Jade plants are without a doubt one of the most popular house plant choices. A member of the stonecrop family, jade plants (Crassula ovata) don’t take much looking after. They’re also extremely easy to propagate with new plants able to form from a surprisingly small cutting.
While they’re seen as a pretty plant to keep in the West, in Asia, jade plants are thought to be a good luck charm and seen to activate financial energies.
Jade plants are popular for a few other reasons, too, including:
- The plant lays dormant during winter, so it requires little watering.
- Make fantastic bonsai plants suitable for beginners
- It can be grown in a vast range of locations and conditions.
Buying Jade Plants: What to Look For?
When purchasing a jade plant, consider the following factors to ensure you select a healthy and robust specimen:
- Appearance: Look for a jade plant with thick, plump leaves that have a glossy, vibrant green color. Avoid plants with discolored or shriveled leaves, as these may indicate poor health or improper care.
- Roots: Check the roots of the plant. Healthy roots should be firm, white, and well-established. Avoid plants with mushy or brown roots, as this can be a sign of root rot.
- Pests: Inspect the plant for any signs of pests, such as mealybugs or spider mites. Look for webs, small insects, or sticky residue on the leaves and stems.
- Size and Shape: Choose a plant that suits your preferences and available space. Jade plants can range in size from small, tabletop varieties to large, tree-like specimens. Select a size that fits your desired aesthetic and the location where you plan to display the plant.
Growing Jade Plants: Essential Care Tips
Once you have brought home your jade plant, follow these care tips to ensure its healthy growth:
- Light: Place your jade plant in a location that receives bright, indirect sunlight. These plants thrive in bright light conditions, but direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. A south or west-facing window is usually suitable.
- Temperature: Jade plants prefer average room temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (24°C). They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures, but avoid exposing them to frost or extreme heat.
- Watering: Jade plants are succulents and store water in their leaves and stems. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and then thoroughly water the plant until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot. In winter, reduce watering frequency.
- Soil: Use a well-draining soil mix specifically formulated for succulents or cacti. These mixes provide the necessary aeration and moisture retention for healthy root growth.
- Fertilization: Jade plants are not heavy feeders. Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Avoid fertilizing during the winter months.
- Pruning: Prune your jade plant to maintain its shape and remove any dead or damaged branches. Jade plants are resilient and can tolerate pruning well. Use clean, sharp pruning shears and sanitize them before and after use to prevent the spread of diseases.
- Propagation: Jade plants can be easily propagated through stem or leaf cuttings. Allow the cuttings to dry and callus for a few days, then plant them in well-draining soil. Keep the soil lightly moist until roots develop.
- Pests and Diseases: Monitor your jade plant for signs of pests such as mealybugs, scale insects, or spider mites. If an infestation occurs, treat it promptly with appropriate insecticides or natural remedies. Prevent root rot by avoiding overwatering and providing proper drainage.
JADE PLANT GUIDE
|ORIGIN||Native to South Africa and Mozambique|
|NAME||Jade plant or also known 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 humans and pets|
|LIGHT||It 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||A rich, well-draining soil|
|HUMIDITY||Average (dry climate is preferable)|
|PROPAGATION||Root cutting and leaves|
|PESTS||Rare for indoor Jade plants. Mealybugs, spider mites|
While typically grown as a houseplant, jade can be planted in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and above. If planting outside, aim to space the plants 16 to 18 inches apart depending on how large you want the plants to grow. Aim to dig down to a depth about twice as deep as the root ball, place the plant and backfill with soil.
Watering And Nutrients
Once planted, allow the plant a few days to get used to its new conditions, and then you should be okay to water. Once the plant has been established you’re OK to water based on the season.
- Spring / Summer – Wet the soil and allow it to dry before watering again.
- Autumn/Winter – water once every month.
In the spring and summer when the plant is growing, you’re safe to use fertilizer or liquid fertilizer once a month; however, avoid using too much fertilizer or using it too often, as it can lead to weak growth.
As we mentioned above, jade plants make a great training tool for learning bonsai. The plant can be pruned as little or as much as you like. By pruning the upper branches, the lower ones will grow bigger and thicker.
Pests And Diseases
Jade plants are susceptible to few pests. The main thread to your plants are scale insects which are tiny pests that weaken the plant and can cause deformation.
To remove the pests, use a cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Gently rub the swab over the plant to kill off the bugs. You may need to repeat the process a few times to completely remove the infestation.
While not as common, you may find spider mites and aphids on the leaves on your plants – to remove these you can use neem oil.
As you might guess from a plant that can be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and above, Crassula ovata loves dry, warm heat. The ideal daytime temperature is 65-75 F. (18-24 C).
Cold nights aren’t an issue so long as they are warmed back up the next day. Damp on the other hand is more of a problem with the plant losing color and turning yellow and mushy with too much water.
While all plants need light, succulents don’t need quite as much as most other plant types. While jade do well under full sun, however, they don’t cope with scorching sun and will turn yellow or look leggy. They grow best when near a source of light such as a window.
Start by adding coconut coir and pine bark to the bottom of the pot to help with drainage and then you can use regular potting soil so long as it’s properly aerated and doesn’t hold too much water.
Jade plants love low humidity. The sweet spot is somewhere between 30 and 50 per cent. Again, windows are a great spot for jade as the circulating air helps with growth.
Propagation is a breeze; take root, stem or leaf cutting. Within weeks, the roots will begin to grow out and take hold.
Repotting jade is one task where you really need to take care as it’s not a simple process. Unlike many plants, jade doesn’t mind being root-bound. Repotting should only be done when the plant has outgrown it’s existing pot.
How To Repot Jade Plants?
- Thoroughly mix the soil for the new pot. Holding the plant at the base, tip the pot down and remove the plant from the current pot brushing off any excess soil.
- Put 1 inch of coconut coir at the bottom of the pot and add a third of the new soil mixture and then the plant. Once the plant is in, add the remaining soil.
- Water the plant ensuring some water is draining away.
Jade Plant Varieties
There are over 1,400 varieties of Crassula ovata with some particularly rare types being highly sought. Not only are jade plants beautiful but they also have some of the best names including ‘Hobbit’, ‘Gollum’ and ‘True Jade’.
Here are a few of our favorite:
This beautiful plant is characterized by beautiful yellow tinted leaves with red outline. Sunset make great house plants or can be planted in rock gardens.
Monstruosa (Hobbit / Gollum)
Taking there name from Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, Monstruosa Hobbit has curled leaves while Monstruosa Gollum has tubular leaves with a red tip. Both are fantastic and unique choices for your indoor garden.
Jade Plant FAQ’s
Q1: How often should I water my jade plant?
A: Water your jade plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Depending on the environmental conditions, this may range from once every 10-14 days during the growing season to once every 3-4 weeks in winter.
Q2: Can I keep my jade plant outside?
A: Yes, jade plants can be grown outdoors in mild climates. They thrive in full sun to partial shade and can be placed on a patio, balcony, or in a garden bed. Ensure they are protected from frost or extreme temperature fluctuations.
Q3: How can I encourage my jade plant to bloom?
A: Jade plants produce small, star-shaped flowers under certain conditions. To encourage blooming, provide the plant with cooler temperatures (around 50°F/10°C) and reduced watering in the fall and early winter.
Q4: Are jade plants toxic to pets?
A: Yes, jade plants are mildly toxic to pets. Keep them out of reach of cats, dogs, and other animals to prevent ingestion, which can cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort.
Q5: Can I bonsai a jade plant?
A: Yes, jade plants are suitable for bonsai cultivation. Their natural tree-like growth habit and ability to withstand pruning make them ideal candidates for bonsai enthusiasts.
Q6: Are jade plants poisonous to pets?
Yes, jade plants are toxic to both cats and dogs so make sure they’re placed somewhere that they can’t be reached (easier with dogs than cats).
Jade is also poisonous to horses, so if you live in a zone where the plants are found, make sure you keep an eye out.
Jade plants are versatile and resilient succulents that can bring beauty and charm to any indoor or outdoor space. By following the essential care tips outlined in this guide and addressing common concerns, you can enjoy the long-lasting beauty of jade plants and watch them thrive in your home or garden.
Hi, I’m Miles, the lead team member behind Gardeem.com. Besides being a passionate grower and writer, I’m a husband, father and grandfather to three! I started Gardeem in 2017 to provide simple and reliable gardening advice to everyone, regardless of their ability levels.