Can My Jade Plant Grow in Water?

Jade cutting sitting in a glass vessel with water.

Jade plants are glossy succulents, native to the sandy soils of Africa. As succulents, they prefer drier conditions. 

But what if you want to grow your jade plant in water?  Is that possible?

A jade plant can grow in water. However, these plants are usually grown in drier soil. So to grow your jade plant in water, you need to provide it with the proper conditions. This includes clean water, adequate light, and warmth. Taking the right steps will help ensure the plant survives.

Let’s look at how to grow your jade plant in water, and what you’ll need to do to keep your plant thriving.

Growing a Jade Plant in Water

Jade plants are succulents with thick, fat, shiny leaves. 

As with any succulent, you need to be careful when it comes to water. A mismatch between water and succulents can lead to your plant rotting.

I have several jade plants. But my jades have always been planted in soil. 

I was curious. Will one to grow in water?

I’m happy to report, it will. 

A jade plant is being held up to show root growth after being propagated in water.

How to Grow Your Jade Plant in Water

To grow a jade plant in water, you’ll need to start with a cutting. 

With a clean pair of pruners or scissors, cut a healthy stem from your plant. The stem should have a couple of nodes on it and be no longer than 4 – 5 inches. You will need to remove any bottom leaves.


You can also propagate a jade plant with a leaf cutting. But, for growing in water, you’ll have more success with stem cuttings. 

Still, if you’ve removed the bottom leaves, don’t toss them out.  You can propagate them in soil, or experiment with growing them in water.

Once you have your cutting, let it dry for a day or two. A callus will form at the end of the stem. This callus helps reduce the chances of the stem rotting.

To learn more about propagation and general jade plant care, take a look at my beginner’s guide. You’ll find it helpful.

Once dried, place the cutting in several inches of water. The size of the vessel will depend on the size and number of your cuttings. 

It’s important only the stem touches the water. Don’t submerge the leaves.

When done, place your jade plant in a warm spot with bright, indirect light. 

A jade plant needs bright light, preferably at least 6 hours per day, It’s important, though, there isn’t too much direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause problems, such as sunburn. I’ve had this happen myself.

When it comes to growing your jade plant in water, water quality is crucial. 

If your tap water is hard or poor, use filtered water. And don’t use water from a water-softening system. This water has too much salt for plants.

You’ll need to change your jade’s water often.  Even once or twice a week. Anytime the water looks cloudy, you should give him fresh water.

It’s also a good idea to clean the vessel on a regular basis. This helps remove any build-up. Placing a couple of pieces of activated charcoal in the bottom of the vessel can help prolong the water’s quality.

In about 4 to 5 weeks you’ll start to see roots form. At this point, you can move your plant to a larger vessel if need be, or plant it in soil.

Is It Better to Grow a Jade Plant in Water or Soil?

Jade plants are more commonly grown in soil. However, whether water or soil, how you want to grow and display your jade plant is ultimately up to you. 

A jade plant can grow in both mediums.

In soil, a jade plant is less likely to develop root rot. Unless you habitually overwater your jade plant.

The downside to soil is you, of course, can’t see the roots growing to ensure they’re healthy.

Then again, growing your jade in water can be trickier.

You can see the roots as they grow. Which is a plus. However, as a succulent your jade plant can be susceptible to rot. Especially if it’s not properly rooted in the water.  

With a leaf cutting, you’re better off propagating that leaf directly into the soil. It may have greater difficulty establishing roots if propagated in water.

Will My Jade Plant Eventually Need Soil?

Jade plant sitting next to a sunny window.
Photo by Jill Robidoux / CC By

Your jade plant can grow in water indefinitely. The key is to frequently change the water, and ensure only the roots and bottom part of the stem are underwater.

In fact, the longer your jade plant sits in water, the more difficulty it’ll have transitioning to soil.

This is because a root system absorbs water and nutrients differently from the soil than it does from the water. 

When a plant grows in water for a long time it becomes used to receiving its nourishment from water directly. If it’s suddenly plopped into soil, the roots may have trouble drinking in nutrients from this new medium.

So, when you propagate a plant it’s important to decide if you’ll move that plant into the soil once the roots grow. If yes, it’s better to do that sooner rather than later. 

Final Thoughts

  • A jade plant can grow in water.
  • You’ll have more success with stem cuttings than leaf cuttings.
  • The roots and tip of the stem should be submerged and not the leaves.
  • The condition of the water is key to success. It should be changed frequently.
  • A jade plant can stay in water indefinitely.

If you enjoyed this article on growing your jade plant in water and found it helpful, feel free to share it.


Hi! My name is Angela Carr. I started this site to share my love for plants and gardening. My aim is to provide my readers with easy tips and tricks on plant care, fun facts, and encouragement for the new plant owner or anyone questioning the colour of their thumb!

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