Jade Plants ( Crassula ovata )

Jade plants used to be every where, I’d see them in every nursery I visited. Lately they’ve been getting harder to find.

Like most succulents Jade plants want bright sunny windows. The more sun the better. Jades prefer temperatures between 55′-75′ so keep them indoors even in the summer. Also keep them away from drafty windows in the winter.

Soil should be thoroughly soaked when watering, then allowed to become slightly dry. Do not allow this plant to sit in water. If the plant needs to be watered less than once a week, it needs more sun and or a sandier planting mix. Jades quickly rot when sitting in damp soil.

The best way to water Jade plants is to stick them in the kitchen sink, spray the leaves and let the water run into the soil. After they drain put them back in the window. Since these plants grow so large so fast this is not always possible.

Use a cactus mix soil 50% with regular potting soil making up the other 50%. Or if you’ve sand handy mix half sand and half potting soil.

Happy Jade plants will flower for you. The leaves should be a medium green with red tips. Too much red means too much sun, no red edge means the Jade requires more sun, especially if you want to have it flower.

To propagate a jade plant trim off a branch and place in a pot with soil and keep damp. You’ll find they root painlessly.

Most Jade plant deaths come from too little light. If it’s not sunny enough the soil doesn’t dry out weekly and the roots rot.

38 thoughts on “Jade Plants ( Crassula ovata )

  1. i need help with my jade plant, it droops, leafs fall, the stems droop, like it almost has dry rot on the stems. i have gave it miracle grow, but it still droops, i have it in my liv room not to sunny, but not to cool either. oregonwoman45@yahoo.com

  2. It sounds like it needs less water and more sun. But check:If the leaves are darker on yours than the ones in the pictures more sun is needed. If the leaves are the same color as in the picture and you have slightly red edges like in the picture but not that red. Then the sun is fine it has too much or too little water.I can’t tell whether it is over or under watering the symptoms are often the same. If you’ve been keeping the soil damp, let it go a little longer between waterings. If you’ve been letting it go dry like cactus, water it more frequently.Try giving it some Shultz fertilizer with rooting hormone. I’ve had very good luck with that. It comes in a yellow plastic bottle and you can find it at most large stores that sell plants and supplies.And be sure to post back on what works because I’m sure others will be grateful for your advise.

  3. I’m having trouble with my Jade plant as well–it is definitely rotting away, even though it has not been watered in 8-plus weeks. It’s about 3.5 feet tall in a cement pot and used to have two big trunks. Now one has rotted down to the base and we’re worried that the rot will spread to the other trunk next. We’re in Boston, and it’s in between two east-facing windows.Can it be saved? Thanks for any advice. pics here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51039822@N00/

  4. That is probably too long to go with out water for a jade plant.Is the soil damp? You want to be able to stick your finger in the dirt and the dirt be dry about an inch down between waterings.The first thing I’d do is take it out of the pot, dump the dirt and re-pot it with new dirt. Very often that’s enough. When you re-pot it, remove all the old soil from the roots and rinse them off really well before re-potting.If the roots look good then re-potting may be enough to save it.If the roots do not look good fertilize with some Shultz fertilizer with rooting hormone. It does wonderful things for plants that are in trouble.In Boston, especially over the winter it is difficult to get plants the amount of light they need. It is more likely a lack of light is hurting the plant. The fluorescent bulbs you can buy as replacements for incandescent lights do wonders for house plants. Put a fluorescent bulb in a lamp near the plant and leave it on several hours a day. Many sick plants I had at home in the winter when I lived in Boston thrived once I sent them to work with DH. The fluorescent office lights made up for the lack of sunlight up north.Jades will re-root from stem cuttings so re-potting, more light, fluorescent especially, will usually fix them right up.

    * Update: 2/1/08
    If a bacterial infection has set in and that is likely when the plant is mushy you can try a fungicide that contains copper. Sometimes that helps.

    Your best option is to remove the mushy part to keep the bacteria from spreading to the rest of the plant. Wipe down the area with alcohol to keep from spreading bacteria. Remove the mushy part, plus a buffer zone with a sharp sterile instrument. This will often save the plant.

    You still need to re-pot it and get it into clean, drier soil.

  5. Thanks so much for your advice. The plant was delivered in a concrete pot with several inches of rocks on top, so it’s always been difficult to check the soil. The plant began rotting from the top down, losing branches as it went. We tried to cut out the rot, but it kept spreading. Repotting will be a challenge as the plant/pot/rocks weigh a TON, but it sounds like it may be necessary at this point. Thanks again.

  6. Hi there!

    My crassula ovata are falling off including the branches. I’d like to think that “epsom salt” have done it? I also sprayed my chinese evergreen and peace lilies with epsom salt . The other pot of peace lilies are turning brown at the bottom.
    Please advise.
    With thanks,

  7. I would not spray the plants with epsom salts. The newer fertilizers and potting soils have more than enough of the micro nutrients for most plants.

    Crassula ovata ( jade ) likes a hot, dry, sunny spot. No need to spray them, they prefer dry air.

    I would guess on the jade it either needs less water or more sunlight. Do you have a sunnier window you can put it in? If not put a fluorescent light over it. They have trouble getting through the low light winters in the northern areas.

    I wouldn’t spray the peace lilies or chinese evergreen either. In the winter I try to put plants in humid bathrooms, kitchens or near a humidifier.

    If that’s not possible sticking them in the shower and letting it run on them to water them, then letting them sit there and drain for an hour once a week does wonders.

  8. Thanks ever so much for your response jmacphee!

    I live in Hong Kong and a first time grower. I love flowers and plants but have no idea how to care for them. I kept relying on my computer. I hate to see something bad happening to my plants. Recently, I managed to have germinated culinary herbs eg: basil, thyme, rosemary ( whew! after 40 days) dill, coriander. Marjoram is not that easy. Why are they so fragile? Everytime I start giving them some water they die? My second attempt to germinate Marjoram still unsuccessful. I think I want to give up now.
    I also have some Okra, Hot chili pepper, and imperial eggplant ( small ones).

    I do not have a large garden. I have a small balcony facing SW. ( I wish I knew how to attach some photos here)
    I have 6″ pots prepared for my culinary herbs and 12″ pots for my veggies my question is:
    How many stems or plants can I grow on each pots? I was told that spacing is also critical.

    My seeds are from the UK although seedlings are cheaper here, unfortunately they are written in Chinese.
    I am also trying to grow some strawberries, little greens are popping out is that a good sign?

    Please advise as my small plants are sitting and shouting for a bigger homes.

    Thank you again for your kind attention!


  9. I would bump the herbs up to the 12″ pots. That is plenty for them. You’ll want to divide them and give them new soil once a year or so.

    I grow tomatoes and peppers in pots about 3 gallons in size. Bigger is better, but that will work. But with that little soil you need to be sure to fertilize them often.

    Sometimes you can get stubborn seeds started by making a mini green house. Leave the soil about 2″ from top of pot. Water heavy, drain well, put in seeds, then cover w/ clear plastic wrap. Water from bottom if needed by sitting pot in a tray of water only until soil is moist again. Remove the plastic after they get to have a couple of leaves.

  10. Thank you very much for your quick reply.
    Just to let you know that I’ve repotted my crassula ovata. I’ve distributed them into 4x pottings. I will not spray anymore epsom salt.

    I have limted space for my pots. The biggest I have is 2 gal. equivalent ( I was told good to use it for my lady finger).

    Do I have to space them from each other? and if so how far? For example, I put my 6 x stems chili peppers in a 6″ pot is this too much? I put one stem of cherry tomatoes in an 8″pot. She is now 10″ tall. When do you think she’ll bear some fruits. I’m giving her ” Maxicrop” extract of seaweed.

    I like the idea of mini green house as I spotted one in IKEA Store 2 weeks ago.

    Thanks again,

  11. I’ve found as long as you give your vegetables sufficient water and fertilizer the size of the pot won’t matter too much. It just means you’ll have to water more frequently.

    That might be too much for the chili peppers, mine usually get about 2′ and 8″ across.

    With tomatoes and peppers the temperature and amount of light has a huge effect on how quick they fruit.

    Peppers want tons of sun and warm weather, tomatoes tons of sun and temps between 75’F and 50F to fruit.

  12. Hi jmacphee,

    Your advises very much appreciated.
    Many many thanks!

    Will update you of the progress a bit later on.

    God Bless!

    Best regards,
    Amy from HK

  13. Hi there,

    My crassula ovata that I’ve distributed last week are all turning brown and they look like they will not survive. I planted them in a small (3″ square ceramic pot).

    Please help!


  14. I don’t know if I can.

    I don’t know if it’s just a bit of transplant shock and it will pass?

    Or if they are soft and brown from rotting?

    Those are my first two guesses. If it is transplant shock, try a bit of Super Thrive or plant fertilizer with rooting hormone, Shultz makes some. Follow directions on container.

    If it is rot, get them into bright light/sun so they can dry out. See if that makes any difference over the next day.

    Let me know which it looks like and how they progress.

  15. Hi JL,
    Many many thanks again!

    I put them all outside to have some bright light. The mother plant that went soft and brown has turned into a wood like. The other small branches that I distributed are still turning brown. I really don’t know what to do. Is this a problem?

    On a different note, my cherry tomatoes are growing so tall ( 25 inches now). On top of it are small flowers. One is opening up and yellow in colour. Is that the start of the tomato? Is there one flower per fruit?

    My chili pepper have flowers too and I took out all the leaves ( pinching?)

    This is the first time I have grown plants in my entire life so I am very nieve. The websites that I visit only add to my confusion as I really want to learn.

    Once again I thank you for your help.


  16. Soft is not good on jade plants. It is caused by bacteria that attacks the plant when it has been too wet for too long. Usually that happens when they don’t get enough light.

    Jade is not the easiest of plants for people to grow. They need a great deal of sun.

    Cherry tomatoes are great! Yes, each flower will have a tomato. Tomatoes are interesting in that the buds close for a day and each flower pollinates itself.

    Did you take all the leaves off of your chili pepper? You want to leave the leaves on the plant. That is how they feed themselves. More will grow but leave them on.

  17. Hi Lj,
    My cherry tomato plants look more like a tree than a bush. They are taller than me now with lots of green fruits. The other two look normal thou’, they are about 18 inch with flowers. The latter got more sunlight lately than the other two. ( we had typhoons here 4 months ago) I think they kept reaching for sunlight and they were not getting any.
    I bought 2 tomato plants over a month ago locally (just for curiosity reasons). They were about 4 inches tall with lots of green fruits and I wonder why the stems are full of roots. What did they do with them to make them that small? I am about to harvest them now as they are all deep red in colour.
    Why does my chili pepper’s fruit look like a long bean? Is it because I trimmed most of the leaves before?
    How should I care for my two birds nest plants? I alway get one yellow leaf at the bottom whilst at the same time four additional leaves start growing in the middle at the top of the plant. One is sort of imbalanced. Can I take out one sprout in the middle to balance the growth as they look bizarre?
    Happy Thanksgiving.
    Amy HK

  18. My pepper really looks like a long bean. I took out all the flowers to encourage bushy leaves. Red hot chili pepper is supposed to be small?
    Do you have any idea how to grow mushrooms?

  19. There are red chili peppers that look like beans. They sell them here at the market. I’m from Boston originally and don’t eat hot food. We boil everything to mush up there or burn it. So I haven’t grown any hot peppers except as ornamental plants.

    I’ve only grown mushrooms from those kits you can buy. Usually the upscale garden places have them around the holidays. You get a log and stick it someplace not too sunny with a bag around it to keep it humid. The spores are already on the log.

    I expect if you took some spores from mushrooms at the grocery store, sprinkled them on a damp log and kept it humid it would work.

    The risk is that there might be spores already on the log and those mushrooms might not be good for eating.

  20. Hello there!
    I hope you had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
    A bit of an update as promised.

    My Crasulla Ovata- are all doing so GREAT!!!
    4x CherryTomato- have given me and some friends loads of very sweet and juicy fruits last Christmas and New Year. They still are to date.
    3x Chili Pepper -gave me ( not too hot fruits and few.. good enough for my thai dish ) is it because I trimmed the leaves off before?
    Envy parsley- germinated and their huge now. I just managed to transplant 1 after I read about this rediculous folklore in transplanting parsley. So the other 6 plants are still in a 41/2 inch pot. Everytime I look at them I feel like they’re shouting for a bigger home each.
    Marjoram/ Rosemary- finally paid off. Althou’ Rosemary only have 2 seedlings. Marjoram has 3 seedlings ( I cut some woody like and soak it in honey last week then washed it with water and I checked this morning, I saw some whitish ( roots?)
    Basi-l Thrives since the day I transplanted them. ( I’ve given 3 friends some seedlings) I soaked some stems last week as well. Still waiting for them to root.
    Thyme- didn’t have time to germinate..lol
    Strawberry- Transplanted 2 weeks ago after sowing in October. I thought they were stunted as they were overdue. They look ok to me after giving them more room. Their foliages are deep green and shiny. I think I still have to transplant them after they become a bit bigger. ( they are 1/2 inch at the moment. So tiny eh. The ones from the UK seeds are good. Theiy’re about 2″. The rest are from Yates seeds Co. ( Australia I guess, doesn’t even mention what “type of strawberry seeds”. By looking at the seedlings, some friends would comment like ” Those are strawberries?”
    Anyway, if they are Alpine strawberries, how many plant do I have to plant in 1 container ( for their final home)

    You wouldn’t believe what happened to my crotons during winter. They were outside the balcony at a temp. of 6C at night. I was brave enough to step out the balcony to check on them plantsa and I saw my crotons wilted and dying ( looked like they were not going to survive!) I quickly put them in my bedroom and I turned up the heater temp. to like 30 degress for an hour and then turned it down to 24 degress. The next day, I found them standing upright and I greeted them Welcome back!!!..lol. I was so worried and wanted to cry you know. I’m glad you have a photo now, cause I was thinking of you at that time only in a blank frame..lol. I wanted to write to you but it was a hoiliday period. I think it was a miracle! I will always love these 2 plants of mine.
    And the rest of the houseplants are thriving!!! Thank you so very much..

    Can I still write to you? ( I am planning to sow herbs seeds and flowering plants) Marigold looks favourite to me ( many uses and easy to grow as they always say until I try..lol)
    Do you sell seeds? I would love to try USA seeds.. I only have UK Thompson & Morgan, Yates Australia and Spike seeds Inc.Taiwan seeds.
    UK seeds are OK.
    Yates strawberry seeds are so healthy!! I would like to sow one of their Marigold cracker jack seeds this month.
    My thyme did not germinate at all ( Taiwan seeds) and they are in Chinese character so can’t be helped. Inadequate support from their rep. out here. You want to grow your own garden here in HK. I would say “your on your own” the advises you would get here are very limited and false. You will end up killing your plants. ( it’s all business I guess) Couple of foreigners out here are shouting for assistance eg: where to buy good potting soil. She tried one shop, the salesperson assured to her it’s a potting soil and she ended up buying pure garden soil. Totally ruined her plants. I felt sorry for her and her plants.

    I sincerely hope you can assist me in buying seeds, containers eg. stack and grow, potting soil and straws for mulcihng, fertilisers, tools eg. ph.soil tester, water tester. from your country. The above mentioned are not easy to find here. I may find them in 3 to 5 years if I have the time to search the territory.

    Many many thanks!!!
    P.S. I tried online but some companies have US$ 2,000.00 limit of purchase.

  21. I’m so glad to hear you are so successful with your plants.

    Peppers get hotter if you only give them just enough water to survive.

    I plant strawberries rather close, I put each plant about 6″ from the next in beds.

    I have two crotons out here, they suffer through an occasional light frost here and come back too. I think if they are healthy to start the frost doesn’t do too much damage.

    My favorite herb seed company is in Canada – Canada The catalog is the best herb reference I have. It’s worth getting just for the information in it. They have a minimum for plants, but I don’t think they do for seeds. The selection is amazing.

    No I don’t sell seeds or plants. This is just a fun hobby for me. I hoping to start learning how to grow plants using tissue culture as soon as things settle down a bit here. Maybe in a couple of months. Now I’m busy getting the garden ready for summer. It comes quickly in Houston.

    I use http://www.forestry-suppliers for soil kits. They are only $25 US for about 25 tests.

    It’s getting hard to find good potting soil here too. One company seems to be all the stores carry and it’s more mulch than soil.

    For truly unusual plants I use Plant Delights, it’s worth getting their catalog just to read too, even if you don’t buy anything. But I always do.

    I am so very glad to hear things are going so well for you. Do stay in touch.

  22. Thanks! I hope they will continue to be healthy. Spring is now approaching Asian spring) it’s 24C out here. That’s why I’m thinkling of starting to sow some seeds.
    My 3x rectangular container is about 1 foot long. I planted 24 alpine seedlings per container, would that be ok?. Thier permanent home will be a 12 inch 13 inch wide pot. How many should I plant then?

    I will try to visit the above captioned websites and hoping they do overseas shipping.

    Yours sincerely,

  23. Sorry.

    I meant ,my 3x rectangular container are 12 inches long, 5 inches wide and 4 inches depth. Permanent pot for the strawberry plants will be on 12″ pot ( roundish) over 12 ” depth and 13″ wide.

  24. I’d use a 6″ deep pot for the strawberries, they don’t put down deep roots. In the rectangular pots I’d put them about 6″ from each other in a single strip.

  25. How to get rid off gnats? I did not have them before! So annoying! They continously destroying my new bonsai tomato and pepper plants!
    This occured during the ff: pls. tell me if I’m correct.
    After I purchased this bone meal fertiliser ( strong smell..whew)
    After I mixed them with my soil peated potting mix or
    The peated soil that I bought are infected?
    I sprayed my plants with cider vinegar, diswashing liquid and water solution. ( didn’t do any good thou’)
    Before I transplanted my strawberries, I poured a boiling water to the soil and left it for 3 days to dry ( our weather at the moment is sort of foggy and overcast)
    Pls. help me again.
    Thank you so much!

  26. By gnats you mean those tiny black flies? Those appear when the soil is too wet. If it’s been cloudy you might need to water less.

    The soapy water and vinegar won’t help with the gnats.

    Water less, let the soil get a bit drier, not enough to hurt the plants, and they should vanish on their own.

  27. You are absolutely right!
    Our weathert this past 2 weeks was so bad and still is.Our UV index is about 2.
    No wonder!.
    I started my gardening Aug.4 2008. So, I will definitely note this down.
    I’m about to throw my bonemeal as when I bought it, it was located in an open area ( was dry thou’)
    I guess, to pour a boiling water on the peat soil was a rediculous idea eh.
    Actually one person on that blog area advised to boil the peat soil in a cooking pot! ( huh!)
    By the way, Can I re-use my Cherry Tomato soil as I am going to disgard my almost 1 year old tomato plants. I will use it my new tomato plants. I was told that Cherry tomato fruits are sweeter if you treat them as an annual plant. My fruits are so nice! I’m concern it’s not going to be the same next year?
    Also I want to start a new one as these plants are not good looking. (so spindly and as you said “scraggly”.)

    Pls. advise.


  28. No sterilizing soil is done for lots of things so the boiling water wasn’t a bad idea.

    I would not reuse the soil. The nutrients in it get used up quick with potted plants. Also, you are far more likely to have bacteria or fungi in the soil that’s been used. Go with clean soil.

    Here I dump the old potting soil into the outside gardens.

    Yes, tomatoes do much better short lived. You can save the seeds from some of your tomatoes now. Scoop them out of a tomato or two. Put them on a plate to dry for a few days. Then plant.

  29. Thanks Lj.
    I managed to order a catalogue from Canada. Did you know they sell all sorts of seeds except strawberries?

    Talking about tomato seeds, I bought two tomato plants that were in six inch pots with many tomatoes already on it. Just as they started to ripe I picked some and then took a bite of one out of excitement! The tomato burst all over the place. After a while I saw something bizarre growing within my strawberry seedlings. I suspect it to be from the tomato that I bit into. I know that I cleaned where it burst especially in the strawberry bed for all that was left was the juice from the tomato. I have now transplanted it into a 5 inch pot where it is really thriving and already flowering. I saved one tomato from the last harvest before I totally disgarded the plant, pricked it and took the seeds then planted them straight into the tray. They are growing so well!. I now have about 12 x seedlings ready to transplant into bigger pots nxt week.

    I cut off the top young leaves of my Croton plants as they starting to grow taller but they were no leaves at the bottom.I stuck the 1/2 ” young stem with leaves straight into a potting soil. Are they going to grow?

  30. The Canadian company sells the most extensive collection of herb seeds anywhere. You’ll love the catalog and the seeds.

    Cool on your tomato seeds. They say the most exciting statement in science is not ‘eurka’ but ‘that’s funny’. Perhaps that is true for gardeners as well?

    I don’t know on the croton. But there’s no harm in trying. Most of what I know has come from experiments. I think I gain more knowledge from the failed experiments than I do the successful. Let me know how it turns out with the croton.

  31. On the croton – it’ll have a better chance of rooting if some of the stem where leaves were pulled off is under the soil. Plants tend to root from the wounds where leaves were pulled off better than just from the stem.

  32. Absolutely! I will post some info regarding the Croton top leaves “if” successful.
    By the way I stuck some leaves as well.

    My aglaonema plants are presently soaking in lukewarm with dish soap in the sink. I will re-pot them. What type of soil should I use? I have the “silver queen ” and “peacock feather” type. Should I stop the soaking now?

  33. What do you think of “sow natural ” organic, untreated and harvested from the wild seeds from Canada? I’m afraid they’re too fussy to germinate?

    I love the idea of organic garden but I’m afraid to try until I’m comfortable of what I’m doing here…lol

  34. I usually only soak plants while I repot them, maybe an hour or a half hour. Trees for outside I usually soak overnight.

    I haven’t had as much luck with organic seeds as non organic germinating. I’m not sure there’s a benefit to seeds being organic? I want food to not have chemicals, not sure there’s enough of any chemical on a seed for it to matter.

    I do look for heirloom seeds and species seeds rather than hybrid seeds. I can’t always find them but I prefer them when I can. We’ve lost many nutrients in food, and scent on flowers with hybrids which were bred for toughness or larger, more colorful blooms.

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