Can we save my sweet Jade?

JadeBFFSeptember 27, 2012

Hi, my name is Aidan. My best friend is my Jade plant. He is a red-tipped jade. I have had him for under a year, and he was very young when I got him. He started off bright, tough, thick, and succulent, and a few months ago, he started getting skinny and his stems got limp. Most of his leaves have fallen off at one time or another and they get really wrinkly.

He had started getting better about two months ago when I transferred him from my room (no windows) to full sunlight, surrounded by a few other potted plants. I think that he had gotten spider mites in my room, which he no longer shows any signs of. No white residue or anything.

Now his stems are again limp, and leaves again falling off. He keeps getting tiny little leaf clusters growing out of his broken stem sites, though. They are fresh and succulent. Does this mean that my sweet Jade has a good chance, if we help him out?

I feel bad for buying a plant that I had no experience growing, but he's my best friend and I will do everything in my power to educate myself on succulent care to help take care of him. I really love him and want to see him in my family for many, many years to come.

Thank you,


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These are his new baby leaves

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:18PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Get it out of that mix and into something porous and fast-draining.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:45PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

The mix looks very wet. Have you checked the roots at all? You should repot it into a grittier free draining mix like greenman28 said.

When you repot the plant make sure to clean off the roots to free all of that dirt to let the roots breath.

Good luck with your Jade, and let us know how the roots look.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 4:44PM
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silentsurfer(6A OH)

...if people could just understand the relationship between watering, and soil composition.... and mind the Entire container contents...

best friends let friends Drink and Dry :)~

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 9:52AM
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"Posted by silentsurfer 6A OH (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 29, 12 at 9:52

...if people could just understand the relationship between watering, and soil composition.... and mind the Entire container contents...

best friends let friends Drink and Dry :)~"

Perhaps you could offer this person some useful information instead of a remark like this! Everyone has to learn and it takes time.
The potting mix needs to be very light and porous and allow fast draining. I use a mix that is called Nature's Cactus Mix by Sun Gro Horticulture. The water runs almost right through it when I water. I will set the pot in a saucer and top water until it runs though and then let it sit in the water for a few hours and then drain. I never water until the leaves start to shrivel and it takes a few days after watering for the leaves to plump up. Been doing this for over 60 years. I also insert a wooden chop stick in the pot just to test the soil moisture for and added measure.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 12:43PM
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silentsurfer(6A OH)

what? its simple, concise, and topically pertinent..?
but your probably right,,

Aidan, my apologies sir,, i really gotta keep that sarcasm in check...
I didnt intend that to sound condescending,, the keyword is DRY.

while im not really in an position to give the advice that (some) here are better able to,
it does (appear) that the plant in question may be over-watered.

...from what ive been reading (fairly extensively, here and 'abroad') the 'Jade' plant, crassula ovata, prefers a well draining soil, so that it may dry out and aerate between waterings.

Thats not to say the soil is 'necesarily' in question, unless your watering habits are such as those seen of a typical jade plant that might be purchased from the big box-stores. ie: sitting in a pool of water. (look familiar?) ..bought one myself just earlier today.

Many plant hobbiests, upon seeing signs of distress, will then take to 'evasive' action,
move the plant, water more, start chopping,, (sound familiar?)

Another thing to keep-in-mind (i call the anxiety factor) is that plants dont usually respond overnight (except for the downside swing , then they seem to)

In lieu of (my) advice,, let me ask you some questions that may enable other members to give you specific help, rather than just general 'jade' tips please.

How old are you sir?
Are you familiar with the species and its cultural needs?
What other plants are you maintaining, and do you tend each plant specifically?

Did you allow for any acclimation period whence you moved the plant outdoors?
Did you change its watering habits (in hopes of maybe compensating for its new brighter postion)?

Are you checking the entire rootball/soil for moisure content before watering? How?
Are you aware that cutting (pruning) as well as watering promotes 'new growth'?

Can/are you (get) in the habit of examining your plant(s) to notice subtle signs of health/distress/rebound?

Can you put the plant in a bright (but shadier) position and leave it alone for awhile if need be?

Could we maybe get your 'friend' into that clay pot instead of the plastic one?
What are the avg (day and night) temperatures there in S. Miss about this time of year?

Heres what i (think).
You moved the plant, it shocked it (somewhat, however mildly or severely)
you started to over-water it. It began to rot, you started chopping off the 'dead'.

Heres what i would do (based on your description and pics)
Pull the plant from its pot, and see exactly whats going on down there, maybe even leave it sit out exposed for awhile, but out of direct sunlight, untill we see whats going on.

Consider repotting the plant (not TODAY) into a more suitable soil/mix, and using the clay container. ...adjust your watering habits if need be.

Its hard for me/us to 'know' that your overwatering simply based on the picture, sure it looks wet, as would any plant pic thats just been watered thoroughly (as they should be)
But how often is it getting that good soaking? i cant say from here...
hope this helps some, i'll peek back, unless youd rather i dint? lol

btw dont feel bad, most people can grow jades without any 'experience', and you did for Mnths apparently,, things happen sometimes with plants (just like people) and the best we can do is try and have a little understanding, and educate ourselves, asking here, for help and advice from more experienced growers was a good step, and shows your concern, even if you have to put up with the occasional 'quips' of 'casual' members (like me) during the process, who may be just trying to throw a little levity out there,,
Yea, i wanna help, but i wanna have fun too (tho not at your expense), its a forum for cripes-sake! ..and ive seen the 'pro's' who'll likely chime-in, your in good hands if we keep this thread up top.
I dont think you were offended really, were ya? i think its just Ron, maybe,, but i aint mad-at-em. heck i got a cpl jades too, bought one just today as wet lookin as yours, so,, next week you and Ron can both 'snip' back at me and my dying crasslua, hows that sound!? :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 1:05AM
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I just want to say that I think it's great how you answered now...I realize from your very first post here on GW that you have sense of humor & sometimes your funny remarks are just a bit sarcastic - nothing really bad, especially that you actually can make fun of yourself too.
Brand new members are sometimes 'distraught' about their plants, sometimes it's a first plant for them and have no idea what to do, and think that they have to water more or fertilize. I think they are desperate for instant fix - we all have been there sometime, right?

If they get respond that is very short & perhaps bit sarcastic (even if correct in nutshell), they may get wrong impression, maybe even get scared off.

Ron was right, and you did the right thing in posting back & appologize.
Some would get offended by Ron's remark & fight back, you didn't, you rather explained yourself. That is good.
(Have seen some offended & unnecessary exchange would take place, really not good.)
Anyway, that's all I wanted to say...


Hope you are still around, there is some good advice already given.
I can't offer anything else, just would try to keep it much drier than it looks.
Jade cuttings are usually left to callus over for days even weeks or months before putting into very free draining mix. That shows you that plant doesn't need very frequent watering. So if it was in too wet soil (either from very freequent watering and/or too much rain), I would take it out & let air-dry, trim off roots that seems to be mushy or dead, and repot into better soil mix. If you do that, make sure you get rid of the all old soil around the roots.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:42AM
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It has been one year, and I have spent hundreds of dollars trying to help this baby, but it has only gotten progressively worse. I don't know what to do anymore. I've gone to dozens of plant nurseries and asked for advice and no one care. My girlfriend and I have don't everything that we can. Jade just can't suffer anymore.

I have bought books, watched every video on the internet, have bought every type of soil, tried everything. This beautiful plant has been tortured and I'm completely at fault. Is there anyone that I could send Jade to that genuinely loves plants as living beings and can help him? I don't want to accept that he is too far gone, because until four weeks ago, he was still sprouting baby leaves, but now all of his leaves are gone, and his last leaf turned brown and shriveled this morning. Yesterday, it was at least 50% green.

I love this baby and he can't suffer anymore. It doesn't make sense to me

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 7:00PM
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I have four little balls of black roots, one centimeter of brown stem, and one shriveled leaf left.

Is there ANY hope?

I'm willing to do anything to save this precious plant. We have already spent so much money and are effectively in debt, so adding more debt won't hurt at this point. We will order anything that we have to order to help Jade.

I will upload pictures soon. They are from my phone and the only way to get them is to email them from my phone to my email address, and I've been waiting fifteen minutes for them to come ot my inbox, but they haven't yet.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 7:20PM
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I didn't think your answer was anything but funny, but our Internewebus scolds have to exercise sometimes. Your response, particularly the second, was great.


I can't help myself sometimes - sorry, I'm sorry.


Yup, sounds dead, but pictures will confirm.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:37PM
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