- House Plants
Jade Plant Care and Propagation
The wonderful world of jade plants!
The jade plant is an interesting and rewarding house plant to grow but it requires particular care. A jade is one of the few house plants that seem to do better with less meddling from us. But like all houseplants the jade plant does require our help to grow indoors.
Excellent jade plant care is possible with the right knowledge and a jade is remarkably easy to propagate. That's why I began this collection of all the interesting and relevant information regarding jade plant care and how to make new jade plants I have stumbled across over time. I figured it was time to organized it and share it with other home gardeners.
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The Jade Plant (Crassula argentea)
Light requirements - Moderate to bright. Its recommended to provide the jade plant with direct sunlight, at least four hours daily. Keep the plant 2 - 3 inches away from window glass to avoid scorching it's leaves. The glass can act like a magnifier intensifying the sun's rays.
Moisture requirements (spring and summer) - Let dry. Water plant thoroughly but allow the soil to dry at least 2" deep between waterings.
Moisture requirements (winter and fall) - Very dry. Jade plants will enter a dormant growth cycle as the days grow shorter. Cut back watering to once or twice a month during the cooler months to help prevent rot and leaf drop.
Soil requirements - Sandy and quick draining. A soil that is quick draining works best for these plants. A commercial mix suitable for cacti and succulents is a good, but sometimes expensive, choice. I've read that cactus and succulent soil mix contains peat moss, sand, perlite, small amounts of lime and sometimes gypsum. A quick recipe is 1/3 peatmoss, 1/3 coarse sand and 1/3 perlite. Perlite is used to help prevent water loss and soil compaction.
Soil pH requirements - pH 6.1 to 6.5. Jade plants thrive with a pH balance of around 6.3. A great guide to understanding and changing soil pH can be found here Soil pH - Acid Soil or Alkaline Soil - What You Need to Know.
Fertilizer requirements - Every 2-3 months with mild succulent fertilizer. Fertilize with 10-20-10 or 5-10-5 ratio soluble plant food once every 2-3 months during the spring and summer months. Use only liquid fertilizer mixed weaker than the directions recommend. Do not fertilize from November through March, the plants dormant cycle.
Temperature requirements - 55° nighttime and 75-80° daytime. Jade plants seem to do well between 55° at night and 75-80° during the day. They can even hang in there when temperatures drop to 40° but it's not recommended to allow them to get so cool. They are from south Africa after all.
Repotting - Springtime, when necessary. It is recommended to repot in the springtime, when new growth appears. Remember that you control the size of the plant by the size of the pot so keep the pot small if you don't have a lot of space for your jade.
Country of origin - South Africa
Latin pronunciation - Krass-yew-luh ar-JEN-tee-uh
Life Span - Perennial
Are you a jade plant owner?
Jade Plant Propagation
Propagation of the jade plant is done mainly with cuttings, either leaf or stem cuttings will work. Although leaf cuttings are easier to work with they take much longer to become a "jade plant".
Remember to use sterile equipment and soil when propagating. It helps to prevent many common ailments such as fungus, mold and insects.
What You Will Need
- A sharp knife or scissors
- Rooting hormone (liquid or powder) or try this recipe for homemade organic rooting hormone
- A pot or container
- Suitable soil (a cactus or succulent soil works best)
- A parent plant (the plant you will take the cutting from)
- An area where you can work
- Some paper towels or something to help clean up and place cuttings on
How to Start Jade Plant Propagation
1. Place soil in the pot or container you will be using for your new jade plant and water thoroughly, let drain while you prep the rest of your items. (This step is not necessary if you plan on allowing the cuttings to callous. See #5 below.)
2. Select a branch you wish to use to start your new plant.
3. Using your sterile knife cut as close to a node as possible, nodes are the sections of stem that allow the growth of new leaves and stem. Make the cutting 3 to 4 inches long.
4. Trim the leaves from the bottom one inch of your cutting. This will be what gets anchored in the soil.
5. Place cutting off to the side to dry. Some experts recommend allowing the cutting to dry for 2 to 3 days, or until the cuts to the stem and leaves callous over.
6. At this point use some rooting hormone, either liquid or powder (you may need to moisten the stem to get the powder to stick) on the bottom 1 inch of the cutting.
7. Make a 1 inch deep hole in your pre-moistened soil with a pencil or chopstick.
8. Place the cutting in the hole trying not to rub off too much of the rooting hormone in the process.
9. Press the dirt around the cutting. If it doesn't stand on its own insert a straw or chopstick to support it.
10. Place a plastic sandwich bag over the top (2 straws work to keep the bag supported) to help prevent moisture loss through transpiration.
11. The cutting will not require much light at this stage, so keep it in a shaded area that is fairly warm.
12. Keep an eye on your cutting and remove the bag if condensation appears.
13. In 3 to 4 weeks roots should be forming and you can gradually move the cutting closer to a window. Don't place it right on the sill yet though. Gradually build its tolerance by moving it closer to full on sun week by week. Think of it as tanning your jade.
Making New Jade Plants
Have you ever grown a clipping from a jade plant?
Propagating Jade With Leaves
The leaves are even easier to grow, seems this hardy succulent has an unstoppable urge to live. Though I know a few people who've ended the reign of a jade plant who'd disagree.
Letting the leaf callous over, that means letting the cut you made to it dry, and placing it on moist soil seems to work just fine. Adding a drop or dusting of rooting hormone to the cut area after it drys greatly increases the odds of it rooting. Remember it takes quite some time to resemble a jade plant so be patient.
The Best Tips and Tricks for Growing Jade Plants Are Here!
- A jade tree's root growth seems to be stimulated by dry conditions. The roots will seek out moisture by growing off in all directions securing the plant firmly to the soil. This keeps the plant from becoming "top heavy" and falling over. Another good reason to let the soil dry between waterings.
- If you use a succulent or cactus potting soil for your jade (which you should!) a clay pot will work best. Instead of trapping moisture in the soil and around the roots like a plastic pot, clay or terracotta will aid in the evaporation of moisture helping to dry the soil.
- After owning a jade plant for sometime many owners can tell when the plant needs water just by the look of its leaves. If the leaves aren't their usual plump and happy selves it might be time for some water.
- The jade plant is a succulent which means it stores moisture in it's leaves and stems. This trait makes the jade plant very sensitive to water availability. Too much water is just as bad as too little for a jade plant.
- Jade is a slow growing plant, so exercise some patience and give it time to do its thing.
- A window that receives ample light and even 4 or more hours of direct light suits this plant best.
- Never let the leaves touch the window pane if its placed on a sill. It could cause the plant to be burned in the summer or receive some nasty frostbite in the winter.
- Some compensation while watering in the winter might be necessary. If your home gets particularly dry during cooler months your plants may need more than the recommend amount.
- Jade will bloom with the right care and right conditions. If I figure out how to make it happen I will let you know.
- Jade plants seem to prefer their air dry and don't respond well to water on any part of their leaves or stem, so take care watering them.
- Jade cuttings make great gifts. A nice terracotta pot and some soil will make your cuttings a nice addition to a friend or family members home.
- Jade plants are sometimes referred to as Jade Trees, Money Trees, and Dollar Plants.
- As jade plants lack eyecatching color, considering using brightly colored pots to bring attention to your jade.
How to Care for Jade Plants
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