Jade plants, also known as Crassula Argentea, flourish as a native plant in South Africa and as a decorative houseplant in the United States. Gardeners value the succulent plants for their low maintenance, adaptability and attractive, fleshy foliage that often takes on a reddish tinge. Pot-bound jade plants may produce small, white flowers during the winter months, but only in optimal environmental conditions. Slow growing, jade will survive for years with proper care and can eventually reach heights of up to 5 feet.
Place the jade plant in an area that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight per day. A bright, south- or west-facing window is ideal. The plant will tolerate indirect light, but may not develop the characteristic reddish-tinged leaves unless grown in full sun.
Provide a constant temperature of 50 to 75 degrees F. Never allow temperatures to drop below 45 degrees F or the jade plant could be permanently damaged. For the best results, provide nighttime temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees F and daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees F.
Water jade plants about once a week when necessary. Check if the plant needs water by inserting your finger into the soil to the first knuckle. If the soil feels dry to the touch, the plant is in need of water. If the soil feels moist, check it again the next day. Avoid over-watering, as this can cause root rot.
Apply a balanced liquid plant fertilizer according to the manufacturer's instructions once every three to four months. Water jade plants thoroughly after applying fertilizer to avoid root injury and to distribute the nutrients throughout the soil.
Re-pot jade plant once every three to four years. Move the plant to a slightly larger container filled with well-drained potting soil in spring, just after new growth begins. Create the optimal growing medium by combining four parts potting soil with one part coarse sand.