Ask a Question forum→Help with my indoor jade plants

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Ontario
SaraTooth
Jun 3, 2018 12:10 PM CST
I have several old jade plants that I inherited over the years from family members. About 6 months ago I moved them into a bathroom near a window that gets a lot of light. I would keep the fan on after showering so it would not be humid in there as I know they don't like humidity. Some of the plants have leaves that are crinkly and thin now. I tend to underwater, so after watering the other day, I expected the leaves to plump up. They did not. I searched for insects (looked up all the common pests) and found none. I did read something that said the roots might be pot bound? They have been in these pots for several years...most are glazed ceramic. Any suggestions??
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2018 12:35 PM CST
I don't think that they are getting enough light.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 3, 2018 12:39 PM CST
Hello SaraTooth, can you post some photos of the entire plant?

Typically jades also undergo a cycle of dropping older lower leaves especially as seasons and temperature fluctuate, so if it is the just the lower leaves I would not be too concerned. As long as the main trunk and branches are staying firm, no mushy part, then it is okay.

They can stay in their containers for years actually, mine has, and also in a glazed container, but I did make sure the container has drain holes and the media remains airy and porous at root zone level, by adding lots of pumice or perlite.

It is also possible if the soil is not made porous enough that the small root mass may have suffered from compacted soil in the container.

Ideally too, as the seasons change, try to bring out your plant outdoors to get much more light. If it is not too rainy in your area, that would be good for it since at night time, it can perform better gas exchange when its leaf stomates are open.
Ontario
SaraTooth
Jun 17, 2018 2:11 PM CST
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So here are photos of my ailing jades. They are leggy because in their prior location, they didn't get enough light. I am pinching back the growth at the tip to encourage new growth lower down. The stems hard hard. but the leaves are thin, soft and crinkly. They have been in this new location, in an east window for a few months already and the thin leaves are not improving. No sign of insects that I can see.
Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Jun 17, 2018 2:23 PM CST
For some reason (overwatering, underwatering) the roots on your jades are dying. It could be compacted soil but it could be anything that causes a problem in the root zone.

After you water, how moist is the soil? Water logged, still dry, can't check because the soil is too hard.....
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Ontario
SaraTooth
Jun 17, 2018 3:20 PM CST
Thanks for answering. The soil is quite hard. I can barely stick my finger in. The water though, flows out the bottom pretty quickly. Should I try replanting one with cactus soil? Should I add vermiculite?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jun 17, 2018 3:46 PM CST
Yes, replant one. NO VERMICULITE! Oh, did I yell? Smiling Add some perlite to some potting soil, 1/3 to 1/2 perlite. You are going to have to break up the root ball a little to get rid of that old worn or dirt. So, after planting in barely moist soil/perlite, don't water for a week. If there are no viable roots, you will be better off starting some cuttings.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Ontario
SaraTooth
Jun 17, 2018 3:55 PM CST
Thank you so much!!! It's ok if you yelled;). I always mix up vermiculite and perlite
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 18, 2018 9:13 AM CST
Thanks for the photos SaraTooth. I do agree with Daisy you need to repot. Don't use vermiculite, instead use perlite or pumice. If you do not have pumice, then just increase the perlite content.

The media has to remain quite porous and open for the roots to breathe too. I just use cacti mix and further add pumice and perlite even if the cacti mix already has it. Succulents are such, they like a good breathing space at root zone, and you need to adjust watering regimen as the seasons change too. East facing window is not bad, though it would be ideal if the plant can be at level with the window. This plant really likes strong light and can take direct sun too when properly acclimated to it. I do not know if you have a way to raise your plants a bit higher level so all parts of the plant receives good strong light.

Jades are not like your typical tropical houseplants that quickly shows reaction to good watering. They are quite slow growing, so as it drinks water, it also stashes moisture in its trunk, branches and leaves. Good watering is seeing the water seep into the soil and excess flows out. It is good to do that so it can also flush out accumulated salts in the media. It is possible that with your too compacted soil, the water is not actually seeping into the soil but is just flowing on the sides so that is the water you see coming out.

Is it possible to bring out your jades so it can enjoy direct good summer light and heat? Got to acclimate it though, position in part sun/shade so it gets used to it. I have tested my jades to tolerate cold temps down to 30F (-1C) as long as it is kept dry at that range. Since it is heading into summer, for sure your jades will love to be outside right now in your area.
[Last edited by tarev - Jun 18, 2018 9:15 AM (+)]
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Ontario
SaraTooth
Jun 18, 2018 9:36 AM CST
Thank you for your replies! Very helpful. I am always leery of taking my houseplants outdoors because I think I will bring insects in. Should I not be concerned? I certainly can raise them higher to be more even with the window.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Stay Home-Save Lives-Wear a Mask!
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tarev
Jun 18, 2018 9:57 AM CST
I have to bring some of my succulents indoors too during winter time. My area has milder winter conditions, where it is also our onset of our rainy season here, so it is very dicey time for some succulents. But the jades can endure it here, again provided the media is very well draining and temps do not go lower than 30F. There is good airflow outdoors so even if it rains it will dry out. But we have such varying growing micro climates, and your area will definitely require you to bring your jades indoors.

I just prepare my plants to be brought indoors when it is time to do it in mid to late Fall, when overnight temps starts dipping into the 50F (10C) range. You can use diluted castile liquid soap to spray your plants, or do a deep watering of the root zone, so you can flush out any hiding critters. Ideally if you can dunk the root zone, but it may be too heavy to do so if your containers are too big. But you have to allow the plant to dry off after doing that, before you bring them in. I know it sounds like a big chore to bring some plants indoors then out as seasons change, but that is the environmental limitations we have. After all most plants were not intended to be grown in icy conditions in winter, nor is it intended to be grown like desert plants during the hot, dry months.
Ontario
SaraTooth
Jun 18, 2018 10:35 AM CST
Thank you Tarev. You are very informative!!
Ontario
SaraTooth
Jul 14, 2018 7:30 AM CST
Thank you all for your help. I have replanted 3 jades so far. The first I did several weeks ago is recovering quickly. Leaves are plump and firm and new growth starting. The soil was severely compacted around the roots....like hard clay.

3 more to replant!

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