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Why Does My Jade Plant Have Small Leaves?

The jade plant is an evergreen succulent that is native to South Africa. You would not believe that it has over 300 varieties. Be it, gardeners or common people, everyone prefers to grow this plant as a houseplant.

It is so because the jade plant is hardy, attractive, and demands less care than other houseplants.

Besides, bonsai lovers also like to propagate it as its tree-like appearance is suitable for bonsai.

But due to some reasons, the jade plant generates small leaves. If you notice this, you must learn the factors and the solutions associated with those. So, read this article to know why your jade plant does have small leaves?

Why does my jade plant have small leaves?

Many jade plant growers have this common question in their minds. After all, the bright green leaves make this plant an attractive one.

Therefore, if you notice thin, small, or wrinkled leaves, the plant will naturally lose its aesthetic value.

Besides, sometimes the small leaves problem is a critical issue that needs care and attention. If you ignore it, it might lead to more hindrance than you can ever imagine. In most cases, the natural reaction is responsible for this.

But at times, your actions are liable for jade plant small leaves issues.

Hence, if you wish to learn more about the reasons, go through this article, especially the upcoming segment.

We have listed down some of the most prevalent reasons behind this issue. So, let us begin the exploration and understand the factors.

1. Natural reaction

As told earlier, due to natural phenomena, your jade plant might have small leaves. As you might know, the jade plant is a type of succulent and stores water in its leaves.

The jade plant also does this. As a result, during dry conditions, the water flows from the leaves to the roots.

Due to this, the leaves become small, thin, and wrinkled.

But the worst is if dry conditions extend, the leaves will fall off eventually, and the jade plant will automatically go into a dormant period.

At that time, when its leaves fall off, you must offer your jade plant the much-needed care and avoid giving too much stress to it.

So, it is a fundamental reason behind the jade plant’s small leaves issues. You will see the leaves will grow again after the dry condition ends.

Also read:

  1. Can you keep the jade plants outdoors?

2. Watering issues

If you notice your jade plant’s leaves are small in the growing seasons, you must offer water appropriately. Remember, when the plant has sufficient water, offering it more might damage it and the leaves.

If you add excessive liquid, the plant will suffer from edema.

But do you know what edema is? Well, edema generates brown spots on the jade plant leaves.

As a jade plant grower, whenever you discover your plant’s leaves are small and thin, rest assured it is a clear indication that the plant demands water. But many people made several mistakes when watering it.

You should add water to the plant until it drains out from the drainage hole of the container.

Then, you should wait a minute and give water again. After that, you must enable the pot to drain for 15 minutes, and only then place the pot in its location.

3. Rootbound jade

Though the jade plant can tolerate being root bound, over rootbound might create disturbance to the plant as it cannot take up water. As a result, the leaves will lose their bright color and grow small.

You can find this issue with ease.

Whenever you notice the water slowly drains out or spills over the sides of the container, you need to repot the plant in a larger pot, ideally 2-3 inches wider.

Besides, eliminate damaged and soft roots before repotting the plant. Hence, it is one of the prominent reasons behind the jade plant’s tiny leaves problems.


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4. Pest infestation

What if you cannot get rid of small leaves problems even if your jade plant has no root-bound-related issues? What if you water the plant accordingly? If days go by and the leaves are still small and thin, you need to inspect the plant to locate pests.

Insects like mealy bugs, mites, red spiders, and others prefer to drink the juices from the jade plant leaves.

As a result of this, the leaves lose their natural color and become small and wrinkled.

To deal with it, you must take a magnifying glass and closely monitor for any pests infestation.

If you notice any, you must remove them immediately to keep the plant and its leaves safe. Besides, when repotting, you also need to clean the pot appropriately to remove pests.

5. Sunlight issues

As you might know, the jade plant is native to South Africa, and as a result, it can grow in full sun. However, if you keep it in indirect sunlight, it cannot grow adequately.

On the contrary, if you place it outside in the scorching sun, it cannot tolerate heat, and you will see the wide and bright leaves become small and develop brown or yellow spots.

Therefore, it is a crucial reason that requires attention.

According to many jade plant growers, it is wise to keep the plant where it can get dappled sun rays rather than full sunlight. But, also increase the plant’s exposure to sun rays to grow the leaves better.

Also read:

  1. Is jade plant edible to humans or animals? Know here

6. Natural leaf growth

Sometimes you will notice small leaves on your jade plant as it grows and ages. You will find these small leaves, especially on the lower branches, as they are old. Therefore, if some leaves are small, this is normal for your jade plant.

7. Water salt issues

If the given water has salts, it might lead to small leaves issues.

Though the jade plant leaves can release the water, they cannot discharge salts. As a result, the salts get left behind and cause brown and small leaves problems.

8. Fertilizer issues

Over or under fertilizing your jade plant causes small leaves issues. If you feed the plant excessive fertilizer, it cannot tolerate the temper, and the leaves will grow unhealthy.

Besides, if you do not offer the required fertilizer, it leads to this issue as the plant cannot get its necessary nutrients.

Therefore, you should feed your coveted jade plant accordingly. According to jade plant growers, it is wise to give it fertilizer once every three months.

9. Frost damage

The jade plant can tolerate freezing conditions. However, too much frost leads to several problems for this houseplant.

If you keep your jade plant outdoors on a frosty night, it hinders growth and development.

You will see small leaves, brown or yellow spots on the leaves, and many other issues. Hence, it is another reason behind your jade plant’s tiny leaves-related problems.

How do I make my jade plant leaves bigger?

After reading the above reasons, now you might be wondering how to grow a jade plant with enormous leaves, right? Fair enough. There are specific steps that you can follow to do so. The steps or processes are as follows.

  • Sterilize pruning shear or knife, a container with a proper drainage system, a well-drained soil mix, and fertilizer.
  • After gathering the above things, use the knife or pruning shears and prune your jade plant just above the brown rings.
  • Remove the plant from the pot and put it in a new container. Fill the pot with well-draining soil. But remember to never repot the plant frequently as it might disturb its growth. It is advisable to repot your jade plant only every several years.
  • To get massive leaves, you must place the plant in full sun. Always put it near a southern-facing window if you keep it indoors. If your plant receives 4 hours of sun rays regularly, it will grow large leaves automatically.
  • Always make sure that you water the plant adequately. You have to water the plant when the soil becomes completely dry. It will help the plant to grow better, and you will see brighter-looking and huge leaves also.
  • Fertilize the jade plant every three or four months. You can mix the fertilizer with water also. It will eradicate many fertilizer-related complications, and you will grow big leaves as well.
  • If you want to get bigger and natural-looking jade plant leaves, always ensure you have kept the place out of drafts. Remember that if you offer your jade plant optimal conditions, it will help its growth and development.

Final words

The jade plant is a pretty houseplant to grow. Though it requires less caring, you must follow the above things to offer your jade plant a normal, steady, and healthy growth.

Water it appropriately and never feeds excessively.

But remember that due to natural phenomena, you will locate some small leaves in your coveted jade plant.

It is okay. However, you need to care for your plant if you find multiple small leaves, especially in the growing seasons. Therefore, do not worry and practice the above things to get rid of this problem.