Jade plants are tough as well as attractive. If you are gardening for the first time, you can try your hands on these succulents as they require low care and maintenance.
Despite the low attendance that these plants need, some issues around the watering schedule may generate. Both under-watering and overwatering are harmful to plants.
It is not rocket science, and one can easily understand the water needs of their houseplants. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the water needs of your jade plants.
How often to water the jade plant?
You must water a jade plant in a clay pot once every 10 to 14 days under ordinary conditions. If you have planted the jade in a plastic pot, water it once every 2 to 3 weeks. Jades are succulents, and they can store water in their leaves. They do not need wet or moist soil every time.
The soil should become completely dry before you have to water it again. Consider the following factors when setting a watering schedule for your plants:
Consider the soil in which your jades are growing. Grow them in a well-drained potting mix like a cactus or succulent soil.
Water fast-draining potting mixes more often than a jade growing in heavy soil.
If the pots are outdoors, watering every 10 to 14 days must be okay. Check the leaves if they become wrinkly or a little thin, then the plant needs water.
The pots must have enough drainage holes to drain any excess water away from the holes.
Overwatering can cause root rot. If pots are indoors, then watering the plants every 2 to 3 weeks should be fine.
Consider how much light jade plants are getting while watering them. They need bright light and full sun to grow well. If your jade plants are not receiving enough sunlight, then their stems will become weak.
If your pots are under direct sun, water them once in 10 to 14 days. If you have kept the pots indoors in your room or on a desk, water them in 2 to 3 weeks.
The temperature will affect how much water your jade plants need. Jades can survive well in a temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Although these are tough plants, do not let the temperature fall below 40 degrees F.
Soil will become dry more often in heat and dryness and will stay moist for longer in cooler temperatures.
In winters, watering only the wrinkled leaves and not the soil will also work.
You can fertilize plants when watering them. Add fertilizers before the growing season and not in winters when the plants are resting.
Mix the potting soil with a liquid fertilizer designed for cactus or succulent plants.
Such fertilizers have less nitrogen. When plants are growing near windows or in bright light, feed the plants with fertilizers once every month. When they are growing in low light, feed them every other month.
How much water does your jade plant need regularly?
Jade plants need water every 2 to 3 weeks. The best way to know how much water they need regularly is to water when the soil becomes dry. Let the top one or two inches of the soil in the pot become dry before the next watering session. There are no algebra rules to this, and you must understand what makes your plants happy and healthy.
Apart from seeing the soil, you can check the leaves of the plants.
If leaves look wrinkled or dull, the plant needs water. If you see blisters forming on the leaves, you are overwatering the plants, so loosen up on frequency and amount.
If you have kept the pots outdoors, do keep a check on rains.
Keep the pots under a shade if it is about to rain for a couple of days in a row.
Frequent rain showers can waterlog the plants.
Exposing your plants to rain showers in winters is a big no. In winters, their growth is slow. The soil will dry slowly and need less water. The following steps will help you to water the pots well.
- Firstly, remove the grow pot from the decorative container.
- After that, place the pot in a plastic saucer.
- Fill the saucer with filtered or distilled water.
- Slowly, the potting mix will wick up the water from the plastic saucer.
- Once the plant stops wicking water, remove the excess water from the plastic saucer.
- Allow the plant to drain the excess water in the plant.
- After this, place the grow pot back in the decorative container.
- Water the plants thoroughly, and allow the extra water to come out of the pot’s drainage holes.
How do I know if my jade plant needs water?
Regular checking of moisture content in the soil is the best way to know if your jade plants need water. These succulents are capable of storing water in their leaves, roots, and stems. It means that their water needs are lesser than many other house plants. People often overlook this fact and over-water the jade plants.
Allow the top few inches of soil to dry between two watering sessions.
The rate at which this dryness will occur will vary according to time of the year, humidity levels, size of your plants, and the evaporation rate.
Regular examinations of the potting soil will help you get the moisture content right. Do not work according to a strict watering schedule. Instead, understand the needs of your plant.
Push the soil in the pot to the depth of your second knuckle to check if it is still wet or not.
After repeating this activity for a couple of days, you will realize when the soil is dry.
As the season changes, your estimations about the time where the soil goes dry will go wrong. Again, push your knuckle and water only when the soil is dry.
This method of testing is excellent in setting a good watering regime.
Always water the soil in the pot, and never apply water on the leaves of a plant.
Water in leaves can lead to fungal infections. If the leaves are dirty and you want to dust them, use a slightly wet cloth to do so. Avoid putting direct water on leaves as long as possible.
Never let the soil in the pots become completely dry. An underwater plant has dry, limp, and wrinkled leaves that begin to come off. Roots will become dry, and stems will become too thin. Such stems will be brought just by mere touching.
If your plant is in such a condition, water the plant a little and let the soil collect some moisture content.
An overwatered jade plant has rubbery branches, rotted roots, and squishy leaves.
An overwatered plant must be repotted in a fresh potting mix. After repotting, wait for a week before watering again. Let the soil become completely dry before the next watering cycle. Also, do not fertilize for four weeks after repotting.
Does the jade plant need drainage?
Yes, the jade plant needs drainage. Always plant them in pots or containers that have drainage holes. Drainage holes protect the plants from overwatering and keep their soil breathable.
One of the most vital requirements for the growth of a jade plant is perfect soil. An ideal soil contains coarse elements like ground bark and pumice. These help the roots breathe better by increasing the aeration of the soil.
Fast draining soil is the best for succulents like jade plants. Such soil not only drains the excess water but also provides aeration to the plants.
To ensure that your plants are healthy, add some coarse-grained sand, ground bard, pecan shells, and pumice in the pot.
Adding a few pebbles to the bottom of the soil will act as a catalyst in the growth. Accompany the fast-draining soil with a good pot like old terra cotta. These pots are much safer than the plastic and ceramic ones as they are porous and provide quick drying.
There is no thumb rule that you can follow and make a watering schedule for your plants. You need to understand what makes your plants happy and comfortable.
Under general conditions, a jade plant needs water in 10 to 14 days if kept outdoors and in 2 to 3 weeks if kept indoors. But this will vary based on temperature, size of the plant, soil in the pots, and the light that it receives.
We hope that this article will clear all your doubts relevant to the water needs of your jade plants.
New gardeners may find it difficult to understand when to water. But as you spread your hands over the skill of gardening, things will get clear and simple.