Why Jade Plant Leaves Falling Off [Causes & Fixes]

There is nothing like a nicely potted jade plant to give a room a lovely ambiance of green. It’s not surprising then that when a jade plant’s leaves start falling off until it becomes leafless, most gardeners and plant lovers feel a veritable sense of loss. I recently experienced this same sense of less with my own jade plant’s leaves. Not wishing to go through the same experience again, I scoured the internet for information behind this phenomenon and this is what I found!

Why Jade Plant Leaves Falling Off? There Are Primarily Four Reasons Why The Leaves Of Your Jade Plant May Fall Off. These Reasons Are:

  • over-watering;
  • not getting enough light;
  • inadequate temperature conditions and pests
  • Some individually subjective reasons include lack of care and willful sabotage.

This is just some cursory information that establishes the primary factors with regards to why jade plant leaves fall off. Now you may want to explore how these factors rob jade plants of their leaves.

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You may also wonder how you can prevent this process from happening. Here are some useful points of note regarding these questions.

How Does Water, Light, Temperature And Pests Lead To The Removal Of Jade Plant Leaves?

Jade plants are succulent plants. This means that they are highly sensitive to environmental factors such as light, water, and temperature. Water, in particular, has a regulatory effect on succulent plants, since they have high water-absorption capabilities.

These capabilities developed as an evolutionary response to the semi-arid and arid climates that most succulent plants grow in and are a key factor in ensuring their survival.

In jade plants, these high water absorption capabilities are concentrated in the leaves. Owners of jade plants should keep this in mind whenever they are watering their jade plant in tandem with the environmental conditions of temperature and light. This is why!

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How Are Jade Plants Affected By Water?

Water is usually the primary cause behind the degradation of the leaves of jade plants. This is normally due to over-watering.

When you over-water a jade plant, the excess water in the leaves is shed via it’s internal capillary cells to it’s roots. Succulent plant roots are usually dry and subsist on as little water as possible.

This makes the roots of such plant species extremely sensitive to any excesses of water. These excesses can lead to root rot if there is little to no evaporation and moist conditions are engendered in and around the roots.

Roots are critical for the health of the leaves in most plant species as a source and transport node of nutrients. Simply put, if the roots are sick then the leaves will become sick as well.

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The surest way to know whether or not your roots have succumbed to root rot due to over-watering is to check the coloring of your leaves. If your jade plant’s leaves have lost their green hue and have become slightly yellow, then understand that this is a sign that root rot has probably set in.

As an extra measure check the condition of the soil as well. If it’s damp or soggy then this is an indication that there is an excess of water in the soil that has inundated your jade plants roots and likely led to it’s rot.

From this point on, it’s advised that you withhold water until the soil has dried out. Failure to do this will lead to increased loss of the lustrous green color of your jade plant’s leaves which subsequently get soft enough until they’re lost.

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What Are The Effects Of Light On Jade Plants?

Light plays a vital role in ensuring the longevity of your jade plant’s leaves. So in conditions in which access to light is impeded, like winter, jade plant leaves will begin to fall off.

The reason for this is mostly on account of the sunlight having a catalytic effect on the chemical processes within the leaves that allow for it to produce life-sustaining nutrients.

In the absence of light, these processes seize to occur and thus lead to the degradation of the jade plants leaves to the degree that they are incapable of remaining free-standing and begin to fall off.

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Read Why is my jade plant falling over?

How Does Temperature Affect A Jade Plant?

Miscalculations as to which temperature conditions you should place your jade plant under can lead to your jade plant’s leaves falling off. The best temperatures to keep your jade plant in are between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anywhere or below this temperature will lead to leaf loss and in colder conditions, frost will claim a significant number of your jade plant’s leaves.

Be careful also not to suddenly change your jade plants’ temperature conditions since this can have a disorienting effect that leads to leaf drop.

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How Do Pests Affect Jade Plants?

Pests are usually the bane of most plant species and jade plants are not exempt. Jade plants are susceptible to mealybugs and scaly insects.

When these insects feed on jade plant’s leaves, they can impart diseases that lead to the leaves becoming sticky and moldy.

This leads to the development of deformation of the leaves and in due time, they fall off. This is a particularly difficult issue to deal with since these pests subsist on these plants and so present an ever-present problem, but there is a way to deal with it that I will discuss later.

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Measures To Prevent Jade Plant Leaves From Falling Off?

As briefly mentioned before with regards to water-clogged jade plant roots, the surest way to remedy the onset of root rot is to withhold any additions of water until the soil is dry. This will halt the process of root rot by depriving the rotting process of it’s a key catalytic factor which is excess water and moisture.

In the case where the branches or trunk of the roots have become soft, then you must remove the jade plant from the pot, brush off any damp soil, remove the soft branches or trunks, and re-pot the plant in a new and dry soil mixture. Always use a clean pot as a means to stave off any possible development of fungal infections.

In cases where you have under-watered your jade plant and the leaves become dry to the point of falling off, then simply adding water will be a prudent and easily applicable measure.

Where issues of access to a light source are concerned, just place your jade plant closer to the window but still not within touching distance. The touching distance caveat is mostly on account of winter drafts which can be very damaging to the leaves.

Temperature and it’s a negative effect on the leaves of jade plants can mostly be taken care off by adhering to the 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit recommendation. In addition to this, always keep your jade plants away from drafts and radiators.

When moving your jade plants from one environment to another, to ward against the possibility of temperature disorientation and subsequent leaf drop, ensure that you move them gradually.

This makes it easier for the jade plants to acclimate to the new conditions and thus prevent the kind of disorientation that leads to leaf drop.

With regards to pests, the way to treat jade plants is by dabbing mealybugs and scale insects with a cotton ball or paintbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol. Insecticidal soaps and sprays can have a fatal adverse effect on the condition of the jade plants when used so always ensure that you steer clear of them.

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Conclusion

Jade plants are a treat. Whether you have one or not most people readily take a liking to them. But one thing most people tend to forget is just how fickle they tend to be with regards to their upkeep.

The leaves of jade plants are particularly susceptible to any number of adverse effects if not taken care of properly. It is hoped that with the above information some of the worries that come with taking care of jade plants will no longer be a problem.