Jade Plant Care: Choosing the Right Pot and Soil
Jade Plants grow Big under good conditions
The jade plant (Crassula ovata), known commonly as the money tree or good luck plant, is a tree-like succulent native to South Africa and Mozambique that has become one of the world’s most popular houseplants.
The jade plant is an all-time favorite thanks to its thick tree-like stems and plump oval leaves that may be tinged with red at the tips and edges. It makes an excellent houseplant because it can happily thrive and grow for many years in a pot, and grow to heights of up to three feet indoors. This is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and, when properly cared for, produces small pink or white blossoms during summer.
Select a good pot with excellent drainage
There are several things to consider when choosing the perfect pot for a jade plant. For starters, this plant can have thick, woody stems and plump, voluminous leaves. Although it grows slowly, the plant may become top-heavy after a while, as new shoots and leaves emerge and stems thicken with growth. Additionally, the plant cannot tolerate “wet feet” or water accumulated at the base of the pot, so it is extremely important to provide a pot with proper drainage to prevent this condition, which may lead to root rot. For these reasons, the jade plant does best in a pot that provides a wide, sturdy base to support the weight of the plant as it releases new stems and leaves over time, and one that allows for maximum drainage.
Given these considerations, the best home for a jade plant either a ceramic pot or sturdy plastic pot with great drainage, keeping the soil and roots from becoming too soggy. Assuming you have a free draining mix, either type of pot will keep your plant happy and healthy. The size of the pot should be only slightly larger than the diameter of the plant. So if your new plant were about 4” in diameter, a 5” pot would be suitable for about a year or two.
Choose the right soil for your Jade Plant
The biggest threat to potted jade plants is over-watering, and being planted in the wrong type of potting soil can greatly exacerbate that problem. Moist, water retentive commercial potting mixes are usually bad new for the roots of a succulent such as the jade plant. If the soil retains too much moisture, there is a danger of developing “wet feet,” which can lead to fungus diseases and root rot, causing wilting of the stems and leaves, and black circles at the leaf joints. Nevertheless, the jade plant is a tropical succulent, which is not to be confused with a desert cactus, although cacti may be distant relatives of this plant. The jade plant must be watered regularly and its soil must remain lightly moist at all times, otherwise the plant will begin to shrivel from dehydration. In light of this, the solution is to use the perfect soil that retains just the right amount of moisture for a tropical succulent.
If you want to see your jade plant thrive and grow properly, it is imperative to select a soil blend that drains evenly and thoroughly, with a loose, grainy texture that won’t clump or become soggy. Our Cactus and Succulent Imperial Blend (shown above) is a free draining mix that succulents love. If you're looking to repot a Jade Plant specifically, check out our Jade Plant Imperial Succulent Mix.
Have you seen our Jade Plant starter kits?
Where is the best spot for a potted Jade Plant?
Most jade plants do well in warm, dry indoor conditions, but these plants are not as drought resistant as other succulent species, and if the air is too dry, they may lose moisture from their leaves, causing shriveling and leaf drop. In addition to keeping the soil lightly moist, put your plant in a location where there is good ventilation and a fair amount of humidity. If the air in your home is on the dry side due to your local climate or the use of air conditioning or electric heat, consider using a humidity trays to keep the plant’s leaves hydrated at all times while avoiding the risk of overwatering.The jade plant does best in bright, but indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight may easily burn the leaves and cause dehydration to the plant. A window with filtered sunlight may be ideal. If you are growing your potted jade plant outdoors, you may need to bring it indoors in the winter if temperatures fall below 40°F to protect the plant from cold and frost.
The jade plant does best in bright, but indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight may easily burn the leaves and cause dehydration to the plant. A window with filtered sunlight may be ideal. If you are growing your potted jade plant outdoors, you may need to bring it indoors in the winter if temperatures fall below 40°F to protect the plant from cold and frost.
When should I repot my Jade Plant?
The jade plant actually doesn’t mind being root bound, meaning that the roots become tightly tangled in a circle inside the pot. While this condition cannot be endured forever, you may wait until the plant’s branches and leaves start to look and feel too heavy for the pot before considering a larger home for your jade plant. Typically, a jade plant may stay in its pot for a year, and in some cases, even two years before it needs a new, larger container. Always provide a pot close to the size of the one you are replanting from, to prevent the roots from going into shock. So, for example, from a 4-inch pot you can repot to a 5-inch or 6-inch pot, but not much larger. Even when your plant does not require repotting to move to a larger container, it may be wise to repot in the same pot with a fresh new batch of potting soil, to replenish the nutrients that the plant naturally absorbs from its soil over time. This may be done every six months to a year, depending on how quickly your plant is growing and absorbing soil nutrients.