Jade Plant


My jade plant is struggling. Some stems are seriously withering (see photo below). I repotted the plant and checked the roots. They do not seem to be rotting. I have also been spare in my watering. The plant is in a south facing window. I removed the leaves that were spotted/curling etc. The plant is very spare now. What should I do?

Thank you for your help.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.

We receive  numerous requests regarding the care of Jade plants. The following information is from a number of our archived posts:

The scientific name for the jade plant is Crassula ovata. Jade plant leaves could fall prematurely from the plant being too wet or too dry, for lack of nitrogen in the soil or for need of more sunlight. They are generally very adaptable plants but to grow well, they need direct sunlight for half a day or more. Even though jade plants are succulents, they need to be watered well. If excess water drains into the saucer, pour it off within 30 minutes and do not water again until the surface soil feels quite dry. Leaving the saucer full of water longer may cause root rot and this will cause the leaves to soften, yellow, become limp and fall off. If the soil is kept too dry, the leaves will shrivel (become crunchy?) and fall off. Sometimes too dry plants will develop brown spots on the leaves.”

Although jade plants tolerate being rootbound, allowing the plant to become overly rootbound can hinder its ability to take up water. If the roots can’t take up water, the leaves will lose their plump appearance. A convenient way to determine if your plant is rootbound is to water. If the water is slow to drain into the soil or spills over the sides of the pot, your jade needs a larger pot. Jade plants also need a potting mix that rapidly drains off excess moisture. You can buy a mix formulated for succulents or make your own mix with equal parts clean, sharp sand, peat moss and all purpose potting soil.

Jade plants grow best from 18-24 deg C, with slightly cooler temperatures (13 deg C) in the winter. I don’t know if your plants are inside or outside or whether you have AC, so I can’t really comment on the effect of temperature.

Jade plants should be fertilized 3-4 times a year (not in winter, because they are not actively growing then) with standard, liquid houseplant fertilizer.”

The fact that you do not see mushy rotting roots but shrivelling stems it is more than likely that your plant is not receiving enough water.

You’ll need to experiment a bit to determine how much and how frequently to water your Jade.  Increase the amount of water such that all the soil in the pot is moistened.  The pot should never sit in water which can contribute to root rot.  Check every few days to see if the soil still feels moist to the touch and watch the leaves closely as they get wrinkled & shrivelled if the plant is severely dehydrated.

You will find additional information on the care of this plant on our website. Simply type Jade into the Find It Here search bar located to the right of the page.

Lastly, here are some links with additional information on the proper care of a jade plant.




Good Luck with your Jade plant,

April 22, 2021