Jade, a small succulent native to South Africa, thrives as a houseplant in the United States. The plant, and also known by its Latin name, Crassula argentea, cannot grow in cold temperatures but adapts well to typical household conditions. Valued for its thick, attractive leaves and long life, jade plants survive where most other houseplants cannot. Older jade plants may produce small, white flowers, but only in perfect growing conditions. Even with neglect, however, jade plants will grow and present jade-green foliage year round.
Keep the jade plant in a location that receives bright sunlight throughout the day, such as a west- or south-facing window. Maintain a nighttime temperature of 50 to 55 degrees F and a daily temperature of 70 to 80 degrees F.
Water once per week, or anytime the soil is dry to a depth of ½ inch. Reduce the frequency of watering to once per month during winter months when the plant is dormant. Pour off excess water in the container after applying to prevent root rot.
Feed jade plant from late spring to early fall, usually April to October, using an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer for the best results. Do not fertilize from November to March, when the plant is dormant and not actively growing.
Run water through the soil once every two months to rinse out excess fertilizer salts. Place the container under a tap until the water begins to flow out the bottom. Continue for three to four minutes and allow all water to drain before resuming normal watering.
Repot jade plant once every three years to prevent the plant from becoming root-bound. Increase the size of the container by 2 to 3 inches each time. Mix a growing medium of 4 parts potting soil and 1 part coarse sand to provide adequate drainage.