Watering jade plants properly is a huge struggle for many people, and I get asked about it all the time. So in this post, I’m going to tell you all you need to know, including when, how much, and how often to water your Crassulas plant.
As with all succulents, jade plants are drought resistant, making them perfect for busy people who don’t always remember to water.
This trait allows them to survive in their naturally dry and arid habitat, where they go for long periods of time without getting any moisture.
But it also makes them very susceptible to being overwatered, which will eventually cause root rot and death.
The good news is that, if you follow these instructions in this guide for when and how to water jade plants, they will thrive for decades to come.
It doesn’t matter what type of Crassula you have either. Whether it be Gollum, E.T. Fingers, Ogre Ears, Jitters, or Sunset, they all have the same watering requirements.
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Jade Plant Water Requirements
Jade plants don’t require very much water, and they will do much better when kept dry most of the time.
In my experience, overwatering is their #1 killer, and the main cause of most of the problems people have with them.
I know it can seem counterintuitive, but it’s better to err of the side of under watering Crassulas rather than risk giving them too much.
But of course they will be much happier and healthier when you give them the perfect amount of moisture.
Related Post: How To Propagate Jade Plant Cuttings
When To Water A Jade Plant
I often get asked what my jade plant watering schedule is. The truth is, I never do it based on a set schedule.
In fact, going only by the calendar is the worst thing you can do. This type of routine almost always leads to overwatering.
Instead, get into the habit of checking your plant on a regular basis to see when it actually needs water.
How Do I Know If My Jade Needs Water?
There are a few ways you can tell if your jade needs water. The best way is by checking the current moisture level.
To do this, stick your finger at least one inch deep into the soil. If it feels wet at all, then don’t water it. Or better yet, use a moisture gauge to make it easy.
The second way to tell is when the leaves feel slightly soft, rather than firm and plump, or they begin to shrivel.
Related Post: How To Choose The Best Jade Plant Soil
How Often To Water Jade Plants
Exactly how often to water jade plants depends on many things, including whether they are indoors or outside.
The humidity level, sunlight, temperature, size, and time of year are also important factors that affect how much moisture they need. A moisture meter will tell you when it’s time.
Small jades will dry out faster than larger ones. So if yours is in a 6″ pot or smaller, then check them every week or so.
You can check larger potted ones monthly. If they’re established in the ground, rain is usually all they’ll need.
How Much To Water A Jade Plant
As I mentioned above, jade plants don’t need very much water at all, so don’t overdo it.
The exact amount they need depends on the size and environment. So there really is no standard or set amount I can tell you to give yours.
It’s best to give them a deep drink to the point where it’s pooling on top, and then make sure the excess drains completely out of the bottom of the pot.
In my experience, the main problem that people have is giving them too much water.
Sometimes the symptoms are very subtle, and you don’t even realize you’re overwatering until it’s too late.
Here are the main signs of an overwatered jade plant to watch out for:
- Leaves turning yellow
- Stems are droopy
- Seemingly healthy leaves start dropping off
- Whole branches are falling off
- Shriveled leaves that don’t plump back up after watering
- The main trunk is extremely soft or mushy
- Rotting stems and leaves
Under Watering Symptoms
Though they prefer being under watered, never let the soil dry to the point where it starts pulling away from the sides of the pot.
Keep in mind that if yours starts to show the signs below, it could be caused by a previous overwatering. So always make sure that lack of water is truly the problem.
The main symptoms of an under watered jade plant are:
- Soft leaves and stems
- Shriveling leaves or stems
- Leaves turn brown and dry out
- Dead leaves drop off the plant
- Wrinkled leaves start turning red or purple
Related Post: Why Your Jade Plant Is Turning Red & What To Do About It
How To Water A Jade Plant
Once you determine it’s time to give yours a drink, pour it into the top of the pot until it starts flowing out of the drainage holes.
Allow the excess to completely drain from the pot, then dump out the drip tray. Never, never allow it to soak in water.
I do not recommend watering them from the bottom. This causes the top of the soil to stay drier than the bottom, making it very difficult to tell if you’re overdoing it.
Seasonal Crassula Watering Tips
In general, jades need to be watered more often in the spring and summer than they do in the fall and winter.
That’s because they go semi-dormant during the coldest months of the year, and prefer to stay much drier.
Jade Plant Watering In Summer
During the hot and sunny summer months, moisture will evaporate much faster from the soil. It’s also their most active growth period.
This means they’ll require more water during the hottest months of the year. Check on them more often to make sure they’re getting enough.
Watering Jade Plants In Winter
Since they go semi-dormant during the winter, they can go much longer without any moisture.
Because of this, jades are at a higher risk of being overwatered in winter. So make sure you modify your routine, and let them dry out more.
Related Post: How To Prune A Jade Plant
Crassula Watering FAQs
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about watering your Crassula. If you can’t find yours here, ask it in the comments below.
Does a jade plant need water?
Yes, jade plants need water in order to live. However, if yours is outside in the garden, it usually won’t require any additional moisture other than what it gets when it rains.
How much water does a jade plant need?
A jade plant does not need much water. The exact amount depends on many things, including the size and location. But they should dry completely between waterings. A moisture meter will help you figure it out.
Do you water a jade plant from the top or bottom?
It’s best to water a jade plant from the top. Watering from the bottom is a dangerous habit to get into. When the water soaks up from the bottom, it’s much harder to tell how wet the soil is.
Do jade plants like humidity?
No, jade plants do not like humidity. The air in their natural habitat is arid and dry, like the desert. Too much humidity will cause them to rot.
Should I mist my jade plant?
No, do not mist your jade plant. They like dry air, and misting them could cause fungus, rot, and disease issues.
Watering jades is one of the biggest struggles that people have. But, as long as you follow these instructions, it will be easy to give them the perfect amount every time.
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Share your tips for watering jade plants in the comments section below.