Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Phil
If you need housewarming gift ideas, check out the jade plant. These are lovely succulents with beautiful oval-shaped dark green foliage.
They make perfect gifts for new homeowners because they’re said to bring good luck.
That said, you can likewise keep them for yourself and enjoy their good looks.
Here’s how to care for jade plants.
About Jade Plants
Jade plants are among the most popular succulent houseplants. Some people also call them by other names like the money plant, money tree, lucky plant, or dollar plant.
That’s why they’re sometimes gifted as housewarming presents to symbolize good luck and fortune.
Like other succulents, they’re gifted with uniquely beautiful fleshy leaves. Their oval-shaped foliage, thick woody stems, and tree-like appearance make them very appealing to look at.
But, make no mistake, these small succulents can grow into sizeable plants, reaching anywhere from 3 to 5 feet tall.
This is why most home gardeners will prune them and leave them in undersized pots to limit their growth.
In terms of care, you’ll be happy to know that jade plants are very undemanding. They’re easy to care for and grow. Just as importantly, they can tolerate neglect and adjust well to indoor home conditions.
Best of all, they’ll likely outlive you. With proper care, they’ve been known to be passed down to the next generation.
Jade Plant Care
Jade Plant Light Requirements
Like most succulents jade plants thrive when there’s a lot of sunlight. They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. But, they likewise do well in part sun conditions.
This makes them perfect for south-facing windows where they’re able to receive lots of sunlight throughout the day. You can likewise position them in windows facing south where they can receive afternoon sun.
That said, it’s worth noting that you ought to treat young and established jade plants differently.
Young plants do better with bright, indirect light
Bigger plants that are well-established are more suited for longer periods of direct sunlight.
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Jade Plant Temperature & Humidity
Being native to specific regions in South Africa and Mozambique, jade plants like warm conditions. As such, they prefer temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during day time and about 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
But, unlike many other plants, they don’t need high humidity. In fact, they’re fairly happy when it hovers around 30 to 50 percent.
This makes them ideal for most homes which are fairly warm and dry.
Come wintertime, it’s a good idea to keep a tab on your thermostat as they don’t appreciate it when the mercury drops below 50 degrees.
They are not frost tolerant and don’t like cold weather.
This is why they’re hardy to USDA zones 10 and warmer. That said, you can still enjoy jade plants outdoors if you live in colder regions. But, make sure to bring them in when the temperatures start dropping below 50 degrees in fall.
And, when you do so, make sure not to put them where they can experience cold drafts or cool breezes.
Jade Plant Watering
Like other succulents, jade plants can survive without water for long periods of time. Their native environments have made them adapt to dry conditions allowing them to thrive even when there’s little moisture.
This is why succulents like the jade plant, have thick leaves. It allows them to store water for drier times. But, they’re storage compartments aren’t limited to leaves, in fact different succulents store moisture in different parts including their stems and roots.
That said, you do want to water your succulent when it’s actively growing. This happens during the spring and summer times.
When you do, make sure to water thoroughly. Then, wait for the soil to nearly dry out before watering again.
This comes out to around once a week. Although, the actual frequency will depend on the conditions of your room, the weather, and where it’s placed.
Come wintertime, you can scale back to about once a month as the plant’s growth slows down considerably. It may even go dormant during this time. As such, it will need very little water.
With your jade plant, a lack of water is less damaging than too much water. In fact, the latter can downright kill your succulent.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Your jade plant needs more water when its leaves start dropping, shriveling, or present brown spots.
- It’s getting too much water if its leaves are waterlogged or feel squishy.
Finally, it’s important to remember a few things.
- Don’t get its leaves wet. This makes them susceptible to rot.
- Avoid tap water. Tap water contains salts to which the jade plant is sensitive to. Thus, it’s a good idea to filter the water or use distilled water.
Because of where they come from, they’re used to sandy soil. But, for optimum results, put your jade plant in a well-draining succulent mix that’s slightly acidic (pH of 6.0).
While jade plants don’t need a lot of feeding, most people underfeed them. That’s because many believe that succulents don’t need a lot of nutrients. After all, most of them are grown in small containers. And, they’re slow growers as well.
But, it’s a good idea to feed them occasionally during their growing season. Use a fertilizer that’s designed for cacti and succulents.
Alternatively, you can use a liquid balanced fertilizer diluting it to one-quarter of its strength.
Jade Plant Propagation
Jade plants are easy to propagate. While there are many ways to do so, the most common is through stem and leaf cuttings.
- Cut off a stem that’s 3 to 4 inches long from your succulent. Choose one that looks healthy with at least 2-3 leaves.
- Remove the bottom leaves. You don’t want the leaves to be there because the bottom part of the cutting will be inserted into the soil.
- Leave the cutting to dry. This usually takes 2-3 days.
- Once the cutting has dried, apply rooting hormone.
- Moisten the soil in the container and allow the excess moisture to drain.
- Then, insert the cutting into a hole in the soil that’s about an inch deep.
- Press the dirt around the cutting to help keep the cutting upright.
- Cover the plant with a plastic bag to increase humidity.
- Leave the plant in a warm, shaded area.
- In about 3-4 weeks, you should start seeing roots appear.
Jade Plant Repotting
Don’t let its looks deceive you. While they’re often presented as small plants, these succulents can grow up to 5 feet tall indoors.
As such, you’ll need to repot it every so often.
The good news is, they’re slow growers. Thus, it takes between 4 to 5 years before you need to do so.
However, you will need to repot younger jade plants more often, about every 2 to 3 years or so.
That said, pruning them and keeping them in smaller pots helps manage their size. Doing so prevents them from growing too big also.