How to Plant and Grow Jade Plant

Meet the easy-to-grow succulent that can live for decades and grow quite large when cared for properly.

A branched, succulent shrub, the jade plant is a popular indoor plant grown primarily for its lustrous green leaves that sprout from its thick, somewhat woody stems. This low-maintenance plant can live a long time, taking on the appearance of a miniature tree as it ages. And it's very easy to grow as long as it's not overwatered or exposed to very cold temperatures.

Jade plants should be kept out of the reach of pets since they can be toxic to animals. Jade plants can also be moderately toxic to humans when ingested and contain a sap that can cause dermatitis when touched.

Jade Plant Overview

Genus Name Crassula
Common Name Jade Plant
Plant Type Houseplant
Light Sun
Height 3 to 10 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 Grow Jade Plant

In most regions, it’s best to grow jade plants indoors since they won't survive freezing temperatures. To grow jade plants outdoors (in Zones 10 and above), choose an area that gets about 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight with well-draining, sandy loam soil with a pH that is neutral to slightly acidic (around 6.0 to 7.0). Outdoor jade plants tend to be slow growers, but it’s best to give them plenty of room to grow as they can stretch to 10 feet in height in the right conditions.

Jade Plant Care Tips


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. In containers, it's best to use a potting mix designed for succulents.

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.


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.


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, however, jade plants can become top-heavy, in which case they'll benefit from a trim.

Potting and Repotting Jade Plant

You will likely need to repot your jade plant every 2 to 3 years to keep it from outgrowing its container. To help prevent the plant from getting waterlogged, use an unglazed clay pot that will allow excess moisture to evaporate away from the roots. As the plant ages, it will likely
only need to be repotted every 4 or 5 years.

As your plant grows, it will become increasingly important to choose wide, heavy-bottomed pots to accommodate it. Jade plants tend to grow top-heavy and can easily tip in lighter pots.

After removing your plant from its outgrown pot, clean up the roots and make ensure there's no fungus and place it in the soil, spreading the roots as you backfill with soil. Wait a week and then water your jade plant lightly.

Pests and Problems

Indoor jade plants often deal with dust more than pests, so if the leaves are looking dull, use a moist cloth to gently wipe the leaves clean. Or take your plant outside if temperatures are warm enough and lightly spray it off with water from a hose to wash off accumulated dust.

Inspect the plant regularly (including the undersides of leaves) for aphids, scale, spider mites, and mealybugs. Mealybugs, in particular, are a common problem for jade plants. These insects look like small, fuzzy white spots. If you notice any of these houseplant pests, wipe them off the plant with a paper towel sprayed with rubbing alcohol.

How to Propagate Jade Plant

Propagating a jade plant is as simple as taking one leaf from a healthy, mature plant and sticking it in soil. But first, you'll need to prepare the leaf for propagating by letting the base of the leaf dry out to form a scab where you removed it from the main plant. Dip the scabbed end in rooting hormone 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. You can follow the same process with a 3-inch cutting if you prefer to propagate that way.

Types of Jade Plant

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.

Companion Plants for Jade Plant

Pair potted jade plants with low-growing, sun-loving succulents that also have low water requirements, like hen-and-chicks or showy sedum.

When seeking companion plants for outdoor jade plants, it’s important to consider both the growing conditions and space requirements for each plant. Look for succulents that will also thrive in well-drained, gritty soil and full sun.

Agave desmetiana 'Varigata'

Like the jade plant, the agave desmetiana grows well in sandy, well-drained soils and full sun, but also tolerates some partial shade. Its curved, bright green leaves with golden-yellow edges are a sharp contrast to the glossy, fleshy leaves of the jade plant.

Blue Chalksticks

Blue chalksticks, or Senecio mandraliscae, are excellent ground cover succulents that are commonly used in landscaping designs for warm climates (zones 10 and 11). It produces blue-green spikes in short cylindrical stems that grow about 6 to 8 inches tall and can spread approximately 1 to 2 feet wide.

Coppertone Sedum

Coppertone Sedum, or S. nussbaumerianum, is a pretty evergreen perennial (in zones 10 and higher) that turns a beautiful copper color when exposed to full sun. It makes an elegant and unexpected addition to rock and succulent gardens as well as container plantings.

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 probably needs more light. If it has many yellow leaves (as opposed to just a few), it's likely being overwatered.

  • Can jade plants be rooted in water?

    Actually, yes! To do so, take a 3 to 6-inch branch or cutting from a healthy jade plant and remove any leaves near the base of the stem that might be below the water line. To reduce the risk of root rot, let the branch or cutting scab over for a couple of days (or longer if the clipping is large). Once it is calloused, submerge it in clear, filtered water using toothpicks to hold the cutting in place. Place your cutting in a sunny spot and change the water every few days until new roots begin to form. It may take a month or two, but after the roots emerge, you can transplant the cutting to soil. 

  • How long do jade plants live?

    Jade plants have amazing longevity and can live for 50 to 100 years when cared for properly. They are also considered good luck and are thought to bring prosperity and fortune to those who care for them. For this reason, jade plants are frequently passed down from generation to generation as valuable heirlooms.

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  1. Jade plant. ASPCA. (n.d.).

  2. Safe and poisonous garden plants - University of California, Davis. (n.d.). 

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