The jade plant, also known as Crassula Ovata, (money tree or lucky tree) is one of the easiest rainforest variants to go with any indoor setup.
With its succulent, oval leaves, and bluish-green edges. But it’s also the easiest to perish as it requires less water for growth and maintenance. Thus making it vulnerable to excessive watering (Overwatering).
The result is a wilting plant that gives off a foul smell along with yellowish-brown stems and leaves that’ll make your space very uncomfortable.
Lucky for you, there’s no need to dispose of weeks and weeks of hard work, as there are fixes or methods of reviving your jade plant from any level of damage.
Here are some suggestions…
Improving the soil should be your first action. And you can do this by draining the waterlogged soil to an acceptable level of moisture, removing affected parts (rotten roots & dying leaves) Or you can simply repot the plant. But if all fails, then you have no choice but to propagate the leaves and cutting of the jade plant.
Underwatered vs Overwatered Jade Plant
The only thing worse than a disease is being diagnosed with the wrong one. Plants like Crassula Ovata tend to fall victim to the wrong diagnosis due to similar symptoms that appear when Overwatered and Underwatered.
For instance, both Underwatered and Overwatered Jade plants have yellow leaves, soft leaves, leaves that fall off, and dry leaves as well. With all these symptoms, it’s really hard to tell which your plant is suffering from. Isn’t it?
But there’s a way you can tell the difference…
And much of the detection should begin and end in the soil. For instance, if your plant gives off yellow leaves which are soft or dry enough to fall off, check the soil.
Because it could be waterlogged or dry. If waterlogged then your jade plant is suffering from Overwatering. If dry then it could be suffering from underwatering.
A more precise way to detect Overwatering is in the roots. A rotting one is caused by excessive water supply, while a dehydrated one is caused by very low or no water supply at all.
Signs of Overwatered Jade Plant
The Overwatered Jade plant gives lots of signs to which one must not ignore. Given the jade plant is a fragile specimen and it has signs that depict the severity of the problem (being Overwatered).
Read to understand how the signs come up and how severe the situation is. So you can tackle the issue effectively:
Brown Spots on Leaves
When your jade plant has brown spots on the underside of its foliage it indicates your plant is experiencing edema. Which means it’s taking up more water from the soil than it needs.
This causes excess water to enter the leaves and in turn, the foliage begins to swell up. At some point, part of the swollen leaves will be engorged as well. These parts turn brown. Luckily this is a mild stage of over-watering.
Jade Plant Leaves Drooping
When you Overwater your jade plant, its root begins to weaken due to the excess workload. The root in such a situation could end up swelling and then rotting. Thus preventing proper flow of water to the plant and the leaves.
If the leaves can’t enjoy proper water flow then they’ll begin to appear weak and deflated instead of firm or juicy. At this point, the plant becomes more of an eye-sore than an improvement of your room’s style.
Jade Plant Leaves Pale and Limp
When your plant’s foliage becomes pale and limp it could be due to Overwatering. How? When the jade plant becomes pale, it’s due to an inadequate supply of nutrients from the roots to the leaves.
The cause is usually bad soil composition, Improper application of fertilizers and excess water affecting the plight of the fertilizers you applied.
This latter is possible, as the waterlogged soil becomes less absorbent than when it’s a bit dry. So, the result is the fertilizer being ineffective.
Thus preventing the leaves from absorbing the nutrients it needs like magnesium (makes the plant greener) and calcium (makes the plant strong). At this point your jade foliage will be left looking pale and weak.
Excess watering can cause your jade’s roots to rot. How? If you don’t wait for the soil to dry off, the moisture will build up over time until the soil becomes water-logged. If waterlogged the root will be overwhelmed and it can end up swelling till it spoils.
Any rotten root should be removed as quickly as possible. If not, you’d risk affecting other roots, attracting diseases, or pests. The rot also spreads to stems and eventually the stem broke off from the plant.
Mold Growing on Soil
That fungus-like substance (mold) on the soil is another sign of overwatering. As it occurs when the soil is waterlogged and there’s little to no airflow. Thus causing the soil to ferment. Such a sign occurs when the soil is in a severe stage of overwatering.
When you overwater the leaves of your jade plant, the root begins to swell. Over time the root will rot. And in turn, there will be an improper flow of water to the plant.
This leads to a lack of ample water and nutrients for the leaves. Thus causing them to appear mushy instead of firm and succulent.
Yellowing of Leaves
This sign indicates your jade plant is being Overwatered. Although, it can also indicate your plant is underwatered. So to confirm if it’s Overwatering, you should check for swollen or rotten roots.
As they can’t absorb water from the soil. Parts of the jade plant such as the leaves begin to have yellow/brown Spots on its underside. And the yellowing starts from the top of the plant.
Leaves Falling Off
It’s natural for succulent plants to shed leaves, as leaves wilt and die naturally. But when it persists you should be concerned as it could be a sign of Overwatering.
How? If the soil is waterlogged then the roots will swell up and then get rotten. The result will be less water getting to the leaves. The leaves then shrivel up and fall.
How to Revive Overwatered Jade Plant
As you read on I’m going to put you through a comprehensive step-by-step process on how to effectively revive your jade plant in all stages. From mildly Overwatered to severally Overwatered.
How to Save Mildly Overwatered Jade Plant
A mildly Overwatered Jade plant is very easy to revive. As it’s only a preemptive warning for what is coming. Here are the steps to Revive a mildly overwatered jade plant:
Dry up the soil
The easiest way to Revive your overwatered jade plant is to leave the soil out to dry. As moisture in the soil builds up because the roots of the jade plant which requires less water would be slow at absorbing water from the soil. This indirectly causes the soil to be waterlogged and damages the root in the process.
The best solution would be to drain the soil dry, that way the roots can absorb water a lot readily. Here are steps to follow:
- Make sure the pot has a drain hole for releasing excess water
- Remove the saucer below your potted jade plant, so that the soil won’t get water longed from your excessive watering
- If the problem persists, take your jade plant along with the soil out of the pot. Then place it on porous equipment like a grill for complete drying and draining.
- After following these steps your jade plants should be healthy again. With the leaves succulent, firm, and green.
How to Save a Severely Overwatered Jade Plant
If your jade plant is severely damaged from Overwatering, here are various techniques to save it:
Cut Off Affected Parts of The Plant
Overwatering your jade plant causes part of it to get damaged. And the said damage starts from the roots. As they’ll swell up and rot due to excess water in the soil.
From there on, the leaves will begin to lose water, change color, and probably die due to Improper supply. As the plant tries to keep its healthier parts healthy.
To prevent further damage, you should follow these steps:
- Prepare your pruning kit by sterilizing it
- Gently uproot your jade plant from the pot
- Wash the root section of your plant down with tap water
- Look for swollen and rotten (smelly) roots
- Cut the swollen rotten roots and dispose of them
- Cut off dead or dying leaves as well, so that new ones can grow
- Repot the plant
Repot the Plant
The Potted soil can be heavily damaged from being waterlogged. As they can become so saturated that they lose vital nutrients that should make them compatible with your jade plant.
The best solution for such a problem is to perform total repotting of the jade plant. Here are steps to follow:
- Gently uproot your jade plant from its old pot, and then wash the roots down with tap water over your garden sink.
- Take this opportunity to get rid of swollen and rotten roots with a sterilized pruning kit.
- Wash up the pot or replace it with a better pot made of material that either holds water (clay pot). Given the plant requires less watering.
- Get a neutral or slightly acidic soil mix, so that excess water can drain easily. If your pot is made with an all-purpose material then add some perlite to the mix. To ensure easy draining.
- Plant the jade back into the pot.
When you’ve done everything and nothing seems to work, then try propagating from leaves and stems. Here’s how to propagate cuttings from your jade plant:
Step One: Take Healthy Pieces from your Dying Jade Plant
Now that your former jade plant doesn’t seem to respond well to other revival treatments, then it’s best to cut out healthy pieces of the plant. Such as the leaves and stem cuttings.
Make sure to cut out a handful of them. They must be 2-3 inches and should have at least 2 leaves on each stem cutting.
Note: make sure the inside of the stem and leaves is still green (it’s should have signs of healthiness)
Step Two: Prepare the Perfect Conditions
Your stems and leaves can’t grow under just any conditions. Here’s what you are to seek to attain the ideal condition for easy propagation:
- Well-drained and moist soil
- Pot size that matches the jade plants rooting capacity
- Put the potted stems and cuttings in a warm environment
- There should be direct sunlight
- Use rooting hormones (to speed up the growth of roots)
Bonus Step: Let It Bloom White Flowers
If you want to improve the ornamental value of your jade plant, take this opportunity to make the cuttings bloom flowers.
You can do this by keeping your plant in a cool environment which will cause it to hold backwater. So during early spring and winter, beautiful flowers will sprout out.
How to Water Jade Plant
The jade plant is a succulent variant, which means it retains a lot of water. So the rules are quite different. Especially with the fact it can go several days without moisture in the soil outdoors. And possibly more days when potted and placed in a controlled environment (indoors).
According to our research, the jade plant should be watered roughly every 7-14 days. Or it could be less than 7 days and it can be much more, depending on the conditions.
Factors Affecting Water Frequency
In the ideal conditions as I stated before, the jade plant can go 7-14 days. But these numbers can change and several factors affect the time range:
This is a major factor that affects watering frequency. So it’s best to keep note of your jade plants’ surrounding temperature to keep a better watering schedule.
For instance, during the growing season water tends to evaporate more and it is done at a quicker pace than during the dormant season.
The active growing season consists of summer and early spring. Where the temperature soars up like nobody’s business. This period will require more frequent watering of your jade plant.
As moisture from the soil evaporates easily due to high temperatures. In this period, the jade plant can withstand between 65-75°F(18-24°C). This will give you roughly between a 5 to 7 days watering interval. If it gets higher, the days reduce.
It’s a different story for the dormant season which consists of winter and autumn. During this time, moisture tends to stay in the soil longer.
So there’s ample water in the soil for your plant’s growth and maintenance after a single watering session. Due to this fact, your jade plant should be water once or twice a month because it takes quite a while for the soil to get dry.
Another factor that affects the jade plant is the level of moisture in the room. If the indoor atmosphere is quite moist then the plant will require more days before the soil gets dry enough to water again.
The opposite is the case if the atmosphere happens to be too dry. This leaves your jade plant vulnerable to aggressive transpiration. Thus making your watering schedule very short.
The material in which the pot is made does affect the frequency of watering a jade plant. As the pot could either help with retaining water (clay pots) or releasing (concrete pots).
For instance, your jade plant could take longer to dry if the clay pot is being used due to its water-holding property. So you should expect to water your plant at least 6 days after the last session.
This is different for concrete pots as they help to absorb water out of the soil. The result is shorter days before the next watering session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Kind of Water Does Jade Plant Need?
A: Like every other plant, the best is rainwater. So anything close to rainwater should suffice. Just like distilled water. Although keep your plant far away from tap water, as it would react negatively to its high mineral content. Or any water with salt.
Q: When to Water Jade Plant After Repotting?
A: After Repotting your jade plant, it’s best to wait for at most a week. Especially when you’re attempting to Revive your jade plant from Overwatering. This should give any weak root enough time to fully heal. Then wait to make sure the soil is dry enough at the top level or 2-3 inches deep from the top level.
Q: Do you water from the top or the bottom?
A: When you water your jade plant from the top, the succulent leaves risk getting rotten. As the water that doesn’t run off sticks on the leaves. This leads to scars on the leaves.
So the best way to water your plant is from the bottom. Because when you soak the soil directly, the plant enjoys water faster because it’s getting to the root. And it keeps the root from growing above the soil.
Your jade plant like any other succulent variant has a high chance of getting Overwatered. So utmost care is recommended to keep your favorite indoor plant in shape for many years to come.
To ensure this, I’ve empowered you with ample information that touches everything you need to know about succulent jade plants and how to handle them.
By now you should be aware of the signs that indicate Overwatering, how to respond to them, and even how to Revive your jade plant if all hope is lost.
Also, you should know how to take care of your jade plant and water it appropriately to avoid both overwatering and underwatering.