Jade Plant

elainepeuyMay 15, 2014

Hi! I repotted my Jade plant two months ago and moved it to an outdoor balcony (East facing) from my north facing kitchen window. I noticed some of the older leaves (bottom ones) are turning yellow and falling off. Some also have brown spots on the topside and along the sides. Is it possible that it's over crowded in the pot? I've repotted twice from the time I got it in Home Depot but I didn't split up the branches because I was worried about damaging the root system. There are 5 twigs in a 4" diameter. Is it safe separate the twigs and how do I space them to maintain a healthy bush looking jade plant? Thanks.

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You may separate the twigs, if they are five different plants in one pot, by gently pulling the roots apart. Don't be afraid to do this, jades are tough plants. In my opinion the pot looks a bit too big, and especially if you decide to separate, you will need smaller pots for each plantlet. Brown spots on the leaves may be sunburn, if the plant has been moved directly from inside to outside in the sun. A certain amount of leaves falling off is quite normal for jades, but if they keep falling, it might be overwatering or too little water. Considering the pot size I would guess too much water might be the issue.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:54PM
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You didn't mention where you live, or how the weather is outside, but that's important. As stated above, jades sunburn quite easily if not acclimated to the outdoors. Also, if it's not warm, day and night, they are prone to overwatering and/or rotting, especially after a repot. Your jade is over potted also, so I suspect it's definitely overwatered, and you should withhold watering until it's completely dry. Over potting, especially with a peat based mix, is a recipe for disaster with any succulents, because they need to dry out completely, and peat moss repels water when dry.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:02PM
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In addition to that stated above, you will need a faster draining mix. There are a few recipes out there, but what I've been using for my C&S (and some others use as well) is a mix of Miracle Gro C&S potting mix and rinsed perlite. A ratio of about 50/50 would be ideal.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 9:36PM
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Hi guys!

Sorry it took a while, I couldn't find the thread earlier and I mistakenly assumed I'd get and email notification for postings. Haha!

Anyway, I think it is sunburned, coming from the window to full sun right away. I'll probably split them up into smaller pots. Joe and Planto, I'm not sure what mix the soil is, Home Depot guy sold me the C&S enriched sack of soil they had there when I first go the plant so I used the same when i moved pots. Can you tell this is our first houseplant? :)

Thanks for your help!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:16PM
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Most "cacti and succulent" potting mix is nothing more than standard potting mix with sand in it. While better than regular mix, it's not ideal. It is best to avoid peat moss as a whole, especially with succulents, like your jade. Search "gritty mix" on here, and you'll be looking at just what you need. While jades can survive in regular mix, you'll avoid overwatering problems, and promote good all around health by using a gritty mix. Rather than survive, they'll thrive.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:59PM
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Thanks Joe! Will change soil when I break up the twigs. If switching to a smaller pot and gritty mix will make them thrive together in one pot though, can I leave them all as is? I only thought to split them up because I thought they may be overcrowded (thereby causing leaf yellowing and falling) and would do better separately.

Now torn between leaving them all together in a smaller pot with gritty mix for a nice looking bush and splitting them up into 5 pots. Pelargonium's given me courage. ÃÂ Aesthetics aside, would they be healthier split up? I'm in YVR, by the way. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:36PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't believe overcrowding a Jade causing leaf drop & leaf yellowing.

Splitting them up or not shouldn't affect their health. Getting better mix & a more appropriate pot size & better watering practices are all factors that will influence its health. Crowding isn't one of them.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 7:52PM
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First concern is pot size, my opinion the pot is to deep for any/all of them. I'm not the biggest fan for plastic pots for Jades but they can work, more preferred is any ceramic bonsai type pot or terra cotta.

Separate pots for each of them is up to you, usual preference is odd numbers in a single pot as the normal. You could grow them all in one pot when you repot them in a better draining mix.

Overall it will be better to space furthure apart from each other for a few reasons, one reason is spacing will allow air to flow more evenly though them when repotting into one or more pot(s).

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Crowding doesn't cause yellow leaves, overwatering does, which is quite easy when you have too big a pot. You can decide to keep them together or split them up......your choice. Personally, I'm a big fan of creating trees with my jades, rather than shrubs. I'm also a fan of the gritty mix, but I don't use bark in mine, just a 50/50 mix of turface and granite.

The hard part is the process of going from peat soil to gritty mix. I just acquired 2 more jades today, and did both this afternoon. First, I get a bucket of water, preferably room temperature. I remove the jade from its current pot, and dunk the rootball in the water. I then use my fingers to manipulate the soil off of the roots. I have been quite brutal to roots doing this, as jades have a tendency to get a tightly wound area of roots right around the trunk. I will keep working at it until all the old soil is gone. I then rinse it under running water to get the perlite balls off that like to stick to everything. After this process is done, you'll be amazed how small the actual rootball is. With that said, choose a new pot sized slightly larger than your new exposed rootball.

Now comes the new gritty mix. I literally hold with one hand the jade, roughly where I want it, and with the other hand, spill handfuls of the mix in. Every other handful, I tap the pot to get the mix to rattle in amongst the roots. I do this until full. You can make slight position adjustments by tapping the pot and shifting the trunk a bit. I then insert a skewer to support the plant, as it might be a bit loose for a while.

With my barkless gritty mix, my mix never needs replacement, and repots are very simple. Just tip the pot, shake the rootball out, and the mix comes off fairly easy. The credit for the gritty mix making my life so easy goes to Al (Tapla), for sharing his knowledge with us all. It may be a pain to make the transition, but after that, it's a easy as pie.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 10:16PM
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Thanks guys. The process of repotting in a gritty mix seems easy enough albeit a little time consuming. I'll keep three in a pot to grow as shrubs (spaced further apart as advised), take two out to grow as trees. Quite excited to work on them now that I'm getting precise instructions. :) Crossing my fingers that i'll get them right.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:58PM
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