Jade, Crassula argentea, is a succulent. It does bloom under just the right circumstances, similar to Christmas " >



Jade, Crassula argentea, is a succulent. It does bloom under just the right circumstances, similar to Christmas cactus, but mine have never bloomed in four years. Many times when they are grown as houseplants they don't bloom, or at least not until they are very old. In their native environment jade plants can grow up to 10 foot tall!

Jade plants are slightly finicky, but given the conditions they need, they are a good houseplant that will last for years and years. You can \"Growing \"\" water too little, or too much and the plant isn't very happy. The soil should not become bone dry, but yet you don't want it to be moist either. I water a little more in the winter since it's so dry in the house. Light can be bright to average, but in the summer you may want to avoid the hot direct sun. A sunny southern window is great in the winter. If you notice brown edges on any of the leaves then it may be getting too much direct sun. If the leaves look a little "withered", it's not getting enough water. If you notice new leaves forming then it's going through a growth spurt and you can water more freely for a time.

The potting soil should be average with a little sand added. Start out with a small, inexpensive Jade plant to try it out; they grow at a nice pace, as most succulents do if given enough light and the right conditions.

Jade needs temperatures above 55 degrees, and it should be fairly consistent--not up and down. You also don't want to provide too much humidity, so don't leave water in the bottom of the tray if you are using one or keep it in a humid room. There are quite a few things that can happen to a jade plant such as scale, pythium rot, and certain kinds of mold. If you notice any white spots or bumps, try placing the plant in the tub or kitchen sink and spraying it off with a hand sprayer or handheld shower head. Make sure you get the underside of the leaves and the stems too. If this doesn't seem to make a difference, you can also clean the leaves with a cotton ball that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol. ot can be by overwatering or watering from overhead rather than from the side, or too much humidity or temperatures. The jade is not a cactus, but it needs even less watering than an African Violet, and a similar type of soil. Be sure to water it before it completely dries out, but don't keep the soil moist. Try to establish a pattern to your watering--once a month is generally a guideline. Put your jade plant on a schedule and keep it whenever possible. You can fertilize lightly during the warm months, but withhold it around October through February, when it's somewhat dorment.

Another thing that is important is to always remove dead leaves or stems from the plant and pot. Keep the jade neat. They will tend to get dusty, especially in old homes such as mine. Wash them gently with water, but don't use any type of plant cleaner on the leaves or oils. You can trim your jade plant or "pinch" it to encourage branching. The removed stems or leaves can be left out for the ends to dry for a day or two, then place the ends in a pot with commercial potting soil that you've mixed in a little sand. Plant the cutting an inch or two deep and give it VERY little water until it roots.

Most people want to know why their jade is losing it's leaves. Unfortunately there isn't just one answer. Overwatering or underwatering can cause leaf loss. Also, too much sun or not enough can cause this too. The best thing to do is try to provide the best care based on what I've mentioned and if all else fails, take a cutting and start over.

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