Oh Jade Plants, some people love you and some people don’t. Simply put, you’re just one of those plants that everyone seems to have an opinion on. Regardless of how the masses feel, this is 1 of the easiest care plants, in the garden or in the house, out there.
There are many species and varieties of Jades. I have 4 of them in my Santa Barbara garden which you’ll see below and in the video. In this post I’ll be referring to Crassula ovata which is the 1 commonly sold in both the landscape and houseplant trades.
This is my Crassula ovata which sits in a large pot in my back yard. It came from 2 huge cuttings which looked 1/2 dead. They have since settled in & perked right back up.
Except for a little bit of difference in the amount of light they’ll take, you care for them all the same.
- Jade Plant Care
- Jade In The Garden: Can You Grow Jade Outdoors
- Outdoor Jade Plant Care
- Growing Jade Outside
- The Very Best Pots for Jade Plants: Un-Finished Terracotta with Drainage Holes
- The Next Best Thing: A Heavy Pot with a Drainage Hole
- Opting Out of the Drainage Hole in Your Jade Plant Pot
- Your Thoughts on Jade Plant Pots?
- Growing Conditions for Jade Plants
- How to Care for a Jade Plant
- How to Propagate a Jade Plant
- How To Repot Jade Plants
- Pruning a Jade Plant
- Are Jade Plants Poisonous?
- Common Jade Plant Problems
- Jade Plant Overview
- Varieties of Jade Plant:
- Growing and Caring for Jade Plant:
- Common Problems & Pests
Jade Plant Care
In the garden, full sun is fine as long as it’s not all day, hot sun. Like all fleshy succulents, the leaves and stems are full of water & they’ll burn. Here in coastal Santa Barbara they do great in a sunny garden but wouldn’t fare so well in Palm Springs.
As a houseplant, Jade Plants need as much sun as you can give them, at least 6 hours. They aren’t suited for low light conditions. We had a large one, 3′ x 3′, in our greenhouse in Connecticut but the glass had protective coating. The irony now is that we that it was such an exotic rarity to have a Jade that size but out here in California you see them as 6′ hedges!
By the way, your indoor Jade would love to spend the summer outdoors. Just be mindful of the sun & heat & don’t forget to hose the plant down before bringing it back in to keep unwanted critters from hitchhiking in.
My Crassula argentea (ovata) variegata, or Variegated Jade, grows in almost full shade. In the garden, this 1 needs protection from the sun.
Here in Southern California they can reach 9′ tall but are most commonly seen at 3-4′ height range.
As a houseplant, they’re generally sold in 4, 6 & 8″ pots maxing out at about 1′. The largest Jade Plant I’ve seen indoors was the 1 in our greenhouse, but then again it spent those cold, snowy winters in a greenhouse.
These are greenhouse grown Jade Plants to be sold in the houseplant trade.
Yes, Jade Plants really are hedges here in Southern California! This 1 has a lemon tree growing through it.
My garden is on drip & the Jades get watered every 8 to 14 days in the warmer months. And that’s how often I water the ones in containers, maybe even a bit more often depending on how hot it is & the amount of sun. We’re right by the ocean so sometimes the sun doesn’t make an appearance until 11.
Indoors, you want to thoroughly water your Jade Plant no more than every 2-3 weeks in the warmer months. Once a month is enough in the winter months. I’ve done a post, Houseplant Watering 101, which gives you more specifics & talks about the variances on this subject. And, these plants are great for frequent travelers because they don’t need to be babied!
Be sure to watch the video to get more tips & see all my Jades:
In my garden, I added sandy loam into the beds to make sure the water drains on through. Jade Plants, like all their succulent buddies, need excellent drainage. I use succulent & cactus mix for all my succulent container plantings. You can use potting soil but it holds more moisture & needs to be watered less often so go easier on the liquid love.
They only require a feeding once a year. I use worm castings for mine in the garden & in containers.
Indoors, you can use a houseplant fertilizer like Organics RX Indoor Plant Food in mid-spring. Don’t over fertilize – they contain salts which build up in the soil & will ultimately burn the plant.
Not much is needed except to shape as desired, to control the size or to propagate. I rarely prune any of my Jade Plants but will take cuttings for craft projects & videos.
The big Jade in the pot in my back yard came from 2 big, hunky cuttings (about 2′ each) that I got in San Diego. Both were shriveled & looked 1/2 dead when I planted them but perked back up in no time. You can check out my vlog on propagating succulents for the detailed how to on this fun subject.
This is my Crassula argentea Sunset, or Golden or Sunset Jade. As you can see, a good portion of it is reverting to green.
My Jade Plants in the garden have never gotten any.
As houseplants, they are very subject to mealy bugs. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol & then applied to the white, cottony critters will do the trick. I go much more into detail about pests in my book Keep Your Houseplants Alive.
Transplant a Jade Plant
They don’t need it very often, maybe every 3-5 years. Just be warned, as Jade Plants grow taller & wider they get very top heavy & will need a bigger base to keep them from falling over. Older Jade Plants are heavy!
In the winter & early spring Jade Plants flower like crazy here. They get covered in white blossoms – our version of snow!
Indoors, it’s not as common to see 1 flowering.
This pic was taken here in Santa Barbara in late Dec. – lots of starry white blooms.
I happen to like Jade Plants, all of them. I don’t have to do much of anything to any of mine. If you have plenty light, are light handed with the water and want an easy care, fleshy leaved companion, then this plant is for you. So, are you a fan of Jade Plants or not???
I’m throwing this in just for fun – this is what happens when you decapitate a Jade Plant!
Jade In The Garden: Can You Grow Jade Outdoors
Most people are familiar with jade plant’s popularity all over the world as an easy-to-grow houseplant. Yet, many people are surprised to find that in warm climates growing jade plants outdoors is an excellent option. When most of us think of jade plants, we think of beautiful potted bonsai-like specimens. However, in parts of California, Arizona and other arid warm regions, jade is a popular choice for hedge plants. Read on for more information on growing jade outside.
Outdoor Jade Plant Care
Native to South Africa, the most common variety of jade grown in the home or garden is Crassula ovata, commonly known as money tree. As container plants, they grow 2-5 feet (.60 to 1.5 m.) tall. Because jade plants are such slow growers, their size and shape can easily be controlled by keeping them in smaller pots and performing regular pruning and shaping. They can even be shaped easily into unique bonsai specimens.
Because their stems and leaves are quick to form new roots, they are a popular choice for propagation by cuttings. They are seldom bothered by pests, need very little water, and are tolerant of poor, dry potting media and being root bound. All of this applies to outdoor jade plants as well.
They are hardy in zones 10-11, but prefer hot, arid climates and can be prone to rot and other fungal problems in humid climates. Growing jade plants outside does require some patience, as they are slow growers, but in time they can top out to 6-10 feet (1.8 to 3 m.) tall. Usually, though, outdoor jade plants are kept trimmed to 2- to 4-foot (.60 to 1.2 m.) tall hedges or borders, or shaped into bonsai-like specimen or accent plants.
In the right conditions, broken or fallen branches of outdoor jade plants will form new roots, allowing them to easily fill in as lush hedges and borders, and even form colonies. However, their slow growth makes them easy to maintain the desired size and shape.
Growing Jade Outside
Jade in the garden will grow best in a sandy loam soil. Quick draining soil is a must, as they will be prone to root and crown rot and other fungal problems in wet, slow- draining, compacted or clay soils.
Jade plants can grow in full sun to pretty dense shade. However, 4-6 hours of direct sunlight is ideal for outdoor plants and they’ll do best with a little shade from the intense afternoon sun.
Although jade plants are succulent and can tolerate drought, their foliage can become tinged red or wrinkled and shriveled when stressed from too little water. Jade in the garden will benefit from a deep watering weekly or biweekly. They will also benefit from an annual spring fertilizer for cacti and succulents.
In the right conditions, outdoor jade may form short-lived white-pink blossoms. These flowers should be deadheaded after their very short bloom period to maintain the healthy, green appearance of the plant. Mealybugs are a common pest of jade plants, so jade in the garden should be checked over regularly for these pests, as well as scale and spider mites.
You can move your Jade plant outside for the summer, but do not put it in the direct sun or the leaves will burn. It will probably need water move often than when it was indoors. Keep a Jade Plant in an area that never goes below freezing or above 90 degrees. Cooler temperatures help a Jade Plant bloom. Before bring your Jade Plant indoors check for grasshoppers and other insects. Spray the plant with the green solutionIf you don’t want to use a commercial chemical product to treat plant pest problems try the “Green Solution.” This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil. Always test any spray on one or two leaves to be sure it won’t damage the plant. Depending upon how severe the infestation is, you can use these ingredients in varying proportions. If there are only a few pests, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and gently swab them off. For a more widespread problem, start by using a spray of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of biodegradable soap. If that doesn’t cure the problem, make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African Violets or Begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the Green Solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil. (read the recipe in the Glossary of the website) to get rid of any insects too small to easily see.
Jade Plant in Bloom
A Guide to Poisonous HouseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them.
When it comes to picking pots for jade plants, the most important rule of thumb is the same rule that exists no matter which succulent you plan on potting: concentrate on good drainage.
This rule of thumb holds true whether you’re planning on putting your potted jade inside or outside, or even a mix – outside in the summer and inside in the winter. It’s also true whether you choose to place your jade plant in direct sunlight, or partial sun.
While you can bend on this rule a little, especially if you have the perfect plant pot already picked out for your jade plant and you’d just like tips on how to make it work, if you’re still in the market for a pot, and want the best option possible to give your jade the biggest chance of not only surviving, but thriving, you’re going to want to stick to this rule.
There’s a second factor that you’ll likely want to consider – one you won’t necessarily have to worry about much with many other succulents: you’ll want a plant pot for your jade plant that’s pretty heavy. Why? Crassula ovata grows mighty big and top heavy when it’s doing well, so you’ll want a heavy pot to make sure your plant doesn’t topple over!
Besides that, you have a lot of wiggle room, so let’s go through and have a look at your ideal candidates in terms of particular types of pots to can-still-make-do options one by one.
The Very Best Pots for Jade Plants: Un-Finished Terracotta with Drainage Holes
The absolute best pot for each and every succulent & cacti – including the common jade plant – is an un-glazed, unpainted, and untreated in any other way terracotta pot with a drainage hole in the bottom.
Let’s start by discussing the value of the drainage hole, then we’ll move on to discuss the advantage in using a pot made from terracotta/clay.
The Importance of the Drainage Hole in the Pot
Here’s why the drainage hole is exceptionally important when it comes to growing jade in containers like pots (again, whether they’re outside or inside): it allows excess water to flow directly out of the pot and not sit and gather, collecting at the bottom of the planter.
If you allow water to build up at the bottom of a potted succulent, there’s a really high chance the roots will begin to rot, and the plant may even absorb too much water, dying slowly over time. Succulents are drought tolerant plants, and aren’t used to getting water very frequently in nature. They typically live in parts of the world that get water in bursts – so very little rain for many days, then when it rains, it will rain relatively heavily. As a result, when water is given to succulents like jade plants, they take in as much of it as they can, as quickly as they can, just in case it’s a long time before they have access to water again.
What does this mean for a jade plant under your care, no longer at the whims of nature? If you as the water-er give even a little too much water to a jade plant without a drainage hole, or happen to water too frequently – not giving enough time for water at the bottom of the plant to evaporate, and instead letting it collect at the bottom of the plant pot, these two forms of over-watering can easily kill the plant over time.
With the drainage hole, the excess spills out the bottom, your plant gets as much water as it needs, and the rest evaporates, giving your succulent time to use up the water it’s stored instead of taking too much in. Good drainage = happy succulents, and the best way to get good drainage is to have that drainage hole in the bottom of the container.
Planning on having your jade as an indoor plant? You’ll want a plant saucer or some type of tray or plate to go beneath the pot – but do note, if you have one of these, whenever you water your jade plant to spill out the excess water that collects in the saucer right after you’re done watering. You don’t want water to sit here, as it would be nearly the same as letting the water sit collected at the bottom of the pot. Spilling out the water that collects in the saucer drastically reduces the amount of time crassula ovata roots have to sit in water and dramatically decreases chances of root rot, which can absolutely kill your plant.
Now, I will say, you can sort of get around having a drainage hole, there are ways you can manage without one, but it’s not ideal. If there’s one rule that’s best not to break it’s the drainage hole one. If you’re new to keeping succulents, or have ever had one of your succulents die and didn’t know why, or suspected it may be due to over-watering, I’d ever so strongly advise against using a pot without a drainage hole. Again, you can manage without one, and I’ll get to how later in this article in case you’re curious, but it’s ideal.
Now that we’re done talking about how the drainage hole of a pot plays an important role in keeping your jade plant happy, let’s talk about the un-finished terracotta clay’s role!
The Advantage of the Unfinished Terracotta Clay Pot Material
There’s a reason un-finished terracotta works better than any other material for succulent plant pots. As with a regular pot with a drainage hole at the bottom, water is quickly and easily able to drain out of the soil and through the hole when you’re watering or it’s happened to rain. But with unfinished terracotta, you get a second drying effect since the clay wicks water away from the soil, absorbing it into the material itself, then allows that water to evaporate easily due to the terracotta being exposed on the outside to air, wind, and sun.
While this effect is beneficial to many plants, as it allows more airflow to the roots, lessening the chance of root rot and soil disease – desert & drought tolerant plants like cacti and other succulents, including jade plant, are much more susceptible to root rot, and thus this benefit is especially high for them.
Then there’s the second benefit you reap from terracotta that’s typically need for jade succulent plants in particular – they’re relatively heavy, certainly heavy enough to keep crassula ovata from falling over. There are heavier pots out there – cement pots, for instance – but those in larger sizes typically make pots more difficult to pick up and move around, so the benefit of terracotta is also that they’re not too heavy to be a nuisance if you like to take pots from one location to the next every so often, or even regularly.
Un-glazed, unfinished clay pots are available pretty ubiquitously, especially if you’re looking for the common traditional-style terracotta planter. Pots made out of clay are typically ridiculously cheap as well. They usually all come with a drainage hole, or a print out of a drainage hole for you to chip away at with a nail and hammer, to create one easily yourself.
If you don’t like the look of traditional terracotta pots, or if you don’t like too much uniformity and like to mix things up like I do in my outdoor succulent pot collection, there are a plethora of options in terms of different styles clay pots come in – from cylindrical ones and square shaped containers to tall, thin-lipped or lip-less planter pots that typically look a lot more modern than traditional thick-lipped planters. I’ve listed a number of ideas on how to diversify a pot collection even if you just stick to terracotta pots here.
The Next Best Thing: A Heavy Pot with a Drainage Hole
If you don’t want to use an un-glazed terracotta pot for your jade plant, the next best thing you can do is to use absolutely any plant pot that’s heavy and has a drainage hole.
Why? As I mentioned before – that drainage hole is vital for reducing the chance of root rot and your jade plant absorbing way too much water into it. If you’ve been eyeballing a plant pot that’s got a drainage hole, or even have an idea for a creative planting container made out of an unusual object like a ceramic vase or a neat ceramic mug – just add a drainage hole and you’re pretty nearly at the best you can get in terms of keeping your jade plant happy with its pot. I do this myself – recycling the ceramic pots my desserts come in when I buy them at the grocery store and making them into adorable little jade & succulent plant pots. I get my husband to use his drill + masonry drill bits to create a single hole in the bottom of each one, then I plant in them.
Since I like moving my plant pots around a lot, I actually cut out a little square of fly screen roll that’s just larger than the size of the bottom of the pot, and use it to line the bottom before I add my potting mix. This keeps the soil from falling out when I move them, as well as helping it stay in rather than running through when I water the plants. It’s not necessary, but I find it really helpful, so I thought I’d share.
Using Lighter Pots for Jade Plant
If you have a really great container you’d like to use for your jade and it happens to be quite light – say, made out of plastic, and you just want a way to make it work, you can easily do so by adding small rocks made for landscaping gravel to the bottom of your pot.
There are myths around this being better for drainage that are just that – myths. Adding rocks to the bottom of your pot does nothing to increase drainage – nor does it decrease drainage. That being said, it goes a long way in helping you weigh down your plant pot, which can be really beneficial when it comes to planting jade in light pots, since jade becomes so top heavy.
Weighing down your plant pots with landscaping gravel rocks is also helpful if you have cats like I do – especially ones who make trouble by toppling over things like water bowls. It’s a tip I discussed in my article on another one of my blogs, KittyClysm, about how to cat proof planters to keep your houseplants safe, so check that out if you’re interested.
Opting Out of the Drainage Hole in Your Jade Plant Pot
Here’s the section you were probably waiting for from nearly the start of the article if you have a plant pot in mind and desperately want to use it, although it has no drainage hole.
I’m going to reiterate – the safest method is to use a drill with masonry bits to get a nice hole in the bottom, then if you’re placing your pot inside, using a tray or a saucer underneath to protect your furniture from the overspill – but if you absolutely have to hard pass, this is how you can sort of make opting out of a drainage hole work.
Tip 1: To use really well-draining soil…
But this is a tip you should be taking advantage of no matter what you plant your jade plant in. That means using a ready made cactus and succulent potting mix, making your own, or (because some commercial cactus and succulent potting mixes are still not well draining enough), grabbing a commercial succulent mix and adding something like perlite to it to make it even more well-draining than before.
Again, you should really be doing this to help prevent your jade from sitting in waterlogged soil regardless of the pot you have, but it’s going to help you a lot more if you chose to opt out of having a drainage hole.
Tip 2: Keep your plant in a nursery plant pot, then place this inside your pot without a drainage hole.
Basically, if you do this, when you water you can take the nursery plant pot out, spill the excess water down the drain, then place the nursery plant pot back into the pot without the drainage hole, reducing excess water that’s left to potentially drown your succulent.
If you don’t have a nursery plant pot the size of the pot you’re planning on using, you can absolutely find one that’s the right size, they come in a lot of options.
Want/need to plant directly into the pot? There’s only one last option…
Tip 3: Use just the right amount of water when you’re giving your jade plant a drink. Don’t over-water, don’t under-water; give it exactly what it needs.
It’s possible to use this tip if you’ve got an indoor jade plant or an outdoor one that has no access to rain. That being said, if there’s any chance your jade is going to have access to watering that isn’t coming directly from you, there’s quite a lot that can go wrong if you refuse to use a drainage hole.
Even if you do have complete control over how much and how often your jade plant gets watered, if you give too much water or water too frequently, there’s quite a lot of damage you can do to your plant if you don’t notice and fix the issue without a drainage hole to help remedy the over-watering issue. You can also begin to accidentally under-water your plant, not giving it as much as it needs, and while you may think you know the difference between a succulent that’s been under-watered and over-watered visually, you’d be surprised how difficult it is sometimes to know, and how easy it is to accidentally give too much water when really the problem was over-watering to begin with – exacerbating the situation.
My best advice in case you’re not an expert – invest in a soil moisture sensor meter. These can help you figure out if the soil in your jade plant’s pot is dry, and since you should only be watering a jade plant ever when the soil is dry, it can help you go a long way in not over-watering if you happen to go without a drainage hole. There still is a chance you’d be over-watering, but it’s a lot easier to discover if you should be watering your jade or leaving it be this watering schedule if you have a moisture gauge to help you out.
The rule of thumb: if you’re not sure, wait to water. Jade and other succulents can handle being under-watered a lot better than they can over-watered. If your jade plant’s leaves look wrinkly and thin, they could probably use a drink. But if they’re yellowed, coloured red at the tips, or turning brown and droopy – it could be an indication they’re over-watered, so leave them alone and don’t give them another sip until they begin to look a little wrinkly and thin.
Your Thoughts on Jade Plant Pots?
I’ve shared my 2c, now it’s time to share yours! What do you think are the best pots to plant jade in? What do you prefer aesthetically and how do you think it’s best to make those types of containers work?
Have you ever planted jade in a pot without a drainage hole? If you have, how did it fare? If you haven’t, would you ever risk it?
Have you any other tips for those looking to plant jade in pots?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts & experiences in the comments down below!
The jade plant (Crassula Ovata), affectionately known as the friendship tree, lucky plant, or even the money tree, is notoriously low-maintenance and difficult to kill. Jade plants have long been thought to bring good fortune to their owners, so they are often given as housewarming gifts. Additionally, these resilient succulents can live for a long time. Reputation aside, there are some tips you should know about caring for your jade plant in order to help it thrive.
Growing Conditions for Jade Plants
Jade plants should be kept in full sun. They prefer daytime temperatures of 65-75℉ and can tolerate nighttime temperatures of 50-55℉. Because these plants are native to South Africa, they are able to survive in sandy soils. It is best for jade plants to be planted in a heavier sand that best anchors the short roots. A mix of sand, peat moss, and organic matter that allows for water draining will provide a good growing environment.
How to Care for a Jade Plant
It is crucial to make sure jade plants have the correct amount of water. They need to be watered more frequently in the summer and spring, but only monthly in the winter. Water the jade plant only when the soil is dry to the touch. Overwatering is very dangerous to the plant, so be sure to pour off any excess pooling.
Use fertilizer sparingly on jade plants, and only when there are signs of growth. If the plant is not in a growth stage, it will likely not absorb the nutrients well. From time to time, the leaves will need to be wiped down to remove dust.
How to Propagate a Jade Plant
Jade plants may be propagated, or rooted, using stems or leaves. Leaves are often used when the plant is still small and the stems are not yet long enough. Once you remove the leaf, let it dry out before placing it, stem side down, into the soil. Soon it will begin to grow roots.
In order to use a stem cutting to propagate, it should be about 3-4 inches in length. Like the leaf, the stem should be left out to dry for 1-2 weeks before it is planted. A callus will develop over the cutting site. Once it is dry, the stem can be inserted into the soil where it will begin to root.
How To Repot Jade Plants
Jade plants can grow to up to five feet tall, so they may become top heavy with time. You may need to transfer the plant from its original pot to one that can better accommodate its growth. It is best to repot jade plants during the warm season.
Remove the succulent from its original pot only after the soil is dry, and leave it dry for about a week once it is in its new pot. Begin to water lightly at this point to lower the chances of root rot. The newly-potted plant should not be fertilized for a few months.
Pruning a Jade Plant
As previously mentioned, jade plants can grow up to five feet tall and may require some pruning to control size. Pruning comes with some risks to the plant, as trimmed locations become exposed to bacteria. The jade plant will recover best in spring and summer, during periods of active growth. If you do decide to prune your plant, only cut off up to ⅓ of its height and do not cut into the main branch.
Are Jade Plants Poisonous?
Jade plants are very poisonous to dogs, cats, and horses. Signs that your pet may have ingested the plant are vomiting, depression, and incoordination. Jade plant causes their heart rate to slow which results in the lethargy. If you think your pet has eaten Jade plant, seek medical attention immediately.
To prevent your pets from eating your jade plant, consider displaying the plant at a height that your pet cannot reach. You can also spray the leaves with a plant-safe deterrent spray that provides a smell that your pets will hate or place it on an unpleasant surface such as tinfoil. Additionally, make sure your pet has other toys/objects around that will distract them from wanting to play with the jade plant.
Jade plants have been documented sporadically as having some medicinal properties for humans, specifically as a treatment for warts or ingested in moderation for diarrhea. That being said, jade plants are mildly poisonous to humans and should not be consumed in excess. Consult your healthcare professional before utilizing Jade plant medicinally.
(Photo Source: PetGuide.com)
Common Jade Plant Problems
Watering a jade plant is a delicate balance. If your jade plant is dropping leaves, that is a sign that is probably getting too little water. However, if jade plants are overwatered, there is a high chance of root rot, which is toxic to the plant.
Mealybugs and spider mites provide other threats to jade plants. Mealybugs will appear as pieces of white cotton and spider mites can be difficult to spot at only 1/20th of an inch in length. Mealybugs eat away at the plant, leaving dents in the leaves. Spider mites drain the fluid from the leaves, causing discoloration. Both can be removed with alcohol on a cotton ball or swab.
Due to their low-maintenance nature, jade plants make a great office plant. For more information on getting plants installed in your office, contact us online or call 1-888-368-8060.
Whether you’re a beginner or expert gardener, Jade plant is one of the most common choices of plant lovers. It can be a great housewarming gift or the perfect choice for those who love green but don’t have time to create a garden.
It’s a kind of succulent. Jade plant does not require much care, but if you tend it correctly, it can last a lifetime. You can nurture Jade plants into a Bonsai, and it can also grow into a large, beautiful shrub. Many public and private places are decorated with Jade plant.
The botanical name is Crassula ovata. It has meaty green leaves that sometimes look like the head of a spoon, and smaller ones look like little droplets. Jade plants are native to South Africa, but people around the world keep it as a houseplant.
Caring for Jade plant is easy, but you have to know how to do it. Keep reading, and you will learn a lot about Jade plant and its varieties.
Jade Plant Overview
|Origin||Native to South Africa and Mozambique|
|Name||Jade plant or also know as- friendship tree/plant, dollar plant, lucky plant, money plant|
|Fertilizer||Any diluted succulent fertilizer|
|Max Growth||It can grow up to 3 ft if you prune it as a bonsai. If you let it grow without pruning, it can grow into a medium bush of up to 6 ft|
|Poisonous for||Minor toxicity for human and pets|
|Light||Does not require much (5-6 hours of indirect light is plenty)|
|Water||Little water in the summer only if the soil is dry. Less in the winter|
|Temperature||Average room temp. ( Not too cold)|
|Soil||Rich, well-draining soil|
|Humidity||Average (dry climate is more preferable)|
|Propagation||Root cutting and leaves|
|Pests||Rare for indoor Jade plants. Mealybugs, spider mites|
Varieties of Jade Plant:
The Jade plant, or Crassula ovata, has curved and oval-shaped leaves that usually grow upwards and spread out. But that is only one type of Jade plant we commonly know.
There are more than 1,400 varieties of Jade plant. Some types are very rare, and they come at a high price. Jade plants with different features are given different names. Some are very lovely, such as the lucky plant, dwarf jade, true jade, Hobbit, Gollum, etc.
One of the most popular Jade plants is Sunset, also known as Hummel’s Sunset. Its yellowish leaves with red tips look amazing, and it grows very well. It’s a great choice for a rock garden or as indoor decoration.
Monstruosa Gollum Jade Plant
Monstruosa is categorized as Monstruosa Hobbit, and Monstruosa Gollum, whose name are from the characters of Lord of the Rings movie. You can distinguish the two of them by looking at their leaves. Hobbies have a curled leaves while Gollum’s leaves are almost tubular with their reddish tint. Hobbits are shrubbier and smaller in size than Gollums when reaching ther maximum height.
Blue Bird Crassula Ovata
Blue Bird is one of most beautiful succulents. People adore it as a balcony plant. Blue Bird (or Crassula arborescens or Silver Jade Plant) has gorgeous gray or blue-ish foliage with purple/pink tips. Silver Jade can grow very wide. There are some varieties of Blue Bird as well.
Crassula campfire – Credit toTortie tude
Crassula Campfire, or Crassula capitella, has propeller-like leaves. They have a light green and bright red color. Campfire grows a white flower in the summer. They provide a dramatic look to the environment,
Red Pagoda Crassula – Credit to hortulus_aptus
Crassula capitella, also known as Red Pagoda, is a gorgeous looking plant that can instantly brighten up a room. When the plant is small, it looks like a pink-tinged rosette, and then later, it forms the shape of the pagoda, and the color brightens into red.
Crassula rupestris (Baby’s Necklace)
Crassula rupestris (Baby’s Necklace)
Perhaps one of the best-looking crassula hybrids is Baby’s Necklace. It’s an odd name, but it will absolutely wow everyone. This Jade plant has small rounded green-gray and reddish leaves. It looks like a beaded necklace and makes another great choice for your decorations.
Crassula arborescens subsp. undulatifolia (Ripple Leaf Jade) – Credit toJi-Elle
Ripple Leaf Jade is another hybrid. It has thin leaves and undulated edges. Its a rather strange, not very common type of plant. It grows well under the sun, but you can also keep it indoors with access to indirect light. It’s called Ripple Leaf because of the rippled leaf edges.
There many other Jade plant varieties and hybrids that you can explore.
Growing and Caring for Jade Plant:
Now, let’s go into how you can properly take care of Jade plants.
Because Jade is a succulent, it does not need much water or direct light. It’s great as a houseplant.
Jade plants like the dry season very much. The best daytime temperature for them is 65-75 F. (18-24 C). Cold weather and damp weather are not good for Jade. It loses its color and turns yellow and mushy. But they can tolerate drought and can survive cold nights if they get a lot of sunlight the next day.
You need to be careful when watering a succulent. Succulents store water in their leaves and they do not like to be overwatered.
One of the most-asked questions is, “How often should I water Jade plants?”
It depends on the soil and the plant. Overwatering or underwatering can kill your Jade plant. So to check if your plant needs water or not, stick your finger into the pot 1 to 2 inches. If it feels completely dry, its time to water the plant. If it feels damp, then do not water it.
When watering, pour the water in and let it drain for a little. Then, remove the extra water from the drip tray. Do not leave the water in the drip tray or the effect will be same as overwatering.
Jade Plant and other houseplants on the windowsill
Lighting is important to any plant. Succulents like the light very much but do not need as much. Some succulents, such as Tiger Fern, can survive without sunlight for a long time.
Jade plants can grow under full sun, but you can place Jade plant near a window, and it will do fine. Try to keep the Kade plant around 2 ft from a window. Jade plants also might not do well under the scorching sun, so check if your plant is receiving intense sunlight. If it looks yellowish or leggy, try placing it somewhere else or increase your watering routine.
You can your regular potting soil mixture if it doesn’t hold too much moisture. Like any other succulent, the soil mixture for Jade plants needs aerating and proper draining. Add coconut coir and Pine bark to make the soil more drainage friendly.
Jade plant does not need a lot of fertilizer. But for the best care, you can fertilize Jade plant once every six weeks. The fertilizer mixture needs to be more diluted than you would normally use. You have to keep in mind to regularly water the Jade plant, and you should also water it with the fertilizer mixed in.
Do not fertilize your plant when the soil is dry though. Doing so will damage the roots of the Jade plant.
Low humidity is best for Jade plants. 30 to 50% humidity is perfect. Place the Jade plant either outside on the balcony or on the deck or by an open indoor window to keep the air around it circulating.
It is very easy to propagate Jade plant. You take a root cutting or stem and leaf cuttings.
You can also take the leaves that get mushy from overwatering. You can save that leaf and grow another Jade plant. Cut the leaf a few inches above the mushiness and set it aside until it dries out.
Leave the dried up cutting over some soil, and water it once or twice depending on the soil. Roots will begin to grow out of the leaf in about four weeks as long as it has a proper environment.
You will see little Jade plants as soon as the roots take hold.
You have to be careful when repotting Jade plants. You cannot just re-plant a jade plant from a small pot to a larger pot. Jade plant does not mind being in a small pot or root-bound. When you buy a new Jade plant, you should wait until it outgrows it existing pot before you transfer it.
Accidents often happen when repotting, so be careful.
Follow these steps.
1. Mix your soil for the new pot thoroughly. Hold the Jade plant at the base and gently tip the pot down. Tap the bottom and remove the plant with the soil. Brush off the excess soil from the plant with your hand. Check if there is any damage.
2. Check for white roots, which are healthy. Dark, black, or brown and damp roots are not good.
3. Put 1 inch of gravel at the bottom of the pot and then add a third of the new soil mixture and your plant Cover the rest of the plant with soil.
4. Water the plant to set the soil mixture. Make sure it drains well.
You can nurture your Jade plant by pruning. Jade can grow up to 6 ft. People prune it to maintain it at a small size or make a bonsai tree of it. But you have to prune it right, so follow these steps.
1. First, examine the Jade plant (best done in the early spring because new growth begins during the spring). See the overgrown stems and decide how you want to shape the plant.
2. Use sharp shears to cut overgrown stems.
3. Cut out unhealthy branches completely. Make clean cuts. Do not break the main branch.
4. Trim the plant to the size you want.
You can also prune roots, but you should do that more than every 3 to 4 years. To do so, loosen the soil and lift the plant as you trim off one-third of the outer roots with a clean, sharp knife. Re-pot the Jade plant in fresh soil but keep it in the same pot you lifted it from or a pot that is of the same size.
Common Problems & Pests
Jade plants are a beautiful addition to any home, and you can even create your own little garden indoors without investing a lot of money. But everything has its dark side, and Jade can be the reason for some problems. Here are some solutions for common problems.
Toxic for human and pets
Jade plant has a slight toxicity for human and pets. It will not cause death or serious illness, but can cause nausea.
We advise you to keep children and pets away so that they do not consume Jade plant leaves.
Sometimes, you will see e leaves turning yellow. This can happen from overwatering or underwatering your Jade plant.
If you notice that some leaves are rotting, that is a clear sign that you are overwatering your plant. You have to readjust your watering routine and the amount of water you use.
If, after re-adjusting your watering, you still see yellow leaves, check the roots. You might have to trim dark roots.
If all of the roots are rotten, the best option is to choose the best leaves from the plant and propagate them.
Formation of black or white mold
You might see black mold growing on the leaves of the Jade plant. Too much humidity in the air can cause this problem. You can solve it by wiping off the mold with soapy water. Also try to move the plant to a place where air circulation is better and there is less humidity.
Your Jade plant might also develop white mold in the soil. Overwatering or too much fertilizer can cause this problem. Again, remove the mold and re-adjust your watering routine and adjust the watering level.
Generally, indoor Jade plants do not have a problem with pests. One common pest, however, is the mealybug. If you notice them, you can solve the problem by using pesticides.
There is a wide range of products for indoor Jade plants that won’t harm the plant but will take care of the bugs.
You might have a lot of questions when taking care of a Jade plant.
These questions often come up-
1. My leaves are falling off. I watered them when the soil seemed dry, so what did I do wrong?
Jade plants need a good amount of light and water. Watering is very crucial to any succulent. Overwatering or underwatering can be the reason for this problem. A lack of enough sunlight and nitrogen can also cause it. Place your Jade plant in a place where the plant can get 4-6 hours of sunlight, but not direct scorching light..
Then, remove all the fallen leaves and adjust your watering level. Follow this tip: stick your finger into the soil 2 inches deep and if the soil feels dry, water the plant. If not, do not water the plant.
2. Do Jade plants need fertilizer to grow?
Yes and no. Jade plants can grow without fertilizer, but if you want to increase the growth rate and the health of your plant, you can fertilize it. You can fertilize once every 6 weeks.
Remember to get the plant wet before you use the fertilizer. Also, make sure you dilute the fertilizer.
3. I have north exposures for light. Does it grow well in low light?
Yes, it does. But it might not look very bright and full like the ones you see in the pictures. Place your plant where it can get light all day. You should also set the plant outside every few days.
4. How do you grow it to be large and full as in the pictures?
Jade plants can grow up to 6 ft, and their plump leaves are beautiful to look at. But you have to take good care of it.
Give it proper light and water. Do not overwater or underwater. Fertilize every six weeks.
5. My jade plant leans over. What can I do to fix it?
Leaning, as in a dull or leggy plant, is never good. Overwatering or dryness can do that to a plant. Maintain a regular watering routine. Watch for signs of drooping in your plant. Your plant will tell you when it needs water.
6. My Jade plant’s leaves are spongy and have red edges.
You are overwatering your plant. Do not water the plant until it completely dries up. Place it under full sun. When the soil is completely dry, start watering again. This time, always check the soil before watering. Do not water when the soil is wet or damp.
7. Do leaves of the Jade plants usually have wrinkles? I do not water them much. What could have caused it?
Generally, wrinkles are a clear sign of underwatering. But overwatering can also cause this. If something seems off, the first thing anyone should monitor is their watering routine and the amount of water they’re applying at one time .
Sometimes, we forget to empty the catch tray, which stores the excess water. Remove the excess water from your catch tray so that the soil does not absorb it.
That’s it; you are ready to grow a Jade plant! I hope this article helps you to properly care for and grow Jade plants in your home or landscaping. Refer back here if you have any problems.
Jade plants are an attractive addition to any house, office, restaurant, or hotel. If you take care of them, they will serve as a subtle decorations.