Jade plants are very easy to grow and care for. They can cope with a bit of neglect because they are drought hardy plants that only need water once every few weeks. However, the most common reason that Jade plants suffer stress is due to issues with watering.
How to revive a jade plant? Overwatering and underwatering are the prime causes that kill Jade plants. Fortunately, they can be saved. If overwatered, they must be repotted into free-draining compost and rotten roots and stems pruned. If underwatered, revive them by bottom-watering and keeping them in a warm, sunny spot.
If you are trying to work out why your Jade plant is dying and what you can do to rescue it, you have come to the right place! Here, we discuss the symptoms of underwatering and overwatering and what you should do to save your dying Jade plant.
Drought-Stressed Jade Plants
Jade plants are extremely resilient because of where they originate. This succulent comes from South Africa and Mozambique – arid regions that have a prolonged dry season. Jade plants have adapted to survive in these conditions.
Just because these plants are tolerant of drought, it does not mean they cannot suffer from underwatering. If we do not water house plants frequently enough, or we do not give them enough water each time, they can show signs of drought stress.
A severely drought-stressed Jade plant will try to mitigate its water loss by dropping its lower leaves. If you see your Jade plant’s leaves shriveling and dropping off, it may be underwater.
Pests and diseases will take hold more easily in stressed plants, so address the problem as soon as you notice.
Issues With Overwatering Jade Plant
Overwatering is most often the cause of Jade plants dying in our homes. They are adapted to hot, dry conditions and growing in gravelly soils. If we water them too often, too much at a time, or do not ensure they have adequate drainage, they suffer.
Jade plants require more water during the growing season (spring and summer) than during winter and fall. Their growth slows over the colder months, so they do not use as much water. This is often when they get overwatered.
Jade plants’ roots cannot cope with saturated soil conditions. If we water them too often, such as more than once a week, the soil does not dry out enough.
Overwatering can cause edema – when plants take up more water than they can store. It can also lead to root rot – a fungal disease.
Symptoms of Underwatered Jade Plant
It is easy to tell if your Jade plant is showing signs of drought stress from underwatering. The following symptoms are an indication of underwatering:
- Wrinkled, limp leaves.
- Brown, dry leaves.
- Lower leaves are drooping.
- Soil is dry and hydrophobic.
Symptoms of Overwatered Jade Plant
The symptoms of overwatering are quite different to those of drought-stress, so it is easy to differentiate between a Jade plant dying of drought and one dying from overwatering. These symptoms do not show up overnight and are signs of overall neglect.
The following are symptoms of too much watering:
- Yellowing leaves – especially the young leaves.
- Squishy, soft-feeling leaves. In bad cases, the leaves turn brown and mushy.
- Bumps or black spots on leaves – signs of edema.
- Drooping branches.
- Boggy soil.
- Root rot. Black leaves and mushy stems in severe cases.
How To Revive an Overwatered Jade Plant
Jade plants are wonderfully resilient and can be rescued even in severe cases of overwatering. Follow these steps to help your overwatered Jade plant:
- Start by determining the severity of the problem. If leaves are just starting to yellow or feel a little squishy, or there are a few black spots on the leaves, it means that the plant has not been suffering for too long.
- In this case, empty the saucer under the pot if it is full of water, place it in a toasty, sunny spot, and wait for the soil to dry out.
- Once the soil feels dry when you stick your finger into it a few inches, you can water your Jade plant again. Going forwards, always allow it to dry between watering it. Your plant will recover from edema in a month or so. You can remove unsightly leaves.
- If your Jade plant is showing more serious symptoms, like root rot, and the pot and soil do not have adequate drainage, you will have to step up your intervention tactics.
- Gently remove your Jade plant from its pot and check the roots. If your plant has root rot, you need to cut away the infected parts.
- Depending on how far the rot has progressed, you may end up with a semi-intact plant or a stem cutting. It is always better to cut away more than to infected parts.
- Repot your Jade plant into an appropriate size pot, with lots of drainage holes and free-draining soil. A Cactus potting mixture is ideal.
- Establish a better watering regime. Only water your Jade plant once the soil has dried. Prevent future overwatering by keeping a saucer under the pot and emptying excess water.
How To Save A Drought-Stressed Jade Plant
It is simple to save a Jade plant that is underwatered because, generally, all it needs is a good soak. Follow these steps to revive a drought-stricken Jade plant:
- Put the pot into a shallow basin of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Bottom-watering is a great way to give your plant the soak it so desperately needs.
- You should soon notice the leaves turning rigid again and losing their wrinkled appearance.
- Remove your plant from the basin and put them in a place where it will get at least 4 hours of morning sun. Do not expose it to temperatures below 55 degrees F.
- Water your Jade plant generously once every few weeks, always checking the soil moisture prior to watering.
Bringing a Jade plant back from the brink of death is not only possible but fairly simple to do! Most often, the reason Jade plants start to die is overwatering or underwatering. If you address these issues as soon as you notice symptoms in each of these cases, you can revive your Jade plant. Thankfully these are hardy plants!
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I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
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