'm very excited to get my own plant. I can not believe that your cuttings survived as long as they did without water. Now that's a plant with will power! Thanks for the great article.

  16. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Hi!! I have no luck at all with succulents!! I'LL give it a try again, I wont give up!! I love my Plants!! Thanks for your Help with this matter, Barb P

  17. Anonymous12:11 PM

    If the leaves begin to go red or magenta then your jade plant is getting too much sun. i repotted a plant last year and watered it too much, the leaves started dropping off, so i put it somewhere warm to dry out and the remaining leaves went red. then i moved it to a shadier spot and now its doing well, so this Spring i've taken a load of cuttings.
    Jade plants seem to like being in small pots, so don't be tempted to move it into something bigger as long as its not going to fall over through being too top-heavy.

  18. Anonymous12:00 AM

    hi, i found your post and have cuttings that are similar to yours - was this propagation successful? did they root from the thick stem or did you have a lot of die back? i would really love to know, because i would rather just cut them back to their small fleshy stems if they will be better off then me trying to root them from their thick main stem. also, i am using 1/3 mix of sand, vermiculite and perlite - i guess i should add organic material? please email me i would really love to know your results. to avoid spam mail i am typing my email with spaces starting now: a m sauceda

    looking forward to hearing from you

  19. My jade plant needs some care its growing but I feel it need to do something to assist it in thriving. Can I post a pic of it?

  20. Anonymous10:16 AM

    I love my jade plant, but it's getting so tall and isn't sending out branches from the bottom. How can I get it to do this and get a meatier trunk? I just pinched off several leaves, to propagate, letting them callus over for about 5 days, then planted them as you instructed above... can't wait for signs of rooting! One more thing; how do I cut off an arm? Do I use a knife or what? Thanks so much! I love this blog!

  21. Anonymous11:44 PM

    I love my jade plant, too! It his huge. I have so much it literally stems across over 100 feet, :-). The pieces are very bonsai esque. I am at the point where I am selling it. I love it, but I have so much! I inherited them an approximately 70 year old plant from my grandparents. If anyone wants to buy pieces you can contact me on Etsy under gorgeoussucculents and I have a lot more pieces that what I show for sale. If anyone wants cuttings or rooted pieces from very a mature very rooted and jade succulent, let me know, :-)!

  22. Hi, I have acquired a nice big cutting with a thick stem (about 1" or more in diameter) that was sitting in a vase with about 6" of water for a long time. Now the bottom is covered with black roots that might be dead (can't tell), and the leaves look a bit soft and dry for my taste (something like your photos). Should I now put it in soil? Or keep it in water for a while? It's a nice specimen and I want to do the right thing with it.

  23. Jade plants are amazing. My big plant which I have had for eleven years had to be somehow reduced, because it wasn't looking good. It also had roots on the branches but one thing you can do with that is plant the cutting horizontally so that the roots develop from the original stems and new branches will grow vertically and you'll end up with a cute bonsai-like jade "forest" connected at the "roots". It can look very nice once it's a bit grown up.



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