Jade Plant Leaves Turning Dark Green – What to do?

You’ve had your beautiful jade plant for a few weeks, and it’s given you a lot of pleasure. But now its vivid green leaves are turning a dull, dark green, spoiling its appearance. So, what’s wrong with a jade plant that has leaves turning dark green?

Why Jade Plant leaves turning dark green? Jade plant leaves turning dark green is a sign that they are not receiving enough sunlight and is a warning sign that your plant is on the verge of etiolation, a process where the plants become leggy and misshapen, reaching for the light. It can also indicate potential root rot.

Jade plants are resilient and are ideal for those who are just starting as gardeners. They can do well indoors or outdoors, but to maintain their proper color, they must receive the conditions they need. So, just how do you ensure that your little jade friend stays pretty and healthy?

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Jade Plant Responses To Too Little Light

Your jade plant turning dark green is a sign that it has made more chlorophyll because it is trying to soak up all the available sunlight. Jade plants love sunlight; they are not plants for low light conditions.

Your jade plant needs all the sunlight it can make for photosynthesis to produce the plant sugars it depends on for food.

You will also see it become etiolated, a fancy word for the leggy, elongated growth habit it takes on as it literally reaches for the light. Your jade plant will then become overly tall and have weak, spindly growth.

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What If My Jade Plant Is Only Mid-Green?

If your jade plant hasn’t turned dark green but merely a sort of mid-green, it is probably still healthy. This is a normal response to being grown in a spot that doesn’t get bright light all day, such as a shady corner of the garden or indoors.

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It will continue to grow and reproduce but will not have those lovely red tips or other fancy colors that jade plant varieties sometimes have.

But keep an eye on your plant because light levels inside rooms drop off very rapidly away from windows. We don’t realize this because our eyes adapt to the lower light levels, but your beloved plants will certainly feel the effects!

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How To Treat Your Jade Plant If It Has Turned Dark Green

You will need to place your jade plant near a window, preferably one that faces south and not one shaded by a tree.

Your jade plant can recover from getting too little light, but you will need to prune it if it has become etiolated. Prune out the growing tips to encourage the plant to bush more. If you move your jade plant to a spot where it gets enough light, the new growth will be normal.

Because not having enough light, especially in indoor situations, often results in the soil staying moist and the plant being in humid conditions, root rot is a real possibility. This is another good reason to move your jade plant to a spot where it gets enough light and not to water it too much.

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Stressing Your Jade Plant Into Showing More Color

Apart from light levels, your watering regime may be affecting the colors of your succulents (not just your jade plant). Perfectly watered succulents often change to a plain green color.

A bit of stress from not quite enough water often causes succulents to blush, a process whereby they change colors, and reds, oranges, and blues show up more.

You can also stress succulents, such as jade plants, into changing color by exposing them to colder temperatures. The ideal temperature for most succulents is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Colder ambient temperatures result in more intense colors. This is why you see such intense colors in California succulents in the winter.

When you use temperature to stress your jade plant into showing more color, be sure not to expose it to a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, if you live in a colder part of the country, you are going to have to keep your jade plant indoors for the winter!

It is important to note that although we are talking about “stressing” the plants, we do not intend to do them damage. Small amounts of healthy stress keep your jade plant in optimal health and are actually better than “ideal” growth conditions.

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Should I Grow Jade Plants Indoors Or Outdoors?

Jade plants can do well indoors or outdoors, but there are some things to bear in mind.

Growing Jade Plants Indoors

If you grow jade plants indoors, they may receive too little sunlight. They will turn dark green and grow leggy as they reach for the sunlight.

Combat this by placing them in a south-facing window or by using grow lights.

Jade plants, like most succulents, require 5 to 6 hours a day of bright sunlight. Morning sun is better than afternoon sun, as it is less intense.

Too much sunlight will result in your jade plant getting sunburned, so gradually increase the amount of bright light to which your plant is exposed.

Growing Jade Plants Outdoors

If you are growing a jade plant outdoors, your options for where to grow it will depend on where you are in the country. If you are in a sunny, mild area such as California or the Southwest, your jade plant can remain outdoors year-round.

However, if you are in a colder part of the country, you will need to bring your little friend indoors for the winter (as soon as temperatures start dropping below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).

If you are growing your jade plant outdoors, make sure that it is in a position where it receives morning sun rather than afternoon sun.

If you have to expose them to afternoon sun, do it gradually. Using the shade of another plant or object is a way to achieve this.

Read How often to water jade plant?

Manipulating Jade Plant Colors With Watering Regime

If you want your jade plant (of whatever variety) to show more color, try leaving it without water for a bit longer than ideal, i. e. leave the soil dry for 2 to 3 weeks, and you should see a brighter, lighter color with more intense red or orange in the tips.

However, it is important not to leave your jade plant without water for too long when carrying out this experiment. You want to stress it slightly, but not to the point where it starts showing signs of under-watering such as shriveled, browning leaves.

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Conclusion

If you see your beloved jade plant turning an overall dull, dark green, do not panic. It is most likely a sign that your plant is receiving too little light.

The fix for this problem is as simple as moving your little friend to a situation that receives more sunlight or providing it with grow lights.

You can also intensify your jade plant’s colors by letting it get a little bit drier or colder. Hopefully, this information will enable you to get many hours of pleasure from your jade plant!