Jade Plant Leaves

elsa57June 16, 2014

I've had a Jade plant for a number of years and kept it in the same place. I only water it when the soil has gone very dry. At the moment the leaves have gone very soft, limp and dull looking, where before they were shiny and very full. Is this something I've done or is the there something wrong with the plant.? I would be grateful for any help.

Thank you very much

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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

A picture is helpful. I understand your care hasn't changed but it sounds like it needs more water or it has gotten so dried out that when you watered the roots rotted. Water it a bit more frequently and see what happens. If it perks up, you'll have your answer. If not, time to check the roots and maybe take a cutting to save it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:10PM
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Sounds like lack of water, which can be from, well, lack of watering, but also from being root bound, or rotted roots. Root rot comes from over watering, but usually you'll have some yellowing leaves to tell you so. If it's root bound, you may lack enough soil to allow sufficient uptake of water by the roots, and as mentioned, dry soil will repel water too.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:47PM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

What kind of soil is it in?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 5:51PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I've found that people are afraid to water their succulents with a plentiful drench on watering day, giving them little sips instead.

Jade and even cacti will absolutely wilt when this type of under watering occurs chronically. So, in those cases, watering more frequently isn't the answer, but using lots of water at a time....infrequently.

Hopefully, Elsa will let us know when this plant was last repotted, what kind of potting medium was used, and even the type of container.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 6:09PM
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Here is a picture of the jade plant, you can see how dull the leaves are, and the soil I've planted it in is ordinary compost.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:08AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

In my younger days, I lost a few jade in peat based soil because the peat became hydrophobic and root bound. It didn't matter how much I watered, the water never got to the roots.
If it were my plant, I'd repot it into a free draining soil, and make sure the pot has good drainage. I also keep my jades outside during the summer.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:49AM
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Thanks Rob, I've never thought about putting the plant outside in the summer, in saying that our summers are not like your summers in Ohio, I'm from Wales UK and for us to get some sun its a miracle. I will still repot it though.

Thanks for the advice

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:35AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

As many of us who grow jade plants there will be that many ways to cultivate them. Now question, some cultural methods are more "sound" than others, but we all have to determine what works best for our location and conditions; and even this must change from time to time. We don't know the location of your plant and therefore can't say for certain what you should or shouldn't do. As I have stated, as well as others, your plant may not be getting enough water. Whether this is due to your watering habits, soil not taking up the water, rotted roots, etc, you'll have to continue trying different things to establish the cause. As an example, the jade pictured has been in this 16" pot for years. The soil is hard and a mass of roots. It was in a 14" clay pot for more than 20 years. Because of the size and weight, I wanted to put it plastic to make moving it easier for me. It summers outside but I have to move it back indoors for the winter; it's too large for my greenhouse. When I transplanted it, I had to use a hammer to break the pot and found this massive root ball. There was nothing to be done but drop it into the larger pot and fill in the sides!!!! During the winter, I water maybe once a month and sometimes it dries more quickly than I know. The leaves get soft telling me I have to soak it. This is difficult indoors at best for such a large plant.. it's not as though I can pick up and take it to the kitchen sink! The only way to do this is to water slowly with small amounts to get the root ball wet without the water just running through. It takes about an hour of repeated watering but by the next day things have firmed up and we are good to go.

Having said all of this, your plant looks fine. IMHO, if you want it to have a nice shape, you should start to whack it back. It does need more light as the branches appear to be elongating (etiolate) as they reach for the light. This will cause the cut ends to branch and keep a tighter canopy. Try to find a more sunny location but don't place it out straight away or it will burn. This is something that takes a week or more as you gradually introduce it to increasing light.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:41AM
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Thanks bikerdoc everything you said there made a lot of sense to me. When I think back now I had a jade plant before and kept it in the conservatory and it grew very healthy for over 15 years and then flowered and died, this one I been keeping in the kitchen. So I've moved it to see what happens. thank you very much for such a detailed reply.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:19PM
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