Top Tips & Info
- Care Difficulty - Very Easy
- A few hours of morning or evening sun is mandatory, especially in the winter months. Avoid situating it in a dark location, due to the heightened chance of diseases above, and below the soil line.
- Fertilise every few months using either a 'Cactus' or 'Houseplant' labelled feed.
- Repot every three years during the spring with a 'Cactus & Succulent' labelled potting mix. Add a thin layer of grit to the new soil's lower portion to strengthen its root system.
- To learn more about achieving a winter bloom, be sure to scroll down to 'Dormancy Care & Annual Flowers'!
Location & Light
Place the Jade Plant in the brightest location as possible. A few hours of off-peak sunlight will highly benefit the specimen, as it’ll significantly reduce the risk of over-watering and root rot. Due to the intolerance to low light, avoid situating it in areas where a newspaper can’t be read without the use of artificial light.
In its natural habitat in Southern Africa, Jade Plants must endure torrential downpours in between prolonged droughts to survive. Keeping this in mind, only rehydrate the soil once it thoroughly dries out - reducing this further during the autumn and winter. For some varieties, pouring cold water directly into the compost could cause yellowed halos around the leaf edges that cannot be undone. Stand tap water overnight in a non-metal container to bunk up the overall temperature, or use well-stored rainwater for the best results. Under-watering symptoms include shrivelling leaves and stems, little to no growth, gradual decline; these issues are usually caused by too much light or heat, a much needed repot or possible forgetfulness. Over-watering symptoms include yellowing leaves, a collapsed stem, wilting and plant death. Never situate a Jade Plant in a dark location as the combination of both too little light and too much soil moisture will slowly lead to root rot.
Average room humidity is excellent for Jade Plants, as over-misting may cause the development of powdery mildew or botrytis. At monthly intervals, perform a gentle hose-down to hydrate its leaves and reduce the number of dust particles on its foliage, avoiding the risk of excess moisture settling on its foliage.
As naturally-occurring Jade Plants are rarely treated with fertile soil in their habitats of Southern Africa, you'll only need to feed yours every few months. Although we recommend using a 'Cactus' labelled fertiliser, you can still use a 'Houseplant' feed to keep your specimen well-nourished. 'Ready to Use' fertilisers mustn't be directly applied without a pre-water beforehand for the reduction of burning the roots.
Secrets to Success
Firstly, a consistent watering schedule is mandatory for quick, reliable growth. We've learnt over the years that as long as you leave the soil to dry out between drenches thoroughly, success is inevitable. Our second piece of advice is to always hydrate over the sink and not in its decorative pot. Leaving the plant in the decorative pot during irrigation will cause a reservoir of standing water that'll kill the roots and eventually the plant itself. Always provide a bright location with a few hours of off-peak direct light either in the morning or evening, but never all day as this will lead to both stunted growth and potential terminal damage. If your Jade Plant is situated in a darker location, be sure to allow the soil dry out longer in between watering to counteract the chances of root rot.
Dormancy Care & Annual Flowers
Although trying to get a Jade Plant to flower may sound difficult, mature specimens (5 years +) will easily produce inflorescences during the winter. The combination of longer nights, drying soil and cooler temperatures will highly benefit its dormancy period, along with aiding the development of buds.
Common Issues with Jade Plants
Root rot is a common issue with specimens sat in too moist or waterlogged soil for long periods. Symptoms include rapidly yellowing leaves, stunted growth and a rotten brown base. Take the plant out of the pot and inspect health below the soil line. If the roots sport a yellow tinge, you're good to go, but if they're brown and mushy, action must be taken immediately. For already-rotten bases, be sure to read the 'Propagation' section for information regarding leaf or stem cuttings.
Yellowing lower leaves (closest to soil) are a clear sign of over-watering, usually caused by too little light. Although Jade Plants can just about do well in darker locations, the frequency of irrigations must be reduced to counteract the chance of root rot. People don't realise that a plant's root system needs access to oxygen too; when soil is watered, the air will travel upwards and out of the potting mix. A lack of accessible oxygen for the roots will cause them to subsequently breakdown over the oncoming days. A location that's too dark will prolong the process of drying soil, along with slowed rates of photosynthesis (& therefore water-intake of the roots). If the specimen is beginning to show signs of over-watering, ease off with the irrigations and reconsider its environment; stem or leaf cuttings should be made to ensure further life.
Reddened leaves are the product of too much sunlight, most common during the height of summer. A pigmentation called 'Carotenoids' will alter the appearance of the foliage to counteract the harsh effects of the UV rays. Although this isn't a permanent look, and the specimen will still function adequately, it'll grow far better and quicker in a slightly shadier location with only a splash of direct sun. Still providing an hour or so of bright light will lessen the effect of environmental shock and potential death. N. B. - There are, however, cultivars and varieties that'll naturally include red or yellow leaf-rims (like the Hummel's Sunset).
Always use lukewarm water, and if you choose to use tap water, allow it to stand for at least 24hrs before application. Crassula as a whole tend to be quite sensitive to temperature change, so pouring cold tap water immediately into the pot will not only add fluoride into the soil, but it could even cause yellowed leaf-edges over time.
Curled or reddened leaves with dried brown edges are the result of too little water and over-exposure to the sun. Although they can naturally do well in sun-filled locations, those that haven't acclimatised to the harsh rays will show signs of sun-scorch and environmental shock. Prolonged exposure will significantly speed the process of dehydration, so consider transplantation into a bigger pot in the Spring to wrap the roots around moister soil.
Pests could arise at any time, with infestations starting from the original nursery or via contamination in your home. Spider Mites and Mealybugs tend to be the usual inhabitants, with the first being minute and almost transparent, roaming the leaves in search of chlorophyll and a site to hide its eggs. The latter, however, will stand out much more, with white cottony webs developing across the foliage and stems. Thoroughly check the plant's cubbyholes before giving it the all-clear, or click on the appropriate links to learn more about eradicating these issues.
Failed leaf-cuttings could be the product of several different reasons. As Sansevieria are best propagated during the spring when the plant is most active, those taken in the dormant months will root much slower, and could even die in the meantime. Study its environment - is there enough light to read a newspaper? If not, improve the growing conditions by increasing the amount of indirect sunlight it receives. Never situate the cuttings in direct sunlight as this will result in severe dehydration and most likely death. The overall size will play a big part in its success, too. The total height must surpass at least 8cm, with no visible signs of damage or cuts. Smaller specimens won't root appropriately due to the lower amounts of stored energy situated in the stem. If the leaves are propagated via hydroponics, replace the water weekly to prevent the risk of bacteria thriving within the container. Yellow or brown sections that are slowly rotting away must also be removed, as nasty pathogens will be released into the water, spreading onto unaffected specimens. Those directly placed in cold water will show signs of distress, too. If you're interested in propagating via soil, be sure to use a well-draining potting mix with a right amount of sand and grit. Those that are set too deeply or in excessive moist soil will begin to rot at the base, immediately reducing the chance of root development.
Dust the leaves regularly. Although this isn't too much of an issue, a build-up of dust particles can clog up the plant's pores, causing lowered light capturing-efficiency. Wipe the topside of the leaves down once a month to keep levels down and improve growing conditions.
Crassula is a genus consisting of two hundred species with natural distributions around the world, mostly originating from Africa. It’s name, Crassula, derives from the Latin word for ‘thick’, referring to the plump leaves that store water for potential droughts. The C.ovata was first formally described in 1768 with ovata referring to the ‘egg’ shaped leaves.
12° - 26°C (54° - 78°F)
H1b (Hardiness Zone 12) - Can be grown outdoors during the summer in a sheltered location with temperatures above 12℃ (54℉), but is fine to remain indoors, too. If you decide to bring this plant outdoors, don't allow it to endure any direct sunlight as it may result in sun-scorch and dehydration. Regularly keep an eye out for pests, especially when re-introducing it back indoors.
Up to 2m in height and 1.5m in width if re-potted every other year. The ultimate height will take between 5 - 10 years to achieve, but can live for over 30 years or more in the right cultivation.
Pruning & Maintenance
Remove yellow or dying leaves, and plant debris to encourage better-growing conditions. While pruning, always use clean scissors or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases. Never cut through yellowed tissue as this may cause further damage in the likes of diseases or bacterial infections. Remember to make clean incisions as too-damaged wounds may shock the plant, causing weakened growth and a decline in health.
Stem cuttings can be taken to halve the height of the specimen.
Via Seed, Leaf or Stem Cuttings.
Leaf Cuttings (Easy) - Leaves that are halfway along the stem have the most potential due to its size and maturity. Gently place your fingers between the mother's stem and the leaf's base, pulling it downwards until you hear a snap. Ensure the wound is wholly intact with no damage as a bruise or tear will result in unsuccessful propagation.
Set the leaf ON TOP OF a bed of moist Cactus & Succulent Compost for root growth. Not only will this callous the wound (to prevent disease), but it'll also speed up the propagation process considerably. Once there's at least 0.3cm of root development (pictured above), place it one third into the compost, at a slight angle. Provide a bright setting with temperatures around 18°C (64°F) with the majority of the soil drying out in between waters. New leaves should emerge within the next month, as long as the soil is kept on the drier to life.
Stem Cuttings (Easy) - Nip two inches off from the leading growths, located at the edge of the foliage line using your fingers or sterile scissors. Be sure to choose damage-free, the juvenile growth as any cuts and bruises will lead to disease. Place the stems a third into the soil, making sure no leaves are submerged - you may have to remove the lower leaves to reinforce this step. Use a 5cm (2 inches) pot and with a well-draining potting mix, preferably Cactus & Succulent Compost, to reduce the risk of over-watering and basal rot. Provide a bright setting with temperatures around 18°C (64°F) with the majority of the soil drying out in between waters. New leaves should emerge within the six weeks, as long as the soil is kept on the drier to life.
Matured specimens of more than five years can produce small clusters of pink or white scented flowers in the height of winter, lasting up to two months! To learn more about enticing yours to bloom, scroll up to 'Dormancy Care & Annual Flowers' section!
Repot every three to five years in spring using a 'Cactus & Succulent' labelled compost and the next sized pot with adequate drainage. Jade Plants are far better being pot-bound for several years due to the heightened risk of root rot and repotting-issues (like transplant shock), so only repot if you feel it's wholly necessary.
Hydrate the plant 24hrs before tinkering with the roots to prevent the risk of transplant shock. We'd recommend adding a thin layer of small grit in the pot's base to improve drainage and downplay over-watering.
Pests & Diseases
Keep an eye out for mealybugs, aphids, spider mites, scale, thrips, blackfly, vine weevils & root mealybugs that'll locate themselves in the cubbyholes and undersides of the leaves, except for the latter two in the soil. Common diseases associated with Jade Plants are root rot, leaf-spot disease, botrytis, rust, powdery mildew & southern blight.
This plant is classified as poisonous. If parts of the plants are eaten, vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite could occur. Consumption of large quantities must be dealt with quickly; acquire medical assistance for further information.