How to Grow Jades

by Chelsea Fitzgerald
Cotton swabs and alcohol are effective in treating mealy bugs on jade plants.

Cotton swabs and alcohol are effective in treating mealy bugs on jade plants.

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Jade plants are perfect for people who can't seem to grow anything well except mold in their refrigerators or dust bunnies under their furniture. Jades are succulent shrubs or small trees that will grow to be approximately 5 feet tall, with round- or oval-shaped leaves that are dark green with red or bluish-gray margins. Jade plants tolerate drought and rootbound conditions well, and therefore are a wise choice for amateur gardeners or busy homeowners.

Items you will need

  • Small pot
  • Cactus mix
  • Liquid houseplant fertilizer
  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
Step 1

Plant the jade in a small pot with cactus mix at the same depth as it was in the pot from the nursery. Add some organic matter to the cactus mix for the best results.

Step 2

Set the jade plant in an indoor area that receives at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day. Jade plants thrive best in warm, dry conditions where the temperatures do not dip below 50 degrees F. at night.

Step 3

Water the jade infrequently during the winter such that the soil remains dry to the touch. Keep the soil moist, but not saturated, during the plant's active growth period in the spring and summer. Overwatering the soil causes root rot and is a common cause of jade failing to thrive.

Step 4

Fertilize the jade with a liquid houseplant fertilizer three or four times a year. If you re-pot the jade, wait four months before fertilizing the plant again.

Step 5

Propagate the plant using stem cuttings; allow the cut area to heal for a couple of weeks before planting it in the soil. Some people have success with simply sticking the end of a leaf in the soil and waiting for roots to emerge.

Step 6

Control mealybug problems by wiping the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Problems with pests are rare with jades, but if they occur avoid using insecticidal soaps as they can damage your jades.

Tips & Warnings

  • Jade plants grow well outdoors and are useful as hedge plantings. They grow in full or partial sun and even shady areas. Jades grow slowly and older plants may produce small, white or pink clusters of flowers. They grow best in sand; loam or slightly alkaline and acidic soils.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images