If you’re looking for an adorable plant that may also bring you a bit of luck, check out the jade plant! These succulents have plump, fleshy leaves that both houseplant enthusiasts and new plant parents can appreciate. But what really makes jade plants special are their woody stems that grow to resemble lil’ tree trunks.
Not only are jade plants stunners, but they’re also quite easy to care for—as long as you know what they like. We’re going to cover jade plant care so you can keep these plants happy and healthy.
Caring for Indoor Jade Plants
While you can grow jade plants both indoors and outdoors, many people opt to keep them as potted houseplants. Small plants can add a bit of green to office desks and life to bookshelves while larger plants can become statement plants that have stories to tell. When it comes to caring for your indoor jade plants, keep these care tips in mind.
Selecting a Container and Soil
The first step to a healthy plant is making sure it gets off on the right foot! And that means selecting a proper container and great potting soil.
Jade plants can thrive in all sorts of containers, including terra cotta, ceramic, and plastic. No matter what material you choose, ensure the pot has drainage holes that allow excess water to escape. Additionally, keep the size of the pot in mind. The container should be large enough to hold the plant’s root ball, but not much larger.
Once you’ve found a good pot for your plant, it’s time to choose a proper potting soil. Since jade plants are succulents with fleshy leaves, they can survive short periods of drought. However, they hate sitting in wet soil. Therefore, you’ll want to choose a well-draining soil mix.
If you’re looking at pre-mixed options, choose a mix that is designed for succulents and cacti. These mixes offer the great drainage jade plants need while also providing the plants with support.
Watering Indoor Jade Plants
As mentioned above, jade plants should never sit in wet soil. And while they can tolerate periods of dry soil, they will perform best when their soil remains slightly moist at all times.
The frequency you’ll need to water will depend on factors including the type of soil, temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Generally, you’ll need to water more often when temperatures are high and humidity is low.
The best way to determine whether or not you need to water your jade plant is to feel the soil with your finger. If the top two inches of soil feel moist, wait to water. However, if the soil feels dry, go ahead and give your jade plants a drink.
These plants are too picky about the type of water they receive. Tap water is typically fine unless your water is extremely hard. If that’s the case, or if you just want to be extra careful, you can use rainwater or distilled water.
When you water, make sure to thoroughly moisten the soil. You should also empty any water that runs through the soil and collects in a catch dish.
While many houseplants prefer indirect light, jade plants are not one of them! These plants can’t get enough of basking in the sun and therefore prefer bright and direct light.
Some of the best places for jade plants are near south-facing windows that let in lots of light. They can also thrive near west-facing windows or in the interior of bright rooms. Whatever you do, don’t tuck these plants into a dim corner!
While jade plants can survive with only dim light, they will not thrive. Their growth will become stalled and they’ll lack the vibrancy that occurs in plants that receive lots of light.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements
Jade plants are currently grown throughout the world, but they’re native to South Africa. Therefore, they will thrive in conditions that mimic their native environment.
Fortunately, jade plants are happy in temperatures that humans also find comfortable, between 65-80ºF. The plants can handle cooler temperatures during the winter, but you should avoid exposing them to temperatures less than 55ºF for an extended period of time.
As far as humidity goes, jade plants like it low to moderate. Generally, regular household humidity levels are just fine. However, if you find your home is extremely humid, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier.
Fertilizing Jade Plants
If you’re hoping for lush leaves and a healthy-looking plant, don’t forget to apply fertilizer! Jade plants will benefit from regular fertilization in the spring through late summer. A good rule of thumb is to apply a low dose of balanced houseplant fertilizer twice a month.
Caring for Outdoor Jade Plants
While jade plants are popular houseplants, you can also grow these plants outdoors. The care requirements are very similar to those for indoor jade plants.
Many individuals choose to move their potted jade plants outdoors when the temperatures warm up in the spring or summer. If you choose to do so, ensure that the humidity isn’t too high for your jade plant and that the plant is receiving enough sunlight.
If you live in an area where temperatures rarely dip below 50ºF, you can also plant your jade plant in the ground outdoors. Ensure that the soil is well-draining and the location receives lots of sun.
Common Jade Plant Problems
It’s true that jade plants are relatively low-maintenance. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible to their fair share of problems. Keep and eye out for the following common issues and treat them ASAP.
The most common pests of jade plants are sap-sucking insects including aphids, spider mites, and thrips. All of these pests use sucking mouthparts to pierce plant leaves and then suck out the sap. While these pests may be tiny, don’t underestimate them! They can quickly multiply and cause serious damage to plants.
If you notice just a few pests, you can remove them with a wet and soapy rag. However, if a bigger outbreak occurs, you may need to spray your plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
While jade leaves should be bright green, yellow leaves are an issue that many plant parents face. There are multiple reasons why jade plant leaves may turn yellow, but overwatering is the most common reason. Remember to use a well-draining soil mix and only water when the top two inches of soil is dry.
Other possible causes of yellow leaves include lack of light, cold temperatures, and sudden changes in the plant’s environment.
If you notice your jade plant is losing leaves, improper watering is likely to blame. Both underwatering and overwatering can cause the plant to lose its leaves. If the leaves are soft and mushy, overwatering is likely to blame. And if the leaves appear dry and shriveled, underwatering is the most likely cause.
Enrich Your Life With Plants and Flowers
While plants may seem like a simple thing, you’d probably agree that they can add feelings of peace and life to spaces such as homes and offices. Potted houseplants are one way to add a bit of a natural element, but they’re not the only way!
Adding fresh flower arrangements can add a pop of color while also bringing a bit of nature indoors. If you’re not sure what flowers to order, check out our popular bouquets for inspiration. And if you’d like to learn more about similar plants, head over to our ZZ plant care guide.Shop All