|Common Jade Plant|
Jade plants are easy to care for succulents, and they make great house plants.
There are many different types of jade plants, I have three in my collection.
|'Gollum' Jade Plant|
I have also heard this variety called E.T. fingers or baby toes.
The other type of jade I have is a miniature jade (this one didn't have a tag when I got it).
It looks very similar to the regular jade plant, but it's much smaller (as the name would suggest).
Keys to success with Jade Plants
In my experience, there are two main keys to successfully growing jade plants; watering and light.
|Miniature Jade Plant|
Jade plants do not like to be over watered.
Consistent over watering is fatal to jade plants.
If the plant is over watered on a regular basis, it will start to rot at the base.
Be sure to always check before watering, and water only when the soil is dry.
It's better to err on the side of under watering this plant. I put my jades outside during the summer and only water them if we're in a drought. Water sparingly in winter.
Second, jade plants need a lot of light in order to grow strong and thick. They will start to grow weak and leggy if they aren't getting enough light.
It's best to place them next to a south facing window inside the house.
|Jade plant leaf tips turn red in full sun|
Also, the leaf tips will turn red, making these plants even more beautiful.
Jade plants will benefit from being moved to a full sun location outside during the summer.
However, they are sensitive to sunburn, so it's important to move them into the sun gradually over several weeks.
Sun burned leaves will brown and the damaged area will die; most likely the leaf will eventually drop off. Severe sunburn may be fatal to the plant.
|Sun damage on jade plant leaf|
General potting soil is adequate for this plant, but it's best to use a well draining soil. If you tend to over water plants, put this one in a clay pot. Clay pots will help to wick the water out of the soil, allowing it to dry out faster.
Jade plants are extremely easy to propagate. They can be propagated from stem or leaf cuttings; in slightly moist, well drained soil. I have found that summer is the easiest time to root jade plant cuttings. Many times a leaf will break off and start to grow roots in the soil without any help from you.
Healthy jade plants don't usually have problems with pests. Mealybugs, scale and mites can become a problem if not treated early. My jade had mealybugs one winter, I treated it by dabbing a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and using that to remove the bugs. After several weeks of doing this daily, the mealybugs were gone.
Be careful using other common pest treatments, especially spraying anything on this plant. Jade plants are sensitive to sprays, which could end up causing more damage than the bugs.
- Pruning the leaves will keep the plant compact and allow the stem to grow thicker. Pinch off new growth to encourge the plant to grow fuller.
- The leaves will wrinkle and become spongy if the plant isn't getting enough water, eventually shriveling and dropping off. This can also happen when it's overwatered, so be sure to check the soil to ensure it's dry before watering.
- If the base of the stem is mushy and rotting, you can save the plant by cutting off the stem a few inches above the rot and rooting it. Allow the cut area to dry for a few days before attempting to root the plant.
- If you put your jade plant outside during the summer, be sure to bring it in before any chance of frost.