Jade Plants: Complete Guide for Growth and Care

Jade Plants: Complete Guide for Growth and Care
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Jade plants are some of the most popular houseplants. This could be because Jade plant care is simple and easy, making it an ideal houseplant. Adding one of these plants to your home can help purify the air, relieve stress, and lower tension. Additionally, caring for houseplants in general can boost productivity and make any space feel more welcoming and relaxing. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the best choices for people new to gardening.

Read on for a comprehensive guide to jade plant care.

What Are Jade Plants?

The jade is a succulent plant that can grow up to ten feet high. It has a thick, multi-branch stem with short, stubby branches. Most jade plants have thick, dark green leaves with reddish edges, shaped like an oval or spoon. Other varieties of the jade plant have dark-colored leaves striped with pink or white hues.

The jade plant naturally produces light pink or white star-shaped flowers during the spring and winter. These flowers usually grow in tight, round clusters. Its flowers produce a sweet fragrance that easily attracts insects, such as bees, butterflies, flies, and wasps when grown outside.

The jade plant originated from the provinces of South Africa but is now cultivated worldwide as a houseplant. This plant is popular because it requires low levels of care and thrives even when placed in various indoor conditions. The jade plant can survive extended periods of drought thanks to water stored in its roots, stems, and leaves.

Aside from being a low-maintenance plant, many people choose to grow jade plants for improved financial health. According to Feng Shui, jade, also known as “the money plant,” brings good fortune, prosperity, and wealth.

Jade Plants Varieties

There are about 200 species of jade plants. Here are some of the most common varieties:

Silver Dollar Jade

Also called the Blue Buddha Bush or Silver Dollar Jade, this variety is a succulent shrub with silvery-blue leaves. Although this variety of the jade plant grows slower than others, growing one is worth it. Its flowers grow from autumn to winter and last a long time.

Silver Dollar Plant

Bluebird Money Plant

Bluebird Jade Plant

The Bluebird money plant is unique because its leaf coloration is a mix of cream, green, red, and aqua. This jade plant is also slow-growing. The Bluebird money plant can grow up to 50 centimeters, but you can control its size through containerization.

Gollum Jade

The name of this variety comes from its unique protruding finger-like foliage. The leaves of the Gollum Jade plant are usually tubular in shape and have red hues at the tips. During winter, this plant produces pink-white flowers.

Gollum Jade

Botany Bay

Botany Bay Jade Plants

Since its discovery in 2011, Botany Bay’s fleshy light green leaves with red tips have made it a crowd favorite. The plant is bushy yet compact, making it an ideal option if your space is limited indoors. 

Harbour Lights

The Harbor Lights have red tinges on the tips of their plumped, green leaves. These colors get more intense during the winter months, making the plant look more appealing. Harbor Lights will improve your interior’s look and feel, making it one of the best options for indoor gardening.

Harbor Lights Jade

Hobbit

Hobbit Jade Plant

As the name suggests, the Hobbit jade plant has a dwarf structure and is usually smaller than other types of jade plants. The Hobbit only grows around 10 to 12 inches and produces pink-white flowers during the early winter months. The leaves of this plant are fleshy and also have red tips.

Hummel’s Sunset

Hummel’s Sunset received an award from the Royal Horticultural Society back in 1993 for its striking and unique foliage color. The Hummel’s Sunset jade plant has oval leaves with yellow-gold edges and produces white flowers during fall and winter.

Hummel's Sunset Jade

How To Grow Jade Plants

All types of jade plants are easy to care for and grow. However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect the importance of water and sunlight. As with any other plant, you need to simulate the right environment. Take factors like light, water, temperature, and fertilizer into account when planning for your jade plant. The basics are covered below:

1.    Water

It’s common knowledge that all plants need water to grow. Plants are composed of about 80-95% water and require it to transport minerals from the soil and cool themselves. When it comes to jade plants, you need to make sure that you’re watering them correctly. Watering them too often or with too much water can hinder their growth.

Generally, you need to water your jade plants deeply during the spring and summer. This is when the plants are actively growing and will need a lot of water to support their growth. Ensure the soil is dry before watering to prevent the roots from becoming overly saturated.

During the fall and winter months, the jade plant will go dormant, and growth will stop or pause. Jade plants don’t need much water during dormancy, so water sparingly and allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Avoid splashing water on the leaves to prevent rot, especially when located in a humid environment. Jade plants are also sensitive to salt present in tap water, so consider using distilled or filtered water instead.

2.    Light

Mature jade plants need at least four hours of direct sunlight every day. Place young plants in environments with bright, indirect sunlight, while mature jade plants can tolerate exposure to direct sunlight.

Protect young plants from direct sunlight to prevent their leaves turning red and their stem losing moisture. As your jade plant continues to grow, you can gradually increase their exposure to direct sunlight. Increase direct sunlight exposure gradually to prevent the plant from being stressed.

3.    Soil

Soil quality can significantly affect a jade plant’s growth and lifespan. Placing a healthy seedling in the wrong soil can prevent healthy growth and might even cause it to die.

The most important requirement for soil is that it must drain rapidly. Because it’s native to South Africa, the jade plant can thrive well in sandy and rocky soils with low fertility. Mix a generous amount of organic matter into the soil to better anchor the jade plant’s roots.

Use a potting soil mix made specifically for succulents and add more organic matter to the mix. For the best results, the soil for your jade plant should have the following composition:

  • Three parts coarse sand
  • One part peat moss
  • One part organic matter

Jade plants can grow in alkaline or acidic soils but can suffer from toxicity or nutrient deficiencies. Acidic soil can also cause an imbalance in the plant’s pH level, preventing proper growth.

4.    Temperature and Humidity

Jade plants will grow and eventually flower when placed in environments with temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants tolerate higher humidity levels but can still thrive in dry conditions.

Jade plants aren’t frost-tolerant. Once the climate in your area drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, find a warmer area for your jade plants. Exposing your jade plant to extreme cold can stress or even kill them.

5.    Fertilizer for Jade Plants

There are many misconceptions when it comes to growing succulents. Because they can tolerate dry and humid conditions, many think there’s no need to apply fertilizer. However, this isn’t always the case. Jade plants need fertilizers, especially during their growing season.

Apply a controlled-release fertilizer at the start of the growing season. Continue applying a liquid plant food made for succulents once every week after the growing season ends.

For mature jade plants, a balance of 20-20-20 fertilizer at one-quarter strength works best. Fertilizers with less nitrogen content are better for young jade plants. Too much nitrogen can cause young plants to overstretch and grow weak.

6.    Repotting Jade Plants

Plants are living beings that grow over time. You will need to repot your jade plant every time it outgrows its current pot.

Repot your jade plants when you notice their pot becomes too crowded. Overcrowding in a pot isn’t always harmful to jade plants, but this can limit their growth. A jade plant’s roots grow to the size of its pot, so small containers will restrict root growth.

Repot your jade plants by following these steps:

  • Partially fill a bigger pot with completely dry soil. Once prepared, gently remove the plant from its original pot.
  • Before placing the jade plant in its new pot, remove any old soil from its roots. Trim any rotten or dead roots and use a fungicide to treat visible cuts.
  • Carefully place the plant in the new pot and fill it with high-quality succulent potting soil.
  • Give your jade plant some time to settle in the new pot by giving it about a week to dry. After settling, water lightly, increasing the amount of water each week to reduce the risk of root rot.

Aside from knowing what process to follow when repotting jade plants, it’s essential to know when to do it. The best times to repot any type of jade plant are during summer, spring, and fall. If you live in an area where winter comes early, repot your jade plants during the spring or summer.

7.    Jade Plant Propagation

Plant propagation is important for many different reasons. For starters, creating another plant from a mother plant can be very satisfying. Propagation also allows you to multiply the number of plants you have. You can give them as gifts or keep them to have more plants at home.

Propagating jade plants is easy. There are several methods for propagating this plant. Choose the one that suits your experience in gardening and the tools you have.

Listed below are some of the most common methods for propagating jade plants:

Propagating Jade Plants From Cuttings

One of the fastest ways to propagate jade plants is to use their cuttings. To do this, you need to choose where you want to cut a stem to make a new plant. Ideally, you’ll want around three inches of the stem so the plant will have enough room to root.

After cutting a healthy stem from the mother plant, allow the cutting’s end to dry out for a few days. This is important to prevent the jade plant from rotting.

Once the stem has dried out, place it in a pot filled with the right soil mix. It takes about two to three weeks for the cuttings to root.

Propagating Jade From Leaves

Jade plants can multiply through their leaves, but this process will take more time. When propagating jade plants from leaves, be careful how you cut the leaves. If the bottom part is damaged or broken off, the leaf won’t produce roots.

Allow the leaves to dry out before putting them into a pot. Don’t let the leaves sit for too long, though. Unlike stems, the leaves of the jade plants are thin and dry out quickly.

You’ll have to wait for about a month or two before the leaves will start to root.

8.    Toxicity

Although aesthetically appealing, jade plants are highly toxic to pets. Placing them anywhere indoors can put your pet’s health and safety at risk. Every single part of the jade plant is toxic and can cause severe symptoms for pets.

When ingested by pets, the jade plant can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, aggression, and weakness. Ingesting large quantities can lead to serious symptoms, such as slow heart rate, impaired muscle movement, and even convulsion.

If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, take your pet to the nearest vet ASAP. Vets will usually induce vomiting as a treatment to remove the jade plant from their bodies. Some vets will also recommend decontamination and fluid treatment for pets who ingested jade plants.

When it comes to humans, the jade plant is mildly toxic and can cause skin irritation. When ingested, the jade plant can also cause minor symptoms, like diarrhea and vomiting in humans.

To ensure that your household remains safe, place jade plants in hard-to-reach areas. Pets and babies are usually curious, and placing your jade plants on the floor can increase the risks of poisoning.

Jade Plants – The Wrap-up

Keeping jade plants indoors can come with many benefits. Aside from improving the appeal and ambiance of your home’s interior, they can also bring you luck.

These plants are easy to care for and can thrive in a range of environments. To enjoy your jade plant for many years to come, take good care of it.

The information presented in this article will help you determine how to care for and grow jade plants properly. By following the tips mentioned here, you can grow some of the healthiest jade plants your family will ever see!

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Jade Plants

Jade plants have become more common today, yet people still have many questions about them. Listed below are the answers to five of the most frequently asked questions about jade plants.

Jade plants are highly toxic to pets and can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, aggression, and weakness. These plants are mildly toxic to humans but can still trigger skin rashes, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Jade plants originated from a humid country and can’t survive in extreme cold. They do best in environments with temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposing the plant to extreme cold can cause them to die. 

Potting mixes for succulents are suitable for jade plants. Achieve better results by using soil with three parts coarse sand, one part peat moss, and one part organic matter.

Jade plants can still grow in acidic or alkaline soils, but they might suffer from toxicity or nutrient deficiencies. Acidic soils can cause an imbalance in the pH levels of our plants and may cause poor growth.

Timing is vital when it comes to watering jade plants. Water jade plants most frequently during spring and summer to encourage growth and flower production. Conversely, jade plants become dormant during the fall and winter months. Lessen the amount of water you give them during these times of the year.

Avoid using tap water when watering jade plants as they’re very sensitive to salt. Distilled or filtered water works best for jade plants.

There are over 200 species of jade plant. Some of the most common ones are:

  • The Silver Dollar Jade
  • Blue Bird Money Plant
  • Gollum Jade
  • Botany Bay
  • Harbor Lights
  • Hobbit
  • Hummel’s Sunset

While you can find some of these varieties in most nurseries, others only thrive in countries with specific climates.

When deciding what type of jade plant to grow indoors, you should spend some time researching to determine the requirements of each. Choose a type of jade plant that thrives in the climate you’re in.

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