How to Care for Jade Plant Indoors

Jade plant in a ceramci plant pot

Jade plants are one of the most popular succulent plants and make for a beautiful indoor plant. What makes the plants so fascinating to look at are the thick fleshy leaves and woody stems it develops as it matures. They’re native to South Africa and adapt well to dry conditions, making them very easy to take care of and an ideal gift for those with brown fingers.

There are various types of jade plants worldwide. Some have jade green leaves all around, while some are green with red tips or margins. They also come in a variety of oval, finger, and paddle-shaped leaves.

Jade plants are also known as money or prosperity plants because they’re believed to bring luck, happiness, and wealth to a family. So, how does one take care of this somewhat auspicious plant? Let’s find out!

Jade Plant – General Info

Scientific name:

Crassula Ovata

Common Names:

  • Money tree
  • Lucky tree
  • Dollar plant
  • Friendship tree

Optimal Hardiness Zones

Hardiness zone 10-11

Jade Plant Indoor Care Guide

Caring for jade plants is fairly simple if you can give them what they need to maintain healthy, luscious leaves. Below is a breakdown of the conditions needed to care for the plants.

Soil Requirements For Jade

Sandy loam soil is best for jade plants as it typically has good drainage. But, you can use a cactus or succulent potting soil because it’s also porous enough to allow water to drain completely from a pot. I’ve even used a combination of garden soil and potting mix when I don’t have a cactus mix at hand.

If you decide to include clay sand in the mix, add only about 5-10% of it because it retains a lot of water, making it difficult for water to drain completely from the pot.

Water Requirements For Jade Plants Growing Inside Your House

Jade plants are susceptible to root rot, so the soil needs to dry out in between watering sessions. Because of their thick nature, the leaves of the plant store water to help retain moisture. So, when watering a jade plant during the hot season, it’s best to water the plant every 10-14 days and once a month during its dormant season (winter).

A soil test using your fingers always works best to ensure you’re not under or over-watering your jade plants. To do this, insert your finger into the soil. If the soil feels dry, that’s your cue to water the plants. If it feels moist, allow the soil to dry completely before the next watering cycle.

Fertilizing Jade

It’s best to fertilize your plants once a month during the growing season. Since the plant is typically a slow grower, a slow-release liquid fertilizer ensures the plant does not experience any root burn from excess nitrogen.

Jade Light Requirements

This plant loves the sun. It thrives in a location that has full to partial sun, so a location that receives at least four hours of direct light is ideal. When growing a jade plant indoors, it’s best to place the container with the plant next to a south-facing window.

Even though jade plants can withstand cold temperatures, it’s best to maintain indoor temperatures of between 65℉- 70℉ (18℃-21℃). I take my jade plants outside every morning to receive about six hours of sun during winter.

Pruning Indoor Jade Plants

Like every succulent, jade plants tend to get a few dead or withered leaves every now and then. When you notice any dried-up leaves, you can simply trim those leaves, and then new leaves will grow from those nodes.

Propagating a Slunting Jade Plant

The Woody Stems Of A Jade Plant Slunting In A Plant Pot
Slightly slunt jade plant in a pot

As the plant matures, woody stems start developing to form a tree-like appearance, and the jade plant leans over the container. To prevent your entire plant from collapsing due to all the weight, you can propagate the plant. To do this, cut off the stems that seem to be weighing heavily on the plant. From these cuttings, you can start another jade plant in a small pot.

An Image Showing How To Propagate A Jade Plant. Pruning Shears Are Used To Cut Off A Stem.
Use pruning shears or a sharp knife to cut off a stem from the jade plant.

Propagating the plant is not only limited to the stem, you can use both the stem and leaf cuttings from the initial plant to grow more jade. Snap off a leaf or two, place it inside a bowl or container with potting soil, and water sparingly, and then place the container in a sunny location. You should expect to see roots growing within three weeks.

Stem Cutting Of A Jade Plant Inserted Into A New Pot. The Image Also Shows A Pair Of Hands Filling Soil Ino The Pot And Tucking In The Stem.
Stem cutting of a jade plant inserted into a new pot.

Common Problems with Indoor Jade Plants

As mentioned earlier in the post, one of the common problems that affect the plant is root rot. But, that’s not all. It’s also not immune to the following natural dilemmas.

1. Shriveled Leaves Due to Underwatering

When you notice that the leaves of your jade plant have shrunken, it’s likely due to underwatering. Jade plants love a consistent supply of water, so when the supply runs low, the leaves are likely to fall off.

How To Restore Underwatered Plants

Water your plant generously, until the water flows from the pot. Place your plant in the sun for four to six hours daily until the plant starts growing new healthy leaves.

2. Leaves Falling Because of Root Rot

As mentioned earlier in the post, root rot can also be detrimental to the growth of a jade plant. Not only does it cause the leaves to fall off, but it’s also responsible for the yellowing of the leaves. This condition affects the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients in the soil to effectively supply the nutrients to the branches and leaves.

How To Treat Root Rot

Follow these steps to save your plant from root rot:

  1. Identify if the jade plant is really affected by root rot by gently removing the plant from its container.
  2. If the roots show signs of rot, remove the affected roots and leaves.
  3. Wash your plant container with antibacterial soap and let it dry completely in the sun.
  4. Discard the affected soil.
  5. Fill the pot with new soil, insert your plant, water it and place it in the sun for at least four hours. Then move it back indoors in a south-facing area.

3. Brown Spots On Leaves Of Jade Plants

Jade Plant Affected By Pests. The Leavesof The Plant Have Brown To Grey Spots
Pest-infested jade leaves

Brown spots are an indication that your plant is infested with pests. The most common pests that are likely to invade your jade plants are aphids and spider mites. These sap-sucking insects feed on the juice of your leaves, leaving behind black spots and sometimes yellow rings on your leaves.

How To Deal With Pests Affecting Jade Plants

To get rid of insects sucking the sap of your leaves, you can make a solution using isopropyl/ rubbing alcohol and water.

  1. Dilute 10ml of rubbing alcohol in 50ml of water then pour it into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture onto a cotton ball and wipe the affected leaves. Repeat this process every week until the problem is eradicated.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions or feedback, please drop them in the comment section below.

Where should you place a jade plant in your house?

To promote healthy plant growth, it’s best to place the plants in a south-facing area in your home, because jade plants love receiving lots of sunlight.

Does jade need direct sunlight?

Jade plants need a lot of sunlight, so bright, direct light helps them grow at their optimum best. Direct sunlight also reduces the risk of root rot (a condition caused by fungal growth). Root rot is responsible for wilting and yellow leaves.

How often should jade plants be watered?

The greatest thing about jade plants is that their leaves are capable of storing water for long periods of time. During the growing season -spring and summer -water the plant every 10-14 days. In winter, reduce the frequency to once a month.

Why are the leaves of my jade plants falling off?

Underwatering is one of the main culprits of jade leaves falling off. To ensure you’re not depriving your plants of water, check the soil for dryness. If it’s dry, water the plant and allow the water to drain completely. If the soil is moist, wait for the soil to completely dry off before the next watering session.

Another possible reason why the leaves of your jade plant might fall off is because of root rot. Root rot is often caused by overwatering and a lack of oxygen supply to the leaves and stems. To prevent root rot, water your jade plant when the soil is dry to the touch.

Final Words

When given the proper care, you’ll notice just how low-maintenance indoor jade plants really are. They need a good four hours of direct light and a good balance of consistent watering during the growing season. Because the leaves are thick, it makes it relatively easy for them to use any excess moisture from the roots so they can maintain their luscious jade green color.

What methods have you used to ensure your jade plant grows at its optimum best? Leave them in the comment section below!

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