Growing Jade Plants

Jade Plant Growing

Jade plant, also known as Money plant, is the most popular succulent. There are many people who grow this gorgeous plant in their home. Jade plant (Casssula ovata) is very easy to care for, so it's ideal for beginner gardeners or those who don't want to spend a lot of time caring for their houseplants.

This plant is famous for its glossy, jade green leaves (hence the name). Some of the leaves have a slightly red tinge on the edges, but this typically happens only when the plant is subjected to high light levels, which is not the best thing to do. The leaves are typically fleshy and smooth.

This plant develops thick branches with leaves. New stem growth starts out the same color as the leaves but it becomes woody and brown in time. It means that you can prune this plant without much problem, even if you are a beginner.

Jade plants can live for decades. Over the course of their lifetime, they can easily reach the height of 12 feet (4 meters) and 3 feet (1 meter) in width. These plants do need their space so keep this in mind if you wish to grow a Jade plant in your home. That being said, those living in smaller spaces don't need to worry: it takes years for a Jade plant to reach this size. You can grow it even in a smaller space.

Jade Plant Growing Conditions

Here are the proper growing conditions that you need to provide to your Jade plant in order to make it thrive. Keep in mind that these plants are not difficult to grow but they do require some specific growing conditions that you need to meet. Here are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Light. Your Jade plant will thrive if you place it somewhere where it can get plenty of natural light. However, even if it's located in a slightly darker place it is not such a big deal - it will only slow its growth. Jade plants can even grow in a windowless room, as long as you provide it with some artificial light.
  • Temperature. Jade plants require a well-ventilated room to thrive. This is important to keep in mind because they can barely survive in any heat, as long as the room is properly ventilated. While Jade plants can survive heat, too much cold is not good for them. Make sure not to keep your Jade plant in a place that is colder than 50 degrees F (10 degrees Celsius). Being in this temperature for short periods of time will not kill your plant but make sure that it doesn't stay below these temperatures for longer periods of time.
  • Humidity. Jade plants don't require any specific humidity conditions so you can grow them almost anywhere.
  • Water. Jade plant is very adaptable to numerous watering levels, just like many other succulents. However, it is very important not to over-water your Jade plant. Remember, they can survive even with less water so watering too much will do no good. When you water, make sure to water well but after this wait for the soil to dry before you do it again. During winter, reduce watering: do it just to make the soil barely moist and don't over-water.
  • Fertilizer. Your established Jade plants need some fertilizer every 3 months during the growing season. It is best to feed them with an all-purpose, general fertilizer. There is no need to buy any specific fertilizer made for these plants.

Repotting and Propagation

The good news is that you won't need to repot your Jade plant often. This plant belongs to the Crassula genus and these plants can happily grow in the same pot for years. This is a great advantage for all people looking for a low-maintenance plant. The fact that Jade plants don't need to be repotted often is great because these plants can grow very big and heavy. It means that they may be difficult to move and manipulate during repotting. This is definitely not something you want to do every year.

When the plant needs repotting make sure to do it in the Spring. It is best to repot your Jade plant in a free draining compost mix. After repotting your Jade plant, make sure to be very careful with watering until you notice the new growth appearing. Make sure not to over-water before you spot the new growth.

If you wish to propagate your Jade plant, it is best done through leaf cuttings or stem cuttings. When the leaves fall off the plant, wait for a few days so that their edges become slightly dry. After this, take them and simply bury them in soil. When potting the leaves, make sure that the end that was attached to the stem is exposed and above the ground. Make sure to keep the cuttings warm and give them bright light but not direct sunlight. The soil should remain barely moist.

You should notice new growth soon. The new plants will start appearing out of the soil around the base of the leaves. This typically happens a few weeks to a few months after you plant them. These are fast growing so you will soon have many new Jade plants in your home.

Another way to propagate your Jade plant is through stem cuttings. The process is the same as the one for leaf cuttings. The only difference is that you will be burying part of the stem instead of the leaves. This method is known to be quicker and often more effective form of propagating Jade plants. It typically gives great results and produces new plants very fast.

Additional Things to Know

Here are some additional things you need to know about Jade plants:

  • Jade plants give flowers from time to time. This doesn't happen all the time so don't be discouraged. Generally speaking, Jae plants need excellent conditions in order to give flowers. They will only give flowers when they are mature. The flowers are small and white so they are not particularly flashy but they do add something extra and they look nice on your plant. Jade plants typically flower between late Autumn and late Winter.
  • Jade plants have a slow to moderate growth in their early years. This will happen in good light conditions and reasonable watering so make sure to provide your plant with proper growing conditions. Once your plant matures it will grow more slowly. Keep this in mind and don't worry if you observe your Jade plant growing slower than before.
  • Jade plants are top-heavy, so it means you need to be careful with them. It is not unusual for them to fall down or to be knocked over if you are not careful. In order to minimize this problem you need to get a heavy container that will not trip over easily.
  • If your Jade plant falls down or is knocked over, simply pick up the majority of the soil with your hands. Wait for a day for the rest to dry out before you use a vacuum cleaner. This is the only way to prevent soil stains on the carpet.

Photo credit: sk

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