How to Grow a Jade Plant in 13 Easy Steps
Jade plants are also called money plants and belong to the succulents’ category. They are easy to grow and maintain, a reason for which they are common among many plant lovers. With a minimum maintenance, they can live for years. Today we are going to learn how to grow a jade plant from a small clipping and how to take care of it.
1. Choose the Right Cutting
The first thing you need to do is to take a large Jade plant, whether it’s yours or you know somebody else who owns one. Starting from a small stem belonging to a larger plant, you can grow various plants. Choose one of the parts of the plant that is thick and has healthy leaves. Make sure the clippers you use are sharp and clean. Leave several inches of space between the bottom and the leaves. In this way, you won’t need to remove any leaves when you will want to plant it.
2. Let the Stem Dry
Allow a few days for the cutting to dry out. During this time, the plant will also scab over, so keep in mind it’s a natural process. This helps the plant remain healthy while it grows roots. As you can see, it’s easy to learn how to root a Jade plant. Keep the cutting in a dry place until it looks slightly dry. The area of the cut on the stem should be scabbed over. Remember that the larger your cutting, the more time you will need to allow. Moreover, if you choose to do it in winter, it might take longer than in the summer.
3. Use a Rooting Hormone
Part of knowing how to root a jade plant is to apply the rooting hormone. Also known under the name of a rooting tonic, it is, in fact, a mix of various plant hormones that help the cuttings grow. It is not compulsory, but it is recommendable if you want the plant to grow quickly. Alternatively, you can make your own homemade hormone, but there are also plenty of commercial ones available.
If you go for a commercial one, the best part is that you just need to follow the instructions they give you. In general, you need to apply the rooting hormone to the stem before planting it into the soil. The last thing you want is to contaminate the bottle with the substance. For this, pour a little into a container. The hormone in the vessel should be used for propagation work. Discard anything that is leftover. This helps you make sure the rest of the hormone remains fresh.
4. Choose the Right Soil
The Jade plant does not require regular potting soil since it’s too heavy for the rooting process. Instead of this, buy special soil for succulents. One alternative when researching how to grow a Jade plant is to make your own type of soil. Add some sand for a good drainage since this is essential. If you’re not sure about the type of soil, you can always use a soil tester.
If you choose to mix your own soil, put together sand, compost tea, and perlite. Luckily, you can find these ingredients in a nursery. For a better drainage, choose a clay pot and not a plastic one. Make a drainage hole to the bottom of the pot to let the water out. In case you place a saucer under the pot, avoid having any excess water. These plants don’t need lots of space, so you can go for a small clipping in a small pot.
Planting the Jade Plant
5. Plant the Clipping
With a pencil or a finger, make a hole in the soil the size of the stem. Put it into the hole and cover the rooting hormone, in case you used it. If you didn’t use any, place the stem deep enough for it to stand up alone. Next, pack the soil loosely around it. Don’t do it too tightly, otherwise, you will impede drainage. However, it must be tight enough for the stem to be secure in the pot.
If you don’t want to plant the cutting straight like this, you can root it in water. Simply put the cutting in a jar and leave the tip of the stem above the surface of the water. Soon, the cutting will start rooting and then you can plant the Jade plant.
6. Put It in a Sunny Spot
When considering how to grow a jade plant, think about placing it in a sunny spot. However, don’t place it somewhere where it gets direct sunlight. This will make the leaves burn. After 3-4 weeks, there will be new growth at the top. If this happens, it means that your plant rooted. Don’t water the plant while it’s rooting since you will increase the risk of rotting.
After rooting, you can move the plant to a larger pot. If you don’t see the plant rooting, you can wait a little bit more. In general, succulents root easily, so leave it enough time. If the roots are growing, remove the cutting from the pot. However, it’s not recommended to do it often since it slows down the process.
Caring for the Jade Plant
7. Let the Plant Dry
Yet another thing to keep in mind when learning how to grow a jade plant is to let it dry out before watering it. Remember that they are succulents, so they need little water. Simply touch the soil. If you feel it moist, it means it doesn’t require any more water. Meanwhile, if you see that the leaves are wilted, this means that the plant doesn’t get enough water.
During winter, most likely the plant will need less watering than usual. Make sure you always check the soil. Some experts in how to grow a jade plant claim that it’s better to soak the entire pot in water. This lets the plant soak the water from its bottom. Alternatively, you can just water the plant by pouring over it. What’s important is to let excess water drain from the pot. Never let the jade plant sit in water and don’t wet the leaves.
8. Move It in the Sun
Part of knowing how to grow a jade plant is to find the right location. Too much sunlight will burn the leaves, but too little will not help it grow. Choose a place with 3-5 hours of sunlight each day. It’s important to move it in stages, not all at once.
9. Keep the Jade Plant Neat
If there are leaves that have fallen into the pot, make sure you get them out. Prune the plant to make it stay healthy. However, don’t mess with the main stem or you might just kill the plant.
10. Ensure the Right Temperature
The best part about researching how to grow a jade plant is that they are hardy. The place where you keep it should just be at room temperature for them to thrive. In winter, ensure an average temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).
Maintaining the Jade Plant
11. Change the Soil
Every 2-4 years, the jade plant requires you to change the soil. This is a great chance for you to have a look at the roots and see if there is any damage or rotting. Bringing some fresh dry soil can help it thrive as well. Jade plants can be kept in the same pot for many years if you don’t overwater it, but if you see it’s not doing okay anymore, you can replant it. This will make it spring back.
12. Wipe the Leaves
If you notice the plant is dusty, take a soft cloth and remove the dust. On rainy days, you can take the plant outside since the rain will wash it off. Remember to let the leaves dry out.
Pests and Possible Diseases
13. Bug Infestations
This is not such a usual problem, but you can have bugs on your Jade plants. If you see that there are some small mealybugs on the plant, take some rubbing alcohol and, with a cotton swab, wipe down the leaves gently. If you want to know how to grow a jade plant correctly, it’s important to know how to look for bugs. Check if there are some small white deposits that look fluffy on the leaves. This is a clear sign that you have bugs on your plant.
Alternatively, you can get a magnifying glass and see if there are red spiders. These are too small to be noticed with the naked eye. In general, it is best to avoid using insecticidal soap on the plant. This can turn out to be dangerous for the leaves.
Being a succulent, learning how to grow a jade plant is an easy job even for a beginner in gardening. The most important thing is to make sure the plant isn’t placed in direct sunlight, since this may burn it out. Though they can adapt to almost any temperature, it’s essential to offer them a good drainage and the right type of soil. Keep these in mind and you will surely have a beautiful jade plant of your own.
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