Jade plants typically die because of excess moisture around the roots brought on by overwatering and moist soil. Because of excessive watering and poorly draining soils, jade plants develop root rot, which causes them to become yellow and droop and look dead.
When jade plants are overwatered or underwatered, they can lose their leaves.
You must mimic some of their growing conditions, with an emphasis on watering with a good soak then allowing the soil to dry out, well-draining soil, and some direct sunlight, in order to revive a dying jade plant (Crassula ovata).
If your jade plant is not growing, losing leaves, becoming yellow, or if the leaves are mushy or appear to be drooping, continue reading.
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Jade Plant Losing Leaves
- Symptoms. Leaf loss on jade plants. Before dropping off, the leaves can develop wrinkles or turn crispy-brown.
- Causes. Drought stress is brought either by underwatering, watering too little, or occasionally by situations when plants are put too close to a heat source indoors or possibly as a result of overwatering. Insufficient sunlight and excessive heat are further significant factors.
The most frequent cause of jade plants losing leaves is drought stress brought on by insufficient watering frequency or insufficient hydration delivery to the roots.
Jade plants frequently lose their lower leaves as they develop, which is a normal process rather than an indication of stress.
You usually have nothing to worry about if the lower leaves of your jade plants are coming off and possibly turning crusty brown.
As the plant grows and produces new leaves higher up the plant, the older leaves at the bottom sometimes die back.
If the brown, decaying leaves at the bottom bother you, you can pick them off the plant, but only if there is little resistance.
In their native habitat of South Africa and Mozambique, jade plants are succulents with specialized adaptations to survive drought conditions with intermittent rainfall, rocky soils, and high temperatures.
However, underwatering or insufficient watering frequency might cause drought stress in the home.
When given insufficient water, jade plants get wrinkled because the stems, leaves, and roots store water.
Jade plants will drop their leaves under drought stress in an effort to conserve water, and this is a symptom of a severe drought.
While someone says that “jade plants do not need much water,” they frequently mean to water the plant gently when, in fact, it likes a good soak followed by a period of dryness.
(To understand how to determine how frequently and how much to water your jade in your climate and according to your conditions, read my post on how to water jade plants.)
Jade Plant Losing Leaves Because of Over Watering or Under Watering?
Underwatered leaves shrivel before coming off, whereas overwatered leaves typically have a mushy texture and can even turn yellow before they fall, making it easy to distinguish between the two causes of leaf loss on your jade plant.
Through the drainage holes, examine the dirt at the pot’s base. Drought stress is a concern if it seems dry, but overwatering is a problem if the soil feels soggy or saturated.
The surface of the soil may feel relatively dry, but saucers, trays, and attractive outer pots can prevent extra water from evaporating, which can lead to soggy soil in the bottom of the plant around the roots.
To avoid root rot, which can cause your leaves to drop off, empty saucers, trays, and outer pots frequently.
Jade plants can survive up to 100 years old with proper care.
How to Revive a Jade Plant that is Losing its Leaves
- The jade plant needs a good bath if it is losing leaves as a result of drought stress. To ensure that the water penetrates the soil well, submerge the pot in a basin of water for 10 minutes. The root ball should be submerged for 10 minutes to let the water to fully absorb so that the roots can suck up the necessary moisture. If the soil is extremely dry, it can often resist water from the surface.
- Always give jade plants a deep bath when watering them. Only the top inch or so of the soil is moistened by frequent, light watering; the moisture does not go to the roots, where it is most required. To make sure the Jade plant is hydrated properly, soak the soil until excess water drains out of the drainage holes in the base.
- Create a reliable watering schedule for Jade plants. Through the drainage hole in the base, feel the soil that is at the bottom of the pot. Delay watering for a few days if the soil feels damp. The ideal time to water is when the soil feels dry to the touch.
- Make sure the jade plant receives some direct sunlight. At least four hours of sun are preferred by jade plants. Expose your jade to more sunlight gradually rather than all at once to avoid burning the leaves and causing them to fall off. For the jade to properly acclimate, move the jade plant pot so that it receives a few more minutes of sunlight each day.
- Make sure the jade plant doesn’t experience extreme temperatures. The ideal nighttime temperature for jade plants is around 55°F (12°C) or more. The ideal daytime temperature for jade plants is around room temperature at roughly 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 23°C). Keep the jade plant in a room with stable temperatures while it recovers if the temperature is noticeably outside of this range as this can cause the leaves to fall.
- Make sure the jade plant’s leaves are not touching a window. Any leaves that come into contact with chilly or even icy windows during the wintertime may drop off and wither.
Jade Plants Turning Yellow or Brown with Soft Leaves
Jade plants turn yellow due of excess moisture around the roots brought on by frequent watering, slow-draining soils, and containers with poor drainage at the bottom.
If too much moisture is present, jade plant leaves become yellow and mushy, and if root rot is not addressed, jade plants may die.
Jade plants are succulents that can withstand dryness and thrive in arid climates with little to no rainfall and sandy, well-draining soils that do not store much moisture.
It is necessary to mimic some of the natural growing conditions of the jade plant’s native environment to prevent the leaves from turning yellow and mushy. This includes using well-draining sandy soil, giving the soil a good soak before letting it dry, and planting the plants in pots with drainage holes in the bottom.
In order for this resilient, drought-adapted plant to handle excess moisture around the roots, it is best to avoid overwatering Jade plants or planting them in regular potting soil that remains damp for an extended period of time.
Only water jade plants once the soil has dried out.
It’s crucial to remember that jade plants often need less water in the winter because they grow slower and use less water because there are fewer daylight hours and lower light levels.
(Read my post Why is my Jade plant going black for advice on how to deal with this if your Jade plant develops brown or black spots on the leaves; these are edema caused by overwatering.)
How to Revive a Jade Plant Dying due to Over Watering
- Restrict the irrigation. You are overwatering your jade plant if you give it more than one weekly watering. Only water jade plants when the soil in the pot has dried out after your last irrigation. Jade plants typically only need to be watered once every 14 days, although this might change according on the environment, the season, and the size of the pot the Jade is planted in.
- Put fresh potting soil in. Even if you are giving your jade plant the recommended quantity of water, if the soil is slow to drain and retains moisture, the plant could still die and the leaves could turn yellow. Empty the pot and replace the soil with a specially formulated succulent and cacti soil (available from garden centers and on Amazon) that mimics the well-draining soil profile of the jade plant’s native environment and lowers the risk of root rot if your jade plant is planted in conventional potting soil or the soil feels damp for several days after watering.
- In containers with drainage holes in the bottom, grow jade plants. In order for extra water to adequately drain away, jade must be planted in containers with drainage holes. If you observe the dirt draining slowly, check to determine if the drainage hole is plugged by compacted earth or roots.
- Plant jade plants in pots that are appropriate to the size of the root ball. Greater soil capacity and, thus, greater moisture capacity in larger pots result in slower drying times. In order to prevent root rot, it is crucial to grow jades in pots large enough to contain the root ball.
Feel the soil via the drainage hole in the base to determine the ideal watering schedule and to aid the jade plant in recovering from overwatering. Wait a few days before watering if the soil is wet. This is the ideal time to irrigate if the soil is dry.
The jade plant is adapted to the natural conditions of a downpour of rain followed by a period of dry weather or drought, and this method of watering mimics those conditions.
If you use a saucer or tray underneath the pot, make sure to dump it frequently to let water leave freely and allow the soil to dry up.
The jade plant has a chance to revive and begin to show signs of recovery over the next weeks if the soil surrounding its roots has had time to totally dry up and you have changed how frequently you water it or altered the soil so it drains appropriately rapidly for succulents.
Plants of Jade with Severe Root Rot
It may be challenging for your jade plant to fully recover if the leaves keep turning yellow and becoming more mushy. This is an indication of root rot.
Even if the jade plant appears to be withering, there is a very effective way to save it.
Jade plants can easily be multiplied by taking stem and leaf cuttings and growing new plants from them. Jade plants may reproduce vegetatively in their natural environment, making propagation relatively simple.
Watch this instructive YouTube video to learn how to quickly grow Jade plants from cuttings and create a ton of additional plants at no additional cost:
Revive a Drooping Jade Plant
Overwatering or inadequate lighting are the most likely causes of your jade plant’s drooping. Stems, branches, and leaves droop as a result of root rot brought on by overwatering. The jade droops and becomes spindly as it looks for more light in low light conditions.
The most likely reason for your Jade plant to be drooping is overwatering, so you should read the information on overwatering above to learn how to revive the plant if you are watering it more frequently than once per week.
The jade branches and stems, on the other hand, grow long and spindly with fewer leaves and droop downwards under their own weight as they search for additional light if your jade plant is not in any direct sunlight.
Jade plants need 4 to 6 hours of direct sun to develop proportionately and compactly.
However, moving jade plants from shade to direct sun could cause sunburn. Instead, gradually increase the amount of light your jade is exposed to each day for around 10 minutes longer so that it can become used to more sun.
Watch this useful YouTube video for advice on how to treat succulents that are drooping or leggy from too much shade:
Jade Plant Not Growing
Similarly, jade plants can develop very slowly at temperatures of about 55°F (12°C). The jade plant can develop extremely slowly if the temperature is regularly around this level, but any lower than 55°F frequently results in the leaves falling off.
Move your jade plant to a warmer part of the house because it is the best temperature range for it to grow in (18°C to 23°C).
The jade plant will typically focus its efforts on establishing its roots rather than growing above the earth if it is placed in a pot that is much larger than the root ball.
Larger pots also dry out more slowly, which raises your jade plant’s risk of root rot.
For a healthy plant and to prevent root rot, jade should always be planted in a pot that is roughly proportionate to the size of the root ball.
- Overwatering and moist soil can lead to root rot in jade plants, which manifests as yellowing leaves and a drooping appearance. Jade plants that are dying-looking and dropping leaves are suffering from drought stress from insufficient watering.
- If jade plants are exposed to drought stress or extreme heat or cold, they will lose their leaves.
- If jade plants are suffering from excessive watering or inadequate amounts of light, they will droop.
- Jade plants can be revived by placing them in direct sunlight, well-draining soil, and regular irrigation in order to mimic their natural growing environment and prevent root rot.