The Q&A Archives: Jade Plant

Question: I have a well established potted jade plant. In late spring, I took it outside and put it in a shaded area. The plant thrived very well. Last year, when I brough it in, about one quart of the leaves turned a mouldy black colour with a grey film on top and dropped off, however, the plant survived. This year, I put it outside again and brought it in before it became too cold. The same think happened but not as bad as last year. I took off all the mouldy leaves and now it looks as if it will be OK. What do you think is happening and what shall I do to prevent the same thing from happening again. Also, how does a jade plant propagate? I have never seen it bloom. Louisa

Answer: The foliage symtoms were probably a fungal infection. Cleaning off the affected leaves and placing the plant in a spot with good air circulation would be the best steps to take for it. (Cold exposure can also damage the foliage and you might not see the results of it immediately. Do not allow it to get colder than about 50 degrees in the fall before you bring it back inside.) Also take care not to overwater it while it is inside.

Jade plants can bloom if the temperature and light conditions are right. They will bloom in response to shortening days in about December. If you keep your plant in a room where only natural light reaches it (no lights on at night) it should bloom each winter.

It is usually propagated by tip or even by leaf cuttings however. You can break off a single leaf and place it on the soil surface next to the parent plant. In a few weeks it will begin to root and grow. When large enough to handle you can pot itup separately. Tip cuttings also root very easily in a well drained soil mix. Allow the cut end to dry out for a few days prior to setting it into the rooting medium. Enjoy!

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