Beginners Guide to Jade Plant Propagation in Water

Jade Plants (crassula ovata) are renowned for their ease of care and low maintenance. But did you know that also translates to propagation too? This guide will show you the steps involved in Jade Plant propagation in water.

Jade Plant Propagation in Water

Plant propagation is one of the most rewarding experiences of the gardening journey. There is something special about cultivating your own plants from your existing stock.

Maybe, it is the realization that if you can successfully propagate new plants, it is confirmation that you finally understand your plants’ needs.

credit: giphy

Don’t worry if you are new (or have had a few failed attempts) at propagation. We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide that will step you through propagating a Jade in water.

So grab a coffee and settle in because we are about to create some new life!

Steps to Propagate Jade Plants in Water

Believe it or not, there are two different ways to propagate Jade Plants in water; using the stem or from a single leaf.

For Jade leaves, we prefer to use soil propagation techniques. Because cultivating leaf cuttings is slightly fiddley and more challenging to prop up, unlike stems. In our opinion, leaves are easier to propagate using soil, like we successfully did in our other Jade leaf propagation project.

If you want to propagate Jade Leaves, jump over to our other guide for propagating Jade Leaves.

On the other hand, jade stems are perfectly suitable to root using water propagation techniques. And we will describe the process below.

Step 1 – Choose a Healthy Cutting

For us, this is the most crucial step to starting a successful propagation project.

Choosing the right stem to propagate will put the odds of a favorable outcome in your corner.

Here are the qualities that we look for in a stem to propagate in water:

  • healthy stem with vibrant foliage
  • no signs of disease or pests

Once you have identified the stem, locate a stem ring close to the cutting site. The mother Jade Plant will naturally kill any part of the stem that is above the stem ring. And by cutting as close as you can to the ring, you can ensure minimal die-back.

Here is an image of a Jade Plant stem ring.

identifying stem ring on jade plant

Using a sterilized sharp knife, measure a stem length of approximately 2-4 inches (2.5-5 cm) and make a clean cut just above the stem ring. Set your stem cutting to the side.

The good news is new leaves will form at the end of the cut stem on the mother plant, forming a nice full branch. Here is a picture of our mother Jade tree growing more foliage after we took a stem cutting.

New growth of Jade Plant from Stub

Step 2 – Air Dry Your Cutting

Clean up your cutting to prepare and help the stem get into the rooting mode.

Cut and clear all but a few healthy leaves from the cutting. Removing the leaves helps the cutting focus on developing roots rather than supplying excess leaves with nutrients.

Leaving a few leaves will help the cutting produce some energy via photosynthesis.

Leave your cutting out in a well-ventilated area for 5-7 days. It helps to place the cutting where it will not be knocked onto the ground and damaged.

Allowing your cutting to air dry will help the wounds to form a callous. Callous help to prevent rot from setting in while the cutting is sitting in water.

Step 3 – Begin Water Propagation

Using an organic material, prepare a soilless growing mixture.

This includes peat or sphagnum moss, coco coir, wood chips, etc. The material needs to absorb and retain a good amount of water.

We can hear you saying – HOLD ON! Aren’t we just using water?

Rot development is one of the most significant risks in the water propagation process.

We find using a soilless growing mixture helps to minimize the risks since the stem still receives oxygen and doesn’t quickly form a slime that attracts bacteria and other diseases.

Dampen your organic material and place it into a glass jar or container.

To be honest, it can be any container. But we enjoy watching for the root development (it’s all part of the fun), and glass containers provide the best perspective for this.

Sink the end of the Jade stem cutting into the soilless material approximately 1 inch deep. If the stem doesn’t stand independently, you can play around with the depth until it is propped up.


If you want to increase the chances of a successful outcome, dip the end of your Jade stems into rooting hormone.

After Care for Jade Plant Propagation in Water

Position your Jade plant cuttings in a brightly lit position in indirect light, out of direct sunlight.

The stem will already be in a stressed condition. Direct sunlight may tip it over the edge and cause it to go into shock.

Step 4 – Wait for the Magic

Now it is time to wait for the magic to happen.

Your Jade stem cutting can take a couple of weeks to form roots.

Be sure to keep the soilless organic materials damp but not over-saturated. Until your Jade stem cutting develops roots, it will not be able to absorb moisture. It may even begin to wither and develop wrinkles as it uses the nutrients to establish roots.

But don’t worry – don’t lose any sleep over the state of your Jade cutting. As soon as roots develop, they will regain their former condition.

It is possible to root your stem cutting once the roots have developed. However, we prefer to wait until the stem grows new leaves. This shows the stem has properly rooted and matured enough to be transferred and survive in a soil medium.