jade plants (Crassula ovalis) is a very popular variety of succulent houseplant. Its shape resembles a small tree with its woody stems and glossy oval leaves, making it popular as bonsai. With proper care, they can live up to 50 or even 100 years, sometimes being passed from one generation to another. It’s easy to propagate, so you can grow a whole new plant from a single jade leaf!
These beauties can reach 3 feet tall when grown indoors, and while they can be grown outside as well, they will need to come in for the winter if the weather gets too cold. Jade is a slow-growing plant, so don’t expect to grow more than 2 inches per year.
Jade plants are part of the pine family (Crassulaceae) and are native to South Africa. It does not need a lot of water because it stores water in its leaves and fleshy stems, and it is more compatible with root attachment than other plants, so you do not have to replant it as often as others.
Related: Learn how to care for Pilea, Calathea, Spider Plants, Fig Leaves, Golden Pothos, Snake Plants, Rubber Trees, and String of Pearls Plants.
How often should I water jade plants?
Jade plants will need more watering in the growing season (spring and summer) and less during the dormant fall and winter months. During the growing season, you will need to water the plant until it is completely wet to the bottom (not just the top) and then allow it to dry completely before watering again. Overwatering can be a big problem for jade plants, so be sure to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
During the fall and winter, the plant will not need as much water, so you can let the soil dry completely between waterings. Jade plants can be sensitive to tap water, so using distilled, filtered, or rainwater is ideal.
How much sunlight do jade plants need?
Jade plants thrive in hot, sunny environments, so they enjoy 4-6 hours of bright light each day. Younger jade plants should be exposed to indirect light, but more mature plants can tolerate some direct sunlight. South and west facing windows will provide the best lighting.
If jade plants don’t get enough bright light, they may become leggy (they will elongate and stretch out instead of looking more compact as they normally do). Rotate your plant every now and then so it doesn’t become unbalanced because it will stretch out and reach for the sun.
Should I fertilize my jade plant?
Jade plants don’t need a lot of nutrients, so they don’t need a lot of fertilization. But you can give it half strength diluted Dosage of fertilizer Every two months during the growing season.
Temperature and humidity for jade plants
The ideal temperature for jade plants is between 65° to 75° F when grown indoors. They don’t like the temperature to be colder than 50 degrees, so be sure to bring them inside if you keep them outside in pots.
Pruning jade plants
Prune in spring or early summer when the plant begins its growing season. Look for long sections that are usually longer and thinner than other sections where the leaves are more spread out. These long areas are considered less healthy and can be trimmed with sharp scissors or pruning shears by cutting them off by a third of their length.
You can also prune any yellowed or dark-spotted leaves as these may be signs of disease in the plant. Sterilize the cutting shears between cuttings so you don’t spread the disease to the rest of the plant. Dried and dead branches can be cut where they meet the trunk.
To encourage the plant to grow taller rather than wider, you can also pinch the new growth of young leaves at the end of the stems with your fingers.
Replant jade plants
In fact, jade plants do well by tying their roots into a small container. While younger jade plants can be repotted every 2-3 years, more mature plants can be repotted every 4-5 years, and you’ll want to choose a pot that’s not much larger than the root ball (too much soil around it can encourage it to grow). Holds as much moisture as desired). If you replant the plant to the same size, cut the roots back so they have room to grow.
It’s best to replant the plant in the spring and stop watering the newly transplanted plant for a week or so (and don’t fertilize for a month to avoid damaging the new roots).
Propagating jade plants
You can propagate your jade plant and grow a brand new plant by simply growing a stem or even a single leaf! You will need to do this before the dormant winter months (summer is best) and with mature plants only.
Cutting the stem or leaf: Using clean scissors or shears, cut off a 3- to 4-inch-long stem or gently snip off a single leaf.
Allow the cut to “heal”: Leave the cutting unplanted in a warm place until a hard material forms over the cut area (this will encourage the cutting to grow roots rather than rot).
Plant cutting: Using a well-draining potting mix, place your leaf horizontally on top of the soil and cover the cut end with some soil. The stems can be planted directly into the soil and you can use skewers or toothpicks to support them as needed. Don’t water the plant (although you can mist it a little if you like), just place it in a warm, bright place.
Let the roots develop: It takes a week or so before the cutting begins to form roots. You can gently pull the leaf or stem to see if it has started to root and once you feel that its roots have developed strongly, you can start watering it deeply to encourage the roots to reach down to get water.
Diagnose common problems
- Pests: Although there are not many pests that bother jade plants, the most common problem is mealybugs (they look like small, fuzzy white spots). To remove them, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and clean the plant daily for several days or weeks to make sure all the insects are removed.
- Plant leaves falling / brown spots on leaves / wilted leaves: It’s possible that your jade plant is not getting enough water. Water deeply and let the soil dry out a bit before watering again and be sure to check water levels further in the growing season.
- The plant has soft or spongy leaves: Your plant may be getting too much water. Make sure the soil is nearly dry in the growing season before watering again and allow the soil to dry completely before watering in the dormant fall and winter months.
- Plant losing its leaves: It could be a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. Make sure it gets 6 hours of bright but indirect sunlight daily.
Frequently asked questions
Are jade plants toxic to pets or children?
Jade plants are very toxic to dogs and cats, so you’ll need to keep them away from prying feet. The plant is also somewhat toxic to humans as well, so make sure it is not within the reach of young children.