Jade plant (Crassula argenta) also referred to Jade tree is grown an indoor houseplant that is easy to care for and can last for many years. It can also be grown outdoors in frost-free areas where it can get to 8 feet or more.
Jade plants can be grown in full sun or shade. When grown in full sun it will produce compact bushy stems and reddish leaf tips. In shade, the plant will develop spindly growth. The leaves will be dark green and stems can become leggy.
When given short days and dry, cool growing conditions, Jade plant will bloom in late winter with slightly fragrant clustered flowers.
Water the plant sparingly. Jade is one of those plants that you can forget to water for a month or more and the plant will still look good. In fact, it has been known to survive without water for 6 months or more but if kept too dry, it will shrink, shrivel and loose some of its leaves.
Let the soil dry out between watering. Water less in winter and in humid weather as too much water can lead to root rot.
Jade is a succulent plant that needs soil that drains quickly. Plant in cactus soil, or amend a good houseplant soil with 1/3 perlite, pumice or coarse sand.
Best time to transplant is in the summer during warm dry weather. Don’t water the plant before or after transplanting. This will give the plant time to heal any damaged roots and avoid rot.
The plant is not a heavy feeder but fertilizer will make a difference in how well and fast will grow. Feed it when it is actively growing with a 10-20-20 mix every 2-3 months.
Keep the plant cool in winter (55F) during their dormant period.
You can prune to shape the plant or if it becomes leggy. Cut it back above a ring on the stem up to a set of leaves. New growth will emerge from the “ringed” area.
New plants can be easily rooted from stem cuttings or single leaves in the spring. Take a 5-10″ cutting, remove lower leaves so that you have a 1-2″ base stem and let the cutting dry for 2-7 days (depending on humidity) on your kitchen counter. This allows the cut to callus (scab over) which will promote root growth. Place the cutting 1-1 1/2″ deep into moistened sandy soil mix and keep the soil slightly dry until it sends out new roots. Stem cuttings can also be rooted in water.
You can also try leaf propagation. Take a single leaf from an active growing stem, allow it to dry for a few days and then stick it in soil at a 30 degree angle just enough to cover the leaf end. It should root in several weeks.
If you had any leaf drop, sometimes you can find tiny new plants growing at the base of the mother plant.
A healthy Jade plant has little problems. An overwatered plant can be susceptible to Mealy bugs, rot and gray mold.