Jade Plant Dropping Leaves: Troubleshooting Guide

When Jade Plants lose leaves, an underlying problem exists and should be attended to avoid long-term damage promptly.

Why is my Jade Plant Losing Leaves

Falling Jade plant leaves could be due to many reasons, like:

  • water-stressed jade plants
  • varying environmental conditions (temperature, light, and humidity), or
  • diseases or pests.

Whatever may be causing your Jade to lose leaves, we need to identify the problem and implement a solution. Both of which are the purpose of this guide.

Why is My Jade Plant Losing Leaves – How to Use this Guide

Being a plant parent to an ailing plant is stressful enough. But when your struggling plant is a Jade plant, it’s hard not to feel like you are failing!

failing spectacularly
credit: giphy

They are supposed to be tough plants that don’t require too much time and attention. So, why is my Jade plant losing leaves?

Before we begin, we thought we might share some advice to get you headed down the right path and mindset.

There is some method to the madness for those new to our troubleshooting guides.

Troubleshooting Process:

  1. We recommend reading through this article in its entirety.
  2. Select the problem that sounds like the cause of your Jade dropping leaves. Implement the suggested solution and then wait for any positive changes.
  3. If, after a week, there is no noticeable change in the condition, move to the next likely cause, implement the solution and wait.

As you can appreciate troubleshooting your ailing indoor plants requires patience.

Patience is the key to stopping your Jade dropping leaves.

However, the process will make you a more observant and mindful plant parent – something we all aspire to become.

So, grab your magnifying glass, and let’s begin our investigation.

Causes of Jade Plant Losing Leaves

Jade plant dropping leaves

We’re guessing you could do with some positivity right about now.

The good news is you recognize a problem with your Jade and are ready to resolve it before the situation gets out of hand and becomes fatal.

Here is a list of potential causes for your Jade plants.

Water Stress

Jade plants (like all houseplants) are highly susceptible to water stress.

Water stress can develop from both extremes; too much or too little water. We’ll detail how to identify both and suggest ways to remedy the problems.

Excess water

Overwatering is one of the most common causes of Jade losing their leaves.

It’s easy to spot an overwatered Jade because:

  • the soil will be over-saturated and soggy,
  • you may have mold growing on the surface,
  • presence of fungus gnats (more on that later), and
  • the stems and leaves will feel mushy and soft.

Jade plants like moist soil. However, they do not fare well in overly wet or soggy soil. They need well-draining soil with enough organic materials (like peat or sphagnum moss) to retain moisture for the roots.

The solution to an overwatered jade plant is to re-pot your Jade into fresh quality soil (we have a recipe for making your succulent soil HERE).

Re-potting will quickly remove your Jade from the soggy soil and reduce any chance of rot developing.

Too little water (underwatered)

Conversely, insufficient water can also create enough stress to cause your Jade to lose leaves.

Even though Jade plants are succulents, they still require regular watering. Water is a fundamental ingredient for any plant to function correctly.

To identify if your Jade is dehydrated:

  • the fallen leaves will be shriveled and dry,
  • and leaves still attached may be yellowing or wrinkled.

To fix your underwatered Jade, we recommend adjusting your water regime. Use the finger soil moisture test to determine when the soil is dry. It is budget-friendly and an effective method to water your plants.

We recommend using an automatic watering system if you find it hard to maintain a regular watering schedule. They are cheap and readily available systems that take over the role of watering your Jade plant.

TOP TIP – automatic watering systems can water several plants at once, leaving you to enjoy your low – maintenance indoor oasis with minimal fuss.

Temperature & Humidity

Generally speaking, Jade plants can live in a range of stable temperatures and humidity levels.

Their ideal temperature range is 60-80° Fahrenheit (15-26° Celsius) with medium relative humidity (30-50%).

But, the key word is stability. Sudden fluctuations will upset your Jade, and it won’t have enough time to adapt to the new conditions, causing it to lose leaves in response.

If your Jade suffers from temperature and humidity stress, you will notice a sudden leaf drop (versus gradually falling). Your Jade becomes shocked.

If your Jade is subjected to extreme hot or cold temperatures, the fallen and attached leaves may also appear damaged (leaf burn or frostbite).

How to Fix Temperature & Humidity Issues

To prevent your Jade from experiencing temperature or humidity stress, keep it in a less susceptible place to fluctuations and changes.

Keep it away from hot drafts or cold drafts produced by heaters and air conditions for indoor Jade plants.

Keeping potted or outdoor Jade plants away from natural wind tunnels or constant drafts will help regulate the environmental conditions.

Ailing Jade Plant

Lighting Conditions Issues

Natural light has a significant influence on the health of your Jade.

Achieving the right balance can be challenging, especially for indoor Jade plants.

If a Jade doesn’t receive sufficient amounts of bright light, it can lead to leaf drops. If there is insufficient light, your Jade won’t be able to perform any photosynthesis, resulting in a lack of energy. You can recognize these symptoms because your Jade will have muted colors and look dull. It may even look droopy.

Too much light can also cause leaves to drop, however, for different reasons. The high intensity of the sun will dehydrate your Jade quickly. Like temperature stress, the leaves will experience leaf burn (turn a reddish hue) and fall.

How to Fix Lighting Issues

Positioning your Jade next to a window with plenty of indirect light is ideal.

Try to avoid direct sunlight shining on your Jade. However, if this is too challenging, draping a sheer curtain over the window will help lower the sunlight’s intensity.

If you are struggling with too little light, we suggest using a grow light to supply the necessary light waves for your Jade to function.

Pests and Disease

As tough as we like to think Jade plants are, they are still susceptible to attacks from pests, like aphids, scales, thrips, and spider mites. All these pests are sap-sucking pests that prey on the juicy, succulent leaves.

You won’t notice one or two of these pests on your plant – unless you bring your magnifying glass to your weekly plant inspections. You only really see them once they become an infestation, and your plants’ leaves show signs that they are being attacked by falling.

Nevertheless, you can still tackle the problem with a healthy dose of insecticide or manual removal.

Diseases can also develop on your Jade and cause leaves to drop.

The most common forms of the disease are fungal diseases, like root rot from overwatering.

The fungal infection will also cause your Jade’s leaves to feel soft and spongy and cause them to drop off.

To treat an infected Jade, immediately isolate your plant away from other indoor plants to prevent its spread to other houseplants.

Once isolated, remove any infected leaves and treat your plant with a fungicide to kill off any remaining diseases. During the treatment period, ensure your plant receives optimal care, such as watering and lighting. You want to give your Jade the best opportunity to fight this infection and get through the treatment.

How to Fix Pest & Disease Issues

Strangely the best defense against pests and disease is prevention.

We know this is probably not the answer you are looking for. However, pests and diseases usually develop when your Jade is weak or in inappropriate conditions.

Maintaining a regular watering regime will prevent pests like fungus gnats from developing.

Old Age

One last consideration for your Jade plant losing leaves is old age.

Unfortunately, there is no cure or solution for this one. A Jade will shed any leaves that have passed their usefulness.

This is one of those causes that should be celebrated rather than feared.

You’ve managed to keep your Jade thriving and gifted it a glorious long life.

Good work!

credit: tenor

Why is my Jade Plant Losing Leaves – Closing Thoughts

So there you have it – our troubleshooting guide to why your Jade is losing leaves.

As we established at the beginning of the guide, this process will take time and patience.

We recommend working your way through the possible causes and implementing the solutions we have suggested after each section.

Let us know what worked for you, and send us pictures of your happy Jade plants.