Probably the most important, to us at least, aspect of life is its ability to reproduce. With out reproduction, all life would have been done with soon after the fall of mankind!
Interesting enough, living things are not the only things that reproduce. But, before we discuss that we must first discuss how living things reproduce.
The truth is, the reason living things can even reproduce is because of the cell. This tiny tool of living things makes a copy of its DNA and then splits itself in two. This is the first reproduction done in the making of a living, multicellular thing. Then, as those cells split and reproduce, the living thing is made. That happens with all living things . . . they reproduce by cells. That is also how we grow, but that is for a different article.
Anyway, when non-life reproduces it does not reproduce by cells but by other forces. You see, nonliving things can reproduce but not by the way living things do. For instance, a plant can reproduce through cells but a cloud cannot. It can reproduce but not in the same instance as living things.
So, technically, non-living things cannot reproduce, but they can reproduce in a different manner; a non-life manner.