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Jade Plant Leaf Propagation: 1 Lazy and Effective Method!

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Did you know that you can propagate jade plants just from leaves? You may be familiar with propagating with stem cuttings, but propagating from leaves is super easy and will result in a plentitude of plants to grow your collection or give away to friends and family.

And when I said “lazy” in the title of this blog post, I really meant it! Read on to see how simple jade plant leaf propagation really is.


Growing Jade Plants From a Single Leaf

After I decided to prune my jade plant that I’ve had for 12 years, to help make it more compact, full and manageable in size, I used the individual leaves to propagate and make new plants.

Here are the steps that I used for my jade plant leaf propagation project.

Pluck the Leaves off the Plant

I simply used my fingers to pull each leaf off the plant and then I placed each leaf upside down on a paper towel.


You can see the leaves in the photo above, and I placed them right in front of my terrarium which I have lit with an LED grow light. I placed it here for convenience, but it was a great location since my basement stays warm, and the lighting conditions were great for this project.

I could have easily placed the leaves near a window that received plenty of bright, indirect light. An hour or two of direct sun would be fine as well. Just don’t cook your leaves in sun all day!

My original plan was to just let the leaves callous over for a few days, and then insert them into soil. Typically, when propagating any succulents by leaves or stem cuttings, you will need to let them air dry for a few days. This allows the cut to dry and form a hard tissue. This is done both to prevent rotting and also to prevent any pests and diseases from potentially affecting the plant.

My intent was to allow the leaves to callous over for about a week and then proceed with my process. Procrastination set in and I left them on the paper towel for weeks.

After several weeks, I noticed that both roots and small plantlets were forming on their own without any additional help! They literally just sat there for 6 or 7 weeks, and growth started to occur.


Place Your Jade Leaves in a Growing Tray

At this point, I made a mix of half cactus soil and half perlite to continue the propagation process.

After you see the plantlets and roots start forming, don’t wait too long to place them in a growing medium because if they go on a long time without getting any moisture, they will desiccate and die on you.

After I mixed the 50/50 cactus soil and perlite blend together, I went ahead and pre-moistened the mix to make it easier to work with.

Then I took a plastic Thai carryout container, like you see below, and laid the leaves along the edge and on an angle, so that the roots made contact with the soil.


After I arranged the leaves to my liking, I covered the container with the clear plastic lid and kept it under grow lights.

Maybe once a week or so, I would take the lid off and allow everything to air out. At this stage in propagation succulents, it is important to keep the potting mix moist as this will encourage rooting. You can start to back off after the resulting plants start growing.

A few more weeks later, you can see the pups growing and more roots forming.


Just a week later, the progress was even more visible.


Once I started seeing good growth on the plantlets, I permanently removed the clear lid and left everything open to the air. At this point, I started allowing the soil to dry on the surface before watering again.

Up until this point, don’t be afraid to keep the mix moist while they are rooting. Although it may seem counterintuitive for succulents, this is important in the propagation process until they are big enough and more mature to withstand drying out. Just make sure you have a nice airy mix (50/50 cactus soil and perlite).

And here is the progress after about 6 months from plucking the leaves off my original plant.


Note that I used the carryout container as-is and did not add any drainage holes. When potting these up in proper pots, I ALWAYS recommend drainage holes, however. Just for this stage, I was careful when I watered, and made sure that I moistened the soil without having any water sit at the bottom. Since the tray was very shallow, it was easy to accomplish this. If any water accumulated, I just simply tipped the container a bit to drain it out.

Pot Up Your Jade Babies!

At this point, I potted up my plants into a variety of pots and all with drainage holes. I mixed 2 parts cactus soil, 1 part perlite, and 1 part 1/4″ pumice. This is an incredibly well draining mix for general succulents use.

Mix it all up until uniform, and then simply pot everything up! I turned the tray with plant upside down, with the other hand supporting the plants, and it came out all in one piece. Then I separated clusters of the plants and potted them up.


I planted several in each pot, placed everything in the sink, and gave them a nice thorough soaking.


At this point, I placed them back in my grow light stand where have various projects going. Once the plants are more established, I’ll probably give most of them away to friends.

Once the potting mix is about dry halfway down, I’ll go ahead and water again.

I hope you enjoyed this post on jade plant leaf propagation. You can use this process for quite a few different succulents as well!

Be sure not to miss my comprehensive jade plant care blog post where I through all the care details for this plant, along with answers to the most common questions about this plant.

You can also propagate jade plants from stem cuttings.

Comment below if you’ve given this a shot or if you have any questions!

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Ann Marie

Thursday 15th of February 2024

Hello. I am getting ready to start propagating my jade leaves. They are callousing now. Can you tell me how you watered them once you placed in the soil? Thank you!

Raffaele Di Lallo

Thursday 15th of February 2024

Hi Ann Marie! Make sure you give your plants plenty of light and sun (or under a grow light). I actually keep the plantlets quite moist. As soon as the surface of the soil feels almost dry, I'll water again. Once the plants are a little more established, you can let the top 1/2 inch to an inch dry out, and then water thoroughly. Hope this helps.


Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

I have a tall leggy Jade that I pruned about 2 weeks ago (I received this out of control plant from a friend)and have propagated 5 baby jades. I have about a 2 inch trunk on the original plant with about a foot of no branches. How do I prune and encourage lower fuller growth without cutting off all the growth up top?


Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

Hi Tracy! Pruning the top is the best way. I once pruned a jade back until it was leafless and had just its branches, and it came back beautifully. It takes a little courage but it's worth it! :-) If you haven't see my post on pruning jade, here it is:

Jannon Suman

Saturday 18th of March 2023

This may be dumb, but what kind of plastic should cover them? I’m not sure I have anything-wellexcept for those plastic things I have under my plants to catch access drainage. I’m just starting this today, but I’m afraid I don’t have but a good potting mix and baked potatoes! I’ve forever cut up baked pots and mix them in my soil and man oh man! You can SURELY tell the difference when I forget them! My Aunt grows gorgeous plants like crazy using potatoes! My thumb, altho I do have a green thumb, I definitely need this space! Is it ok to use my dirt and potatoes? It’s worked every time, I’ve never had a jade plant before, my Mom passed so I got hers, and it’s just not doing good-this idea will work if I can finigle with what I’ve got. I’m disabled fixed income so I need to use what I got on me 😂 new to this site and looking forward to some more knowledge! My plants are my babies, as I’m SURE e’rebody here feels the same about their plants😉 I could use some advice on a few others, but that’s for another day cuz for today! I propagate the gorgeous JADE! Until next question…signed, Jannon Have a great evening


Sunday 19th of March 2023

Hi Jannon! You can even make a little tent with some bamboo stakes and then turn a plastic bag upside down over them. I've never used potato water. I shy away from things like this typically indoors. But you can certainly experiment and see!


Friday 23rd of September 2022

Hi, I started a baby jade plant from a leaf at least a year ago and I have just a wee little plant that is maybe an inch high it seems to be showing little to no interest in growing and I am not sure what to do with it. Your advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much.


Monday 3rd of October 2022

You may not be giving it enough sun. They like a lot of sun indoors.


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Hello, if I let them dry for a few days, do I then stick them in the cactus perlite mix? Do I cover as well? They have been drying for about 4 days. They have a callous in the end. I just don’t know if I put them in the soil at this time. Thank you.


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

Hi Lynn! Yes, you should be good by now! I actually covered mine to keep the potting mix more moist and it worked nicely. Developing succulent cuttings need to stay moist when rooting. Just make sure to take the cover off maybe once or twice a week to let it air out. :-) Once they grow more, you can back off on soil moisture and let the mix dry out in between watering. Good luck!