Propagation 101

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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

    Like

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