How to Plant and Grow Jade Plant

This easy-to-grow succulent plant can get quite large over time.

A branched, succulent shrub commonly grown indoors, jade plant features thick, woody stems and glossy green, fleshy, oblong leaves up to two inches long. This low-maintenance plant lives a long time, taking on the appearance of a miniature tree as it ages. And it's very easy to propagate. Just stick its leaves (stem end down) into the soil, where new roots will grow.

Jade plants should be kept out of reach of pets since they can be toxic to animals. Jade plants can also cause people to become ill, though they're not harmful to humans like animals.

Jade Plant Overview

Genus Name Crassula
Common Name Jade Plant
Plant Type Houseplant
Light Sun
Height 3 to 8 feet
Width 2 to 3 feet
Flower Color Pink, White
Foliage Color Blue/Green
Season Features Spring Bloom, Winter Bloom
Special Features Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
Zones 11
Propagation Stem Cuttings
Problem Solvers Drought Tolerant

Where to Plant Jade Plant

Jade plant tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. But for the best-looking plant possible, make sure it gets full sun to encourage a dense display of thick, succulent leaves. Grow jade plant indoors since outdoors, they require very hot temperatures.

How and When to Plant Jade Plant

You can plant jade plant anytime if you're using it as an indoor plant. Either get a jade plant at a nursery or propagate jade plant from an existing plant. Set your plant in either a south- or west-facing window for the best exposure.

Jade Plant Care Tips

Jade plant is very east to care for. Just keep it watered and give it the sunlight it needs.

Light

Give jade plant at least 4 to 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight for the greenest, healthiest leaves. Growing in part sun will result in narrow leaves that take on a grayish cast and can result in leggy plants. Feel free to take your jade plant outside during the summer. The added sunlight and warmer temperatures will likely pay off with a growth spurt.

Soil and Water

Jade plant prefers well-drained gritty soil; saturated soil will cause root rot. Water jade plant when the soil is almost completely dry to the touch but not so dry it pulls away from the pot's edge, which makes it hard to rewet. Jade plant is more likely to suffer when overwatered than underwatered.

Leaf drop indicates the plant is not getting enough water.

Temperature and Humidity

Indoors, jade plants like the same temperature most people do—between 65ºF and 75ºF. They don't do well in temperatures below 50ºF, so don't leave them outdoors in cold weather.

Fertilizer

Jade plants don't need much fertilizer. Apply an all-purpose organic fertilizer in early to mid-spring. During the growing season, give jade plant an occasional low dose of fertilizer to keep it green.

Pruning

How much or how little you prune your jade is up to you. You can prune it like a bonsai or let it grow however it likes. Sometimes, plants can become top-heavy, and then they'll benefit from a trim.

Potting and Repotting Jade Plant

Use an unglazed clay pot at least 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Make sure it has drainage holes to keep your jade plant from getting waterlogged. If it begins to outgrow its pot, repot jade plant into a larger container. After removing the plant from the small pot, clean up the roots and make sure there's no fungus. Place it in the soil and spread the roots as you backfill with soil. Wait a week and then water lightly.

Pests and Problems

Take your plant outside and spray it to clean off accumulated dust. Inspect the plant (including the undersides of leaves) for aphids, scale, spider mites, and mealybugs, which can be removed by wiping the plant with a paper towel sprayed with rubbing alcohol. Check for mealybugs, a common problem for jade plant. If you see white spots, you'll know you have mealybugs. They can be removed with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol, like other pests.

How to Propagate Jade Plant

Propagating jade plant is a simple as taking one leaf from a healthy, mature plant and sticking it in soil, after proper preparation. Let the base of the leaf dry out and form a scab where you removed it. Dip it in hormone rooting powder, then add it to a mix of half soil and half vermiculite. Place it in a well-lit spot and mist it occasionally. Soon, you'll see roots and baby plants begin to form.

Follow the same process with a 3 inch cutting, if you prefer to propagate that way.

Types of Jade Plant

This popular indoor plant is primarily grown for its lustrous green leaves. Expect to see those leaves tinted red if the plant is cultivated in direct sun. If you're hoping for blooms, you'll be disappointed: jade plant's clusters of white or pink star-shaped blossoms rarely appear on indoor specimens.

Common Jade Plant

Common jade plant Crassula ovata
Marty Baldwin

Crassula ovata develops into a durable shrubby tree that makes a great companion for cactuses and other succulents. It is also sold as Crassula argentea and Crassula portulacea.

Silver Jade

Silver jade Crassula atropurpurea arborescens
Marty Baldwin

Crassula atropurpurea arborescens has flattened silvery blue leaves with a red margin. It can grow to 6 feet tall and needs the same type of care as common jade plant.

Variegated Jade

Variegated jade Crassula ovata 'Variegata'
Marty Baldwin

Crassula ovata 'Variegata' grows just like common jade, but has creamy white variegated leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are common problems with jade plant?

    If your plant has shriveled leaves, it needs more water. If it's losing leaves, it needs more light. If it has many yellow leaves (as opposed to a few), it's being overwatered.

  • Can jade plants be added to rock gardens?

    Yes, jade plant does well in rock gardens. Plant it with other succulents and cacti.

  • How long do jade plants live?

    Some jade plants, which are believed to bring good luck, live for 50 to 70 years or more. They are considered valuable heirlooms by families.

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