Jade Plant Care Instructions

Overview

Jade plants ("Crassula argentea") are tropical succulents that are native to South Africa. Because of their sensitivity to cold, jade plants are commonly grown indoors as houseplants in most climatic regions. The jade plant is low-maintenance and has fleshy, thick stems with thick green leaves that are 1 to 2 inches long and have reddish edges. Jade plants can grow up to 10 feet tall outdoors but usually remain much smaller when grown indoors. In winter, the jade plant blooms with numerous, small, star-shaped white flowers borne at the branch tips.

Step 1

Place your jade plant in bright, direct sunlight. If you're moving the plant from a lower-light location to full sun, set it in the direct light for a few hours each day to gradually acclimate it to the new location. This will prevent sunburn of the leaves.

Step 2

Keep air temperatures around your jade plant above 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night and below 100 degrees during the day. Jade plants prefer low air humidity.

Step 3

Water your jade plant thoroughly once each week until the water drains freely from the bottom of the pot. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch; discard excess water from the drainage dish after watering.

Step 4

Feed your jade plant a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer containing trace elements or "micronutrients" from April until October. Feed the jade plant once or twice a month at half the recommended dosage strength.

Step 5

Drench the potting soil once every one or two months to leach out any fertilizer residues that have built up in the soil. Water the jade plant until the water drains from the bottom of the pot for two or three minutes.

Step 6

Induce flowering of your jade plant by reducing watering frequency to once per month and withholding fertilizer from November through March. During this time, keep your jade plant in a spot that has total darkness with no exposure to artificial lights at night.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware of infestations of insects like mealybugs in your jade plant. If you see the tiny, cotton ball-like mealybugs feeding on your jade plant where the leaves attach to the stems, get rid of the insects by dabbing them with a cotton swab dipped in 70-percent-strength rubbing alcohol. Spray the jade plant's foliage with a vigorous stream of water from a hose or spray bottle after performing the rubbing alcohol treatment.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer

References

  • Cornell University Cooperative Extension: Jade (Crassula Argentea)
  • Plant of the Week: Crassula Argentea -- Jade Plant

Who Can Help

  • The Garden Helper: Growing Jade Plants
Keywords: jade plant care, grow jade houseplants, Crassula argentea

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.