Jade Plant Maintenance


Jade plants (Crassula ovata and the closely related C. argentea, C. portulacea, and C. arborescens) are succulents that commonly reach 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, and may reach 5 feet tall with age. The thick green oval leaves and thick stems hold excess water enabling the jade plant to survive arid conditions. Jade plants produce clusters of small star-shaped white or pink flowers. Jade plants are typically grown indoors in containers as heat-tolerant houseplants.

Step 1

Water the jade plant regularly during the spring and summer, the time during which the jade plant puts on its yearly growth. Water thoroughly by pouring water into the container until it runs out the bottom. Don't water too frequently as soggy soil will cause the roots to rot. An additional preventive for root rot is to use a well-draining soil, such as two parts of cactus soil mix and one part each sphagnum peat moss and coarse sand.

Step 2

Reduce the watering schedule during the winter while the jade plant is inactive. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. However, do not let the soil stay dry for an extended period; even during the winter excessive dryness may cause dwarfing, leaf spotting and leaf drop in jade plants.

Step 3

Feed the jade plant once every 3 months with 10-10-10 balanced liquid fertilizer (however, wait until 4 months after repotting a jade plant before fertilizing it). Water the jade plant before fertilizing; do not apply fertilizer to dry soil since it can burn the roots.

Step 4

Keep the jade plant in an area with temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F during the day and 50 to 55 degrees F during the night. Protect the jade plant from windows during the winter by moving it 6 inches from the glass. This keeps the plant away from cold drafts conducted by the glass, but still in bright light. At night you may need to move the plant farther from a window depending on how cold it is.

Step 5

Transplant the jade plant when it has outgrown the plant pot size--indications of this include a tendency to fall over, or a need to water more than once a day to keep the soil moist. Remove the jade plant from its pot in the spring once new growth has started. Place a suitable potting soil in the bottom of the new container (see Step 1 for a suggested soil mix), add the plant and firm the soil around the root ball. Keep the soil level 2 inches below the rim of the pot. Water the plant thoroughly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check your jade plants for mealybugs, which resemble tiny white cotton puffs. Wipe the bugs off with a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol. Do not use insecticidal soap since it can damage the jade plant leaves. Spider mites can infest your jade plant making the leaves look speckled and dusty. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to clean away the spider mites.

Things You'll Need

  • Jade plant
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Soil


  • Aggie Horticulture: Jade Plant
  • Colorado State University Plant Talk: Jade Plant
  • Clemson University Extension: Jade Plant
  • Homely Family: How to Feed and Care for Jade Plants
Keywords: jade plant care, jade plant maintenance, Crassula argentea

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.