Plant Care for Dummies : Jade Plant
Jade plant – some common knowledge
Growing Jade plant is easy and simple and many people enjoy growing jade plants in homes and workspaces and they are also said to bring good luck. With their gnarly woody stems and plump oval-shaped leaves, jade plants have a miniature, tree like appearance that makes them very appealing as a house plant. Their long life make them ideal for bonsai, but they are also otherwise passed down from generation to generation. With just a bit of care, it can grow to be between 3 and 6 feet tall, but it does so slowly, growing about 2 inches a year.
Native to South Africa, jade plants were once thought to bring good luck to their owners, so are often given as housewarming gifts. Because they’re typically only grown indoors, they can be brought home or started at any time, either from a professional nursery or through propagation.
The most important factors to consider when growing jade houseplants is water, light, temperature, and fertilizer.
Jade plants adapt well to the warm, dry conditions found in most homes. It’s important to keep the plant watered during the growing season (spring, summer) and drier during the dormant season (fall, winter). However, even during the growing season, the soil should be allowed to dry out fully between watering, as jade is very susceptible to rot.
Another important aspect of the care and maintenance of jade plants is how much sun they receive. They need full sun in order to grow properly. If they do not have full sun, they may become stunted and leggy.
Jade plants need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Young plants should be kept in bright, indirect sunlight; large, well-established jade plants can handle more direct sunlight.
One of the most important things and key factors that determine the success of your jade plant is watering. Make sure that they the plants are watered properly and never let it dry out completely but don’t keep the soil soggy wet. The idea is to let the potting mix dry in between watering cycles. Watering your jade plant too often can cause root rot. If your jade plant is losing leaves or has leaf spots, this is most commonly caused by too little water.
Jade plants require more water in spring and summer when it is actively growing. Water it thoroughly till water comes out of the drainage holes, then wait until the soil has dried out before watering it again. This simply translates to the fact that; the watering can be twice a week or twice a month depending on how quickly the soil dries out.
Jade plant goes dormant in fall and winter season and stops growing for a few months and would need very little water. Water it carefully and allow the soil to dry out fully between watering. Large, well-established jade plants need to be watered further lesser.
Avoid wetting the foliage while watering ass the plant loves to be dry and a very humid environmnet can lead to rot.
Soil & Fertilisation
Pot your Jade plants in a loose well-draining potting mix. Also ensure that the potting mix has a good amount of organic matter. When choosing a readymade soil mix to house your jade plant, a succulent-specific blend is the best bet. Ideally, the soil should be either neutral to slightly acidic and drain well in order to prevent excessive moisture from accumulating and leading to fungal growth. If you choose to use an all-purpose potting mix used for generic house plants, add some perlite, wood chips to help assist with drainage and rich an ideal pH. Furthermore, it is better to use terracotta or clay pots for better drainage as they also lose water through their walls. Use a pot that I also wide to increase surface area at the top.
Jade plants should be fed sparingly. Use a diluted mix of a standard liquid houseplant fertilizer or a fertilizer made for cacti and succulents.
Jade plants love light, and young plants especially should be exposed to bright, indirect sunlight in order to thrive. Jade plants young and old should receive at least four to six hours of sunlight daily but keep the plant safe from direct rays. Harsh light can scorch young, immature plants or cause the leaves of older ones to turn red.
During the winter months, move the plants away from cold windows and keep them out of areas that get direct draft.
Choose a wide and sturdy pot with a moderate depth, as jade plants have a tendency to grow top-heavy and fall over.
Take at least a 4-5 inch cutting and remove the lowermost leaves and pot it in a well-draining potting mix, making sure to submerge at least 2-3 leaf nodes under the soil. Use a smaller pot to control the availability of moisture and place the planter and plant in a brightly lit pot, out of direct sun.
After planting a jade plant, don’t water it right away. Waiting anywhere from several days to a week before watering lets the roots settle and recover from any damage.
Problems and care
A majority of the problem for Jade plants arise due to either over or under watering.
Shrivelled or wrinkled leaves are signs of a thirsty plant in need of more frequent or deeper watering.
Waterlogged and squishy leaves indicated that the plant is getting too much water.
Leaf drop is a symptom of watering issues, too. However it can also be due to very little light.
As far as pest are concerned, mealybugs or scale hide under stems and leaves. To remove the pests, wipe them off gently with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or cotton swab. Repeated applications will be necessary to remove the pests egg and larvae. If the plant is too heavily infested, it may be better to take a clean cutting from it and start anew.
Common Problems With Jade Plants
While jade plants are fairly easy to care for and not terribly temperamental, you may find yourself running into a few issues that leave you wondering why your plant isn’t thriving the way it should. Some of the most common issues with jade plants include:
Because jade plants store water in their leaves, wrinkly or shrivelled leaves are a good indication that your plant isn’t getting enough water. They may be accompanied by drooping or a general “wilt” of the whole plant but should perk up quickly once watered.
Loss of Leaves
If your jade plant is losing leaves at a frequent rate, it may 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 may be too warm and need to be located somewhere with a slightly cooler (but not cold) temperature.
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 tell-tale signs (like rotting roots) and cut back on the frequency with which you water.
Are jade plants easy to care for?
Generally, jade plants are easy to care for. However, some plant owners have a hard time figuring out the right watering schedule at first.
How fast does a jade plant grow?
Jade plants grow slowly, adding about 2 inches of height a year. However, in the right circumstances, they can grow to be between 3 and 6 feet tall.
Can jade plants grow indoors?
Yes—in most parts of the country, jade plants are only cared for as an indoor houseplant.