Jade Plant – Care, Growing, Watering, Requirements, Propagation
Thought to bring luck to their owners, jade plants were also called dollar plant or money plant and were quite the popular succulent houseplants.
As a generally undemanding plant, this plant continues to be among the top houseplant favorites.
If the fleshy, oval-shaped leaves, woody stem, and general tree-like appearance of the jade plant won you over, make sure to read the plant caring tips I compiled below, so you can help this plant grow and eventually produce fragrant white flowers.
Jade Plant Care Tips
The guidelines below will help you prevent disease and allow your plant to reach its full potential.
Jade plants have very long lifespans and while they are slow growing, they can reach a height of up to 3 feet or more.
The plant develops a tree-like trunk, allowing it to support the weight of its thick, juicy leaves.
I recommend keeping your jade plant in or near a south-facing window, so it gets plenty of light.
These plants enjoy being in full sun and should receive around 4 hours of sun daily.
Jade plants should not be watered often so that their soil ends up being soggy, nor should they be starved entirely of water.
Keeping this plant hydrated is a careful balancing act that you can easily get the hang of.
Simply wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before you water it. Always check the soil before you water a jade plant to avoid overwatering.
As with any succulent, it’s important to avoid overwatering, which causes root rot and fungal infections.
Watering should be limited to once a month during the winter and every 2-3 weeks during summer.
Bear in mind that this watering schedule is just a guideline and you should always base your decision to water your jade plant on how dry or moist the soil is.
Usually, overwatering is a bigger issue than underwatering. Still, if you notice that leaves start to shrivel or if brown spots appear, one of the reasons may be that your jade plant isn’t getting enough water. Squishy, waterlogged leaves mean that you’re watering your plant in excess.
Don’t splash water on the leaves when watering, use filtered water if your tap water is high in chemical disinfectants and salts.
Temperature & Humidity
Jade plants thrive in daytime temperature of 65-75 F and night temperatures of 50-55 F. Ideally, jade plants should not be exposed to temperatures lower than 40 F. In fact, most jade plants sold in the US, don’t tolerate temperatures below this number.
If you’ve been keeping your jade plants outside, make sure you take them back inside when the weather turns bad.
Even if kept indoors, jade plants should be moved away from cold windows and should be protected from cold drafts.
Jade plants are not dependent on humidity and do fine in average room humidity. As succulents, they tolerate dry air quite well.
Jade plants require soil with good drainage and low moisture holding capacity. Consider the following soil types:
- peat moss-based potting mix in combination with horticultural sand or perlite (2:1 ratio).
- potting soil mixture (one that doesn’t hold too much moisture) with added coconut coir and pine bark for better drainage.
- general succulent mix that you find at the store; slightly acidic (pH around 6 is best).
Aeration and drainage are important to prevent the roots from getting too much moisture, which will eventually cause root rot.
Jade plants benefit from fertilizing during the growing season. Use a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer and create a weak solution by diluting the fertilizer. A fertilizer made for cacti and succulents works best.
Potting & Repotting
As jade plants grow, they develop sturdy stems and thick, heavy leaves, which causes the plant to become top-heavy.
This means you should plant your jade plant in a sturdy pot — ceramic or plastic — making sure it has draining holes on the bottom.
Repotting should be carried out as needed. Transplanting the plant to a new pot should be done in early spring, just before the growth season begins.
When repotting, check that the soil is dry, clean the plant of dead roots or rotten roots, and treat cuts with fungicide. To prevent root rot, allow the soil to dry before you water the plant in its new pot.
Jade Plant Propagation
Propagating jade plants is easy and straightforward. They can be propagated from a leaf or stem cutting.
Take a leaf or a stem from an established jade plant and plant it in moist succulent or cacti mix. Use a transparent cover to create a greenhouse effect that will stimulate rooting. Do not water the stem cutting, wait until it’s rooted, then water it carefully.
Until the plant is well-established, keep it out of intense direct sunlight and leave the soil to dry out between waterings.
Different Types of Jade Plant
In the nursery trade, you can find several varieties of Crassula plants. You’ll most likely see the standard Jade Plant sold under the names Crassula ovata, Crassula argentea or Crassula portulaca.
These are the standard, green-leaf varieties, but there are also several variegated Crassula plants for those that are looking for something a bit more exciting than the original variety.
I recommend the following Jade plant varieties:
The thick leaves of this shrub-like jade plant variety has light green leaves variegated with cream of yellow and light purple leaf edges.
This Crassula variety is my favorite. Leaves are yellow with tips colored in red, evoking the beautiful colors of a sunset.
ET Finger Jade Plant
I list this variety because of its oddly shaped tubular leaves that look like fingers. The tips of the leaves are also etched with red.
This variety is also known as the Dollar Jade or the Blue Buddha Bush. Leaves are large and silvery blue with burgundy edges.
Crassula Ovata Hobbit
This is a small jade plant variety that doesn’t grow taller than 30 cm. ItSs leaves are glossy green with red tips. This jade plant variety produces pinkish white flowers in early winter.
There are many more Crassula varieties you can add to your Jade plant collection including the Crassula Ovata Little Jade Tree, and Crassula Ovata Minima.
If you want a variety that produces a lot of flowers, I recommend the Crassula Ovata Pink, which produces an exceptional number of flowers in late fall, early winter.
Whichever variety you choose, make sure to check if it has special requirements that may be different from the standard jade plant varieties.
Jade Plant FAQs
Here are some further facts on jade plants and jade plant care:
Why are the Leaves on my Jade Plant Falling Off?
If the leaves of your jade plant are falling off, the problem may be caused by either overwatering or underwatering. A lack of enough sun can also cause leaves to fall off.
Check to see if your jade plant is getting at least 4-6 hours of sun each day and adjust your watering schedule. Don’t water the plant if the top 1-2 inches of soil are still moist. Always check the soil before watering.
Is the Jade Plant Toxic for Pets?
Yes, according to the ASPCA website, jade plants are toxic to cats and dogs. Ingestion can cause vomiting, incoordination, and depression. Keep jade plants in a location where pets can’t reach them. Keep these plants away from children too as ingestion can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
What is the Lifespan of a Jade Plant?
Jade plants can live for decades, so if you take care of your jade plant, you can have them around for a long time. Despite not having too many requirements, it’s crucial to avoid overwatering, exposure to the cold and high humidity, which are the chief causes that can shorten the lifespan of your jade plants.
Are Jade Plants Prone to Pests and Diseases?
Other than problems caused by over- or underwatering, jade plants can have white or black mold growing on its leaves, which is caused by too much humidity.
Wash the leaves with soapy water and adjust humidity by increasing aeration in the room where you’re keeping your jade plant.
As for pests, jade plants aren’t prone to pest problems, but the occasional mealybugs may appear. The easiest way to solve a mealybug infestation is to use an appropriate pesticide.
Jade plants are popular succulents that aren’t high maintenance if you know what you’re supposed to be doing when caring for them.
They’re generally healthy plants that produce beautiful flowers. Most of the problems you may encounter in growing jade plants are related to watering issues.
Jade plants come in many different varieties, so make sure to adjust what you read in this article to the requirements of your jade plant variety.
Because jade plants don’t tolerate cold temperatures, avoid leaving your plants outside when the weather turns cold, relocate jade plants that are in cold windows, and keep them away from cold drafts.