How to Care for an Indoor Jade Plant: 8 Straightforward Pointers

Understanding how to provide the proper indoor jade plant care can ensure you get a beautiful, easy-to-care-for succulent houseplant that can live for decades – up to 50 years.

Despite the different varieties and physical characteristics – varying-colored leaves and flowers – all Jade plants have the same easy care needs. So, get a drink and a way to take notes so you can have a Jade houseplant that outlasts most of your worldly possessions!

jade plant care indoor

Table of Contents

What Light Is Ideal?

Jade plants do best with a minimum of six hours of bright light exposure. However, be careful with younger plants because they cannot tolerate direct sunlight like mature Jades. 

You can tell that your Jade plant is suffering from low light syndrome if it starts to grow long, thin, bare stems. Another sign of improper lighting is if your Jade plant stops growing. Given that these plants can live for over five decades, it should be concerning if you notice your plant is not growing or starts to look like it’s dying. 

When growing your Jade plant indoors, choose windows facing west or southward.

The size of your plant can determine the appropriate height. You can place your plant on the windowsill (for small plants) or in a raised planter (for more mature plants).

jade plant in white pot with grey background

But you can also grow Jade plants outdoors. If you’re doing outdoor growing, it is essential to bring them indoors once the temperatures drop in fall and winter. And slowly acclimate your plants to the change of climates from indoors to outside (and vice versa) to prevent shock. 

To get your plant adjusted to outdoor growing conditions, start by picking a shady spot outside. Then, you can move it daily to areas with more intense sun exposure until your plants can finally tolerate full long-term outdoor sun exposure.

What Temperatures Are Best?

Jade plants are excellent for indoor growing due to their preference for mild temperatures in the range of 65 and 75 degrees, the average for most homes. And at night, they’re even happier if the temperature drops to between 50 and 55 degrees.

But these hardy succulents can tolerate a massive temperature range of 40 to 100 degrees F without complaint.

However, Variegated Jade species prefer more moderate conditions and do best when positioned further from the window once the outdoor temperatures become extreme. 

Be careful of the indoor placement of your Jade plants, especially in the winter months. They cannot tolerate being near icy windows or cool drafts. Outdoor-grown jade plants should be brought inside or into an outdoor shelter once the temperatures drop.  

jade plant supported by bright window

Is Humidity Tolerated?

Many expert gardeners can feel like they are broken records as we consult with gardeners complaining of unhappy, unhealthy plants. One of the first conditions we consider is a plant’s humidity needs and if they are being met. 

In terms of humidity for Jade plants, lower is better. Unlike most other plants, these succulents do better in dry air than in moist, humid climates. 

What Soil Mix Is Preferred?

You can’t put your Jade plants into regular potting soil and expect superior growth. Understanding a plant’s growing medium needs is crucial for happy, healthy specimens. Your plant’s soil must be able to well-drain quickly, with a 6.1 to 6.3 pH. 

There are commercial jade plant-growing mixes specially formulated for the needs of Jades. Or you can create a homemade concoction using a 2:2:1 ratio of a succulent or cactus potting mix combined with perlite or coarse sand and pumice.

How Should I Water? 

jade plant in brown pot surrounded by jade plants

Succulent plants like Jades do not like a lot of water. It will cause your plant to become very sick and unhappy. So instead of watering on a set schedule, plants like Jade should only get water as needed. The darker the environment, the less frequently you’ll need to water Jade plants.

Drooping and yellowing leaves are usually signs that your plants require water; wet, waterlogged soil and root rot indicate overwatering. 

Wait until the soil becomes completely dry before giving your plants water. Then, depending on the season, you can give your plants a liberal soak every two weeks. You’ll need to reduce the frequency during the slower-growing period of winter.

Is Fertilizing Necessary?

Your Jade tree will appreciate regularly spaced doses of properly formulated fertilizer every four months during the spring and summer growing seasons. 

The best fertilizer strength for proper jade plant care will have a 10-20-10 ratio of standard liquid diluted to half strength, applied every few weeks through spring and summer.

Make sure the soil is moist before using fertilizer to prevent root damage. 

If you’re unfamiliar with plant fertilizers, the ratio factor does not have to be frightening! There are three crucial nutrients that plants must get to grow healthy – nitrogen (N), potassium (K), and (P) phosphorus. The dosage of these three ingredients will vary by plant species. 

A fertilizer’s strength will display as a ratio of these three components, usually in an NKP format. The ratio means how many parts of each mineral are mixed with the other ingredients. But the actual dosage measurement (ounces, cups, tablespoons, etc.) can vary by fertilizer type.

ariel view of jade plant with decorative rocks

When Should I Repot My Jade Plant?

Another important factor of proper jade plant care is keeping your Jade plants in fresh soil and the appropriate sized container. 

So, it’s necessary to repot young Jade specimens into fresh soil and a larger pot when they’re two to three years old and every few years until they reach maturity at three to four years. Then, repot your specimen in early spring every four to five years to encourage large adult plants. 

But it’s not necessary to repot mature jade plants if you don’t want them to get larger. They can also grow excellent if you leave them alone to become rootbound.

How Many Ways Are There to Propagate?

Jade plants are excellent specimens to start with if you want to get experience with propagating plants. Jade plants are propagated through two different methods that all gardeners can use, no matter their previous experience. 

One method of propagation for a Jade plant is to create a cutting at least 3″ long. Allow the cutting to rest in a dry, warm area undisturbed for a few days to dry out. Once it’s dried, you can put the cutting into a Jade plant growing medium and give a sparse watering to dampen the soil.

The other propagation method you can use for Jade plants is a single leaf. For this propagation method, it’s necessary to place one or more healthy leaves onto the top of the potting medium. Then give the area a sparse watering to encourage the leaves to develop roots.

growing jade plant in dark green pot with brown background

What Are Some Potential Issues With Growing?

While Jade plants are durable succulents that do not require much hands-on care, they risk experiencing several problems. But many of these issues are avoidable by following the Jade plant care indoor steps we’ve been discussing. And most of the damage is easily reversible by adjusting your methods for caring for a jade plant. Take a look at the most common problems and how to solve them:

Jade Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

If your jade plant is experiencing issues with leaves that turn yellow, it’s most likely your plant’s response to being overwatered or left too wet due to the soil not draining properly. 

Not only do you need to use the right growing medium to encourage proper drainage, but you also need the correct pot. For example, Jade plant pots require adequate drainage holes to shed water. And unlike many other houseplants, you should not leave water in the drainage saucer for the plant to reabsorb. Instead, it’s necessary to drain the excess water immediately. 

Overwatering Jade Plants Can Lead to Root Rot

Root rot is a serious condition that can develop due to jade plant overwatering. Symptoms of a sick Jade plant experiencing root rot include leaves that are squishy and soft. You’ll also notice dropping leaves, darkened leaves and stems, mushy, browned roots, and soggy soil. 

If these conditions present, it’s crucial that you immediately repot your jade plant. Left untreated, root rot can shorten a Jade plant’s lifespan. Before repotting your overwatered plant, let it air dry a few days after removing as much soil from around the roots as possible. Once the roots are dry, you can put the plant into a new pot with a fresh succulent growing mix. 

Jade Plant Leaves Are Shriveling

crassula ovata with red tips close up

Shriveling Jade plant leaves are less definitive on the exact cause. It could be your plant’s way of saying that they’re being overwatered. But shriveling, wrinkled leaves can also signify that you’re not giving your Jade plants enough water to keep them healthy and content. 

Test the dampness of the soil by touching the top and inserting your finger into the dirt. Or you can look like a serious plant parent by picking up an inexpensive but invaluable tool like this long probe moisture meter. It even tells you the soil’s pH and two other functions so you can keep all of your plants growing in optimal conditions. 

Giving your Jade tree a healthy dose of water if it’s overdried can result in a quick recovery of the misshapen leaves. And transferring your plant to a new pot if the soil is too wet can also cause your plant to rebound.

Jade Plants Experiencing Leaf Drop

Another common condition experienced by Jade plants is premature leaf drop. This problem can be due to any stress or trauma your plant may have exposure to, from improper watering to poor sunlight and sudden temperature changes. 

Pest Infestations Can Cause Poor Jade Plant Growth

Jade plants can experience infestations from several types of common plant pests. However, mealybugs are the most common pests found on Jade trees. 

To get rid of a mealybug infestation, soak a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and swab your entire plant. Then use water or insecticidal soap to rinse the stems and leaves clean. It may take a few applications to rid Jade plants of pests fully. Be sure to check the crevices where the stems and leaves join. 

But you can also have issues with pets like aphids, root mealybugs, scale, or spider mites. You can use an insecticidal soap or Neem oil product like this to eliminate most pests and diseases. But some pest infestations require removal by hand.

close up of one branch on jade plant

What Type of Plant Is a Jade Tree?

Jade plants are South African native plants that go by the scientific name Crassula ovata, which includes over 1,400 varieties. These houseplants have woody stems and smooth, oval leaves for a tree-like appearance. You can tell the specimens apart by their slightly varying looks.

The Crassula ovata “Gollum” is a jade plant with tubular, red-tinted leaves. But the Hummel’s Sunset plant features yellow and red-edged leaves, while the Pink Beauty produces pink star flowers formed in clusters. Other popular Jade species are:

  • Tricolor (has pink flowers)
  • Variegata (green streaked ivory leaves)
  • Red (purplish-red leaves)
  • Monstruosa Gollum (features elongated leaves)
  • Bluebird (red-tipped grayish-blue leaves)
  • Ripple Leaf (leaves with wavy edges)
  • Mostruosa Hobbit (yellowish-green curled leaves)

Jade plants can also vary in height, with some dwarf plants not reaching very tall. At the same time, other specimens can achieve a full maturity height of five feet. 

FAQ About Indoor Jade Plant Care

Does a Jade plant need direct sunlight?

Mature, older Jade plants require direct sunlight, but younger Jades need indirect lighting.

How often do you water a Jade plant?

Jade plants are succulents that require infrequent watering. They do best if you extend watering times to once every seven to fourteen days in the active growing season. Plastic pots can get by with one watering every two to three weeks. And the more sunlight your jade plants get, the more often you’ll need to water them. 

Do Jade plants like small pots?

Jade plants do well when grown root-bound, which happens with small pots. Smaller pots dry out faster if you choose one that is well-draining and filled with the right succulent potting medium. 

Where should Jade plants be placed at home?

Where you place Jade plants in your home depends on if you’re trying to achieve a Feng Shui vibe. For FS, choose an eastern location to get family harmony, success in all areas of your life, and good health. You can also place them in a southeastern entryway for prosperity and fortune. But stay away from drafty or humid areas.

Jade Plants Can be Easy Houseplants to Have for Decades

The numerous benefits of Jade plants make them one of the most popular houseplants for Feng Shui atmospheres. First, they’re easy to care for with seven care steps. Your plants need six hours of bright sun and mild temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees with low to no humidity. 

Use well-draining soil mixed for succulents and water as needed when the soil dries out. But avoid overwatering. And fertilize your plants ever four months and repot every two to three years until your plants get to your desired size. Following these easy steps will help you keep your plant alive for decades.

Did You Enjoy Reading About Jade Plant Care Indoor? 

We love hearing growing stories from our readers. Have you had success at growing a Jade plant? Or perhaps you’re like me and have killed several and have considered giving up? Don’t! Instead, drop us a comment and incorporate these Jade plant care steps into your plant parent routine. We’ll provide emotional support and encouragement! You got this!

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Sara Trimble
Sara Trimble was the lady who could kill a cactus. Today, she’s the fun and fabulous expert plant mom who rocks at growing the coolest, trickiest plants. Her favorites to grow are orchids, roses, succulents, and luscious vines. Sara has grown – and killed – hundreds of plants and she shares her green-thumb successes and failures to help other plant murderers discover correct plant care. In her spare time, she raises four kids, two dogs, and a husband.

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