Jade plants (Crassula ovata), also known as “friendship trees,” are long-lived, easy-to-grow houseplants. With bright sunshine, light fertilizing and regular watering, these succulents can reach 4 feet in height. But their shallow roots can make them top-heavy. When repotting, make sure the new pot is not more than 20 percent larger than the original pot to ensure stability. For best results, repot Jade plants every 3 years.
Lay out newspaper to protect surfaces and speed cleanup. Place the potted plant on the newspaper.
Insert a knife into the side of the pot to loosen any roots that may be clinging to the inside of the pot.
Turn the jade plant onto its side in the pot. Grasp the stem of the plant and tug gently. If the plant does not slide out easily, insert a pencil into the drainage hole to push out the root ball.
Carefully lay the extricated plant on the newspaper. If the roots appear to be bound—growing tightly around the perimeter of the root ball—gently tease them loose. Trim any rotted or damaged roots.
Lay a piece of screen over the drainage hole in the new pot to prevent soil leakage. Do not use gravel, pebbles or stones in the bottom of a jade plant, because stones will, according to horticulturalists at North Dakota State University, create a “false water table” that causes root damage and leaf drop.
Measure the root ball of your existing plant. Place enough potting soil in the new pot to ensure that the top of the root ball will not be deeper than it was in its previous pot.
Fill the sides with additional potting soil, pushing the mix firmly down the sides of the pot. Water thoroughly.