Jade Plant Light Requirements: Beginners Guide

Achieving the correct light conditions is key to growing a thriving Jade Plant. This guide will explore the ideal lighting to provide your Jade for indoor and outdoor plants.

How Much Sunlight Does a Jade Plant Need

Let’s be honest.

We all have one (or a few) too many plants in our indoor plant collections. And finding the proper position, so each plant receives its required light is a bit light a plant Tetris game.

credit: giphy

Jade Plants (aka money trees) are popular houseplants, so understanding their light requirements will help you slot them into your Tetris plant puzzle.

Fortunately, we’ve put together this quick guide to help you find that perfect spot.

So get your puzzle-solving hat on – and let’s begin.

How Much Sunlight Does a Jade Plant Need?

First, let’s answer the main reason why you are here…

Indoor Jade Plants need 4-6 hours of sunlight to thrive and remain healthy.

You may feel this may be too much for a plant to endure – particularly in the summer months. However, Jade is part of the succulent plant family and has mechanisms that allow them to survive prolonged periods of heat and dryness.

For example, they can store water in their fleshy leaves, allowing them to withstand direct sunlight throughout the day, unlike other indoor plants, such as monsteras and philodendrons.

What about Jade Plants planted outdoors in the ground?

Outdoor Jade Plants can tolerate direct sunlight for more extended periods because they will have acclimated to the more challenging conditions (compared to indoor conditions that are more consistent with fewer fluctuations).

Given Jade Plants originate in South Africa, it is safe to say they are not strangers to direct sunlight. According to Energy.gov.za, most areas of South Africa receive more than 2,500 hours of sunshine per annum. In fact, all areas of South Africa can experience sunlight all year round.

Established Jade Plants will also have access to water reserves stored deeper underground as their root system develops. Unlike indoor Jade Plants, which rely entirely on you for their water source, the underground water sources allow outdoor Jade Plants to tolerate more sun for longer.

How Do I Know if My Jade Isn’t Receiving Enough Sunlight?

A gauge whether your Jade is receiving enough sunlight, check out the coloration of the leaves.

Jade plants (crassula ovata) that are happy, healthy, and receive a good amount of sun will have a red tinge around the edges of their leaves.

Jade Plants that receive a good amount of light will have vibrant green leaves with a red color on the edges of their foliage.

Here is a picture of our Jade in our succulent bowl during the start of summer.

Red tinge on Jade Plant Foliage

Light-deprived Jade Plants will also experience stunted growth, as they are not receiving enough light to complete photosynthesis – an internal process that generates energy for growth.

How Do I Tell if My Jade Plant is Receiving Too Much Sunlight?

At the other end of the (light) spectrum, if your Jade is exposed to too much bright sunlight, it can also show signs of distress.

Typically, a Jade experiencing too much sunlight will display similar symptoms to one that has been underwatered. This is because the intense light and heat from the sun cause the Jade plant to deplete its water reserves to the point of exhaustion.

Symptoms to look for include:

How to Fix a Jade Plant Suffering from Light Stress

Healthy Jade Plant colors

Whether your Jade is receiving too much or too little light, some action is required to find a position in your Tetris puzzle where it can live happily in the perfect light conditions.

Each situation is unique, and it would not be easy to provide accurate general advice.

However, there is a process that you should follow when moving your Jade Plant around to new light environments.

  1. Find a new position for your Jade Plant. But DO NOT move your Jade there yet. If you suddenly move your Jade into a new environment with different lighting and ambient conditions, it may experience shock and cause irreparable damage.
  2. Instead, gradually move your Jade closer to its new final destination. Over a week, move your Jade toward its new home. The subtle changes in light intensity will allow it to adapt to the new conditions, and you will experience a smoother transition.

Jade Plant Light Care Tips

If you are new to the Garden Bench Top, you may not be aware that we make it our mission to make gardening easier for our community.

With that in mind, we always try to take our resources one step further. So here are our tips for helping you along your journey with your Jade Plant.


watered Jade Plant

The other part of the equation that will help your Jade with its lighting conditions is supplying enough water.

Adjusting your watering schedule in line with the lighting conditions could be the difference between a Jade becoming weakened and susceptible to pests and diseases. Or one that is still able to be revived.

For example, Jade Plants with high sun exposure will survive with a constant water supply. It means their leaves will not wither away, and they will come out the other side of the hot periods.

At the same time, Jade that doesn’t receive enough light will survive as long as its soil isn’t too wet with excessive moisture. Damp soil is an open invitation for pests and diseases. Adult fungus gnats require wet soil to lay their eggs. And root rot, a common fungal infection, thrives in water-logged soil and moist environments.

For tips and a guide on how much to water Jade Plants, check out our article HERE.

Winter Months Care

Winter is always a bit of a challenge for gardeners.

Not only can frost kill off plants in the garden, but the lack of light can cause issues for indoor plant enthusiasts.

If you have a potted outdoor Jade Plant, we recommend bringing them into your home for the winter. Jade Plants do not do well in freezing conditions, as the water content in their leaves can expand and damage the cellular structure of the foliage.

When indoors, move your Jade Plant to the windows that receive the most light – even if it is just indirect sunlight or indirect light.

If your local area experiences shorter days and longer nights, you may want to look into installing grow lights in your home. They are an effective way to ensure your Jade Plant (and other indoor plants) receive enough light through the colder, darker days of the year. There are many grow lights that will give off bright light available online at marketplaces like Amazon.