Question: How Often Do you Water Jade Plants?
If you were to ask this question on indoor plant forums, you would get a wide range of responses.
“I water mine every week.”
“Only water your Jade once every two weeks!”
“Let it dry completely before adding more water.”
- Jade plants require a reliable source of water but will suffer from root rot if kept in soggy soil
- how often you water your jade plant will depend on many factors, such as temperature, seasonality, and exposure to sunlight
- learning the symptoms of underwatering and overwatering in your jade plant will help you keep it healthy and thriving
It’s enough to make the mind boggle!
But there is a logical reason for the varied responses. The watering frequency will depend on many local factors.
And the truth is, no one can answer your question accurately because their conditions will differ from your Jade plants.
Moreover, your watering frequency will change as the seasons’ change in your area.
Clear as mud?
Don’t worry. We’ll cover these factors comprehensively in this guide.
When Do You Water A Jade Plant?
ANSWER: Jade plants should be watered when the top few inches of the soil are dry. You can use a soil moisture meter to test the soil’s moisture levels OR use your finger to check how wet the topsoil is.
Jade plants (crassula ovata) are hardy houseplants that make beautiful additions to indoor and outdoor collections.
But, as with most plants, it is hard to judge when they need a water top-up.
This guide will explore how to keep your Jade well hydrated without overwatering them. We’ll also look at keeping other related parameters in checks, such as humidity, soil quality, and light.
So grab a coffee, and let’s dig in.
Using suitable soil for your Jade plant can significantly impact your watering regime.
Jade plants require loamy soil (high sand and porous material) to allow proper airflow and drainage of excess water. But also has enough organic materials (like coco coir or sphagnum moss) to absorb and retain moisture for the roots to utilize.
Poor quality soil includes too dense soil with too much water. Or, at the other extreme, the soil could be lacking in organic materials and doesn’t hold enough water.
We recommend making your succulent soil mix. Check out our recipe HERE.
A Jade plant exposed to direct sunlight will require frequent watering compared with a Jade sheltered away from the sun.
The best lighting for a Jade is in a position that enjoys abundant bright indirect light, not direct sunlight.
Jade plants can tolerate direct sunlight when grown in the ground, where the roots can access water sources deep in the environment.
However, potted and indoor Jade plants rely on you for a constant water source. And as such, it should be placed in indirect sunlight only.
Similarly, varying temperatures can impact the frequency of watering.
Warm or extreme heat will accelerate water evaporation from your Jade and its soil. Therefore, you need to ensure the moisture levels in the soil are adequately maintained so as not to cause unnecessary stress to your Jade.
At the other extreme, cooler temperatures will slow the evaporation process down. Accordingly, your water frequency should also decrease.
We’ll elaborate further in our seasonal watering guide below.
Seasonal Watering Guide for Jade Plant
We’ve already covered how the varying temperatures throughout the year can impact the watering habits of your Jade.
In this section, we’ll consider the factors in each season and provide general recommendations.
With the temperatures warming up, humidity increasing, and the start of the growing season, it is time to check the moisture levels in your Jade plants’ soil more frequently. Your Jade will need more water to fuel the new growth.
Check your Jade plant’s soil weekly and water when the soil feels dry.
Include good all-purpose liquid fertilizer in your first spring watering to ensure the soil has the necessary minerals for the growing season.
This is when water is the most vital resource for your Jade. In extremely hot periods during summer, you may need to check your Jade plant every day, if not every other day.
Check your Jade plant’s soil at least twice a week.
Even Jade planted in the ground should be watered frequently to ensure it doesn’t experience temperature and water stress.
It is the Jade plant’s most intense period of growth for the year. So, adding a further dose of liquid fertilizer will help ensure your Jade experiences strong growth.
With the temperatures beginning to decrease, so can the frequency of your soil moisture checks.
Check your Jade plant’s soil weekly and water when the soil is dry.
Your Jade will begin winding down during Autumn. This period is one of its most vulnerable to becoming overwatered. However, it would help if you still stay vigilant. Make sure you check your soil before adding more water to prevent the onset of root rot or attracting pests, like fungus gnats.
The colder temperatures signal the dormancy period for your Jade. This means your plant will utilize less water and less natural evaporation.
Check your Jade plant once a fortnight
Be on the lookout for wet and soggy soil around your Jade. Don’t be afraid to re-pot your Jade if you suspect the soil is too moist. Getting it into fresh soil will help avoid catastrophes (i.e., root rot).
We’ll explain the typical overwatered symptoms to look for in the next section.
Symptoms of Water Stressed Jade Plants
This section will quickly cover the symptoms to look out for in overwatered and underwater Jade plants. This will help you assess if your Jade is in trouble and the next steps you need to take.
The most significant risk in an overwatered Jade plant is fungal diseases and pests. An overwatered Jade will become weak and unable to defend itself against these external threats.
Here is a list of symptoms to look for:
- Soggy, waterlogged, and moist soil
- Mold or fungus growing on the surface of your soil
- Leaves and stems appear soft and mushy
- Jade leaves turning yellow with brown spots
- Leaves and stems looking limp and droopy
As we mentioned earlier, if you suspect your Jade is overwatered, re-pot it into a fresh potting mixture is the quickest and most effective remedy. The soil may take weeks to dry out (especially in winter), leaving it open to developing diseases.
Water is a vital ingredient for your Jade to perform internal processes. Without water, your Jade will not survive. On the other extreme, too little water will make your Jade feel stressed and weak.
Here is a list of symptoms for underwater Jade plants:
- Leaves are wrinkled and not full
- Leaves have brown edges that look and feel dry or crispy
- Leaves falling to the ground.
- The soil is dry and cracked.
The Best Way to Water Your Jade
We like to water our potted Jade plants by bottom watering them.
This process involves placing the Jade pot into a water container and leaving it to soak up water via the drainage holes at the bottom.
There are many benefits to this process, such as:
- Unlikely to overwater your Jade plant (unless you forget about them!)
- You can water more than one plant at a time.
- It only absorbs what it requires, no less and no more
- Promotes stronger root system
The process is easy to learn, and anyone can do it at home. Here is an article, HOW TO BOTTOM WATER PLANTS, we wrote detailing the steps you can follow.