Jade plants, scientifically known as Crassula ovate, are some of the most simple to grow and strongest houseplants, making them a great choice for a lazy or beginner indoor gardener! Even though Jade plants are hardy, there can be some problems to look out for when your Jade plant or leaves turns red.
Why are my jade plant leaves turning red? When your Jade plant or its leaves turn red, it could be due to natural conditions, such as sun exposure. It can also be because of how much you water them, the amount of fertilizer you provide for them, or even an insect infestation. However, you will need to play detective and find the problem!
Are you a gardener struggling with your jade plant or just a concerned plant parent? Read more as we discuss exactly why your Jade plant might be turning red!
Why Would My Jade Plant Turn Red?
Some extreme environmental conditions might not always be bad for your Jade plant, and when you start to notice its foliage turning red, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your plant is sick, suffering, or on its deathbed!
Everyone who owns a Jade plant has to keep in mind that they are succulents. This means that they are native to arid regions, where they grow to their fullest potential in harsh conditions that are impossible for other plants to flourish in.
Your jade plant will need anywhere between three to five hours of direct sunlight a day, so a west or east-facing window would be the ideal condition!
The conditions Jade plants are native to are usually conditions like intense and direct sunlight, lack of fertility in their soil, and a huge lack of water.
However, your Jade plant will flourish to its fullest potential when you do not pamper it, and taking on a reddish color is completely normal. This is why Jade plants make the best plants for struggling gardeners!
If you notice that your favorite Jade plant is starting to show shades of red, it might be time to inspect your plant and take note of any environmental changes that have happened recently or are happening currently.
Check out, How often to water jade plant?
Why Would My Jade Plant Leaves Turn Red?
It could be scary for any plant parent when they start to see their beautiful green foliage suddenly turning red. It could be quite unsettling, especially if you have no clue about what you’re doing wrong or why it could be happening.
Some gardeners encourage red foilage, and some are worried that it might be damaging to their plants. Whatever the reason, you are about to find out exactly why your Jade plant’s leaves are turning red and what you can do about it!
There are three main reasons why your jade plant leaves are turning red: Too much sun, too little water, and too little fertilizer. Let’s take a look at these reasons more closely, with some additional reasons, to put your mind at ease!
1. Your Jade Plant Is Getting Too Much Sun Exposure Or Direct Sunlight
Jade plants getting too much sun is the main cause of their leaves turning red. Jade plants usually like bright light and flourish under these conditions, but they do not prefer direct sunlight. Just like people, Jade plants can get sunburned by strong and intense sun rays.
You don’t necessarily have to be concerned about your jade plant getting too much sun. If the tips of your Jade plant’s leaves are turning a shade of red, but it seems healthy, then you don’t need to be concerned.
Signs of your plant being healthy is that the leaves are still plump, are not shriveling, and the stem still stands upright.
If you simply don’t prefer the look of the red foilage the sun is giving to your Jade plant, you can just move it away from the light source, but if you prefer the reddish shade, you can leave it just where it is!
If anything, your plant getting a bit too much sun is a much better problem to have than it not getting enough sun. Jade plants that do not receive enough sun can cause them to become leggy.
2. You Might Be Giving Your Jade Plant Too Little Water
A Jade plant not getting enough water is also one of the most common reasons why the leaves might be turning red. Again, this might not be a bad thing or something to be concerned about.
Jade plants are very drought tolerant, as they are used to getting small amounts of water. It is best to allow your plant to dry out between waterings and then water it thoroughly. Ensure that there is well-draining soil in the pot with big enough drainage holes.
You only have to start worrying when you notice that your Jade plant is turning brown, with the leaves starting to shrivel up and falling off. But if your Jade plants’ leaves are turning red and it looks healthy otherwise, then chances are, it will be just fine!
3. Your Jade Plant Isn’t Getting Enough Fertilizer
If you aren’t currently providing your Jade plant with fertilizer, this could be another cause of your Jade plants’ leaves turning red.
If your soil doesn’t have sufficient amounts of fertilizer in the soil, it can have this effect. This small problem can be resolved by adding a small amount of fertilizer to your soil.
Poor soil conditions lacking balanced nutrients can actually harm and potentially kill your Jade plant. It is crucial to always provide your plant with a sterile potting soil mix or poor cactus blend.
However, if you are a gardener who prefers the red shade on your Jade plant, you can choose to keep the soil of lower quality.
4. Your Airflow Might Be Wrong, Causing Your Leaves To Turn Red
When there is too much air around the leaves and soil of your Jade plant, it can cause the Jade plant’s leaves to turn red. When there is too much airflow, it will deplete the soil’s nutrients and dry out, creating poor soil conditions.
Too little air means that your plant is drowning. You can trim your Jade plant or provide it with a small oscillating fan to improve the airflow.
5. You Might Have An Insect Problem Causing Your Leaves To Turn Red
While it is not concerning when your Jade plant experiences good environmental changes, it could become a problem when its red-tingled foliage and fast and healthy growth change rapidly. This is not something to ignore, and you might have an insect feasting on your poor plant
Spider mites are extremely small sap-sucking pests that houseplants are extremely susceptible to, especially the hardy Jade plant. You can generally identify a problem as the insects will spin a very fine webbing over their leaves.
If you notice that some of the leaves are misshaped, with tiny red spots on the leaves and stems, you most probably have a spider mite problem.
These pests can very quickly spread to all your other indoor plants, causing even more problems. It is, therefore, extremely important that you identify and fix the problem fast.
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We, as plant parents, always want to make sure that our babies are in the best condition they can be. With the correct caring techniques and problem-solving methods, you can ensure your jade plant to be a beautiful shade of green, and if you prefer a red shade, it is acceptable and not at all harmful to your plant’s wellbeing!
With all the above reasons why your Jade plant and its leaves might be turning red, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore any of them. You want to make 100% sure that your dear Jade plant is happy and healthy before you can write off the issue entirely.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.