The Q&A Archives: Dropping leaves

Question: I have a Jade plant that has been dropping leaves, 5 - 10 per day. The stalks look very healthy, what am I doing wrong? I do not want to lose my plant.

Answer: Jade plants grow into main-stem tree-like forms and it's natural for them to lose leaves and branches at the bottom of the plant. But it's unnatural for them to suddenly lose their leaves. It may be a reaction to being watered with cold, rather than tepid water, or to being overwatered. Because they're succulents, they can go for many weeks without water, without doing them harm. Succulents have evolved in the dry areas of the world and their general requirements are related to this habitat - free draining soil, sunshine, fresh air, water in the growing season, and a cold and dry resting period in the winter. Jade plants like some early morning direct sunshine and they appreciate fresh air. If you have yours growing near a sunny windowsill, open the window in the summertime to promote the circulation of fresh air. Your Jade plant might be happier outdoors for a time this summer. Find a place where it will get sunshine but with some protection from hot afternoon sun,and water it sparingly using tepid water. Once it gets the cultural conditions it craves, it should perk right up for you.

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