Jade Plant Care

Caring For A Jade Plant – 8 Full Guides For Beginer

Because jade plants are succulents, they are very hardy and easy to grow indoors. With the right care, they can also live for a very long time. Find out how to keep your jade plant healthy.

About Jade Plants

With their thick, wooden branches and oval-shaped leaves, jade plants look like small trees and make beautiful houseplants.

They live for a very long time and are often passed down from one generation to the next. When grown indoors, they can grow to be three feet or taller.

Most houses are warm and dry, which is good for jade plants. It is important to keep the plant moist when it is growing (spring and summer) and dry when it is resting (fall and winter).

Even during the growing season, though, you should let the soil dry out completely between waterings because jade tends to rot.

Jade Plant Care

All year, jade plants can be used as landscaping plants in places that are mostly dry (typically Zone 10 and warmer). Jade should be grown in pots and brought inside when the temperature drops below 50 °F (10 °C) because it is easily damaged by cold.

How to Plant Jade Plants

Because jade plants get heavy on top and topple over, use a wide, sturdy pot with a shallow depth.

Use a soil that drains well because too much water can cause diseases like root rot that are caused by fungi. You can use an all-purpose potting mix, but you will need to add more perlite to help the soil drain better.

The best ratio is 2 parts potting mix to 1 part perlite. Use a pre-made succulent or cactus potting mix instead.

You shouldn’t water a jade plant right after you plant it. When you wait a few days to a week between waterings, the roots can settle down and heal from any damage. Older jade plants might have a thick, scaly trunk that makes them look like trees.

Jade Plant Care

How to Start a Jade Plant from a Leaf or Stem Cutting

Jade plants are succulents that can be grown from a single leaf or a small piece of the plant. Here’s what you do:

  1. Remove a leaf or take a stem cutting from a well-established plant. An ideal stem cutting would be 2–3 inches in length and have at least two pairs of leaves. Once you have your leaf or cutting, allow it to sit for several days in a warm place; a callous will form over the cut area, helping to prevent rot and encourage rooting.
  2. Gather your pot and a well-draining potting mix. Use soil that is slightly moist, but not wet.
  3. Take the leaf and lay it on top of the soil horizontally, covering the cut end with some of the soil. If you have a stem cutting, place it upright in the soil (prop it up with a few small rocks or toothpicks if it won’t stand on its own).
  4. Place the pot in a warm place with bright, indirect light. Do not water.
  5. After a week or two, the leaf or cutting will start sending out roots. A week or so after that, give the plant a gentle poke or tug to see if it has rooted itself in place. If it hasn’t, wait a bit longer, testing it (gently!) every few days.
  6. Once the plant seems to be firmly rooted, water it deeply and carefully. Use something like a turkey baster to gently water the plant without disturbing the roots too much. Make sure that you don’t just get the surface layer of the soil wet, as you want to encourage the roots to grow downward for water, not towards the surface.
  7. Let the soil dry out between waterings and keep the plant out of intense direct sunlight until it is well established.
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How to Care for Jade Plants

Lighting

Every day, jade plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Young plants should be kept in bright, indirect sunlight, but big jade plants that have been growing for a long time may be able to handle more direct sunlight.

Kitchens and offices with windows facing south or west are often great places with just the right amount of light.

Low-light jade plants can get tall and top-heavy, which can hurt them if they fall over or can’t hold their own branches anymore.

Temperature

During the day, jade plants do best in temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C). At night and in the winter, they prefer temperatures as low as 55 °F (13  °C).

If you leave jade outside all summer, bring it inside when the temperature drops to about 50 °F (10 °C) in October.

Keep jade plants away from cold windows and drafty rooms during the winter. If jade plants get too cold, they might lose their leaves.

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Watering

It is very important to water jade plants the right way! The most common problem with jade plants is that they don’t get enough water.

In the spring and summer, when the plant is growing quickly, it will need more water than at other times of the year. Deeply water jade plants so that the soil is moist all the way through and not just on the surface.

Wait until the soil is mostly dry before watering again. This means you may need to water it once a week or once a month, depending on how quickly the soil dries out where you keep your plant.

In the fall and winter, the plant may stop growing or even stop growing completely. At this point, it won’t need much water.

Jade Plant Care

It should be watered less often than in spring and summer, and the soil should be allowed to dry out completely between waterings. During their dormant period, large, well-established jades may only need one or two waterings.

When you water, don’t spray the leaves with water. In a humid climate, this could cause the leaves to rot.

Because jade plants are sensitive to salts in regular water, use filtered or distilled water if your tap water isn’t the best.

If the plant starts to lose its leaves, if the leaves shrink, or if brown spots appear on the leaves, it means that the plant needs more water.

If the plant’s leaves become limp and wet, it’s getting too much water.

Fertilizing

Jade plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer, so only give them a little bit at a time. Mix a normal liquid houseplant fertilizer with a cactus and succulent fertilizer and water it down.

Repotting Jade Plants

Roots that are too small for a small pot don’t bother jade plants. In fact, root binding keeps the jade smaller and easier to work with.

Every two to three years, move young jade plants to a new pot to help them grow. Older jade should be replanted every four to five years, or as needed.

Plant at the beginning of spring, right before the growing season starts.

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After repotting, the plant needs water for about a week. Wait at least a month before fertilizing to keep from burning new roots by accident.

Some types of jade can get red leaf tips if they get enough light. This picture was made by Mauricio Acosta Rojas of Shutterstock.

Recommended Varieties

There are many different kinds of jade plants, from those with green leaves to ones with leaves that are different colors. Here are some interesting things to keep an eye out for:

Jade Plant Care

  • ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ has beautiful yellow- and red-tipped leaves.
  • ‘Tricolor’ has leaves variegated with white and cream.
  • ET’s Fingers’ has tubular leaves with red tips. An oddity!

Harvesting

From the leaves of older jade plants, it’s easy to grow new ones. In the planting section, you can find out more (above).

Wit And Wisdom

To get a jade plant to bloom, keep its roots in a small pot and don’t water it.

Winter temperatures that are cooler can help plants bloom.

Some people see jade plants as a sign of good luck and success because they are sometimes called “money plants.”

Because jade plants live for a long time and are hardy, they make great gifts that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

Pest/Diseases

  • Mealybugs or scale may hide under stems and leaves. To remove the pests, use a spray bottle of water or wipe the insects off gently with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or cotton swab. Repeated applications will be necessary to remove the pests’ offspring. If the plant is too heavily infested, it may be better to take a clean cutting from it and start anew.
  • Powdery mildew can be a problem, but is fairly uncommon indoors.
  • Root rot is caused by excessive moisture in the soil. Let the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Shriveled or wrinkled leaves are signs of a thirsty plant in need of more frequent or deeper waterings.
  • Waterlogged and squishy leaves indicated that the plant is getting too much water.
  • Leaf drop is a symptom of watering issues, too.
See more articles in this category: Outdoor Plants

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