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Jade Plant Not Growing

Jade plants are succulents that have oval-shaped leaves and thick stems. They rarely suffer problems and make for great houseplants. They can grow up to a height of 3 feet (90 cm) or more when grown indoors; however, it can be frustrating when your Jade simply won’t grow. 

There are many reasons as to why your Jade plant is not growing. Some of them are insufficient light, pest infestation, overwatering or underwatering, and poor soil quality. On the other hand, the jade plant grows well in bright light (including sunlight) and well-drained soils.

This article discusses a few possible reasons why your Jade is not growing and what you can do to help your houseplant grow.

Insufficient Light

If your Jade plant is not getting sufficient sunlight, it will stop growing and begin to drop its leaves. So, keep your houseplant in a brighter or sunnier place.

It’s important to know that a Jade plant requires 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. While mature, big Jade plants should be kept in direct sunlight; young plants should be placed in bright, indirect light. You can keep your houseplant near a window that faces west or in your office and kitchen with a south-facing window.

While Jade plants like direct sunlight, they can grow well in the shade or indoors as long as there is enough bright light.

Also, if your houseplant is losing leaves in the winter, it’s likely not receiving sufficient light. Just put your plant a few inches away from the window so that it gets enough light. However, you should know that winter drafts can be damaging for your Jade plant. Therefore, if your window is drafty or cold, use an artificial light source to give more light to your plant.

Pests and Insects

Jade plants are vulnerable to pests, such as insects and mealybugs. Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that feed on juices of the plant. They are covered with a cottony white material that protects them from moisture loss and excessive heat. 

The citrus mealybug, also known as Planococcus citri, feeds on a variety of plants, including succulent and soft-stemmed plants. Infections caused by mealybugs support mold growth and make leaves sticky.

You can identify these pests by looking around leaf joints and on the undersides of foliage. Mealybugs look like cotton balls. Plants that are damaged by these pests have sticky sap on the foliage and appear withered.  

To remove mealybugs, wipe off these insects with Q-tips and cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol. However, you should not use insecticidal sprays and soaps as these can damage your Jade plant and its foliage. 

If your houseplant is heavily infested, it’s a good idea to take a clean cutting from the plant and begin afresh. Or you can also replace your heavily infested plant with a new Jade plant.

Temperature Fluctuations

The Jade plant grows well at temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 75°F (23.8°C). However, it cannot survive the frost. And warmer or colder temperatures can lead to leaf loss. So keep your houseplant away from radiators and drafts.

You can cause a leaf drop if you move your plant in the place with a significant temperature difference. The leaves will come back when the plant adjusts to the new environment. So, you should move your Jade gradually, allowing it to adjust. 

You should keep your Jade plant in the new environment for some hours, and then shift it back to its original place. Also, slowly and steadily increase the time your Jade Plant spends in the new place before you keep it there permanently. 

Poor Soil Quality

Your Jade plant likes light fertilizing. However, if your Jade plant’s soil lacks essential nutrients, it can lead to loss of leaves and stunt your plant’s growth. 

Poor quality soil can lead to leaves turning a yellow color and shriveling. Therefore, use a good quality houseplant fertilizer to increase the growth of your jade plant. You can apply a regular liquid houseplant fertilizer to your jade plant. However, do not apply a liquid fertilizer to the dry soil, as this can cause damage to the roots.

During the winter months, the succulent plant does not need much fertilizer and water. So, fertilize your houseplant during winter only if it doesn’t receive sufficient sunlight.

You can also create your own soil mixture by mixing one part coarse sand, one part coarse perlite, and two parts sphagnum peat moss. Additionally, you can select a fertilizer specially formulated for succulents.

Poor Drainage

It’s worth knowing that well-draining soil is necessary to ensure any water that is extra to your Jade’s needs can easily drain away, preventing the plant from developing root rot disease.

Root rot-affected plants are not able to absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil properly. They grow poorly and are stunted. Discolored leaves, wilting, and stunting are some of the signs of the root rot disease. 

Well-drained soil allows water to drain at a medium rate and without water pooling and puddling. However, it’s worth noting that well-drained soil does not drain too slowly or too fast. When the soil drains water very fast, the plants don’t have enough time to absorb the water and can die. 

On the other hand, when the soil drains water very slowly, plants are left sitting in standing water, their oxygen intake from the soil is reduced, and they can suffer from root rot. Ensure that your Jade plant has well-draining soil. 

Using Leaf Shine Products

You should not clean your Jade plant with leaf shine products and detergents as they can harm your houseplant. However, you can use a damp cloth to remove dust or dirt from your Jade plant. Using leaf shine products can lead to yellowing of leaves, which ultimately causes leaves dropping off.

Overwatering or Underwatering

Your plant may also stop growing if you underwater or overwater it. The Jade plant hates being too wet and is vulnerable to root rot. Don’t leave your pot in standing water. Check the potting mix if leaves drop off or become yellow. If the potting mix is damp or soggy, do not water your plant.  

Your Jade plant will drop off leaves fast if it doesn’t get sufficient water. On the other hand, this succulent plant requires more water if its lower leaves are wrinkling and then dropping off. You should water your Jade plant whenever the top inch (2.5 cm) of its soil is dried out. The plant requires more water during the summer because it grows actively during these months. 

You should not splash water on the leaves while watering your plant, as this can expose them to rot in a humid environment. Water your houseplant with distilled or filtered water because it can be vulnerable to salts in tap water.

Not Repotting 

Not repotting your Jade can result in the slow decline of your plant’s health. Therefore, you should repot your succulent every two to three years. Opt for a pot that is one size bigger than the current pot. Fill the container halfway with a potting mix. Then hold the trunk of the plant and pull up to remove it from the pot. Examine the roots of your houseplant. Use clippers to trim damaged roots. Now put your succulent in the new pot. Fill in the top of the pot with the potting mix. Water your Jade after repotting to settle the potting mix.

Winter Dormancy

It’s worth knowing that the Jade plant undergoes winter dormancy. So, the succulent will not grow in the winter season. Also, you should not fertilize your Jade during these months. The plant will start growing actively in summer and spring.

How to Grow Your Jade Plant?

Here are a few easy steps to grow the Jade plant.

  • Your Jade might get top-heavy and fall over. Therefore, you should opt for a wide pot that has moderate depth.
  • Use a well-draining soil as too much moisture can cause root rot. (We have discussed below some of the best soils you can use for your plant) 
  • Don’t water your plant straight away after planting it. Wait for a few weeks before watering to allow the plant roots to heal from damage. 

How to Grow Your Jade Plant from a Stem or Leaf Cutting?

You can easily grow your Jade plant from stem or leaf cuttings. Check out the steps given below.

  1. Take a stem cutting or a leaf from an established Jade plant. Make sure that the stem cutting should contain two pairs of leaves and should be two to three inches long. Now let your stem cutting or leaf sit for some days in a dry place. A callous will develop over the cut area to encourage rooting. The callous will also help prevent root rot from developing.
  2. Gather your container and well-draining soil. Make sure that the potting mix you use should be a little bit moist.
  3. Lay the leaf horizontally on top of the potting mix. Cover the cut end of the leaf with some of the soil. Or put your stem cuttings upright in the potting mix.
  4. Put the container in a dry place with bright light. However, you should not place the container in direct sunlight. And do not water the plant.
  5. The cuttings will produce roots after one week. A few days after that, check if your Jade has rooted by lightly tugging it. If your plant has not rooted, wait for a few days and check it again.
  6. You should water your Jade plant thoroughly once it is firmly rooted. If you want, you can water your Jade using a baster. However, you should take care not to disturb the roots. The soil needs to be dried out between watering sessions. Remember to keep your Jade away from direct sunlight until it is established.

How to Increase the Growth of New Leaves and Branches

Here are some ways to boost the growth of new branches and leaves.

Prune the Jade Plant

Prune the succulent plant carefully right after the winter has passed. Do not over-prune your Jade plant as this can significantly delay their growth and development.

Keep in mind that your Jade plant will need leaves for photosynthesis. Therefore, leave 70% – 75% of the leaves in place for your plant’s health. Prune your houseplant in stages to avoid over-pruning.

Pinch Back the Plant

Use your forefinger and thumbnail to pinch back young stems. This will encourage the growth of new stems and promote the branching of the main stem.

Cut the Leaf Axis

You can also cut branches at a leaf axis, and this will often encourage two new branches to develop. 

Best Fertilizers for Jade Plant

A good fertilizer will help make your Jade plant grow well. Here are some of the best fertilizers you can buy right now.

Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food

This plant food from Miracle-Gro is perfect for your Jade plant. It instantly feeds the succulent plant, so you get results quickly.

What’s so good about this product is that you can easily mix it with water and apply it to your Jade plant every two weeks. Apart from this, you can also apply this plant food directly to the soil.

The 8-ounce bottle comes with a pump to measure the amount of plant food to use. The manufacturer recommends five pumps for containers or pots over 6 inches in diameter and two pumps for small containers.

Earth Premium Gold Pure & Natural Fertilizer

This fertilizer from Dr. Earth adds phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen to the soil. It contains 10% phosphorus, 10% potassium, and 10% nitrogen. Phosphorus encourages healthy root growth, potassium helps your plant fight disease, and nitrogen plays an important role in plant growth.

Mix one teaspoon of this fertilizer with a gallon of water. Instead of plain water, use this natural fertilizer when you are watering your Jade. 

EarthPods Premium Cactus & Succulent Plant Food

This fertilizer from EarthPods uses a combination of soil microbes, natural growth hormones, nutrients, and minerals to encourage strong growth.

There are 100 pods of plant food in one tube. The application is easy. Simply push one pod into the potting soil near the center of your Jade plant. You can also gently open the capsule and spread the content all around the roots of your houseplant. 

Use one or two pods for a small jade plant, two to four for a medium jade plant, and four to eight for a big jade plant.

Water after application. You should feed this fertilizer to your succulent plant every two to three weeks. This fertilizer is eco friendly and safe for pets and children. Remember to store this formula in a cool, dry place because humid conditions may lead to an initial breakdown.

Best Soil for Succulents

We have handpicked some of the best soils for your Jade plant. Good soil provides plants with important nutrients and minerals and contributes to their overall health. 

Fat Plants Organic Cacti and Succulent Soil

This soil contains a blend of perlite, bone meal, worm castings, volcanic pumice, and sand. You can easily work with this product. It is fertile, nourishing, and quick draining. The fertilizer encourages roots to grow healthy and strong.

Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix

This organic mix offers the right amount of drainage, absorption, and nutrients. It includes limestone, sand, perlite, reed sedge peat, and Canadian Sphagnum peat moss. Canadian Sphagnum peat moss controls moisture and air around the roots of your plant. It’s important to note that peat moss can attract insects and bugs. Therefore, you should put the bag in the freezer overnight to kill the bugs.

Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix

Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix contains the following ingredients:

  • USA Haydite 
  • New Zealand Pine Bark 
  • USA Pumice 
  • Hard Japanese Akadama 

All these ingredients provide the best air circulation, nutrient retention, drainage, and water retention to promote healthy plants.

This soil was prepared to encourage drainage while also holding sufficient water to keep your Jade healthy. In addition to this, this soil mix lets air reach the plant’s roots, which your houseplant needs to thrive. 

This soil mix is available in different sizes, ranging from 1.25 to 12 dry quarts. For your information, there are about 6 cups of soil in the 1.25-quart bag.

Frequently Asked Questions About Jade Plants

  • Are Jade plants outdoor or indoor? Depending on where you reside, you can grow a Jade plant outdoors or indoors. You should bring the Jade plants inside your house in freezing weather.
  • How to make Jade plants bushy? Over time, the Jade plant will grow thin, particularly when kept inside the house throughout the year. Pinch and prune your Jade plant regularly to keep it bushy.
  • Should you mist a Jade plant? You should not mist your Jade plant. Misting Jade plants can cause problems with mildew or rot.
  • How often to water a jade plant? Do not follow a schedule to water your Jade plant. Allow the potting mix to dry fully between waterings. It’s important to keep in mind that the potting soil should not be soggy or wet.

Final Thoughts

Jade plants are easy to care for. However, sometimes they can stop growing for the following reasons: pest infestations, lack of direct sunlight, overwatering or underwatering, temperature fluctuations, and low-quality soil. 

The most important thing is to make sure that your Jade is receiving the right amount of sunlight and water. You should water your plant only when the top of the soil is dry.

The soil which you give to your Jade should be well-draining because if the plant is grown in the wet soil for longer, it will absorb a lot of water than it requires. This can be damaging to the plant’s growth and health.

In a nutshell, make sure that you have created a good living environment for your Jade plant to grow and flourish.

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