Jade Plant Guide: How to Take Care of a Jade Plant

How to Grow and Care for a Thriving Indoor Jade Plant

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One of the more unique indoor plants is the jade plant. Although it’s not a showstopper, it’s a subtly beautiful plant. And as a succulent, the plant grows well indoors. You don’t need a green thumb to grow it, and it doesn’t take up much space. For these reasons and so much more, jade plants are ideal options for those who want to add some greenery to their homes. Learn everything you need to know about growing the plant.

Jade Plant Details

Crassula ovata

AKA jade plant, lucky plant, money plant, money tree
Light: Medium to bright light, indirect or direct
Water: only as often as needed to keep soil moist 1/2-inch below surface
Temperature range: 55-85° F
Height: 6-30 inches indoors
Fertilizer: 20-20-20
Special care: Susceptible to root rot from overwatering, and to mealybugs. Wipe leaves clean at watering and be sure to provide plenty of drainage.

Benefits of Owning Jade Plants

small jade plant in tin pail planter on table indoors

Out of all the indoor plants, why would you want this plant in your home? There are a few reasons you should choose a jade plant.

Good Luck

In some countries and cultures, jade plants are considered to be good luck. They are thought to draw in fortune and prosperity. Even though there’s no evidence behind this, there’s no harm in trying for some good luck!

Medicinal Properties

In Chinese culture, this plant is used for several ailments. If you apply juice from the leaves on skin warts, it makes them disappear. The Chinese also believe that it could help diabetes when it’s consumed as a kind of tea.

If you’re a believer of Feng Shui, you might want this plant in your home. According to the ancient philosophy, this plant opens energy flow.

Better Air Quality

This is one of the better plants for indoor air quality. If you have one in your home, you can trust the plant to remove toxins from the air.

Beautiful Appearance

There aren’t many indoor plants that have bright flowers. In that sense, jade plants are unique. When they bloom, they have beautiful pink and white flowers. The plant works well with almost any decor style.

Your jade plant looks even better when you place it in an artistic pot. Every so often, you can replace the pot to create a new look. Just be sure to remove the plant with care, or you risk doing damage to the roots.

Care of the Plant

The jade plant is a succulent. As such, it’s easy to care for. It doesn’t require much water and can survive with or without direct light.

If you want your plant to thrive, you need to keep it in full sun for at least four hours a day. They also need to be watered enough to keep the soil moist. In the winter, you can limit watering to approximately once a month. Overwatering is the worst thing you can do to your plant.

The plant needs soil that drains well and has a pH of about six. For optimal blooms, fertilize your jade plant with a 20-20-20 fertilizer.

If you want to get creative, you can. Grow your plant like a bonsai. But it’s important to realize that bonsai is an art form. For your plant to be a real bonsai, it needs to meet several requirements. You should take a class on bonsai or look for some tips online.

Varieties

There are several varieties of this plant. For instance, the more traditional plant has solid green leaves. However, there’s a type of jade that has variegated leaves. Another type has leaves with a ruffled appearance.

If you head into any nursery, you’ll probably find a few types of jade plants. Shop around and you’re bound to find one you like.

Propagation and Growth Rate

propagating jade plants from cuttings in a container of soil with a candle

Like other succulents, jade plants are easy to propagate. As long as you have one leaf, you can have a new jade plant.

It all starts with a cutting from your plant. If possible, choose a branch that’s about three inches long and has a healthy leaf on it. Then, cut the branch and place it in succulent or cactus soil.

Although dipping the cutting in rooting hormone helps your cutting, it’s not essential. Either way, you should moisten your soil.

It takes anywhere from two weeks to two months for your cutting to grow plantlets. Once the plantlets grow to more than eight centimeters, you can treat it as you would any other jade plant. Place it in your pot and grow it proudly.

Jade Plant FAQ

Check out these commonly asked questions about jade plants.

Where Can I Buy a Jade Plant?

Jade plants are readily available at most garden centers. Typically, you can find them in the succulent section. Once you buy your plant, you can enjoy the good fortune that it brings you.

    The Sill: Trio of Succulents in Custom Planters

Trio of succulents in planters from The Sill
    This trio of succulents in little 2.5-inch pots is perfect for the beginning plant keeper, or for anyone who needs a teensy pop of color. Available in multiple pot colors and styles, this set includes a hedgehog aloe, jade plant, and echieveria variety.

Do jade plants need a lot of sunlight?

Although jade plants can grow in limited light, they don’t grow thrive without good light. If they’re not in full sun, the plant gets leggy and its growth may be stunted.

Is Jade an indoor plant?

You can grow jade inside or outside. However, it doesn’t do well in temperatures lower than 50 degrees. If you plan on keeping it outside, you may need to bring it inside during the winter months.

Why are the leaves on my jade plant falling off?

Typically, the leaves of this plant fall off when it doesn’t receive enough water. Make sure you water the plant as soon as the soil dries out.

How much water do jade plants need?

You should water your jade plant when its soil is dry. Instead of watering your plant on a set schedule, feel the soil and water it as needed. Too much water will cause the plant to die.

healthy jade plant in container indoors

Where should you place a jade plant?

You can place your plant almost anywhere! If you have a sunny window or a table by a glass sliding door, your plant will thrive in the light.

How do I make my jade plant bushy?

If you want to have a thick plant, you need to prune it. Take pruning shears and cut above one of the brown rings around a stem. Younger plants can be pruned by pinching off a growing stem. At every pinch site, two stems will grow.

Should you pinch back jade plants?

While you don’t have to pinch back these plants, you should. Doing so will give the plant a more bushy appearance.

Why is my jade plant so leggy?

This plant becomes leggy if it doesn’t receive enough sun.

Should you prune jade plants?

There is no reason to prune a jade plant other than aesthetic purposes. Once your plant gets older, you might want to prune it to give it a certain look or to make it more bushy.

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