The Jade plant has become very popular and can be found in many homes. There are several varieties of Jade plants, but the most popular one is the Crassula ovata.
In addition, many cultures believe a Jade plant to be a symbol of prosperity (hence the name money plant, good luck, or friendship).
One of the reasons Jade plants are popular is that they are so easy to grow. Further, these plants don’t require much light, nor do they need a lot of water.
They also thrive in varying temperatures (warmer temperatures in particular).
While every plant loses some leaves as part of its growth, you’ll know something is wrong when your Jade plant starts to lose its leaves rapidly.
There are several reasons why your plant is losing its leaves. In this article, we will explore each of these reasons and provide a solution in order to fix your jade plant dropping leaves.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Is Your Jade Plant Dropping Leaves?
- 2 FAQ
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 References
Why Is Your Jade Plant Dropping Leaves?
There can be several factors causing the leaves to drop.
Some simple causes are over-watering leading to oversaturated soil, excessive light (or insufficient light), using too much fertilizer, using leaf shine products, or an insect infestation causing disease in the plant.
We will go over each of these causes and give some advice on how to resolve them.
Overwatering and Underwatering Jade Plants
Overwatering (or under-watering) is never good for any houseplant. Overwatering will make the soil too moist for the plant, ultimately leading to issues such as root rot.
Once root rot sets in, you have an even more serious problem.
When you water the plant, be sure that the pot has a drainage hole. Excess moisture can drain away this way, leaving your soil semi-moist and not drenched or in standing water.
You’ll want to make sure that the soil feels dry before watering your Jade plant. Also, it helps if the temperature around the plant is a little warm, that way, some of the water can evaporate away.
Underwatering is another issue to be aware of. If you are not watering the plants, the soil dries up, and you will see leaves falling.
Optimum Season to Water Your Jade Plant
The period from March through October is when Jade plants actively grow. Therefore, you should water your plant more frequently during this period and ensure the soil is relatively moist.
In contrast, during cold temperatures, Jade plants go dormant and need to be watered less.
However, with that said, don’t forget to keep up with a regular watering schedule so your plant doesn’t completely dry out.
Not Using the Right Potting Mix
The soil must be able to drain excess water. Therefore, avoid using a potting mix with rock chips, sand, and other added heavy materials, which can trap water and prevent proper drainage.
Instead, we suggest using a mix that contains some organic matter, such as coconut coir or peat moss, for breathability.
We suggest this organic potting soil as we have used this for our Jade plants, and they seem to love it because it’s well-draining and perfectly balanced for succulents.
- Imported from Canada, contains 100% organic ingredients, light-weight soil,...
- The soil contains 75% natural substrate and 25% perlite, Our formula can...
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A quick note, your plant will thrive in soil that is around a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5.
Using a Pot Without Drainage Holes
Your pot needs to have a drainage hole for excess water to drain. It also needs to be large enough so that the plant’s roots have enough space.
If the pot has poor drainage, this could result in root rot. It also gives a perfect environment for insects and bacteria to grow in the soil.
If you’re looking for a pot, we suggest using a self-watering pot. We particularly like this self-watering pot because it’s super easy to use, and you don’t have to worry about watering your plant daily.
- SELF-WATERING, 2-WEEKS+ DEEP RESERVOIR: No more troublesome wicks that clog...
- SELF-AERATING, HIGH DRAINAGE, MINIMIZE ROOT ROT: No need to keep poking...
- WATER FROM THE BOTTOM + NO MORE OVERFLOW: Each planter comes with a clip-on...
Insects and Diseases
Insects and pests such as mealybugs or spider mites are indirect causes of leaf drop.
When there is an infestation, this causes the plant to become more susceptible to disease and possibly root rot. Luckily, there are simple solutions to eradicate pests.
To get rid of insects, try to go natural first and avoid insecticidal soaps. Wipe the bugs from your plant and apply a thin layer of rubbing alcohol with a paintbrush or cotton ball dipped in the rubbing alcohol.
If this method fails, then use a neem oil-based insecticide. We recommend this Neem oil insecticide as it is pre-mixed and ready to go. More importantly, it has been very effective for us as we don’t see any spider mites on any of our plants.
- MULTI-PURPOSE BUG KILLER - Bonide Neem Oil is a perfect pest control...
- READY TO USE - This product is conveniently ready to use when it arrives....
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You can fertilize your Jade plant occasionally. But remember, a succulent plant, in general, does not need much.
If you give your plant too much fertilizer, it may cause an imbalance in the growth cycle, causing leaf drop.
If you decide to add fertilizer, use a specific fertilizer designed for succulents or any balanced houseplant fertilizer.
As for timing, it’s best to feed your Jade plant once a month during its growth phase from April through September.
Using Chemicals on Your Plant
Another thing to look at if you notice your Jade plant losing leaves is the use of chemicals.
For example, if you are shining your plant with leaf shine products, this may be the culprit that causes leaf drop in your Jade plant.
As your plant ages, it will naturally drop older leaves. The dropping leaves is a natural process as your plant sheds its old leaves and grows new ones.
Just make sure your plant is not dropping its leaves too rapidly.
Another alternative is to propagate your Jade plant. This way you can expand your plant collection and make more Jade plants. You can even bonsai your Jade plant.
What Do You Do When The Jade Plant Has Root Rot?
If you find that your Jade plant is dropping leaves in large quantities, it may have root rot. Remove the plant from the pot immediately.
Afterward, wash and check the soil and then inspect the root system to see if there is any rotting. Remove the damaged and rotted roots by cutting them off.
You can either clean the plant’s pot and then repot it into the old pot or replant it into a new clean pot.
Should I Mist A Jade Plant?
No. Jade plants are succulent plants, which naturally thrive in dry habitats. If you try to mist your Jade plant, it could result in rot or mildew.
Should I Plant My Jade Plant In A Small Pot?
Jade plants grow very slow. However, it will become heavier as it grows due to the new shoots, leaves, and stems getting thicker.
Therefore, to reduce the number of times you repot, pick a nice-looking large ceramic pot with a drainage hole.
How Do I Know If My Jade Plant Has Developed Root Rot?
Jade plant leaves may shed or have deformed leaves. The leaves will also start to turn yellow and will feel squishy.
The stem starts wrinkling, and you will notice soft branches. You may have to repot your Jade plant and inspect the roots for any signs of rotting.
What Is The Best Temperature For My Jade Plant?
Jade plants thrive in temperatures ranging from 55 to 75 °F (13 and 24 °C). Therefore, it’s best to provide more water in warmer temperatures.
It goes without saying that keeping your plants out in freezing temperatures could result in leaf loss, or the frost could potentially kill the plant.
Do Jade Plants Like Direct Sunlight?
Jade plants love bright light and southern exposure.
It is recommended to expose your Jade plant to enough light – preferably indirect natural light (or possibly an artificial light source in the winter).
Note do not expose your Jade plant to direct sun for a few hours – this may cause leaf scorch.
Also, they don’t particularly like a quick transition from low-light areas into brighter light.
So if you want to move your plant, transition your plant slowly by increasing your Jade plant’s time in the new location.
- How To Save Your Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant) From Dying
- Basic Care Tips for a Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata)
Hopefully, you will never have the issues that we have listed above. However, if you see your Jade plant losing its leaves rapidly, go down the list to see if any of the issues are the cause.
Let us know if you have any questions or how you solved your Jade plant’s leaf drop issues below in the comments.
- University of Connecticut Home & Garden Education Center; Lady Bug Blog Weekly, Jade Plants
- Berry College – Biology Department’s Biology Teaching Greenhouse, Collection of Interesting Educational Plant Specimens, Jade Plant
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.