Jade Plant Dying: How To Save Your Crassula Ovata

Jade plants are succulents that originate from South Africa.

They are beloved by many homeowners as they are easy to take care of and are beautiful plants to add to your home decor.

Jade plants enjoy being in partially shaded sunlight (not direct sun) at the right temperature. This plant can thrive in most indoor environments.

Botanically, jade plants are part of the Crassula genus of plants, with the most common jade plant family named Crassula Ovata.

Some common varieties are the Money Plant, Lemon and Lime, Hummel’s Sunset, Skinny Fingers, and Hobbit and Gollum.

All these previously mentioned plants are part of the Crassula Ovata sub-species of jade plants.

Did you know that there are approximately 200 types of jade plants (Crassula). The name ‘Jade’ plant is derived from the jade-green leaves that are typically teardrop, oval or wedged-shaped.

Related post: Different Jade Plants (Crassula) Varieties with Pictures

But what happens when your jade plant looks like it’s wilting and dying?

In this post, we go through the different signs to look for and how to save and prevent your jade plant from dying.

3 Main Reasons Your Jade Plant is Dying

Jade plant care is simple, but when a jade plant is dying, it is not going to happen overnight.

The process is slow, so it gives you a chance to find the cause.

Various factors may cause a jade plant to die. Primary reasons include overheating, overwatering, and too much direct sun.

When checking to see if you have a dying jade plant, there are three signs to be on the lookout for:

  1. Jade plant branches start to fall off
  2. Wilting and yellowing leaves
  3. Root rot has begun to destroy the root ball

A Jade plant can start withering during the summer heat and when it’s in extreme humidity. Therefore, watering a Jade plant needs to be consistent and even.

Generally speaking, Jade plants have thick branches with shiny and smooth leaves. Except for their shapes, each variety is remarkably similar.

So, when taking care of the plant, you can usually use the same methods as described below.

1. Your Jade Plant’s Branches Are Falling Off

One of the most common signs of a dying jade plant is when the branches start to break off.

Firstly, jade plant leaves will start to droop and go limp, and eventually, the branches will fall.

Excess moisture and overwatering are usually the main causes of this. You’ll need to ensure that your jade plant’s potting soil is not drenched and sitting in water.

In particular, excess water in and around the root system may lead to root rot, which we discuss later.

A simple solution is to let the potting mix dry out a little before watering your Jade plant again.

However, be careful when drying out in the sun; hot temperatures or direct sunlight may burn your Jade plant.

jade plant dying oversunlightPin

Also, note that many people put their plant too close to a window that is in direct sun.

Keep in mind that the window can be very hot. This may lead to the leaves becoming burned.

In contrast, underwatering could also cause the branches to dry out and ultimately fall off.

Other secondary reasons could be the lack of nitrogen in the potting soil, not getting enough bright light, or exposure to cooler temperatures.

Lastly, you have to check if you have a pest or insect infestation. More than likely, you’re dealing with spider mites or mealybugs.

These pests love succulents. You can first try wiping your plant with some rubbing alcohol to kill any visible pests for minor infestations.

However, if there are too many insects, you can spray your plant with an insecticide containing Neem oil.

We particularly like using this Neem oil insecticide. Why? Because it simply works. This insecticide is premixed and ready to use.

Natria 706250A Neem Oil Pest and Disease Control, 24-Ounce, Ready-to-Use (Pack of 2)
  • INSECT KILLER: Controls Aphids, Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Fruit Flies and...
  • DISEASE CONTROL: Fungicide controls Blackspot, Rust, Powdery Mildew, and...
  • USE ON: For use on roses, flowers, fruits, and vegetables

2. Jade Plant Wilting and Leaves are Turning Yellow

Jade plants are like any other succulents in that the leaves are plump and stiff.

When a leaf becomes soft or squishy and breaks with a light touch, it’s a clear indication that your plant is dying.

When you see your jade plant leaves start to wilt and turn yellow, you first need to see if your potting mix is wet.

jade plant dying overwateringPin

As mentioned before, an overwatered potting mix is the most likely cause of wilting plants.

To avoid yellowing the leaves and plants, make sure you never let the plant sit in standing water.

Let the soil completely dry out for a few days before watering again.

If your plant is potted, then you should have drainage holes for the excess water to get out.

Another method to prevent overwatering your jade plant is to grow your plant in a self-watering pot.

We highly recommend this self-watering pot as it’s super easy to use, and you never have to worry about whether you have given enough (or too much) water to your plant.

Unique 10" Self-Watering, Aerating, High Drainage Plant Pot with Deep Saucer (10 Inch,...
  • SELF-WATERING, 2-WEEKS+ DEEP RESERVOIR: No more troublesome wicks that clog...
  • WATER FROM THE BOTTOM + NO MORE OVERFLOW: Each planter comes with a clip-on...

3. Root Rot Has Set In

After watering, the roots may start to rot if the soil remains saturated for a long time. This is called root rot.

Root rot will cause the entire plant to begin dying, leading to rotting roots, leaves, stems, and branches.

Root rot is so serious that it inhibits the plant’s ability to uptake the nutrients it needs.

To avoid root rot, you’ll need to stop watering your plant immediately and take your plant out of the pot.

Then, remove any excess soil and inspect the plant’s roots to see any dead roots.

Clean the roots with tap water and repot the plant in either a clean pot or a completely new pot.

As an aside, in this related post learn how to repot your jade plant.

Make sure you use any specifically designed succulent mixes.

If you don’t have access to any succulent soil, you can combine some potting soil with organic matter like peat moss or organic compost.

Alternatively, we are in love with this succulent potting soil. The reason why is that it’s organic and it drains very well.

A Growing Jade Plant Will Lose Leaves As it Grows

When a Jade plant grows, it may lose its lower leaves. Don’t worry if this happens, as this is a good sign as it’s part of the natural new growth of a jade plant.

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Division of Extension, as the old lower branches die away, it will make room for new leaves to grow. [1]

You can help your jade plant by removing brown, dying leaves. But be careful by pulling them from the plant lightly.

Alternatively, you can propagate a Jade plant by using its stem cuttings when growing a new jade plant.


What is the main cause for the yellowing of Jade plant leaves?

There could be multiple reasons, including pests, weather changes, or not enough sunlight, but the number one reason that jade plants turn yellow is overwatering. The soil should never be soggy. Rather, it should be slightly moist. Drainage holes in the pot are key for any extra water to drain out. 

How do you know your jade plant is sick?

You must first determine the source of the problem. Symptoms include leaves that become droopy, yellow, brown, or transparent and have a soft feel to them. Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the problem, check to see whether you overwatered the plant or look for signs of a pest infestation. Finally, it’s possible that your soil lacks the necessary minerals to keep your jade plant healthy.

Why are the leaves of my jade plants have black dots on them?

Dry water or pests can cause black dots on jade plants. If your plant is infested with pests, wipe the leaves clean with a little rubbing alcohol. Ensure that all pests have been wiped off the area so that they do not attract other pests. However, excessive humidity and overwatering in the winter are the most common causes of black spots on jade plants. When sunlight levels are low, jade plants go into dormancy and do not actively grow in the winter. Therefore, they do not need as much water.


Jade plants are a great plant to have in your home.

Jade plants are beneficial, from absorbing carbon dioxide at night to bringing good luck.

Related post: What Are the Benefits of Growing a Jade Plant?

With a little care, your plant can do very well.

When watering Jade plants, remember not to overwater and have a well-draining system that includes appropriate soil and a well-draining pot.

When you water correctly and keep the pests and insects away, your Jade plant should thrive, allowing you to enjoy its beautiful foliage.


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