Jade plant, also known as a friendship tree, money plant or lucky tree, is a succulent plant that is closely related to cacti. This quality makes it one of the most preferred house/garden plants among garden enthusiasts.
In a natural environment, jade plants propagate by dropping their stems or a leaf on the ground, which later grows roots and develops into a plant. Thus, the easiest method is to plant a cut off stem or leaf and let it develop into a plant. Jade plants also produce seed-bearing fruits, which gives us an alternate method for growing jade plants. The method for growing jade plants from seeds is as follows:
Jades are very closely related to cacti. Hence, a similar kind of environment can be provided for germinating jade plant seeds. Before you buy the seeds, make sure they are of desired type and proceed as follows:
Step 1 – Preparing the Seed Bed
Mix washed sand, perlite and cactus compost in equal proportions. Spread this mixture evenly in seed pans or in 10cm plastic pots. Do not forget to make adequate drainage holes in these pots, as excess water can damage the seeds permanently. Pat the filled containers gently to remove any remaining air pockets in the soil.
Step 2 – Planting Large and Small Seeds
Some varieties of jade plants have large seeds, hence, just place them on top of the soil mixture. If they are small, mix them with a little bit of mixture and spread it evenly on the surface. Invariably, a spacing of 1 inch will be ideal between the seeds. Using sand, perlite and vermiculite, prepare a mixture that has all the three ingredients in equal proportion. If the seeds are large, create a 1 inch layer of this mixture above the seeds. If the seeds are smaller, a thickness of 0.5 inches will be sufficient. Gently tap the layer with your hands to smooth out the surface.
Step 3 – Watering before Germination
Place the container in a water-filled shallow pan and let the soil absorb the water. Remember, we have already made lot of drainage holes in the containers, which enables the water to rise upwards through them.
Step 4 – Watering after Germination
As soon the mixture becomes moist, remove it from the water pan and place the seed pan in full sunlight. Until the seeds germinate fully, you need to maintain high level of humidity near the seeds. Therefore, place the pot in a glass container, propagator, or a transparent plastic bag. You can spray water (once a day) on the surface of the plant to maintain the moisture. However, under any circumstances, do not water the seeds.
Seeds should germinate within a week, and then they can be transplanted to their respective containers or garden beds. Once the seeds germinate, they can be planted in any type of soil, provided the soil does not retain moisture. Always allow the soil to become bone dry between two watering cycles. Prune the plant regularly to give it a desired shape.