Jade plant, botanical name Crassula ovata, is a tough, long-lived succulent commonly grown as a houseplant in the United States. Native to areas of South Africa, the plant requires a warm growing environment to thrive and adapts well to typical household conditions. Gardeners value jade plant for its durability, ease of care indoors and attractive, jade-green foliage from which the plant's common name derives.
Grow jade plant in a soil mix made of one part organic soil, one part peat moss and three parts coarse sand to provide adequate drainage. Keep the plant in a location that receives four or more hours of direct sunlight each day, such as a south-facing window. Jade plant will grow in partial shade, but will not grow as quickly. Maintain a daytime temperature of 65 to 75 degrees F and a nightly temperature of 50 to 55 degrees F to prevent cold damage.
Jade plant prefers consistently moist soil during the spring and summer months. Water once every week to prevent the soil from drying out completely. Reduce watering frequency to once every 10 days during fall, and once every two weeks during winter, when the plant is growing less actively. Apply water directly to the soil to minimize the risk of disease, as moist leaves are more susceptible to pests and fungal diseases.
Feed jade plants once every three to four months using an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer. Apply at the rate recommended by the directions found on the product's label for the best results. Water lightly just before feeding, as fertilizing a plant with dry soil can cause significant damage to the roots. Wait four months after re-potting jade plant before fertilizing to allow the roots to establish themselves.
Transfer jade plant to a new container during late winter once every three to four years, or whenever it outgrows its current growing container. Increase the diameter of the container by 2 to 3 inches to provide plenty of room for new growth. Allow the soil to dry significantly after re-potting, which usually takes about two weeks, then water thoroughly to compact the soil around the roots and resume the regular watering schedule.