By Matt Gibson
The succulent jade plant goes by a long list of alternative names, some of which are very common, others are specific to a particular region or culture. Aside from Jade, the plant is also called Money Plant, Baby Jade, (Chinese or Japanese) Rubber Plant, Dwarf Rubber Plant, Baby Jade, Jade Tree, and Money Tree.
Jade plants are warm-weather succulents, which are usually grown indoors in a warm,dry areas, but they can also be planted outdoors in USDA growing zones 11 to 12. In most US areas, the cold weather season is the end of the line for succulents left outdoors to decompose and return to the earth. Succulents that are cared for and valued by their owners will have to be brought inside to winter over once the temperature drops below 50 degrees. .
Jade plant is a succulent, and is therefore very easy to grow and care for as long as you follow two simple rules. Number one, take care not to expose it’s plump leaves to too much direct contact with intense afternoon sunlight. Number Two, whatever you do, do not overwater it, but treat it just like any other succulent that you may have cared for in the past.
The directions for care are incredibly simple and easy to follow. If you heed the warnings of rule number one and two, you are practically an expert in growing Jade. The rest is as easy as a stroll through a summer meadow barefoot.
All you have to do to keep keep your Jade plant alive and well is to keep it primarily stored in a warm and dry environment, to dry out completely between deep waterings. But don’t stress, we’ll touch on how to care for Jade a little later on in the article.
Symbolically, the jade plant represents good luck and financial prosperity, and we could all use more of both of those highly sought coveted treasures
Growing Conditions for Jade
Jade is not super picky about every aspect of the environment it is provided with, but when the care instructions become extra detailed and specific, it means that you should be following them closely before jumping into giving your new Jade plant any special attention without consulting the specific needs of the plump green succulent that you are caring for. Read each of the following sections in their entirety, this one especially.
Watering – Over Watering can lead to root rot, and it is a beast of a burden to deal with once it has taken its hold on your jade plant’s root system. Underwatering should also be avoided, as it will lead to lost leaves, leaf shrinking, and leaf spots. So, how do you solve this watering issue and get your Jade plant just the right amount of hydration that it requires to thrive? It’s actually very simple to get the watering routine down to a science once you know the trick.
With Jade and most other warm weather succulents, you do not need to use a timer or a schedule to remind you to water them. Instead, occasionally check the surface layer of soil with a dry finger or thumb for moisture. If the top layer has become dry to the touch, then it is time to give your Jade plant a tall glass of water to drink. Monitor the moisture levels at least twice per day, everyday, so that you don’t stress the plant by over or under watering it for extended periods of time. It may also help to keep a log of when you did water your Jade last, in case you lose track of what you watered. Eventually, you will notice a pattern of when the top layer of your Jade is dry to the touch and ready to be watered again.
It is also important to skip watering for the first few weeks after planting or repotting Jade, as it needs time for its root system to settle down after all the excitement of the relocation. Withhold water for four to seven days time before giving your Jade plant its first soak of the season.
Soil – The most important factor to consider when selecting a soil mix for your Jade plant, is ample drainage. Ideally, you could purchase a potting mix that is made specifically for succulents and cacti. However, if you have the ingredients at home, you can always strap on some gardening gloves, grab a trusty spade and a large container and make your own succulent and cacti friendly soil base. The following recipes are both made to support desert plant life, and the mixes that you have here will work splendidly for both cacti and succulents alike:
A 2:1 Ratio of standard potting mix to perlite should work nicely for Jade, but a store bought cactus and succulent bag of fresh potting soil shouldn’t be too expensive to make the soil base. If you purchase your own soil, Add in a healthy serving of organic matter to the cactus and succulent mix to give your Jade a nutritional boost. Alternatively, the recipe below has worked well with succulents in my garden beds in the past, and it will work well for yours if you give it a try:
1 part soil
1 part peat moss
3 parts builder’s sand
Sunlight – All varieties of Jade should be provided with at least four hours of sunlight exposure per day. Young plants should be spared direct sunlight exposure, especially during the heat of the day during the summer months. Larger, more established Jade plants can handle more direct sun contact, especially during the cooler morning hours. Full sunlight exposure is essential to the health and maturation of your lucky houseplant, but too much direct sunlight will scorch the plant’s leaves, causing unsightly burns and scars that will mark the plant for years to come.
Temperature – Jade plants do best in day-time temperatures of 65-75 F. during the daytime and a comfortably chilly 50-55 F. at night. That being said, if Jade plants get lots of sunlight during the day, they will perform well in temperatures that are even higher than the ones we .
How To Plant and Repot Jade
First, pick out a wide and sturdy pot that has moderate depth so that it will support Jade’s small base, while providing support for the succulent’s top-heavy nature. Ideally, the container that you select, will securely house the base of the jade plant, as well as its big, awkward top-heavy torso, keeping the clumsy Jade plant from deciding to take a tumble and abandon your container.
Jade is not a quickly growing plant, and it prefers a container that it fits rather snugly, so it will not require a larger pot each time you give it a new home. However, because you need to change the soil every three to four years, you should still repot your Jade plant in similar sized or slightly bigger container than the one you previously used during the task.
Care of Jade
Jade plants should be watered when the surface of the soil in their pot becomes dry to the touch with distilled water or filtered water, especially if the tap water in your area is high in sodium. Jade should be provided with at least four hours of direct (preferably morning) sunlight each day. Feed your Jade plant occasionally using a water soluble fertilizer for houseplants. Feed your Jade plant once every three to four months. Hold off on feeding new transplants and transplanted Jade plants for three months before their first application. Once or twice per month, use a damp cloth to wipe down the leaves on both sides. This task will effectively remove indoor dust particles, as well as 90% of the plants pest issues (if any exist at the time of the wipe down).
Jade Toxicity Warning for Animals!
Attention Dog, Cat and Horse Owners! Ingesting any parts of the Jade plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Ingestion of even a small amount of the jade plant, could lead to immediate signs of vomiting, depression, incoordination and lack of balance. If you see one or more sign of ingestion, call the APPC at (888) 426-4435, or take your pet to the veterinarian as quickly as you can. So, keep away from indoor pets by moving indoor jade plants into an out of reach and secure location in a room that your curious pet companions rarely explore, such as high up on an empty shelf in your bedroom or office area. If growing jade outdoors, keep it far away from fields where your horse likes to graze and snack on various vegetation, or where other beloved pets, like your dog or cat enjoy an occasional roam to explore the world outdoors.
Garden Pests and Diseases of Jade
Luckily, Jade has had no serious issues with pest infestations, though they have been known to harbor the occasional mealybug or scale insect on the underside of stems and leaves, though they can be removed easily with a quick blast of water from your garden hose.
The diseases that have been tied to the Jade plant are all caused by over or under watering issues. Once you get the watering cycle regulated, you shouldn’t see any signs of disease troubling your Jade plant. However, the most common disease factors affecting Jade plants are Root Rot, Leaf Drop, Powdery Mildew, Shriveled, or Wrinkled Leaves, or Squishy, Waterlogged Leaves.
Common Questions and Answers About Jade
by Erin Marissa Russell
Can a jade plant get too much sun?
If your jade plant isn’t used to bright, direct sunlight, it can get too much at once. When this happens, your plant’s leaves will get burned with brown spots called sunscald. If you want to move your jade to a spot where it will get more sun than it’s accustomed to, you’ll need to do it gradually. By introducing your jade plant to more sun in baby steps, leaving it in the brighter location for a little longer each day, you can ease the transition and prevent sunscald.
This process of gradually introducing a plant to a new environment is called hardening off, or cold acclimation. It works the same way whether you’re moving a plant to a sunny, bright spot or getting it used to colder weather. You can learn all about how to do it in our article “Hardening Off Plants: Common Reader Questions and Answers.”
Can a jade plant survive without sunlight?
Jade plants do well with less sunlight than some other plants need, but they still require some exposure to the sun to survive. Indirect sunlight is fine, but jade plants need to get five or six hours of sunlight each day. If you want to keep your jade plant indoors in a room that doesn’t have windows, you can use a grow light for six to eight hours a day as a substitute for the sun your plant will be missing out on.
Can I put a jade plant in the bathroom?
As long as your bathroom as a window that will provide your jade plant with sun for at least five hours a day, you can grow a jade plant in the bathroom. If your bathroom doesn’t have a window, you can still grow jade there if you use a grow light for six to eight hours a day. Take care of a jade plant in the bathroom the same way you would for any room in the house. Avoid putting your jade too near the sink, shower, or bathtub to make sure it doesn’t get too much humidity. Choose a location where your jade plant isn’t in people’s way so it won’t be at risk of getting knocked into or having leaves break off as people brush up against it.
Plant your jade in a potting soil blend designed especially for succulent plants, as these blends offer the drainage your jade plant needs. For the first month your plant is in its container, water once a week to encourage the development of a strong, healthy root system. After the first month, your jade plant should be watered weekly in late spring, summer, and early fall, when the days are longer and sunnier. The rest of the year, in the shorter, cooler days of late fall, winter, and early spring, decrease to water your jade plant half as often—every other week. Prune your jade plant in March as new growth begins to help it keep its shape. Feed twice a year with a water-soluble fertilizer for houseplants.
Can I put my jade plant outside for the summer?
You can move your jade plant outdoors for summer as long as you gradually introduce it to the brighter, more direct sunlight it will get outdoors. Ease the transition by using the “hardening off” strategy, also called cold acclimation (it works the same way for warmer, brighter weather as it does for colder weather). You can read all about it in our article on hardening off plants. Even with a gradual transition, you won’t want to place your jade plant in direct sunlight. Partial shade or dappled sun will work well. Once cold weather comes back around and temperatures fall to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to bring your jade plant back inside.
Can jade grow in low light?
Jade isn’t well suited to low light and will be leggy and less healthy when grown in low light. Jade plants need at least five hours of sunlight each day—indirect sunlight is fine. If you want to keep a jade plant in a room that doesn’t have a window to let the sun in, you can use a grow light for six to eight hours per day instead.
Can you eat jade plant?
Jade plants are mildly toxic to humans and should not be eaten. Doing so can cause diarrhea or vomiting. If you or your child has eaten jade plant, contact your doctor or call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.
Can you root a jade plant in water?
Rooting in water is not the best way to root a jade plant. In water, cuttings may rot or fail to develop roots. However, it’s easy to propagate a jade cutting without using water. To start, you can take a stem cutting or a leaf cutting, but be aware that a leaf cutting will take much longer to grow into a mature plant than a stem cutting will. If you want the quickest results, opt for a stem cutting.
Summer is the best time to propagate a jade plant. You can root branches of your jade plant that have broken or fallen off naturally, or you can use the clippings when you’ve pruned your plant. If you want to take your own cutting, sterilize your cutting tool with a teaspoon of bleach diluted in two cups of water before you begin. Wear gloves when you handle jade, as the sap, juice, and thorns are mildly toxic and cause skin irritation in some people.
Choose a section of stem that’s one to three inches long and has lots of leaves on it. You can remove some of the leaves to make things easier, because jade will root from the leaf joints if the leaves are removed as well as from the bottom of the cutting. Let your cutting sit out for a few days before you plant it in a safe, dry location (like a windowsill) to let it dry out and develop a callus. Letting your cutting cure like this helps to prevent rot from setting in when you plant the cutting. Larger sections will take longer to cure, so let them sit out for longer than the few days a small cutting requires.
If you’re propagating from a leaf, clip way down at the base to include as much stem as you can along with the leaf. Your leaf doesn’t have to sit out to cure like a stem cutting does, but if you want, you can let it sit out for a few days. Don’t allow a leaf to cure any longer than a couple of days, though, or it’s likely to wither away and die. Then it’s useless for propagation.
You can dust your cuttings with rooting hormone before planting to increase the chance of your cuttings taking root. Using the hormone also moves the whole rooting process along more quickly. If you want to use rooting hormone, apply it to the cut end of your stem or leaf before planting the cutting.
Fill the container you’ll be growing your jade in with a potting soil mix especially for succulents or a homemade blend including coarse sand and perlite. Jade plants, like all succulents, need plenty of drainage to thrive. Your container should also have drainage holes, as containers should for any plant you’re growing. For a stem cutting, use your finger to create an indentation in the soil, then place your jade stem into the hole. Press the soil around the stem lightly to keep it upright and fill in any space left around the stem. If you’re propagating from a leaf, you can simply lay it on the surface of the soil or, if you like, add a thin layer of soil over the cut end of the leaf.
While your cutting is developing roots and establishing itself, provide it with a sheltered spot away from full, direct sunlight. Also, do not water your jade plant until its roots have developed. You’ll know your cutting has grown roots when you see new growth emerging from the top of the plant. It usually takes about two or three weeks. Then you can start watering as usual, allowing soil to dry out completely between waterings, and move your jade plant to the spot where you want it to stay.
Do jade plants like small pots?
Many people report that jade plants do like to grow in pots that are smaller than other plants would find comfortable. Some gardeners prefer to let their jade plants become rootbound in their containers. Be aware that if you keep your jade in a small container and it becomes rootbound, you’re also keeping the size of your plant small and compact. You’ll still need to repot your jade on occasion in the spring—every two or three years for younger plants and four or five years for older ones.
Do jade plants like to be misted?
Jade plants do not need to be misted like some houseplants do. Simply water the plant, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. On average, jade plants should be watered once a week during the growing season from late spring to early fall. During the jade plant’s dormant period from the middle of fall to early spring, water every other week.
However, there are lots of variables that can change how often you should water your plant, such as what material its container is made of, what kind of soil you use, how humid it is, and what the weather is like. Test the soil by sticking a finger into it near your jade plant—if it feels damp or any soil clings to your fingers, it hasn’t yet dried out completely, and you should hold off on watering your plant. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.
Do jade plants need a lot of sunlight?
Although jade plants don’t require as much sun as some plants do, your jade plant will still need at least five hours of sunlight each day. Indirect sunlight is fine and will prevent the burned leaves from sunscald that can result if you expose the jade plant to too much direct sunlight. If you want to grow jade somewhere that there is no sun, like a windowless room, you can use a grow light for six to eight hours per day instead. If your jade plant doesn’t get enough light, its growth can be stunted or its shape can become leggy and spindly as the plant reaches out to search for sunlight.
Do jade plants produce oxygen?
All plants produce oxygen during the daytime using the process of photosynthesis. In photosynthesis, plants use the sun’s energy to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbohydrates. Plants hold on to some of the oxygen they produce and use it to break down the carbohydrates they’ve made to create energy they can use. Then plants release the rest of the oxygen from the photosynthesis process into the air around them.
How big do jade plants get?
If cared for properly and provided with large enough containers, some varieties of jade plants can grow up to 10 feet tall. Others have a maximum height of five feet. Keeping a jade plant in a small container and allowing it to become rootbound will stunt its growth and keep it small. Lack of sunlight can also stunt a jade plant’s growth—jade plants need at least five hours of sunlight each day to thrive.
How do I get my jade plant to flower?
It takes a few years for a jade plant to reach maturity so it can flower into small pink and white blossoms. Gardeners can help ensure conditions are ideal to encourage their jade plants to flower. In short, the conditions a jade plant needs to bloom are lack of water, bright sunlight during the day, and cool temperatures at night. When days naturally shorten as summer turns to fall, reduce the water you give a jade plant you want to flower, and stop giving it fertilizer. Make sure it’s in a location that is dry where the temperature is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and protect the plant from any freezes. First buds will emerge, then blossoms. The blossoms should begin to form during the shortest days of the year and bloom from late winter to the beginning of spring.
How do I know if my jade plant has root rot?
Root rot will cause a plant to wilt and foliage to fade or turn yellow. You may also see squishy, slimy, or discolored foliage as well as roots. To determine whether your jade plant has root rot, you may need to carefully dig it up and examine the roots for a slimy texture or brown color instead of the pale color healthy roots have. You’ll need to snip away any affected roots, stems, or leaves using shears sterilized in a teaspoon of bleach diluted in two cups of water. Root rot results from too much moisture, so make sure to alter your watering schedule or the location of the plant to prevent root rot from recurring. Learn more about preventing and treating root rot in our article “How to Fight Stem and Root Rot.”
How do I know if my jade plant is overwatered?
It’s easy to overwater a jade plant, and overwatering is one of the problems gardeners most commonly face with jade. Here’s how to tell if your jade plant has been getting too much water. Soil may appear waterlogged and be wet to the touch, and roots will show symptoms of root rot, such as sliminess, mushy texture, or discoloration that makes them brown instead of pale white or cream. An overwatered jade plant’s leaves may turn yellow, feel soft and squishy to the touch, dry out, or fall off the plant completely.
An overwatered jade plant can look a lot like one that hasn’t been getting enough water. Although that may seem counterintuitive, the symptoms look similar because overwatering can lead to root rot or death of the plant’s roots, which in turn keeps the plant from being able to absorb nutrients from the soil or take in water. The best way to tell the two problems apart and determine whether your jade plant has been overwatered or underwatered is to check the soil and roots for symptoms instead of relying on the leaves, because the leaves will look much the same regardless of which issue is occurring.
To save an overwatered jade plant, first get it out of the saturated soil and into some fresh, dry potting soil to give it a new start. You should use a soil mix especially for succulent plants or cacti, or you can create a homemade mixture with plenty of perlite or coarse sand to give the jade plant plenty of drainage. As you replace the soil, take the opportunity to remove as much of the waterlogged soil from the jade plant’s roots as you can with your fingers.
If you see the mushiness or discoloration that indicates root rot, you’ll need to snip out the affected roots. Use clean gardening shears sterilized in a teaspoon of bleach mixed with two cups of water. Remove all the slimy or brown roots so that only healthy, pale roots remain. Sterilize your shears again in the bleach solution. Then snip into the healthy roots a bit to encourage your jade plant to spend its energy developing new roots, which will be necessary for the plant to recover. Sterilize and clean your shears one more time before you put them away.
Don’t water your jade plant until it starts to perk up a bit and the roots and soil are totally dry. Make sure to adjust your watering schedule to prevent root rot from coming back. As a general rule, jade plants should be watered weekly during the growing season from the end of spring until fall begins and then every other week from the middle of fall until the middle of spring.
However, lots of conditions can change your individual plant’s needs, so don’t hold tight to this schedule if the soil around your jade plant is still wet when it’s time to water it. Only water your jade plant when the soil has dried out completely. You can test the moisture level by sticking a finger into the soil near your plant. If the soil clings to your skin, it’s still moist, and you should not water the plant just yet. Gardeners in humid climates may need to water jade plants much less frequently, like once a month. Rely on the soil test to tell you when the plant needs more water.
How do I know if my jade plant needs water?
Water your jade plant whenever the soil it’s planted in has dried out completely. You can test the soil by sticking your finger into it near where your plant is growing. If it feels damp to the touch or any soil clings to your skin, it’s not time to water your plant yet. When you do water your jade plant, water it deeply—until moisture drips from the drainage holes of its container. When your plant is dormant, from the middle of fall to the middle of spring, don’t provide as much water as you do during the growing season.
How can I make my jade plant grow faster?
You can help your jade plant grow faster by catering to its preferences in a variety of ways. First, the optimal temperature for jade plants is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 65 degrees at nighttime. Don’t allow your jade plant to remain outdoors if temperatures are 40 degrees or lower—the 40-degree mark is your signal to bring your jade plant inside. Jade plants also need at least five hours of sunlight per day, and they’re even happier if they get more than that. If there’s nowhere in your house to place your plant where it will get that much sunlight, use a grow light for six to eight hours a day as a substitute.
During the growing season (late spring through the beginning of fall), feed your jade plant with a 10-20-10 fertilizer or one made for succulents and cacti. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosage and frequency. Give your jade plant enough water (but not too much) to help it thrive. A good rule of thumb is to water weekly during the growing season and every two weeks while the plant is dormant, but don’t stick to this guideline if it doesn’t make sense for your specific conditions. You’ll know it’s time to water your jade plant when the soil has dried out completely, which you can check by inserting your finger into the soil near the plant. If it feels damp or any soil sticks to your skin, that means it’s not yet time to water your jade plant.
Finally, although you’ll often hear that jade plants like to be kept in small containers, doing so does limit the size your plant can achieve. For maximum growth, upgrade the size of your jade plant’s pot every two or three years. With the proper care, your jade plant can stretch to a height of 10 feet.
How do you care for a jade plant outside?
While many gardeners keep jade as a houseplant, others move their plants outdoors when the weather is warm enough. Gardeners in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11 can leave their jade plants outdoors year-round. The bottom line is that jade plants should be brought indoors whenever the temperature dips to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Jade plants kept outdoors year-round can be grown directly in the soil, but gardeners who will be bringing their jade plants indoors when it gets cold should choose to grow them in containers to make them easy to move around.
Jade plants need a soil that drains quickly, so a sandy loam soil is ideal. You may need to amend your soil to make it suitable for jade plants. For specifics on how to amend your soil, refer to our articles “Amending Clay Soils”, “How to Amend Sandy Soil”, or “Organic Soil Amendment 101.” Soil is one of the most important considerations, as jade plants situated in soil with poor drainage, clay, or compacted soil may suffer from root rot, crown rot, and fungal diseases.
When it comes to sunlight, choose a location where your jade plant will get at least five hours of sun each day. More than that doesn’t hurt, but if you live somewhere that gets especially hot, pick a spot for your jade plant where it will be shaded from the heat of the afternoon. Water your jade plants deeply once a week during their growth period (late spring to early fall) and every other week when they’re dormant (the middle of fall to beginning of spring). Also during the growing season, provide your jade plant with a fertilizer for cacti and succulents, referring to the manufacturer’s instructions for dose frequency and quantity.
How do you fertilize a jade plant?
Use a fertilizer blend that’s especially for cacti and succulents, or a 10-20-10 blend. Feed your jade plants during their growing season, which begins in late spring and ends in early fall. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how much fertilizer to use and how often to apply it.
How do you grow a jade plant from a broken stem?
When the stem breaks off, before you plant it, allow it to sit out for at least a few days to dry out a bit and develop a callus over the broken end. This curing period helps to prevent root rot from setting in once the jade is planted. After a few days, for best results, use a rooting hormone treatment on the broken end of the stem. This step is optional, but the rooting hormone makes plants more likely to take root and speeds up the rooting process. Choose a container with drainage holes, and fill it with a potting soil made for succulents and cacti or a homemade mix containing perlite and coarse sand. Use your finger or a pencil to make a hole in the soil, then place the stem of the broken part of the plant into the hole. Press the soil around the jade plant to fill in around the stem and support the plant to stand upright. Water it lightly, and then let the soil dry out completely between waterings.
How do you grow a jade plant from a leaf?
To grow a jade plant from a leaf, simply lay the leaf on the surface of the soil where you want to plant the jade, or you can lightly cover the broken end of the leaf with soil. If you are cutting the leaf from the plant instead of using a fallen leaf, make sure to cut as far down as possible and use clean, sterilized shears. You can mix a teaspoon of bleach with two cups of water to create a sterilizing solution. You do not need to let the leaf sit out to cure or dry out like you would a stem cutting of jade, but if you want to, only let it cure for a few days. Any longer, and the leaf will wither and die.
How long do jade plants live?
Jade plants live quite a long time. It isn’t odd for a plant to have been growing for decades, and some have even lived to be 100.
How long does it take for a jade plant to root?
On average, it takes two or three weeks for a jade plant cutting to start growing roots.
How many types of jade plants are there?
There are 300 types of jade plant, according to the Invasive Species Compendium by the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International.
Is jade plant indoor or outdoor?
Jade can be grown indoors as a houseplant or outdoors year-round in USDA Hardiness zones 10 and 11. In other zones, gardeners can grow jade indoors and take it outside when weather permits. Jade flourishes in temperatures from 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55-65 degrees at night, but it must be brought indoors once the temperature dips to 40 degrees or below.
Is jade plant poisonous to dogs or cats?
In addition to being toxic to humans, jade plants are poisonous to dogs and cats. If consumed, pets may experience vomiting, lack of coordination, or depression. If you think your pet has consumed part of a jade plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435.
Is jade plant poisonous to humans?
Jade is minorly toxic to humans. Consumption can cause diarrhea and vomiting, and some people experience skin irritation if they come into contact with the sap, juice, or thorns. If you experience symptoms of poisoning from jade, contact your doctor or call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.
Should I stake my jade plant?
Jade is a delicate plant and does not respond well to staking, as it can lead to injury or breakage. If your ja
What do you do when a jade plant drops leaves?
There can be a variety of reasons for a jade plant to drop its leaves, which means there are several ways you can approach treatment to resolve the problem. First, if you’re using a fertilizer that has a low first number and high second number, consider changing to one with a higher second number, or a liquid fish fertilizer. The nitrogen in these fertilizers will nourish your jade plant’s foliage more than a blend with a higher second number, which supports blooming.
Your jade plant may drop leaves if it’s overly hydrated or not hydrated enough, so also ensure that your jade plant is getting enough water. You should be watering the plant when the soil goes dry without allowing it to get parched or remain dry for long periods. When you water, make sure to do so deeply enough. You should be watering until the moisture drips from the drainage holes of your plant’s container. If you’re doing these things, it may be that you’re watering too soon. Test your soil by inserting a finger near the plant, and don’t water until the soil is so dry it doesn’t stick to your skin.
Finally, insects like mealybugs or scale could cause leaves to drop, so fight bugs with a homemade spray of four or five drops of dish soap and a teaspoon of neem oil mixed into a liter of warm water. You can also treat for insects by brushing your plant’s foliage with a cotton ball doused in rubbing alcohol.
What does scale look like on a jade plant?
Scale insects can be hard to detect because they don’t resemble what we think of as insects. They look more like small brown bumps that appear on the back of your plant’s leaves or on stems. You’ll also see the effect of scale on your plant in yellowed leaves or leaves that fall off the plant. To get rid of scale, first remove the insects by hand, gently scraping to remove them with your fingernails or a gardening tool sterilized with bleach or rubbing alcohol. You can make a homemade spray treatment to fight scale with a tablespoon of dish soap and a cup of rubbing alcohol mixed into a quart of water. For a two-week treatment period, spray your plant with this mixture every three days. You can read more about scale in our article “How to Control Scale Insects.”
What kind of soil do jade plants like?
Jade can’t stand soil that’s too wet, so good drainage is the top priority. A soil blend designed especially for cacti and succulents does the trick, or you can make a homemade potting soil by mixing peat and organic material with coarse sand and perlite. If you’re planting your jade outdoors and your soil already offers plenty of drainage, you might amend it with some organic material to make it a bit heavier. Jade plants tend to be heavy at the top, but their roots are shallow, so the can use the added heft in the soil to keep them upright.
When should I repot my jade plant?
You’ll often hear that jade plants like to be rootbound or prefer small containers. Although this is true, you still need to upgrade the size of their container every so often. For young jade plants, go up a size every two or three years. More mature plants can be repotted into a larger container every four or five years.
Where should you place a jade plant?
When you’re choosing a spot for your jade plant, the most important considerations are the soil and light a location provides. If you’re keeping your jade plant indoors, choose a spot where it will get at least five hours of sunlight per day—indirect sunlight works just fine. If you can’t find a spot with that much sun in your home, you can substitute six to eight hours per day with a grow light. Outdoors, the sun requirement is still at least five hours per day. However, in especially hot areas, your jade plant will benefit from some shade in the afternoon. Aim for dappled or partial sun instead of full, direct sunlight for the entire day to prevent sunscald. When it comes to soil, drainage is key, as jade plants don’t tolerate overly moist soil well. You can use a store bought blend meant for succulents and cacti, create your own potting mix, or amend your soil if you’re planting jade directly in the ground. A homemade potting mix should consist of peat and organic material mixed with coarse sand and perlite. If your own soil doesn’t provide enough drainage, you can add sand to help it filter the moisture. Your jade plant may also benefit from soil amended with organic material, as their roots are shallow but they tend to be topheavy, and the added weight can help them stay upright.
Why are my jade plant leaves wrinkled?
The most common reason for wrinkled leaves on a jade plant is that conditions are too dry. Water your jade plant whenever the soil dries out. You should test the soil regularly by sticking your finger into it, and if it doesn’t stick to your skin, it’s time to water the plant. Make sure to water deeply—until the water drips from the pot’s drainage holes. Aim to water your plant before the leaves become thin and wrinkled. If adequate hydration doesn’t solve the problem, you may be dealing with insects like mealybugs or scale. You can fight them with a spray made of a quart of water with one tablespoon of dish soap and one cup of rubbing alcohol. Apply this spray every three days for two weeks. Finally, if the wrinkled leaves aren’t due to insects or lack of water and your jade is in a container, your plant may be rootbound. Try transplanting your jade to a new container that’s two or three inches wider than its current home.
Why does my jade plant have yellow leaves?
Yellow leaves on a jade plant signal that it’s getting too much water. Always wait for the soil to dry out completely before watering your plant. The best way to test moisture level is to stick your finger into the soil, and if it clings to your skin, it’s still moist. Remember to scale back how much water you give your plant during its wintertime dormancy, too. You can also alter the soil your jade is planted in to help make sure it doesn’t get too much water. Adding perlite or coarse sand to the soil, or using a potting mix designed for growing succulents and cacti, could resolve your jade plant’s yellow leaves.
Why is my jade plant limp?
A limp jade plant is usually getting too much water. Always let your jade plant’s soil dry out completely between waterings. It’s easy to check by dipping your finger into the soil near your plant. If the soil sticks to your skin, it’s still moist, and you should hold off on watering. Also keep in mind that your plant needs less water during the dormant period in winter.
Why is my jade plant turning black?
Black spots on your jade plant may indicate it’s getting too much water. Make sure to let soil dry out completely between waterings. Test the moisture level by inserting a finger into the soil near your plant, and if it’s dry, the soil won’t stick to your skin. If it does stick, don’t water yet. Remember to scale back hydration during the plant’s dormancy in the winter, too. Black spots on your jade plant’s foliage could also be the result of insect infestation. You can make a homemade spray to fight insects by mixing a quart of water with a tablespoon of dish soap and a cup of rubbing alcohol, or simply brush your plant’s foliage with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Want to learn more about growing jade plant?
The Old Farmer’s Almanac covers Jade Plants
University of Connecticut covers Jade Plants