Jade leaves falling off

Q–What kind of light, watering and fertilizer are needed by the jade plant? I have been using a fertilizer labeled 15-30-15. The leaves keep dropping off.

A–Because jade is grown primarily for foliage, not flowers, give it a fertilizer with a high first number instead of a high second as you have been. Fish emulsion would be excellent, or a chemical type such as 23-21-17.

The jade plant, which botanists know as Crassula argentea, is one of the most adaptable in the world. I have seen them hanging on in dark corners, but to grow well jade needs direct sunlight a half-day or more. This translates to a window facing east, south or west.

Water jade really well. If the excess drains into the saucer, pour it off within 30 minutes. Do not water again until the surface soil feels quite dry. During the period of most active growth, from late winter until midsummer, pinch out the growing tips several times. This encourages branching.

Jade leaves could fall prematurely from being too wet or too dry, for lack of nitrogen in the soil or for need of more sunlight. Quite often mealybugs attack this succulent. Remove them by hand, using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol; repeat treatment once a week until there are no more bugs. Jade plant also needs a potting mix that rapidly drains off any excess moisture. I use about equal parts of clean, sharp sand, peat moss and packaged all-purpose potting soil.

Q–I have dwarf cannas growing in 12-inch clay pots on my sunny terrace. Why do the leaf tips persist in dying back?

A–Your cannas need more water. For the situation you describe, they undoubtedly need soaking once a day, even twice in the hottest weather.

Container plantings outdoors often need thorough watering twice daily in midsummer. While this drenching refreshes and cools the roots, it also rapidly leaches nutrients. Therefore, it pays to fertilize regularly.

Although cannas have an amazing tolerance for heat and even drying winds, to keep producing their sizable flowers they need a constant supply of water. Promptly pick off spent blooms before seeds start to grow. Scissor off any dead leaf tips.

Q–Why do the new leaves on my indoor grapefruit tree come out curled instead of opening flat as the old ones? The plant is more than 20 years old and is over 9 feet tall and as wide. Because of its size, only part receives sunlight at a time. There are apparently no insects.

A–Congratulations! You must have one of the largest grapefruit trees in captivity. When new leaves curl as you describe, insects such as aphids are often responsible, although lack of sun could be a factor. For the plant in question, I would take a strong kitchen knife and slice down through the rootball all around, an inch or two from the walls of the container. Remove the soil and roots you are able to cut away. Replace with fresh potting mix, using about two parts moistened peat moss to one each of sand and packaged all-purpose potting soil. Water well.

At the same time, do some pruning of the top parts of the grapefruit tree. Cut back new shoots several inches. Considering the tree`s size, I would probably take it back at least a foot all over. As new growth appears, fertilize lightly, regularly, alternating between fish emulsion and an acid fertilizer such as Stern`s Miracid.

Q–This spring I bought several cinerarias, which bloomed beautifully in a shaded window box until hot weather. If I cut back the old growth, will they grow again from the roots?

A–No, the cineraria is an annual flower. Discard the old plants.

Although cinerarias are turned out mostly by professional propagators, it is possible to grow them from seeds at home. Late summer or early fall is the time, after the greatest heat is over.

One catalogue source for cineraria seeds is the Geo. W. Park Seed Co. Inc., Greenwood, S.C. 29647. The catalogue is free, but specify your interest in ordering cineraria seeds.

Cineraria seeds are tiny but sprout readily when sown on a moistened planting medium, ideally a packaged, soil-less medium. Keep moist, in moderate temperatures (65 to 80 degrees). When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant to individual 3-inch pots. Morning sun is needed, as is a plentiful supply of water and likely a spray now and again to fend off aphids. Cinerarias must be wintered in a frost-free spot. They thrive on cool night temperatures in the fall and winter, around 50 degrees, to not more than about 65 by day.

Q–Have you ever heard of a seed company called Le Marche, which specializes in French varieties? It was mentioned in a recent article about Alice Waters of Chez Panisse restaurant in California.

A–The full name and address is Le Marche Seeds International, Box 566, Dixon, Calif. 95620. This request gives me the opportunity to mention one of the best gardening books to come along in many a year. It is ”Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally” by Robert Kourik ($16.95 plus $1.50 postage and handling from the Edible Landscape Book Project, Box 1841, Santa Rosa, Calif. 95402). Kourik`s love and knowledge of the subject shine from every page, with superb illustrations and charts.

Q–I have a lahoya plant eight years old, with leaves that come up partially pink and purple. How can I get it to bloom?

A–You have a variegated hoya or wax flower. This plant needs an abundance of light, water, fertilizer and warmth in spring and summer. During fall and winter, keep cooler, water less so the soil is on the dry side but not so dry the leaves shrivel, and do not fertilize. After the full cycle of two fat seasons, followed by two lean, flowering should occur the following late spring or summer, after you change the conditions from cool-weather lean to warm-weather fat. In spring and summer alternate between fish emulsion and a 15-30-15 fertilizer.

Q–What are the names of some house plants that can be grown in water?

What nutrients should I add? How about some charcoal in the water? And do I change the water or merely add to it?

A–At the moment I have these plants growing in vases and bottles of water, both in window and fluorescent-lighted gardens: Dracaena, pleomele, philodendron, peperomia, hoya, pink Cissus adenopoda, episcia, English ivy, pothos, arrowhead nephythtis, geranium and coleus. About once a month I change the water, rinse any algae from the roots and submerged stems, and clean the container with sudsy warm water. To a quart of fresh water I add one-fourth teaspoon 20-20-20 fertilizer, or one having a similar NPK ratio, such as Rapidgro 23-21-17, and a heaping teaspoon of horticultural charcoal chips. In between I top off these various little hydroponic gardens with the same diluted fertilizer water.

While it’s not a particularly difficult plant to care for, sometimes a Jade plant can take a turn for the worse – and that can be quite disappointing. The first sign of an unhappy Jade plant is often the dropping of leaves. Understanding what upsets your Jade plant is important if you want to learn how to revive it and prevent this in the future.

Why is my Jade plant dropping leaves? A Jade plant can start dropping its leaves for the following 8 reasons:

  1. Incorrect watering (overwatering or underwatering)
  2. Poor drainage
  3. Poor soil quality
  4. Insufficient light
  5. Pest Infestation
  6. Temperature fluctuations
  7. Natural renewal of older leaves
  8. Using leaf shine products

The Jade plant, (Crassula ovata),is one of the most adaptable succulent plants in the world. Many people make the mistake of thinking that because it is adaptable, that it can get by with little to no attention.

Being adaptable doesn’t mean that you can get away with neglecting a Jade plant. This plant, mostly grown as foliage, makes for a great houseplant or garden plant. You simply have to put in a little bit of effort to keep it in good shape. I’ve written a complete jade plant care guide which covers everything you need to know to keep your jade plant in perfect health.

Read on to learn more about each of the 8 reasons why your Jade plant is dropping leaves and what you can do to revive it.

1. Incorrect Watering Causes Jade Plants To Drop Leaves

If you overwater or underwater your Jade plant, it may start dropping its leaves excessively. Being too wet or too dry can make the plant most unhappy.

Of course, Jade plants do love water and even though they do well in dry environments, you should still undertake to water the houseplant regularly. In fact, don’t be too hesitant when you water. You can completely soak the soil in the pot until the water starts leaking out the drainage holes.

However, don’t let the plant sit in the excess, drained water for more than about 30 minutes after watering. This will make the soil too wet, which is something that the Jade doesn’t like.

If you check the soil and it is damp, don’t water it again too soon. You should only water the plant again when the potting soil is dry.

2. Poor Drainage Can Cause Root Rot And Leaf Drop In Your Jade Plant

Poor drainage is a common reason why Jade plants drop their leaves. Well-draining soil is imperative for the long-term happiness of most succulents.

If your Jade plant’s soil doesn’t drain well, excess moisture can lead to root rot. When root rot sets in, it means that the water in the pot can’t be easily absorbed and this deters transport of water and nutrition to the leaves and the rest of the plant.

As a result, the leaves will fall off. Make sure that you have well-draining soil or use a wooden skewer to check that the soil is dry inside, before you water the plant again.

If you get your water schedule right and have decent soil that drains suitably, you can avoid excess leaf dropping.

3. Poor Soil Quality

Jade plants enjoy light fertilizing. If your Jade plant’s soil lacks sufficient nutritional value, it can stunt your plant’s growth and result in loss of leaves, but that’s not all.

Poor quality soil can also result in the plant and leaves shriveling or turning a yellow color and dying. Jade plants are succulents, so you don’t have to feed the soil/plant too often – typically they survive well in rocky environments and dry soils.

If you want to boost growth and bushiness, you should use a balanced houseplant fertilizer. I’ve had much greater success in growing vibrant healthy Jade Plants since I started using this fertilizer.

Mix the correct water to fertilizer ratio to avoid damaging your Jade and apply it sparingly to the soil.

There is such a thing as too much fertilizer! Jade plants typically enjoy feeding at the height of the growing season, which is in early to mid-summer. You should aim to add nutrition to the soil once a season or every 3 months.

4. Light Conditions

While Jade plants love full sunlight and will thrive in these conditions, you don’t specifically have to place your plant in direct sun. They can grow indoors or in shade, as long as there is sufficient natural bright light.

Jade plants with variegated leaves generally prefer less direct light and can be grown inside as long as natural light comes into the room. You can place your Jade plant in a southern window – if it gets 4 hours of direct sunlight, it will be happy and flourish, but it can get away with a bit less.

If your Jade plant is deprived of sunlight, it will start to drop its leaves. If you notice this happening, move your Jade plant to a sunnier or brighter spot.

5. Pest Infestation

Pest infestations and bug attacks can have a negative impact on a plant. How a plant recovers after an attack really depends on what type of pest attacked it and how much damage was sustained.

Mealybugs are prone to attacking Jade plants. This type of pest infestation can cause a Jade plant to start dropping its leaves. The good news is that Mealybugs are quite easy to get rid of.

You can help your Jade plant recover from a Mealybug infestation by removing each bug by hand. You can identify these bugs quite easily as they look like white spots usually found where stem and leaves meet.

Removing the bugs is best done with a rubbing alcohol-soaked swap. Gently wipe the plant down ensuring that you remove each bug. You can also use a general insecticide such as Malathion for controlling Mealybugs.

6. Temperature Fluctuations Can Cause Jade Plants To Drop Leaves

Most plants don’t like extreme or sudden temperature fluctuations so try not to move your plant around too much or leave it outside exposed to all manner of element changes.

If your Jade plant is exposed to high temperatures or very low temperatures, it could be the reason why it is dropping its leaves. The ideal temperature for a Jade plant is 65°F to 75°F.

Generally speaking, Jade plants can handle lower temperatures but don’t thrive in temperatures below 40°F. They specifically do not survive or do well with frost. This may cause a problem for your Jade plant if it is kept outside during the summer months and then winter comes around.

This can be quite a shock to the plant. When winter comes around, you can avoid leaves dropping from exposure to very low temperatures by bringing your plant inside for the coldest months of the year.

If you move your plant indoors for the winter, make sure that you situate it in an area that gets good air flow. If the temperature is too warm, which is usually the case when a Jade plant is positioned near a heater, the mature leaves can start to drop off and show soft leggy growth.

Move the plant to a more ventilated, cooler area to avoid leaf dropping and ensure that your plant perks up again.

7. Jade Plants Drop Older Leaves Naturally

Leaves dropping from your houseplant is not always a sign of doom and gloom. Your plant could be just fine.

Your Jade plant could be dropping its leaves simply because it is renewing older ones. This is the typical lifecycle of the Jade plant and is not something to be worried about. Jade plants naturally drop their older leaves as they age.

These are replaced with the growth of new leaves. If your Jade plant is dropping old leaves, this is completely normal. However, if your plant is excessively dropping leaves, it can be a sign of a problem and you should investigate all the possible reasons.

If you have had the plant for a while, you will know what is considered a normal leaf dropping rate for your particular plant. If your plant is suddenly dropping more leaves than normal, it could be a sign of the plant being unhappy or distressed.

8. Using Leaf Shine Products Can Cause Jade PLants To Drop Leaves

Many people mistakenly think that they should or can clean their houseplants with household detergents and leaf shine products. You should avoid doing this with your Jade plant as many of them don’t react well to chemicals of any variety.

Simply clean your plant with a damp cloth if it is dirty or dusty. Using leaf shine products can coat the leaf and cause yellowing, which eventually leads to leaves falling off.

If you have been using leaf shine products on your Jade plant and have noticed adverse effects, spend some time cleaning the plant with a cloth and lukewarm water.

Investigate the cause of your Jade Plant dropping leaves to restore it to health.Image source

How to Revive a Jade Plant

Many people worry that their Jade plant will never be the same after it has started looking bare and unhappy. The good news is that you can revive a Jade plant after it has started dropping its leaves with just a little bit of effort.

If your Jade plant is showing signs of distress by dropping its leaves, reviving it can be as simple as adjusting your watering schedule, adding a light fertilizer, checking for pest infestation, and placing it in the right spot. High and low temperatures and overwatering can also cause problems, so it is a good idea to check these conditions and adjust them too.

By doing things right with your Jade plant, you should be able to quite easily and effectively turn the situation around. Jade plants are quite amazing in that an entirely new plant can be grown by simply punching a leaf off and planting it.

If you are worried that your entire plant has sustained too much damage to revive, pinch some of the good leaves off and plant them. Soon new plants will be growing for you.

Will Jade Plants Leaves Grow Back?

Over time, your Jade plant should start to grow fresh, new leaves as it bounces back to better health. If you want to boost growth of new branches and leaves, there are things that you can do.

Below are a few ways to stimulate growth of new leaves and branches, and also to restore “bushiness”.

Prune And Trim The Plant Strategically

Carefully prune the plant directly after the winter season, when it is most primed to grow. Try not to over-prune your houseplants as this can set back their growth considerably.

Keep in mind that your Jade plant will still need leaves for photosynthesis, so trim/prune off the older leaves and allow the younger leaves to stay. In any event, you should leave at least 70% – 75% of the leaves/foliage in place for the health of your plant. To avoid over pruning, plan to prune in stages over a number of weeks.

Pinch Back The Plant

Use your forefinger and thumbnail to pinch back the plant at the leaf axis or at the joint of a branch . Doing this encourages new leaves to grow.

Cut The Leaf Axis

You can also cut a leaf axis along a long stem. This will often encourage 2 new branches to develop. Do this often enough and you can really create a bushier, happier looking Jade plant.

Both of these techniques will encourage your Jade plant to grow new leaves and stems.

Last Word

Jade plants make for wonderful houseplants and very rarely suffer problems. If the leaves start wilting, withering or dropping off excessively, it’s a sure sign that your plant needs a bit of extra attention.

Ensure that you have created a prime living environment for your plant and your Jade should perk up and start flourishing once more.

For more information on how to grow wonderful succulents like Jade plants indoors, read my guide to indoor succulent care.

The jade plant, scientifically referred to as Crassula ovata, is a succulent shrub native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This drought tolerant tree grows green foliage, has reddish and purple hues and blooms pink and white flowers. Because jade grows easily and resists most diseases and predators, wilting or distressed jade plant is easily cured.

Use sharp, sterile scissors to prune away any dead branches. Make an angular cut as close to the branch as possible to ensure rapid healing. Avoid pruning away any withering foliage as these leaves may rejuvenate.

Remove the jade plant from its potting container and place the plant on a clean, flat surface. Gently remove excess soil from the roots.

Trim back any dead or dying roots in the root system. Use sharp, sterile scissors to complete the root pruning process. Hold the distressed root in one hand and trim back the individual root at the base of the system. Avoid trimming more than one third of the root system.

Repot the jade plant using clean, nutrient-rich soil mixed with an equal amount of organic compost. Line the bottom of a well-drained potting container with a layer of prepared soil. Position the jade plant in the center of the container and fill it with the potting soil.

Use a clean, moist cloth and gently clean the foliage of the plant, removing any soil or dust. Irrigate the jade plant thoroughly while allowing excess water to run out the bottom of the container. Use a misting bottle and spray a fine mist across the foliage.

Place the newly repotted jade plant in a warm location that receives at least six hours of full to partially shaded sunlight each day. Choose a location that provides morning sun and afternoon shade to prevent sun damage and distress. Avoid locations near excessive heat or temperature variations such as heating vents or air conditioning units.

Allow the soil of the jade plant to dry out completely between watering. Place your finger in the soil near the root system, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. Water the plant when the soil feels dry and foliage begins to show signs of drooping.

Feed the jade plant only when it shows signs of improved health. Look for firmly filled foliage with a rich green color and strongly developed branches. Feed the jade plant in early spring just before the growing season begins. Use a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.

One of the most common problems with Jade Plants (Crassula ovata) is giving them too much water. It’s so easy to be a little overenthusiastic with the watering can when trying to help your Jade Plant thrive. This article will tell you the signs of Jade Plant overwatering and how to fix and prevent them.

Jade Plant Overwatering Symptoms: The symptoms of overwatering a Jade Plant are yellowing leaves, leaf drop, soft leaves and dry leaves. The soil will usually be waterlogged and the roots will show signs of root rot.

Follow the tips and advice below to identify an overwatered Jade Plant and learn how you can treat and revive it. For more general jade plant care tips, I’ve written a complete guide to jade plant care.

Jade Plant Overwatering Symptoms Explained

A Jade plant that is overwatered shows very similar signs to what you would expect from an underwatered plant – signs of dehydration.

While it can seem a little confusing at first, once you understand what happens to an overwatered Jade Plant, it all makes sense.

Overwatering a Jade Plant causes root root and root death, which prevents the plant from being able to absorb water and nutrients. So you can see that two very different watering problems can cause similar symptoms.

It’s crucial that you are able to tell the two problems apart if you want to fix your Jade plant and prevent similar problems in the future. Below is a brief explanation of each of the symptoms of Jade plant overwatering.

An Overwatered Jade Plant May Have Yellowing Leaves

One of the first signs of overwatering a Jade plant is the yellowing of its leaves. Sometimes older leaves can turn yellow as they are replaced by new growth, but if your plant has many yellow leaves, then there is a problem that needs fixed.

The leaves turn yellow as a result of overwatering because the rots are waterlogged, may be suffering from root rot, and the plant is not able to absorb sufficient nutrients to thrive and flourish.

If your Jade Plant is getting yellow leaves, this is an opportunity to identify the cause of the problem and fix it before your plant suffers further. Yellow leaves can be caused by a whole range of issues, such as overwatering, underwatering, high or low temperatures, pests and disease.

This means you will need to investigate things a bit further before you take action to fix the problem.

Leaf Drop Can Be Caused By Overwatering

Leaf drop can occur whenever an overwatering problem becomes worse. As the Jade Plant’s root system struggles further, it cannot support the leaves, which leads to leaf drop.

If your Jade plant is dropping older leaves as they mature, this is not always a sign of overwatering. It could be absolutely normal. Keep an eye out for excessive or premature leaf dropping as a sign of too much water.

Soft Leaves Is A Symptom Of Overwatering Your Jade Plant

Your first thought when you squeeze a Jade Plant’s leaves and find them soft is probably that the plant is dehydrated and needs more water. This is not always the case though, so don’t jump to watering it immediately.

A healthy Jade plant has water-filled leaves that are thick and firm to the touch. If the leaves of your Jade plant are more soft and “squishy” than they are firm, it could be a sign that the plant is being overwatered.

Soft leaves often present themselves when the Jade plant suffers root rot, which is directly caused by excessive watering. However, soft leaves can also be a sign of underwatering or dehydration, so you may not be wrong if you first thought as much.

The best way to determine if the leaves are soft from overwatering or underwatering is to check the roots and soil.

Very Dry Leaves Can Be A Sign of Overwatering Your Jade Plant

Very dry leaves on your Jade Plant might prompt you to believe that the plant is dehydrated or in need of watering. While it is natural to think this and reach for the watering can, you might be making a mistake.

In keeping with the other symptoms, dry leaves can indicate an overwatered Jade Plant due to non-functioning roots.

Wet Soil And Root Rot

This might seem obvious, but the condition of the soil, in combination with the symptoms of the plant is what will help you identify the cause of your plant’s problems.

Saturated soil will quickly cause root rot, which can kill the roots of your plant, preventing your Jade Plant absorbing water and nutrients. Without water and nutrients, the plant becomes dehydrated and shows signs of nutrient deficiency.

Feel the soil with your fingers to assess the moisture. If the soil is saturated and the pot is heavy with water, then it is very unlikely that underwatering is the cause of the problem.

If the soil is saturated, and your plant is looking unhealthy, you should lift the plant out of it’s pot to take a closer look at the roots. If the roots appear wet, soft and mushy, overwatering is most-likely the culprit.

How Do You Revive An Overwatered Jade Plant?

Once your Jade plant starts showing signs of being “sick”, you might worry that there is no way to save it. Luckily, an overwatered Jade plant can be revived and recovered fairly easily if you act quickly.

If your Jade plant is showing signs of overwatering, it is best to act as quickly as possible to save it.

Below are a few things that you can do:

Remove The Waterlogged Soil

The most important thing to do with a waterlogged Jade Plant is to improve conditions for the roots. You should remove the plant from the pot and gently remove as much of the waterlogged soil from around the roots.

You’ll then need to assess the health of the roots. Drastic action may be needed.

Remove The Most Affected Rotting Roots

Root rot can spread throughout the entire root system and even into the stem of the Jade plant. Your Jade plant’s rotting roots should be pruned back using sterile pruning shears.

How much should you cut off? When you cut the root, the inside should be entirely white, if it is expected to survive. If you see any brown coloring in the center of the root, keep cutting it back until it is completely white.

Once you have done this, and the Jade plant only has healthy roots left, you can make another cut into each of the healthy roots, which will encourage new root growth and hopefully help the plant to bounce back.

Make sure that you sterilize your pruners after removing root rot areas. This can be done by wiping them with rubbing alcohol or holding the blades under a flame for a few seconds.

Repot The Plant

You can now repot your Jade Plant into a more suitable living environment. Choose a container that is appropriately sized for your plant. A pot that is just large enough to accommodate the root structure of the plant is perfect. Avoiding a pot that is too large will allow the soil to dry out quicker.

It is essential to use fresh, dry potting mix when repotting your Jade plant. The soil must be fast draining to reduce the risk of overwatering in the future.

Opt for creating your own soil mix for the best results. A good mix is equal parts potting soil, coarse sand and perlite. You can also use cactus soil or succulent potting soil for convenience.

Don’t water the plant for a few days. Only do so when the plant looks like it might be pepping up a bit or when the roots and soil feel completely dry. When you start watering the plant again, make sure that you don’t overdo it.

Only water the Jade plant when the soil has completely dried out. This may only be once every few weeks depending on the conditions in your home.

Best Practice To Avoid Jade Plant Overwatering Issues

While there are things that you can do to recognize, diagnose, treat, and revive symptoms of overwatering, it is often better to look at preventative care strategies.

The best way to ensure that your Jade plant doesn’t suffer any of the symptoms of overwatering is to ensure that you don’t overwater it in the first place (or subject it to poor drainage conditions).

The most important thing is to check the soil of your Jade plant before watering to ensure that it is sufficiently dry and that more water is required. There are a number of ways of checking to see if your houseplant needs watered, such as testing the soil with your finger, or checking the weight of the pot to estimate how dry the potting soil is.

If you want to learn more, I’ve written an article all about how to tell when your houseplants need watered.

Tips For Creating A Happy Jade Plant Environment

First and foremost, look at creating a happy and healthy environment for your Jade plant. This should include a good potting, watering, and maintenance schedule.

You can also use the following tips to ensure that the living environment for your Jade plant is good or suitable:

Pot Your Jade Plant Correctly From The Start

If you start off well with your Jade plant, you will only have to maintain it and not work so hard at recovering and reviving it. It all starts with how you initially pot the plant.

The soil and the pot that you use for your Jade plant can impact on how much water it has to deal with. If the pot doesn’t drain well or the soil tends to waterlog, your Jade plant will be forcibly overwatered.

When potting your Jade plant, ensure that the container has plenty of drainage holes and that the soil doesn’t block them every time you water the plant. Increase drainage by adding some perlite into the soil mix.

Get Rid Of Excess Water From The Drip Tray

If your Jade plant’s pot has a drip tray, you might find that water drains out of the pot and settles in it every time that you water it. This means that your soil is draining well and that the pot’s holes aren’t clogged – it’s good news!

It is however important to promptly get rid of excess water from the saucer so that the Jade plant doesn’t sit in it for an extended period of time. As you might guess, this can cause root rot! Once you have watered your succulent, wait about 30 minutes and then empty the saucer out.

Quickly Rectify Overwatering Mistakes

Providing a little too much water every now and then won’t do your Jade plant much harm, but repeated overwatering will cause problems.

If you think there is a problem, stop and assess the situation. Consider the factors we have discussed in this article and make some adjustments to prevent your plant from suffering.

Replace Poorly Draining Soil Promptly

It is easy to overlook the problem of poor-quality soil. If your potting mix isn’t draining like it should, it will compromise the health of your Jade plant’s root system. If the soil doesn’t seem to drain, you need to improve the drainage or repot your Jade Plant with better draining potting mix.

When you first see the tell-tale signs of overwatering, you might think it is already too late to save your favorite house plant. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to revive your Jade plant and get it flourishing happily once more.

Make sure that you set up an ideal living environment for your Jade plant from the start and you may never face the problems of overwatering.

You might be wondering why your jade plant appears to be dying. Well, I am here to tell you some of the reasons why, and offer to help you bring it back to life.

How can you save your dying jade plant? The answer is simple: Care. Renewed care. If the problem was overwatering, take steps to dry out your jade plant. If it was root rot, prune out the dead roots. Understanding the problem helps us come up with solutions. Jade plants don’t just wither and die overnight. It takes time. Succulents like the jade plant are easy to propagate and grow. But you can easily overdo as well as neglect care for the jade plant, and it will result in your jade plant wilting and dying.

So, what is happening to your jade plant, why is it dying? What can you do to fix this? Let me tell you some symptoms and some of the remedies to solve the problem.

There are three symptoms that might appear to tell you that your jade plant is dying:

1) Branches falling off.
2) Yellowing of the leaves.
3) Root rot.

Table of Contents

Jade Plant Branches Falling Off

One of the most observable symptoms that show your jade plant to be dying is the falling off of its branches. Mature jade plants have woody trunks and plump taut-looking leaves. Healthy plants shoot up its branches from the main trunks. They normally project upwards and slightly outward. If your jade plant extends too widely and its branches appear to be hardly able to carry the weight of its leaves, it may be a symptom of a problem. If its branches are stooping downward and bowing to the ground, that may also be a symptom of a problem. If young leaves fall off untimely, it may be a symptom.

Yellowing Of The Leaves

Another obvious symptom that your jade plant is dying is the yellowing of its leaves. Though this is also a symptom of general neglect, yellowing doesn’t happen overnight, it is a clear symptom that your jade plant is dying. There is a natural yellowing of leaves that is not a real problem. Older leaves naturally yellow because of maturity or decease. In this case, all you have to do is to prune the yellowing leaves out. What we are concerned about is the general appearance of your jade plant whose leaves are all turning yellow in various stages. When young leaves turn yellow. This is a symptom that your jade plant is dying.

This is sometimes accompanied by the leaves turning soft. Jade plants leaves, like all other succulent plants, feel firm and taut to the touch. Its leaves are not soggy though it is water-filled. When the leaves become soft and squishy, and breaks with slight finger pressure, it is a sign that the plant is dying.

Root Rot

A third symptom is root rot. This is not the most obvious symptom because root rot manifests under the soil. You need to remove the plant from the pot, shake off the soil, and examine its root system more closely to see if your jade plant is suffering from root rot. However, if you have been seeing a general yellowing of the leaves or a breaking off and weakening of leaves and branches, then it is high time to also check your jade plant’s roots to see if it is experiencing a rotting of roots (not all, but some).

How To Revive An Overwatered Jade Plant

Succulents, as you may know, are water-filled plants. They thrive in arid climates and dry soil conditions. Cactus is a type of succulent plant. This is the reason they are very susceptible to overwatering.

Under normal conditions, you only need to water your jade plant every few weeks. They don’t normally dry up or wilt with little (neglect) watering under cool or normal temperature. This may be the reason why your jade plant appears to be dying. Your jade plant may be overwatered. The symptoms of over-watering are often similar to the symptoms of too little watering.

One of the symptoms of overwatering a jade plant is the yellowing of the leaves. Yes, it’s true that the yellowing of leaves is a symptom of too little watering. However, you cannot dismiss this symptom simply as your jade plant getting too little water. Because if you do that, then you will water your jade plant more, thinking it will solve the problem. But it will not. What you just did is worsen the problem.

The best thing to do if you see yellowing of the leaves is to check the soil — Is the soil dry or wet? If the symptom is a result of overwatering, the soil will be wet or soaked. Either the jade plant is being too frequently watered, under cool climate conditions; or the pot has poor drainage leaving the soil soaking wet. If the soil is dry to the touch, then the jade plant is getting too little water, especially if the climate condition is hot and dry. A little water will do the job. Overwatered jade plants can be revived. They can recover. However, you must be careful.

First, check the pot’s drainage. Make sure that your pots have enough holes for good drainage. If your pot has a drain tray, empty it regularly. This helps prevent overwatering. Feel the soil. If it is soaked, remove the jade plant from the pot and shake of the soil clinging to the roots gently. (This is also the best time to check for root rot. More on that below.) After you have made sure that any rotting roots have been pruned off, repot your jade plant. Jade plants need only a limited amount of space for its roots, just enough allowance for the root ball to be contained. Repot the jade plant in a suitable pot. Do not water your jade plant on the first day or couple of days. But be careful to check that the soil doesn’t dry up. This results in a healthy (revived) plant.

Soil characteristic can also cause overwatering. If the soil you used to plant your jade plant has poor draining characteristics, it may keep the roots soaked. This condition encourages root rot. You need potting soil that is suited for the particular needs of your jade plant, one that has good draining qualities. Putting small pebbles at the bottom of the pot helps drain water. Mixing your soil with crushed walnut or pecan shells, coarse sand helps loosen up the soil medium for easy drainage where your jade plant takes root. It is important to keep the jade plants root moist and watered but not soaked.

Your jade plant may also suffer from root rot as a result of overwatering. When you have removed the plant from the pot and shaken the soil, check for root rot. Root rot appears brown, dark, and dead. Train your eye on the larger tap roots. You can see this brown deceased growth if you cut off an end of a root; see how far the root rot goes. Cut slowly up the root until you see some healthy white root material exposed and all the brown material have been pruned off. Make sure you are using clean and sterilized pruning shears to avoid contaminating the root’s inner material.

Root rot often manifests on the plant through dropping leaves or falling branches. Root rot weakens the connections that attach the leaves to the branches and the branches to the trunk. The connections do not receive sufficient nourishment from its roots, because it has rotted. But if the branches just appear to be stooping, it is not always a result of root rot. It can be because the pot is too large for your jade plant. This results in roots being too overspread and loose under the soil. It can also be because you do not regularly prune your jade plant and just allow it to grow wildly without grooming. Its branches become top heavy with too many leaves making the branches stoop for sheer weight.

How To Prune A Jade Plant

Pruning is the nature of grooming for plants. If you don’t prune, its branches and leaves will grow wild. Prune the lowest leaves first. They are the oldest and more mature ones. They will be the ones to fall off first anyway if you leave them. New growth appears at the top and on the ends of the branches. Prune long leggy branches off completely. These are the branches that will droop in time. You want a jade plant that appears tight and upright, and pruning off scrawny sagging branches helps you attain that. There may be times when your jade plant has matured into a woody trunk and woody branches, that you can prune off all new growth leaving a bare trunk and bare branches. You can do this in order for the plant to renew itself. But you need expert advice on this.

Your jade plant really needs little care. It thrives on a little neglect. But too much neglect, your jade plant will die. I hope you won’t be needing this article again in the future: How to revive a dying jade plant?

Did you find this post useful? Would you like to get back to it later? Save THIS PIN below to your gardening, herb garden or house plant board on Pinterest! Thanks 🙂

Jade leaves falling off /dying

Hello Adam,

Your jade plant looks healthy, the leaves look firm and green. Although jade plants are very hardy, there are several conditions that can lead to leaf drop in them. These include drainage; jades are succulent plants and require very good drainage. Proper watering is very important with jade plants. Jade plants also require direct sunlight or supplemental artificial light. Finally, heat can cause jade plants to lose leaves.

To ensure correct drainage first check the pot size – there should be at least an inch of soil around the jade plant’s roots. When you water, water should drain from the bottom of the pot. If it drains right away the root ball may be compressed. If your plant needs more space replant into a larger pot with good drainage holes; a succulent mix is a good choice for potting soil.

Since jade plants are succulents they should dry out completely between waterings, up to 10-14 days between. If any parts of the plant (leaves, stems, etc) are mushy it’s getting too much water. If the leaves wilt, it’s not getting enough water. You can also check the roots, they should be white and firm. If the roots are rotted you will need to replace the plant. You can propagate a new jade plant from a healthy leaf on your plant. Propagating Jade Plants from Gardeningknowhow.com tells you how.

Jade plants need plenty of light and do well in a sunny window. You can also add artificial light if needed.

Heat can cause jade plants to lose leaves, especially older leaves. Moving the plant to an area with good air movement and/or lower temperatures can help the plant.

This article from UBC Jade plant losing leaves and branches is a good discussion on this topic.

Leave a Reply

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