How to Take Care of a Jade Plant

Overview

The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is commonly grown as a houseplant. In the wild, grows as a bush and can reach up to five feet tall. This succulent hails from South Africa and parts of China, where it thrives in hot sun and dry conditions. In fact, the most common problem with jade plants is one of over-watering. The jade plant is quite hardy, although it cannot survive a freeze, and will reward you with a very long life with proper care.

Step 1

Choose a potting soil that is created for succulents or create your own by combining equal parts sterilized soil and sand. Add a spoonful of bone meal to get your plant off to a nutritious start.

Step 2

Take care of your jade plant by making sure it gets the sunlight it needs to thrive. Jade plants need full sun. However, if your plant has been in partial shade, expose it to the sun gradually (moving it slightly each day) so that the leaves don't burn.

Step 3

Water the jade plant thoroughly but only when the soil is dry. Test the soil by inserting your finger at the top of the plant. The soil should be dry at least halfway down. If you water from a tray placed underneath the jade plant, do not let it sit in water for more than a couple of hours.

Step 4

Fertilize the jade plant each time you water it during the summer. Choose a fertilizer formulated for succulents, but only give about one-fourth the recommended dose, as jade plants can suffer from fertilizer burns.

Step 5

Re-pot your jade plant once every year or so. These plants tend to grow top-heavy if there is not enough room for the roots to spread out. Alternatively, pinch back new growth in the spring to keep the top of the plant at a manageable size.

Things You'll Need

  • Sterilized potting soil
  • Sand
  • Bone meal
  • Succulent fertilizer

References

  • Succulent Plant: Crassula ovata - Jade Plant

Who Can Help

  • North Dakota State University
Keywords: growing jade plants, jade plant, growing succulents

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.