Why the Leaves on a Jade Plant Turn Yellow

The jade plants is a type of succulent that is able to store water in its leaves and stem of the plant. The jade plant can easily grow up to five feet tall indoors under proper lighting and watering conditions. This plant is a popular choice for ornamental applications indoors. In milder climates the jade plant is commonly used in landscaping designs. If a jade plant doesn’t receive proper care it will become stressed and the leaves will turn yellow.

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Jade plants should be placed where they may receive an abundance of natural or artificial light. If the plant is placed in a corner and receives only indirect sunlight or dim, indirect artificial lights, the leaves will begin to turn yellow. The direct sunlight aids the jade plant in the breakdown of vital nutrients. Inadequate light hinders this process for the plant and results in poor nutrition.


Jade plants store water in the leaves and steam of the plant. As a succulent, the jade plant is equipped to live in drier regions and therefore require less watering than other plants. The pot of a jade plant must drain well so that the roots have an opportunity to be exposed to air. If the roots are constantly surrounded by water they will begin to rot and the leaves will yellow and start to wilt.

Soil Nutrients

A potted jade plant must be fertilized once a month with plant food. Jade plants pull large amounts of nutrients from the soil and will deplete the available nutrients in potted soil quickly. Poor nutrition will cause the leaves of a jade plant to turn yellow and wilt. It is important to note, however, that a jade plant that is transplanted will likely show signs of malnutrition due to the shock of the transplant. In the case of a transplant the plant should be monitored for a couple weeks before fertilizing.


Pests such as the mealy bug and aphids will eat on the leaves of a jade plant and cause damage to the leaves. When damage is caused to the leaves by pests the leaves will turn yellow and die off completely. An infestation of mealy bugs or aphids on a jade plant can cause the plant to die.


Products designed to make the leaves of a plant shiny should not be used on the jade plant. The leaf polish will shine the leaves initially but the long-term result will be the yellowing and death of the leaves. The leaf polish will seal the pores of the leaves and prevent them from absorbing nutrients and sunlight properly.


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