The Jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a hardy succulent which can be grown indoors and outdoors. It is also known as money plant in Asia and is thought to bring wealth and prosperity.
There are approximately 18 different varieties of jade plants. Generally, they are all easy to care for, provided they are provided with plenty of light and the right amount of water.
- Loss of leaves – Insufficient lighting. To remedy the loss of leaves, move your plant to a brighter location and change the soil.
- Yellowing of leaves – Overwatering or root rot. If the roots are still alright, simply reduce watering and repot the plant. If the roots have rotted, it’ll be easier to discard it and propagate a new plant using the remaining leaves.
- Dropping of older leaves – Too much heat. In winter, this could be due to the jade plant being placed too close to a heater. Moving it to another spot should fix the problem.
- Mouldy leaves – Humidity is too high. If it is too humid indoors, placing the plant outdoors may fix the issue.
- No flowers – The plant is probably too young. Jade plants tend to flower when they are about 5 to 8 years old. They also tend not to flower indoors.
- Insufficient lighting
- Excessive heat
- Excessive humidity
Watering: During spring and summer, when the jade plant is growing actively, it will require more water (eg. weekly). During autumn and winter, the jade plant will require less water (eg. monthly). It is best to ensure that your plant pot has sufficient drainage and allows water to escape the base of the pot. Water your plant deeply when the soil is dry to the touch and wait until the soil is dry again to water it again.
Light: The Jade plant (Crassula ovata) require at least 4 hours of sunlight a day. However, if the jade plant is exposed to too much sunlight, they may develop reddish leaves.
Temperature: The ideal temperature range for a jade plant is room temperature (ie. 15 to 24 degrees celsius). Jade plants are not frost tolerant. However, well-established outdoor plants usually cope well with mild frosts.
Soil: Jade plants love good drainage. So avoid growing them in clayey soil. A soil mix used for cacti and succulents is preferable.
Repotting: Jade plants cope well even if root bound in a small pot. Keeping them root bound keeps them small and manageable. However, if you would like to encourage growth, repotting every 2 to 3 years is a good idea. Alternatively, plant them outdoors into the ground and watch them take off!
Fertiliser: Feed your jade plant twice a year with a water-soluble fertiliser, keeping in mind that you should never add fertiliser while the soil is dry as this may damage the roots. Water the plant first the usual way, then add fertiliser.
Pruning: Jade plants require pruning at least once a year to keep their growth in check. It is easy to prune jade plants as they are soft.
Jade plants are toxic to animals including dogs and cats. If ingested, symptoms may include gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, ataxia or lack of bodily coordination, depression or a lowered heart rate.
Jade plants are only mildly toxic to humans. Touching the plant sap may lead to itching and burning skin for some. If ingested, diarrhorrea and vomiting may result.
If you have pets that will chew nearly any plant, check out our article on pet safe indoor plants.