The Q&A Archives: Jade Plant

Question: Help, I've got this beautiful huge jade plant as a house warming gift. It has been growing nice but suddenly the leaves are falling off. My other jade plant has completely lost all of it's leaves. My fear is that this big plant will do the same. I only water it when the soil is dry and the room where the plants are located can get as hot as 80-degrees. Did I do something wrong? My big plant is dry right now but I am afraid to water it for fear of losing all the leaves. What should I do?

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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