The jade plant (Crassula ovato) grows naturally in the warm climates of South Africa. This interesting succulent plant, also known as the Chinese rubber tree plant, grows well indoors, and makes an attractive variety of houseplant. Jade plants display plump green leaves on thick stems. With proper care, some varieties of jade plants grow into a large houseplants that resemble small trees. Save an ailing jade plant by recognizing the cause of its distress and correcting poor growing conditions.
Check the roots of your jade plant. Although jade plants seldom require repotting, a distressed plant may signal an overgrown root system. Like many other types of houseplants, these plants can struggle to survive when their roots don't have enough room to spread and grow. Transplant your overgrown jade plant into a new container to ensure adequate space for healthy roots.
Repot your jade plant into a pot one size larger than its current container that has drainage holes on the bottom. Mix about four parts of rich, loamy soil with one part of sand to encourage adequate drainage. Plant your jade into its new pot, keeping the surface of the soil slightly below the rim of the pot. Press down the soil around the rootball and water well to soak the soil.
Place your repotted jade in a sunny location. If your plant's leaves appear light green in color, it may require additional sunlight. A jade plant that receives adequate amounts of light will have leaves that show a hint of reddish color.
Water your jade plant only after the soil begins to dry out. Water an actively growing plant regularly during the warm, summer months, applying additional water after the top few inches of soil become dry. Water dormant plants infrequently, allowing most of the soil to become mostly dry throughout the entire pot before watering again. Check for adequate levels of moisture by gently squeezing a leaf. If the leaf feels slightly squishy, rather than very firm, apply more water to the soil.
Do not allow your jade plant to sit in moist soil for long periods. Constantly damp soil may cause root rot in these succulent varieties, according to the Colorado State University Extension. Lack of growth and dropping leaves often indicates too much dampness near the roots.
Trim off any damaged sections of your plant to renovate its appearance. Although jade plants don't require regular pruning, removing unsightly portions will create a more attractive plant and encourage good health.
Apply a little fertilizer to your jade plant when it begins to grow after a dormant period. Select a fertilizer labeled for use with succulent plants. Avoid feeding your jade plant more than the amount recommended on the instructions. Jades can suffer from too much fertilizer, advises North Carolina State University Extension Horticulturalist Ron Smith.