How to Care for a Jade Plant

Updated on December 15, 2017
Wolfy profile image

Kate graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology. She currently resides in Sonoma, California.

The evergreen leaves of a jade plant will perk up your living space and bring the natural world into your home. Simple care can help it thrive for many years. Whether you are a novice or an expert gardener, you can learn to care for jade plants.

Jade Plants: Low Maintenance, High Beauty

Jade plants are a family of succulents, and the most common is the jade tree (Crassula ovata). In general, the care is fairly easy, so they are suitable houseplants even for beginner gardeners.

Jade plants have thick, glossy, oval-shaped leaves that grow on woody stems. They often blossom in winter. Over time, they can reach a few feet in height.

Jade plants have traditionally been thought of as a token of good luck. In fact, some people know them as money plants or dollar plants. Whether or not you believe that piece of folklore, these succulents' easy-care properties and attractive looks make them ideal for adding to your own home or to gifting to others.

Aspect of Care:
Ideal Conditions:
Basic Care:
 
Sunlight
Direct sunlight for at least 4 hours a day.
Watering
In the spring and summer, keep soil damp but not waterlogged. In the winter, let the top layer of soil dry before adding water (usually about once a month).
Temperature
Room temperature is ideal. 65 - 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and about 55 degrees at night or during the winter.
Fertilizing
Fertilize 2 or 3 times per year with liquid plant fertilizer on damp soil only.
Long Term Care:
 
Dusting
Use a damp cloth, as needed, to remove any buildup of dust to keep the leaves bright and increase sunlight absorption.
Pruning
Cut and remove dying branches. To trim long branches, cut branch to within a 1/4 inch of the stock. Do not prune more than 1/3 of the plants height at any one time.
Repotting
Rarely needed as this plant is fine being root bound. Only repot if it becomes too top heavy.

Getting Started: How to Pot Your Jade Plant

Jade plants need a soil mix that drains thoroughly. One of the best potting materials you can choose is a cactus mix. Round it out by adding organic soil.

You can also produce a homemade soil blend for your jade plant. Put in:

  • One part organic material.
  • One part peat moss.
  • Three parts sand. Use a coarse variety.

Over time, jade plants can become top heavy. Keep this in mind as you choose a pot for your plant. Select one with a wide base that will stand firm even as the top of the plant gains weight and height.

Basic Care

Sunlight Exposure

Jade plants benefit from receiving full sun every day, but they don't necessarily need full sun all day long. It usually takes only four hours of daily sunlight to help a jade plant thrive.

A window that faces the southern side of your home can be the ideal spot for your new jade plant. This side of your house should allow plenty of daily light to reach your plant without exposing it to an excessive amount of bright sun.

Watering

Your jade plants watering requirements will vary throughout the year. The growing season for a jade plant is during the spring and summer months. This is when your plant will need more water.

In the spring and summer, keep your plant's soil damp. Water it enough to moisten the soil, but don't let it become waterlogged.

In the winter, let the soil get dry before you water it again. Once the top layer of soil is dry to the touch, you can add more water. You'll probably need to do this only once a month.

Don't rely on a set schedule for watering your jade plant. Instead of adding water at regular intervals, check the soil often so you can water as needed. if you notice that your plant is getting brown spots or its leaves are falling off, that's an indication that it isn't getting enough water.

However, take care not to overwater. All jade plants must have good drainage. Also, don't splash the leaves when watering.

Temperature

As a general rule of thumb, jade plants do well at room temperature. Their ideal daytime temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They actually like cooler temperatures both overnight and during the winter; during those periods, they find a temperature near 55 degrees quite comfortable.

Don't stress if your house is warmer than this, however. As long as you're giving your houseplant plenty of light, it should still do just fine.

Do take care to protect it against cold, however, particularly during the winter months. Keep it out of drafty spots and don't let its leaves rest against chilly windows.

Fertilizing

Two or three times a year, nourish your jade plant with fertilizer. A general-use liquid fertilizer for houseplants is an easy way to accomplish this. Apply it about every three months.

Always add fertilizer to damp soil. Feeding your plant when its soil is dry can be harmful.

The Jade Plant is a fantastic indoor succulent plant that stays green year round.
The Jade Plant is a fantastic indoor succulent plant that stays green year round.

Long-term Care Considerations

Dusting

Just like your furniture, the leaves of your jade plant can accumulate dust over time. This buildup will reduce their attractive gloss and affect the amount of sunlight it can absorb.

Fortunately, restoring its beauty is easy. Use a lightly moistened cloth to gently wipe down the leaves. Your plant will soon be as good as new.

Pruning

You can take broken or dying leaves off of your plant whenever you'd like. However, serious pruning is a job for the spring when new growth has just begun.

If you want a branch to keep growing, trim it within 1/4 of an inch from the spot where a branch or a leaf shoots off of it. Use this rule of thumb whether you are scaling back the width or the height of the plant. Do not remove more than one-third of the plant's height in a trimming session.

To remove a branch entirely, make the cut right up against the main stem of the plant. Take care not to cut the stem itself, however.

If you want to limit the size of your jade plant, trim its roots once every three years. After trimming up to one-third of the roots, repot the plant in fresh soil. You can keep it in its same planter since root pruning will help corral its growth.

Repotting

You shouldn't need to repot your jade plant often. Unlike some houseplants, these do just fine with being root-bound. The bigger concern is that the plant will become too top-heavy for its current container.

In that case, consider the following timing tips for moving your jade plant to a new container:

  • Don't transfer it until you see that a period of new growth has begun.
  • Let the soil dry out before moving your plant.

After lifting your plant out of the container, gently brush away residual dirt. Prune dead roots before setting the jade plant in its new pot. Distribute the roots evenly throughout the planter before covering them with soil.

After transferring your jade plant to a new pot, wait one week to water it and four months to fertilize it.

Propagating

To share the joy of a jade plant, you can use a cutting to start a new plant. Start by trimming a three-inch piece of branch or a leaf. With a branch piece, set the branch in a warm place until the cut spot heals. Leaves can be used right away.

Set the leaf or the healed branch on a blend of soil and vermiculite. Water lightly until the cutting puts out roots that take hold.

You and Your Jade Plant

Whether or not you consider yourself a gardener, a jade plant can thrive under your care. Many people find joy in cultivating a jade plant. Care for yours well, and it will bring you the pleasant satisfaction of watching it grow.

Why do you love your Jade Plant?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • Why is my jade plant drooping? Is it because of the weight of the leaves?

    The leaves of a jade plant droop when the plant is struggling and not as healthy as it should be. There can be many causes of this from lighting, to soil conditions, to fertilizer. However, the most common issue for jade plant owners by far is improper watering.

    Remember to reduce the amount of water the plant receives during the winter months. During the rest of the year, keep the soil only slightly moist.

    If you are at a complete loss as to what is causing this with your plant, experiment by reducing the amount of water it is receiving to see if the leaves perk up. This will likely help the situation and then you'll know it is an over watering issue.

  • My jade plant's leaves have a whitish powder on them. I'm not sure if it's dust or something else. Could it be harmful to the plant?

    The white powder that often appears on the leaves of the jade plant is usually either from a salty solution that is excreted from the plant, or it is a white fungus that develops on the leaves from improper care.

    How to tell the difference:

    If you see any areas where the white powder appears to be in the form of small circles, then this might indicate that it is fungal growth and not your plant excreting excess salts.

    Excess Salts:

    Some plants, such as the jade plant, will actually excrete excess salts that it has absorbed out onto its leaves as a means of ridding itself from it. This might be caused by excess salts in the soil or in the water it absorbed. Your jade plant is well equipped to handle this though and will get rid of these salts by excreting them onto its leaves. The liquid it excretes will evaporate leaving just the white powdery salts behind.

    If this is the case, just make sure you have quality soil and water that is not high in salinity. Then you can use a soft damp cloth to wipe the leaves clean. Even if your water and soil are ideal, your plant might still excrete this substance, and that is completely alright. Just wipe the plant's leaves from time to time, and it should be fine.

    Fungal growth:

    The white powder on the leaves can also be a fungus that is starting to grow due to excess humidity, low light conditions, and cooler temperatures. This fungus is most common in the cool winter months.

    If this is the case, take care not to get the leaves damp during watering of the plant. Also, consider increasing light exposure or even utilizing a fan to increase air circulation. This will also help to keep the leaves dry and inhibit fungal growth.

    You can remove any shoots or leaves of the plant that are heavily affected and treat any other's with a light misting of a baking soda solution. For the baking soda solution, mix four teaspoons of baking soda to one gallon of water. Ensure the water is room temperature or slightly warm. Then use a spray bottle to mist the plant lightly. Do this daily until the problem is corrected.

© 2017 Kate Daily

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Arpita Dey 

      3 months ago

      I brought my Jade plant...a new family member

    • profile image

      sheik 

      3 months ago

      weight of the plant

    • profile image

      neha 

      5 months ago

      Awesome article.. Very simple and useful tips. Thank you.

    • Wolfy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Daily 

      8 months ago from California

      I agree Linda!

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      8 months ago from United Kingdom

      I love this plant. It is so easy to care for, in fact it does need very little care once it is established.

    • Wolfy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate Daily 

      10 months ago from California

      Thank you Jack, I hope it was helpful!

    • profile image

      Jack Bishop 

      10 months ago

      Excellent and very helpful article!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)