There is something quite alluring about the glossy, bright green leaves and sturdy stems of the jade plant. Jade, crassula ovata, is a common indoor houseplant that is often referred to as ‘money tree’ or ‘lucky plant’ and is thought to bring good fortune to its owners.
These treasured succulents can be small compact plants or much larger treelike plants, but they cast immense beauty either way. Check out our gardener’s guide to jade plant care so you can get the most out of your jade plants and keep them healthy for many years to come. They may even bring you some luck along the way!
Jade Plant Ideal Soil Composition & pH
Soil composition is paramount to the jade plant’s success. Like most succulent plants, jade plants prefer a loose, rocky soil that is well-draining. Adequate drainage is vital, as too much moisture can cause wet feet and rot out your entire plant.
- Avoid using traditional all-purpose potting soils when planting jade.
- Use a potting mix specifically formulated for succulents and cactus plants and plant in a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage.
- Jade plants don’t need much soil to grow. They make a great candidate for dish gardens.
- Jade plants grow best in slightly acidic soil that hovers around 6.0 on the pH scale. Alkaline soil has the potential to cause the demise of succulent plants.
Light & Temperature Requirements of Jade Plants
It is important to check the light requirements of your particular species of the jade plant upon purchase. You can find this information on the plant tag. Traditionally, jade plants grow well as indoor plants in bright but indirect light or outdoors in full or partial sun, but they cannot survive freezing temperatures.
If you live in cooler zones, you can still grow these succulents outside, but they must be brought indoors before any chance of frost creeps in. Aim for four to six hours of sunlight daily for jade plants and keep jade plants between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal health and growth.
How To Water A Jade Plant
Overwatering your jade plants is one of the biggest mistakes that you can make. Jade is a succulent plant, after all. Plants only need to be watered occasionally for them to grow, and too much watering can cause plant death.
- Water plants about once every two weeks during the growing season.
- Water once every 3 to 4 weeks during the fall and winter months.
- If your pot has a saucer beneath it, empty out any water that drains through after watering.
- Allow soil to dry out between waterings completely.
- Dip your finger about two inches into the soil to determine the moisture levels in the soil. If you feel moisture, let the plant be. If the soil is parched, then give the plant water.
Fertilizing Jade Plants
Jade plants are relatively low maintenance. They don’t require too much fertilizing but can use a boost now and then during the growing season. Fertilize plants with plant food that is specifically formulated for succulents and cactus plants once in early spring and again in mid-summer. These plants tend to rest in the fall and winter months, so they don’t need that boost of nutrients during their dormant period.
Common Jade Plant Pests & Disease
When planted in the proper soil and allowed to dry out between waterings, jade plants are pretty self-reliant. Some pests such as thrips, scale, and mealybugs can cause problems for jade plants.
- Scale and mealybugs can be removed from plant leaves and stems with alcohol-soaked swabs.
- Thrips and spider mites can be knocked off the jade plant with a spray of water from the hose outdoors. Make sure that you cover the soil when you do this.
- Root Rot is a common disease of jade plants and results from overwatering and planting in soil that is not well-draining. Water jade plants infrequently, allowing the soil to dry completely before watering again.
You may want to isolate plants where signs of pests have arisen so that you do not have an infestation spread to all of your plants.
Recommended Jade Plant Varieties
Jade plants come in a wide array of varieties, so you can combine different leaf shapes and structures when acquiring and growing jade plants.
Try some of these gorgeous jade plant varieties:
- ‘Crassula Ovata Minor’
- ‘E.T.’s Fingers’
- ‘Gollum Jade’
- ‘Blue Bird’
- ‘Harbor Lights’
- ‘Lady Finger’
- ‘Lemon and Lime’
Jade Plant Toxicity
While jade plants are believed to bring wealth and good fortune to those that own them, owners of cats, dogs, and small children should be aware of their toxicity. All parts of the jade plant are considered to be toxic when ingested and can lead to death if consumed in large quantities.