The jade plant or money plant (Crassula ovata or C. argentea) is a common succulent houseplant believed to bring good fortune. It can grow up to 10 feet tall with a thick trunk and a crown of fleshy branches. The leaves are round and glossy and become tinged with pink in direct sunshine. Jade plants are long-lived and tolerate significant neglect. The first sign of a problem with potted jade plants is often yellowing leaves which later either shrivel up or drop off.
As succulents, jade plants are very vulnerable to over-watering. The leaves of a jade plant that is kept in water-logged soil will yellow and drop off. Over-watering also causes root rot that can spread to the main stem and the branches and kill the whole plant. Only water a jade plant when the top inch of its soil has dried out completely and never leave it standing in a dish of water. If the bottom leaves of your jade plant are yellowing and then shriveling, it is a sign that it needs more water.
Jade plants that are moved often shed their older leaves, especially if their new location receives less light. Indoor plants will also shed leaves at the start of winter due to a drop in light levels. Jade plants kept on a sunny windowsill should not be left touching the glass as the leaves will scorch. Keep jade plants in the brightest available spot in the home, such as a south-facing windowsill, to prevent leaf loss.
Jade plants are occasionally infested with spider mites, which cause the undersides of the leaves to become mottled with yellow. Treat spider mites by misting your plant every day with water. If the infestation persists treat them with a spray based on horticultural oil.
Jade plants require fertilization during the warmer months of the year when they add new growth. Under-fertilized plants often lose their bottom leaves and produce small new leaves. Apply a liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted by 50 percent every month during the warmer months of the year.
Leaf Shine Products
All the leaves on a jade plant that have been treated with leaf shine products will turn yellow and drop off. Provided the plant is healthy, they should regrow within six to eight weeks. Avoid spraying any household chemicals close to a jade plant and never treat them with insecticidal soap-based sprays.
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension; Jade Plant; Karen Russ; 1999
- North Dakota State University; Questions on Jade Plants; Ron Smith
- British Cactus & Succulent Society; Growing Crassula Ovata
- Purdue University Extension; Houseplant Problems; Paul C. Pecknold; 2001
- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Jade Plant; Edward F. Gilman