With their thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves, jade plants have a miniature, tree-like appearance that makes them very appealing for use as a decorative houseplant. They live for a very long time, often being passed down from generation to generation and reaching heights of three feet or more when grown indoors. Many people enjoy growing jade plants in their homes and offices, and they are considered to be symbols of good luck.
Types of Jade Plants
While there are over 1,400 types of jade plants, some of the most common variants include ‘Tricolor’ (pink flowers at certain times of the year), ‘Variegata’ (ivory leaves streaked with green), ‘Sunset’ (yellow leaves with red tips), ‘Red’ (reddish-purple leaves), ‘Monstruosa Hobbit’ (curled yellow-green leaves), ‘Monstruosa Gollum’ (elongated leaves), ‘Copper’ (green leaves with bronze edges), ‘Bluebird’ (gray-blue leaves with red tips), and ‘Ripple Leaf’ (wavy-edged leaves).
Improves Indoor Air Quality – The jade plant is effective in removing several VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) like acetone and toluene present indoors. VOCs can get in the house from paints, wood preservatives and moth repellents. VOCs may cause problems like weakness, exhaustion, confusion, and insomnia – keeping jade indoors helps to beat these problems.
Absorbs CO2 at Night – Thanks to the CAM process (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) conducted by the jade plant, it absorbs CO2 during the night while performing photosynthesis during the daytime. This improves the indoor air quality by reducing the level of CO2 in the house.
Brings Good Luck Charm – According to the Feng Shui and Vaastu Shastra, the jade plant is said to bring good fortune to its owner. You can place it at any southeast corner of the room to activate the Feng Shui energy flow.
Elevates the Level of Humidity – If you want to enhance the level of humidity in the indoor air, then you can count on the jade plant. The summers cause very dry air and the addition of radiators in winters also lowers indoor humidity. Low humidity causes dry skin, lips and itchy throats. But thanks to the CAM of crassula, this plant causes evapotranspiration during the dark time that increases relative humidity.
Medicinal Properties – In some cultures, the extract of its leaves is used for treating ailments like wounds, stomach upset, warts and diabetes. In Chinese medicine, the jade plant extract and its tea are effective in lowering diabetes problems. Its juice can also cure skin warts.
Great for Novice Gardeners – This plant, with its forgiving nature, spruces up the interiors and the landscapes year-round without asking for much maintenance. It can adapt well to numerous conditions and does well in low-light areas too!
How To Care For Jade Plant
Jade plant care is easy and simple. The most important factors to consider when growing jade as houseplants are water, light, temperature and fertilizer.
Jade plants love light and young plants, especially, should be exposed to bright, indirect sunlight in order to thrive. Jade plants, young and old, should receive at least four to six hours of sunlight daily, but keep the plant safe from direct rays. Harsh light can scorch young, immature plants or cause the leaves of older ones to turn red.
Keep soil moist but not wet during the growing season (spring and summer) and let the soil dry out during the dormant season (fall and winter). Don’t splash the leaves when you water. You don’t want to expose your beautiful plant to weird funguses and such. Dust the leaves every once in a while, though, with love and care. But not too much love and care. When you give something too much love and care, it rebels against you. Just ask all my failed succulents about this.
Fertilizing succulents is fun! They love it, sparingly. Again, do not over-love succulents. You must maintain control in this relationship. Use some plain ol’ houseplant fertilizer if you want to let your Jade know where it stands—you’re not special, Jade, look at all these other houseplants I am fertilizing, too—or opt for some succulent or cacti fertilizer if you like your Jade plants to be a little bit full of themselves.
Jade plants are succulents that grow best in dry conditions with bright light, low humidity, and cool temperatures. Plant your jade in fast-draining soil like a potting mix formulated for cacti or succulents. Choose a spot in a south-facing window: Aim for at least four hours of direct sunlight each day to give your jade plant the brightest light possible. To create that signature reddish tinge on its paddle-shaped leaves, display your jade in a spot with more light.
How to Grow Jade Plant : Quick Tips
Is your plant dropping leaves? Are they shriveled like your soul? Are there brown spots on the leaves and it causes you to remember that you are in fact a mortal being and are likely not live forever as you had hoped? Try watering your plant a little more. Water yourself a little more, too. It’s for science.
Planning to Repot? Keep your Jade in a small pot if you want your Jade to remain small (and manageable!). Or, Repot your young Jade every 2-3 years to promote growth, or every 4-5 years for older plants. Ideally, you will do this in the early spring, before the growing season begins. Just make sure not to water the repotted Jade immediately. Also, don’t fertilize for at least a month. You might be totally fine burning your own roots, but don’t burn hers.
Got mealybugs? Wipe those suckers off with some rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or cotton ball. Do this again every few days until the problem is resolved. If things get too crazy, you can always start a new plant with a fresh cutting, while bawling your eyes out. Everything is going to be OK. Probably.
How to Propagate Jade Plants
The jade plant is one of the easiest plants to propagate by stem or leaf cuttings, although the latter takes longer to show new growth. Here are the best ways to propagate your jade plant:
How to Propagate Jade Plants via Stem Cuttings
Step 1: Use clean, sharp gardening shears to cut a thick stem (3 to 5 inches long) with healthy leaves. Remove the lower leaves, then set the cutting in a sunny spot for a few days until the cut end forms a callus that’s lighter in color and feels firm.
Step 2: Fill a small pot with succulent soil and create a long, thin hole in the center. To help roots grow faster, apply rooting hormone (powdered or liquid) to the bottom inch of the callused stem. Gently place the stem into the pot, then pat down the soil until the cutting stands up on its own.
Step 3: Keep the cutting out of direct sunlight for three to four weeks. Once new growth appears, gradually move it closer to a window with bright sunlight. Water sparingly during this time.
How to Propagate Jade Plants via Leaf Cuttings
Step 1: Using a clean, sharp blade, remove a large, healthy-looking leaf.
Step 2: Place the leaf onto dry succulent soil away from direct sunlight until roots begin to grow. Rooting hormone can be applied to the cut end of the leaf, and a mix of equal parts succulent soil and perlite or vermiculite can lighten the soil texture to encourage growth.
Step 3: Look for tiny roots to sprout from the cut end of the leaf, which can take several weeks. Place the leaf in a small pot of fast-draining soil mix such as a perlite-sand blend. New growth will appear, and the original leaf will shrivel completely as the roots are established.