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I have a few jade leaves that are resting on soil but they are getting wrinkled. Is this normal? Should I splash a little water on them? I got them from the main plant less than a week ago.

Please help!


Drought Smart Plants reply:

Hi N., this is perfectly normal, in fact you want this. It indicates that the leaves are drying out, which prompts it to produce some new growth from the dormant bud at the broken off end. I don’t recommend spraying it, as this can cause it to rot.

Be patient – it can take up to three weeks, and sometimes longer before the tiny little plants and their pink roots emerge. The leaf will serve as a nurse, and as the tiny new plants grow, the leaf will shrivel to nothing. That’s its sole function now, so as long as it is not rotting, all is well.

Once the tiny new plants have their own roots, which will wave around in the air for a while before they figure out to grow downwards, then you can move it into its own pot of well drained, sterilized potting soil.

They can survive quite well without much water, as they have adapted to climates without much rainfall, and usually quite warm and dry.

They don’t have the ability to shrug off excess moisture as some plants (like ferns or other jungle type plants have) as they try and soak up any drop of moisture that comes their way.

Good luck with your new Jades!

See also these pages:

Succulent Care

Succulent Plant Propagation

Comments for Wrinkling leaves

Jan 11, 2012

Problems again…
by: Natasha

Hi again!
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Recently, I noticed that one of the leaves is turning black at the cut end of the leaf and the back side is getting brown. It doesn’t look healthy like the other 3 do. Is there some sort of bug in it? What should I do to keep it alive?


Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi Natasha, unfortunately, sometimes this happens and you will lose a few leaves to either botrytis or other rot causing organisms. There is no way around it, and you should get rid of it in case it’s something that will transfer to the others.

Luckily, you will get more than one plant from each of the others, as they tend to put out a cluster of tiny plants – by this time next year, you’ll have lots.

PS: Even professional horticulturists and propagators lose the occasional cutting – sometimes you’re lucky to get even a small percentage of survivors!

PPS: You say ‘cut’ end of the leaf? In future, simply twist them off, don’t cut them, as the tiny bud that makes the plant is right at the end of the leaf stem. Also, as you’ve found, it’s easier for them to rot if it’s cut.

Good luck!

Jan 30, 2012

One more question…….
by: N.

One of the leaves is turning brown and shriveling on the end that was attached to the host plant. I know it takes some time for the roots but the only change I’ve seen is the leaves look like they are drying because they aren’t as plump. Is it normal for the end leaf to look shriveled? The other two I have are just brown on the one end.

It is common for the leaf to shrivel, but generally it starts on the outer end of the leaf. There’s nothing you can do about it – don’t water it! When the leaves are shriveling it’s because they are using up their reserves trying hard to make some roots. Sometimes by the time it makes some tiny roots and a new plant, the whole leaf is completely dried out and dead.

Don’t panic! If you haven’t seen anything happening in two or three weeks, then it’s possible that it isn’t going to make any roots, but you have to be patient. Keep in mind that even an experienced horticulturist will sometimes get possibly 30% success rate, at times much less (although we hope for more!)

Good luck,