Ask a Question forum: Caring for my Jade Plant

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AGotell
Jan 4, 2017 12:17 AM CST
Hello!! I'm a proud new owner of a beautiful (and quite large) Jade plant. I have been losing quite a lot of leaves from the plant - 5 to 10 a day - and the roots are lifting out of the soil, so much so that I've had to prop half of it up with sticks to try and take the pressure off the trunks and root systems. It's a very heavy plant and moving it from the plant store to my apartment might have been stressful for it and also I think what has caused the lean.
I'm worried I might be over-watering my plant but we live in a very dry climate and I don't want to under water it either! I also want to make sure it's getting enough light. Help!
I've included a picture of the plant, it's location by the window (North-facing).
So these are my questions:
Is the plant in a good position to get enough light?
Should I re-pot the plant so that it feels more sturdy in the soil or will that cause it too much stress?
Am I losing a normal amount of foliage?

Thanks!!! I really love my plant and want to take good care of it.

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 4, 2017 12:59 AM CST
Welcome!

Provide as much light as you can indoors. More than the exposure by a north-facing window this time of year, if possible (looks like snow outside!). You can make it work, but what you'll find (perhaps are already finding) is that the branches start to get too heavy and fall over, requiring that you prune the plant. In low light the plant makes weak, stretched growth that tends to fall under its own weight. If you do find the need to deal with this, don't worry too much if you have to cut the plant way back, because it will recover given good light come spring. But that type of behavior is a clear indicator of insufficient light.

Do not repot while the plant is acting cranky, or while it's new in the house. There's no rush with repotting a jade. I would wait until spring to even consider that. For now just enjoy the lush foliage. Ideally try to water when the soil is going dry, but before it sits there too long bone dry. That might be every week or two indoors at room temperature, given moderate humidity.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 4, 2017 1:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
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sooby
Jan 4, 2017 5:30 AM CST
Welcome! The container seems to be directly on the floor with no saucer, does it have any drainage holes? I wonder if it is newly planted in that container also if, when it leans, it is pulling the plant out of the pot by the roots rather than tipping the container - it suggests it is not fully established in that pot. Just a few extra thoughts in addition to Baja's.
Name: Steve Claggett
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madcratebuilder
Jan 4, 2017 8:43 AM CST
Welcome!

In door Jade should be at a west or south facing window. Keep it on the dry side, those big fat leaves store a lot of moisture.

If you could use a LED bulb like this
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HU4PAN0/
You could place the plant anyplace. I use one of these on 3 spider plants and they are loving it. Set it up on a timer, 12-14hrs per day.

These want as much sun as you can provide. You have a very nice looking plant, light it up.
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Name: tarev
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tarev
Jan 4, 2017 9:02 PM CST
Hello Agotell, that is one lovely jade plant. Give it time to acclimate to your growing area. Hope that container has drainage holes.

North facing window is rather weak light source-wise, this plant likes lots of light, and in my area it grows much more actively during our cooler season.

It is good you have put a stake, allow the plant to adjust. Don't overwater it, it holds moisture effectively in its trunk and leaves. If you think you would be moving it from other areas of the house, use a rolling plant caddy, so you can put a little saucer below the caddy to catch excess water, and make it easier for you.

It also does its stage of dropping older lower leaves, so as long as the rest of the plant is staying firm and not going lanky, let it be, and allow to finish that phase. New growth will come again at the center/tips or anywhere up and down the nodes of the branch and stem.

AGotell
Jan 7, 2017 3:11 PM CST
Wow thanks, everyone! Very helpful. Unfortunately for the natural light this is my best window. It's a small apartment and this is by far my best light source.
Tarev, a rolling plant caddy is a great idea!!!! It's so heavy I've been wondering how I'm going to make it more mobile.
Sooby, it is lifting up by the roots and I think you're right that maybe the tree just isn't fully established into the potter. And no there doesn't seem to be drainage hole on the bottom.
I think I will re-pot the tree. Any suggestions on good potters for a tree this size or tips on when (eg: if I should wait until Spring) and how to transplant properly would be a big help!
Thanks for all the advice!!!
A
[Last edited by AGotell - Jan 7, 2017 3:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Jan 7, 2017 4:12 PM CST
I don't see any evidence in the photos of root exposure. I suspect that in transporting it, the plant was re-positioned slightly in its pot, causing it to lean. That can be remedied, not by repotting, but by simply positioning the rootball just a bit so the main stem is vertical. Tamp the soil down around the base to hold it in place. It would also help if you were to prune back some of the stems that are leaning to one side.

Although it was potted for looks not function, you will regret it if you disturb the roots by trying to repot it even though there are no drain holes. The way around that is to water lightly so that no excess water ever accumulates on the bottom of the pot.

The leaf loss is no doubt caused by the reduced light it now receives. If that is the best light available, then you can expect that it will continue to drop more leaves because the light intensity is what determines how many leaves can be supported. The leaf loss does not mean it is dying; just that it is adapting to its new environment.
Will Creed
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 7, 2017 9:31 PM CST
Hello Agotell, jades root mass is rather small and shallow. I am not comfortable leaving a succulent in a container with no drain holes, so as soon as you can do it, repot and stake your plant, as it adapts to the new set-up. Try to make your media grittier, use cacti mix and add pumice and perlite, to make it really well draining. Maybe if you can also find a good plant stand, so you can raise the container higher and maximize whatever light you have there, or augment with grow lights as suggested already. Good luck!

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