Tissue Culture Fundamentals: Culturing the Jade Plant!
11 Mar 2021

Tissue Culture Fundamentals: Culturing the Jade Plant!

Anjali Singh, MS

As a content and community manager, I leverage my expertise in plant biotechnology, passion for tissue culture, and writing skills to create compelling articles, simplifying intricate scientific concepts, and address your inquiries. As a dedicated science communicator, I strive to spark curiosity and foster a love for science in my audience.

Anjali Singh, MS
Table of Contents

Jade Plant overview and video

Who doesn’t like to decor homes with beautiful indoor plants? However, maintaining them in the right health conditions is a daunting task. That’s the reason many of us look at succulents; they are easy to maintain and require less effort compared to other plants. Additionally, these plants bring beauty with their diverse shapes and textures.

The Jade plant, also known as the money plant, lucky plant, and money tree, is one the most popular indoor succulent plants. Though it is known as a houseplant, the Jade plant is actually a shrub or small size bush! This article introduces you to the characteristics of the Jade plant and its maintenance with its in vitro sterilization and propagation technique for mass production. If you a hobbyist or small-scale culturist, growing these plants in your lab will eventually add more money to your pockets!!

Figure: Different variety of succulents grown in pots. Image by Jimmy Pierce at Flickr.

All about Jade Plants

The scientific name of the Jade plant is Crassula, belonging to the Crassulaceae family. It’s an evergreen plant with thick stems and leaves. Crassula plants range from annual to perennial plants and it’s an extensive genus with 350 species. Some of the varieties of Crassula include C. perforata, C. helmsii, C. perfoliata, and C. pyramidalis The most popular of all is Crassula ovata. It’s herbaceous or woody plants that range from a shrub to small trees. Most of the species of Crassula are miniature plants that are perfect to grow in small containers with easy maintenance.

Figure: A Crassula ovata plant. Photograph from Lynda at Flickr.

The leaves of the Jade plants are ovate, thick, and range from dark green to yellow-green. Often, leaves of a few plants develop red tinge at their edges after high exposure to sunlight. Leaves are arranged in opposite orientation on the branches. The stem of the plant is also thick as its leaves but also turns brown and woody as it ages. These plants grow upright, rounded, highly-branched, and height of up to 2.5-3 meters.

In favorable conditions, the plant produces tiny white or pink-colored, star-shaped flowers in winter. These flowers are bisexual, having radial symmetry and double perianth (flower envelope or outer part of the flower).

Figure: A beautiful flower of Crassula ovata or Jade plant. Photograph by Ed Ogle via Flickr.

Cultivating Jade plants and their maintenance

Crassula or Jade is a low-maintenance plant. However, adequate natural growth condition are required. In a very hot environment, they lose their lower leaves. In a very cold environment, they don’t grow. What’s the specific natural requirement of this plant? Let’s have a look!

  1. Light: Jade plants require bright light all day but keep them away from the direct sunlight. Maximum six hours of sunlight (if directly kept in light) is required for these plants to thrive well.
  2. Soil: Keep the plants in the soil of neutral to slightly acidic pH condition and having a good drainage system. Wet and boggy soil can cause the roots to rot.
  3. Water: Remember it’s a succulent-a category of the desert plant where less water is available. So, these plants prefer sparse watering. Please avoid overwatering that can kill the plants.
  4. Fertilizer: You can feed these plants little organic fertilizer when they start growing or blooming. Rest, they are always good with what they have!!

Preference Center

Surface sterilization and tissue culture propagation of Jade plants

Conventionally, Jade plants can be grown using even one fallen leaf. However, make sure to take extra good care of them at the initial stage! This is when your goal is to grow plants for your home decor but what to do when you have to grow these plants to make some money, to produce them in mass!! Tissue culture needs to be done because it can produce multiple plants by using only a few tissues. So, imagine how many plants can be generated using a whole leaf!! Though these plants can be propagated using leaf (whole leaf or segments of the leaf) and stem both.

The above-attached video shows the surface sterilization and tissue culture of the Jade plant whose procedure is given below:

  1. Cut a stem of the plant containing a few leaves and wash it under running tap water to remove all dirt particles.
  2. Place the explants in an Erlenmeyer flask containing distilled water, detergent, for one hour. Stir them continuously using magnt]etic stirrer and bead to wash them thoroughly.
  3. After one hour, transfer the explants (using sterile forceps) to a sterilization solution that is composed of 1% bleach, a few drops of tween 20, or detergent for one hour. In the video, 2 ml of bleach is added to 200 ml of water.
  4. After sterilization, rinse the explants in 3% hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes. With one minute left, add 1% volume of cleaning vinegar. In the video, 1 ml vinegar is added to 100 ml of hydrogen peroxide.
  5. Clean the culture area and culture vessel using 70% isopropanol.
  6. Then, transfer the explant to a culture vessel containing tissue culture media that is composed of normal MS media with 25 g sucrose, 1ml/l BA, 0.1 ml/L IAA, 1 ml/L PPM, and 3 grams of gellan gum.
  7. Place the leaves flat by making sure they make good contact with the surface of the culture media.
  8. Seal the flasks using parafilm or saran wraps and label them with plant name and date.

And that’s it!! In a few weeks, your little plantlets will be seen in your culture flasks.


  1. https://youtu.be/LQL1LWjZLxc
  2. Rost, T. L., & Paterson, K. (1976). The Developmental Anatomy of Adventive Plantlets from Leaves and Leaf Segments of Crassula argentea (Crassulaceae). Botanical Gazette, 137(3), 203–210. doi:10.1086/336859
  3. https://www.gardenista.com/posts/gardening-101-cra...
  4. https://www.thespruce.com/crasslua-1402868
  5. https://www.nature-and-garden.com/gardening/crassu...

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.