Tips for Helping Your Jade Plants to Thrive (2023)

Common NameJade plant
Botanical NameCrassula ovata
Plant TypeSucculent, perennial
Mature Size3–6 ft. tall, 2–3 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeWell-drained
Soil pHNeutral, acidic
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorWhite
Hardiness Zones11–12 (USDA)
Native AreaAfrica
ToxicityToxic to dogs and cats


Watch Now: How to Grow and Care for Jade Plants

Jade Plant Care

Caring for a jade plant is easy, as long as you understand the plant’s basic needs for soil, water, and light. Here are the main care requirements for growing a jade plant:

  • Plant in loose, well-draining soil. A succulent potting mix is the best option.
  • Place in a bright window that receives indirect light; a south-facing or west-facing window works well.
  • Water the plant frequently during the spring and summer to keep the soil moist—but never soggy. In the winter, reduce watering to about once per month.
  • Use a 20-20-20 fertilizer during the growing season to promote robust growth.

Tips for Helping Your Jade Plants to Thrive (1)

Tips for Helping Your Jade Plants to Thrive (2)


Jade plants need a lot of light, at least six hours of bright indirect sunlight per day. The type of light is important since direct sunlight can be too harsh and cause the leaves to shrivel and burn, especially for young jade plants. However, too little light can cause problems too. In low-light conditions, the jade plant will have leggy growth that causes the plant to become weak and topple over—rather than maintaining a full, bushy appearance.

To find the best spot to place a jade plant in your home, look for a south-facing window. A west-facing window should also provide enough light. A jade plant makes an attractive addition to a kitchen or as living decor in an office. Avoid rooms with limited windows and light exposure, like the bathroom.

One way to know that your jade plant is receiving enough light is the development of a red tint along the edges of the oval-shaped leaves. This rosy hue develops when the plant has sufficient sunlight to thrive.


When choosing a potting mix for your jade plant, a succulent-specific blend is your best bet. Compared to all-purpose potting soil, potting soil for succulents is looser to facilitate draining and prevent moisture retention, which can lead to fungal growth.

The ideal potting soil for a jade plant should be a blend of sand, potting soil, and perlite or pumice. In a pinch, you can add perlite or pumice to potting soil to create more well-draining soil for your jade plant. Another strategy to prevent moisture retention is to pick a terracotta or clay pot since these materials readily absorb water from the soil.

Jade plants require a neutral to slightly acidic pH level—that equates to a range of 7 to 5.5 on the pH scale. When in doubt, you can test the soil pH, but most succulent blend potting mixes will have an acceptable pH level.


The watering needs of a jade plant vary throughout the year. The jade plant grows actively during the spring and summer months and is usually dormant in the winter months. It’s important to pay attention to the needs of the plant since overwatering is one of the quickest ways to kill a succulent. In its native desert climate, this type of plant is used to receiving deep watering followed by a period of drought. So overwatering the succulent introduces more water into the root environment than the plant can handle, creating conditions ripe for root rot.

Water the plant more frequently in the summer because of the increased plant activity and the warmer temperatures. Aim to keep the soil slightly moist but it should not stay wet or saturated. If it does hold water, the soil drainage may not be sufficient. Water again when the soil begins to dry; it’s not necessary to let the soil become bone dry, but you should err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not it’s time to water. Reduce your watering to once monthly in the winter, when the plant enters dormancy.

You can water the jade plant from underneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water. However, you should pour off any excess water after a few minutes. Never let a jade plant sit in water.

Temperature and Humidity

Jade plants prefer average household temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. At night and in the winter, jade plants can handle a cooler environment, down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, though they should never be kept in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for any prolonged period of time.

When deciding where to place your jade plant, pick a spot that has relatively consistent temperatures. If you put the plant in a location with constantly fluctuating temperatures (like underneath an HVAC duct or in the path of a drafty window or door), you may cause added stress as the plant struggles to adapt to rising and falling temperatures.


Many people underfeed their succulents during their growing season. For the most successful jade plant, feed it with a controlled-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season or weekly with a weak liquid solution. Use a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer at one-quarter strength on mature plants and a fertilizer with less nitrogen on young plants.

Propagating Jade Plants

The jade plant is well-known for its ease of propagation. New plants can be propagated from a single leaf or cutting taken from a parent plant, giving you the opportunity to dramatically increase your collection with ease. The best time to propagate jade plants is during the summer when they're most likely to receive ample sunlight and humidity. These favorable growth conditions will help the newly propagated jade plant to have a successful start.

To propagate with cuttings:

  1. Start by taking a cutting that is at least two to three inches long. It should be taken from a healthy, mature plant that is free from disease.
  2. Allow the cutting to sit for several days in a warm, dry place. You are ready to proceed once the end of the cutting has dried out and scabbed over.
  3. Dip the wound of the cutting in a rooting hormone powder.
  4. Plant the cut end of the stem in a pot containing a mixture of half soil, and half vermiculite (or perlite).
  5. Water sparingly, just until the potting mixture is damp. Your cutting should take root in a few weeks, at which point you can begin to care for the cutting as you would a normal jade plant.

To propagate with leaves:

  1. Start by taking a leaf cutting that includes the stem of the leaf (twisting it from the plant gently can help). Cuttings without this intact will not root. It should be taken from a healthy, mature plant that is free from disease.
  2. Allow the cutting to sit for several days in a warm, dry place. You are ready to proceed once the end of the cutting has dried out and scabbed over.
  3. Dip the wound of the cutting in a rooting hormone powder.
  4. Place the cutting on top of a potting soil blend that contains half soil, and half vermiculite (or perlite). The leaf cutting does not need to be buried; simply making contact with the soil will be sufficient enough to prompt growth.
  5. Place the plant in a warm bright place, misting occasionally to keep the plant barely moist. Roots and baby plants should begin appearing around the edge of the leaf, at which point you can begin to care for the cutting like a traditional jade plant.

Potting and Repotting Jade Plants

When choosing a pot for a jade plant, consider the size of the current plant. These plants have small root systems and won’t benefit from a pot that is much larger than the root ball. In fact, a pot that is too deep or large poses a risk of holding too much moisture and introducing fungal issues into the root system.

Generally, a four-inch or six-inch pot with drainage holes works just fine for average-size jade plants. Larger jade plants that measure several feet high can become top-heavy. For taller, heavier plants, make sure that the pot has a heavy bottom that prevents the plant from toppling over. However, you should still do your best to avoid picking a pot that is oversized in comparison to the root system. If you can, opt for a vessel made from unglazed clay, which will permit excess moisture to evaporate through its walls and ensure that your plant doesn't become waterlogged.

A jade plant will typically need repotting every two to three years for smaller plants and every four to five years for larger ones. If you notice your jade plant appears to be outgrowing its container—e.g., if roots are popping up out of the soil—follow these steps to repot it properly:

  1. Make sure the soil is dry before repotting.
  2. Gently run a butter knife or other flat tool around the inner edge of the pot to loosen the soil and remove any roots that are stuck to the walls of the pot.
  3. Remove the jade plant from the pot.
  4. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotten or dead roots in the process. Treat any visible cuts with a fungicide.
  5. Place the plant in its new pot, and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot.
  6. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, and then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.

Common Pests

Like many other houseplants and succulents, jade plants must contend with a variety of pests. The most common pest is the mealybug, which can leave white patches on the plant, specifically where the leaves attach to the stems. Because jade plants (and succulents in general) are particularly sensitive to insecticides and oils, you should treat mealybugs by wiping them off with a cotton ball or tissue soaked with rubbing alcohol. Other pest issues can include an infestation of spider mites or scale, both of which can be treated the same way.

Common Problems With Jade Plants

While jade plants are fairly easy to care for and not terribly temperamental, you might find yourself running into a few issues that leave you wondering why your plant isn't thriving the way it should.

Shriveled Leaves or Limp, Drooping Jade Plant

Because jade plants store water in their leaves, wrinkly or shriveled leaves are a good indication that your plant isn't getting enough water. They might be accompanied by drooping or a general "wilt" of the whole plant, resulting in limp stems that don’t support the foliage of the plant.

To remedy the situation, water the plant thoroughly until water freely flows from the drainage holes. Wait patiently to water again until the soil begins to dry; resist the temptation to water the plant on consecutive days in an effort to perk up the leaves or stems of a drooping jade plant.

A jade plant with drooping stems or shriveling leaves could also be a response to major temperature shifts. If the plant is subject to widely varying temperatures throughout the day, you may need to move it to a location in your home that is more consistent. It should not be placed underneath an air vent or in the path of a draft from a door or window.

Loss of Leaves

If your jade plant is losing leaves at a frequent rate, it might be a sign that it's not getting enough light. Move the plant somewhere where it gets bright, indirect light for at least six hours a day, and observe whether the problem improves. If most of the leaves falling are old leaves, or the dropping is accompanied by leggy growth, your plant might be too warm and need to be located somewhere with a slightly cooler (but not cold) temperature.

All-Over Yellowing

One or two yellow leaves on your jade plant isn't the end of the world. But if you notice your plant is yellowing all over, that is a sign of a more serious issue. Generally, an all-over yellowing of a jade plant is indicative of overwatering. Check for other telltale signs (such as rotting roots), and cut back on the frequency with which you water.

How to Save a Jade Plant

The first step in saving a jade plant is to identify the issue(s) impacting the health of your plant. The most common causes of a dying jade plant are problems with watering, light conditions, or pest infestation.

Have you neglected watering the plant for a very long time, leaving the soil ultra-dry? Start with a deep watering session, adding water until it freely runs out of the drainage holes. Beware of hydrophobic soil, which is soil that has become so dry and compacted that it absorbs no water. If the water sits on the soil surface or seems to just run along the edges of the pot and out the drainage holes, you may need to lightly aerate the soil surface with a fork. If that doesn’t increase the ability of the soil to absorb water, you’ll need to repot in fresh soil.

If you have maintained a regular watering regimen, you may have overwatered your jade plant. Check the roots for rot. To do so, you’ll need to remove the plant from its pot and visually inspect the root system. The roots of a healthy jade plant should be white, firm, and odorless. If the roots have become infected with rot, they’ll be soft, brown, and have a perceptible smell.

To save a jade plant with root rot, you’ll have to trim away the infected roots, being cautious not to remove any healthy roots that are important for the plant’s continued survival. Once you’ve trimmed the rotten roots from the plant, remove as much remaining soil as possible from the root ball to prevent any contamination. Repot the plant in fresh soil.

In the case of a jade plant that is dying from too much or too little light, move the plant to a new location in your home. As suggested earlier, pick a spot that receives at least six hours of bright, indirect light each day without exposing the plant to harsh, direct light.

For a jade plant that has been infested with pests like spider mites, scale, or mealybugs, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to eliminate all visible pests. Repeat until the issue has been resolved.


  • Are jade plants easy to care for?

    Generally, jade plant care is easy and straightforward. However, some plant owners have a hard time figuring out the right watering schedule at first.

  • What plants are similar to jade plants?

    If you like the look of a jade plant, you can try your hand at growing other types of succulents, such as the string of buttons and hen and chick succulents.

  • How long do jade plants live?

    One major jade plant benefit is the plant's longevity. With proper care, jade plants can live between 50 and 70 years—sometimes even longer. Because of this, they're often passed down generationally.

The 15 Best Places to Buy Plants Online in 2023

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Neely Ledner

Last Updated: 02/25/2023

Views: 6091

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Neely Ledner

Birthday: 1998-06-09

Address: 443 Barrows Terrace, New Jodyberg, CO 57462-5329

Phone: +2433516856029

Job: Central Legal Facilitator

Hobby: Backpacking, Jogging, Magic, Driving, Macrame, Embroidery, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Neely Ledner, I am a bright, determined, beautiful, adventurous, adventurous, spotless, calm person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.