Propagation 101

The tea cup, tea tin, 2 glass jars, and the blue pot are ALL jade.

Look at all those plants!  I was pleased (but not surprised) to return from spring break and find them flourishing.  Housemate E watered them once, and that’s all it took.  These lil dudes are low-maintenance and I love them.  I’ll be a bit heartbroken if I have to leave them behind in the post-grad move.

All the jade plants in the first picture were originally ONE jade plant, given to me by a teacher whose class I was observing.  I made them into many jade plants through the magic of *propagation.*

As you can see, many of my plants getting p tall; it’s going to be time to cut+propagate again soon.  Lucky for me (and you!), this is the perfect time for propagation; the start of spring means plants that lay dormant all winter are ready to start growing again.

The easiest way to propagate is to break your plant at a joint like the one circled in the pic below.  (According to bio friend S, this site is actually called a node).  Just pinch it between your fingers and snap it off.

 Nodes like this one will produce either roots or leaves or roots, depending if they are exposed to air or buried in soil. #RAD

Take the piece you broke off (we’ll call this the cutting), and bury the end in some soil.  It will help if you mix a bit of sand into your potting mix, but this isn’t essential.  The loose, sandy soil will just make it easier for lil’ baby roots to push down + spread out.  Because succulents have v shallow root systems, you can use any container you please for a pot.  I like to repurpose tea tins and thrifted tea cups, but Housemate J once grew jade in a carefully saved eggshell.

Your new cutting will continue to grow as an independent plant, and soon you’ll see new growth where you broke it from the original.

New growth!  Cute as a button.

You can also propagate new succulents by breaking a leaf from a mature plant.  Place the leaf on top of soil, keep the soil moist, and watch in wonder as a new plant sprouts.  This takes some time (weeks to months), but be patient!  Eventually the original leaf will shrivel up and fall off, leaving behind a newly independent succulent.

Jade plants propagated from mature leaves.

The new plant babies are v easy to care for.  I water mine as a Sunday ritual, then leave them alone for the rest of the week.  They do fine in sun and shade, though I move them off the window sill in the winter.  They don’t love the cold, and I don’t blame them!



2 thoughts on “Propagation 101

  1. Ok whoa, I didn’t realize how easy this sort of thing was. What an awesome way to start growing living things without the pressure of a high-maintenance plant! Alsooooo will you propagate me my own lil plant baby sometime? :3


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