Ask a Question forum: Jade Plant - Crassula Ovata HELP

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London UK
Oliver2181
Feb 15, 2018 4:22 AM CST
I am having trouble each winter with my Jade Plant. I live in the UK and each summer I move my plant which is quite well established, outdoors to an area which is bright but not in direct sunlight (When I move it into direct sunlight it does not seem to like it and the leaves seem to appear burned) While outside my in the summer months, it thrives and the leaves become succulent, dark green and turgid. Each winter I bring it inside and the leaves gradually shrivel and lose their vibrancy as shown in the pictures. The branches also become shrivelled and dry and fall off. The plant is situated at room temperature, in a large window which sees lots of daylight but no direct sunlight. I hardly water it at all during the winter months and the soil is relatively dry. Any help would be much appreciated - thanks.
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 15, 2018 6:19 AM CST
I believe that she's telling you she needs a drink.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Feb 15, 2018 7:37 AM CST
I agree with Philip, your Jade is dying from thirst, you need to give it a major watering til water flows out the bottom of the pot, that should bring it back. Be careful of any cold drafts coming from the windows too Smiling

Welcome! To The Forum
London UK
Oliver2181
Feb 15, 2018 12:48 PM CST
Thank you Philip and Christine,

I'm going to follow your advice.

Best wishes,

Oliver
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 15, 2018 12:54 PM CST
I do too. I watched a video this morning where a woman sort of gently bent a leaf of a jade, and if it was firm, no water; but if it had give and sort of felt soft not firm. Water. Just a watering trick I had never seen.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 15, 2018 8:06 PM CST
I am not a big fan of moving plants in and out every year. Each change forces the plant to make adjustments that can be stressful. Yes, they often respond well to the better light and air circulation outdoors, but then often have trouble adapting when moved indoors. The difference in light intensity between out and indoors is far greater than most folks realize.

Indoors, a Jade should be right in a sunny window where it gets maximum indoor direct sunlight. Yours certainly looks badly dehydrated. You mentioned that you hardly water during the winter. I don't know exactly what that means but it certainly appears that it is not often enough. I suggest you water as soon as the top half inch of soil is dry. If it is in good light, I would expect that to be at least every two weeks. Make sure no water has collected in the bottom of the outer pot. If it has, then the soil may be staying constantly wet and the roots may have rotted and no longer absorbing water.

Consider pruning back some of the long, dangling stems.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
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London UK
Oliver2181
Feb 16, 2018 2:06 AM CST
Thank you Will - most helpful advice. I was actually going ask opinions on moving it indoors/outdoors with the change of the seasons. Admittedly the window it sits in when inside is not bright at all but it is the only one I have! It is for this reason that every summer I move it outside in a shaded yet brighter contrast area.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 16, 2018 2:37 AM CST
How many years have you put your plant out, Oliver?
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 16, 2018 12:18 PM CST
Hello Oliver2181, Crassula ovata actually likes cool dry conditions with lots of light. During the seasonal transition from summer to cold season, it naturally drops older lower leaves, as it starts to redirect its energies to new growth at the the tips or sometimes anywhere up and down the branches. It will either grow new leaves or maybe do buds/flowers. I used to panic too when my Crassulas starts drying out leaves and dropping them in mid Fall, then I realize it was a transitional phase, and they actually really like our colder conditions. We get blistering triple digit dry heat, no rain conditions here especially in summer, so the Fall to winter cool down is transition time for the Crassulas.

Do not treat this plant like a cacti that needs to get into winter dormancy. Crassulas still needs water. I would suggest you give the plant a good drink, water directly the soil and let the water drain out. Then leave it alone in that bright area to recover. Use bamboo skewer to test the moisture in your soil. If you stick it in and comes out wet, delay watering. Or put a big rock on the soil, if you lift it later and still shows damp below, delay watering.

Our growing area is different, over here, I even have to spritz the branches a bit since it is just so bone dry here for 6 months. But in winter which is our rainy season, it is its fun growing time, with new leaves and one of them is even in blooming mode. As long as temps do not go below 30F, it can endure the cold/wet conditions since I have the Crassulas outdoors, with lots of air movement and more access to light.

Since we have varying growing areas, it is understandable to move the plants indoors as needed. I do that here too for some of my succulents. But when you bring them out later, do it gradually, do not expose immediately to direct sun, so it can adjust/acclimate. I usually wait till our outdoor temps is at least 50F (10C).

Crassulas have better cold tolerance than most succulents so I just leave them out all year long here, it can take the low 30F's but has to be kept drier. Most cold damage I get is if we happen to fall in the low 20F's with rain. But once it gradually warms up, gets more light and dry out nicely it will bounce back again. Be mindful of your rainy weather, it really hates being soggy wet and cold, so make sure your media is as gritty and well draining as it can. The plant has such shallow root system so it easily rots when left too soggy.

There is still good potential in your Jade plant. Good luck on your plant!
London UK
Oliver2181
Feb 16, 2018 12:29 PM CST
Thank you so much Tarev. I have indeed been treating it somewhat like a cacti, always being careful not to overwater, but possibly being a little too cautious on that front in this instance. Your advice is very helpful as it is mindful of the difference between our climates.

Laurie, I have been bringing the plant inside for the last 2 years. It does not stay outside constantly during the summer as our summers can be unreliably wet and I cannot guarantee it any shelter in my garden. Instead I move it in and out over the summer depending on what the weather is doing before moving more permanently inside once the autumn really sets in.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Feb 16, 2018 12:57 PM CST
Try to find perlite or pumice and mix it in your media, the grittier it is the better. That will help your plant's shallow root system to have better drainage and air flow at root zone.

I am looking again at your photos, the 2nd photo shows some nodes on the branches are slightly bulging, so it is indeed trying to redirect energies to new growth, pretty soon there will be new leaves there. And I also see some roots near the tip of some of the branches closest to the window. You can cut a node below the root area, apply cinnamon on the cut edge and stick the cutting in a very well draining media, instant new baby plant for you.

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