Updated April 8, 2022 by Mark Marino
Jade plants are among the most popular indoor house plants because they’re beautiful and easy to care for. Known for their vibrant green oval-shaped leaves, jade plants have long been associated with good luck, which is why some people continue to call it the ‘money plant’ or ‘money tree.’ These tropical plants, when grown indoors, can enliven any area of your home provided they get enough bright light to thrive. Here, we’ll explore how to grow jade plants indoors for the best results.
What Is a Jade Plant?
Jade plants (crassula ovata) are succulent plants that feature woody stems and fleshy green leaves. Jade plants can grow three feet indoors or even taller given the ideal growing conditions. This lucky plant is known for its longevity, so it’s not uncommon for them to be passed down from one generation to another. Some jade plants may live up to 70 years.
Jade plants are native to South Africa where they’re considered low-maintenance drought tolerant plants. They require a low level of care and can survive most indoor conditions, including indirect sunlight and little water. As jade plants mature, they produce small pink or white star-shaped flowers in winter. However, the jade plant is especially known for its waxy jade leaves that grow in opposing pairs all along the plant’s branches.
How to Grow a Jade Plant Indoors
A normal jade plant grows slowly (about two inches each year) so even when delivering optimum care for your plant, don’t expect shocking growth; instead, a happy jade plant will feature thick fleshy foliage that is firm to the touch and a deep green hue. Unhealthy plants may exhibit yellowish leaves, which could indicate root rot or fungal growth, clear signs of overwatering. Keep in mind that jade plants are toxic, so be sure they’re grown out of reach of children and pets.
Because jade plants can grow top-heavy over time, it’s important to choose a pot with a strong, wide base. Ceramic pots are ideal for growing jade plants. However, no matter what pot you choose for your jade plant, be sure that it allows for excellent drainage. Jade plants cannot tolerate excessive moisture. A small pot may be ideal for young plants, but as your jade plant matures, you may need to transfer it to a pot with a wide base.
Jade plants prefer bright indirect light. A south-facing window with plenty of bright light is ideal to propagate jade plants. However, keep in mind that too much direct sunlight is not ideal for young jade plants. Prolonged exposure to full sun can also cause jade leaves to develop red tips. Plan to allow your jade plant at least four hours of indirect sunlight for best-growing results.
While jade plants adapt to nearly any potting mix, it’s best to choose a potting mix that is specifically designed for succulent plants. You should also consider adding perlite to your potting mix to help promote good drainage. If you use an all-purpose potting mix, you should definitely include perlite to help reduce the risk for excess moisture-related conditions like root rot.
Always remember that excessive water is the enemy of the jade plant. Overwatering can lead to fungal growth. Jade plants store water in their fleshy leaves. If the leaves feel squishy instead of firm, you’re overwatering them. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of root rot, so always ensure that your potting soil is well-draining. You can water your jade plants slightly more in spring and summer during their growing season.
Jade plants adapt well to indoor temperatures. You may want to keep the plant slightly cooler at night and during the winter season. If jade plants are too cold, they will drop their leaves. If your plant is losing leaves, move it to a warmer location.
You can use a slow-release fertilizer as part of your jade plant care routine during the spring and summer growing season. It’s not necessary to feed your jade plants during the dormant season.
How to Care for Indoor Jade Plants
Follow the care tips listed above to support the health of your jade plant. A normal jade plant will not have leaf spots or brown spots. Again, the leaves will be firm but not squishy. Be sure to watch out for signs of pest infestations associated with spider mites or mealy bugs. If you spot these pests, you can use a damp cloth or cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe away the bugs.
Jade Plant Care FAQs
Where should you put a jade plant in your house?
Keep your jade plant in a room with plenty of bright light. Jade plants prefer six hours of indirect sunlight. Avoid full sun exposure.
Can jade plants survive without sunlight?
Jade plants require sunlight to survive. They tolerate indirect sunlight best.
Can a jade plant be kept indoors?
Yes, jade plants, like tropical plants, can thrive indoors when provided with optimum growing conditions.