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The type of soil you use for your jade plants is critical. Plants obtain all their nutrients from the ground, and the soil also performs other purposes, such as supporting the plant roots. Plants differ in their soil preferences based on their adaptations. In their natural home, these plants grow in rocky, sandy soils with low fertility, and you need to provide them with similar growing conditions to thrive.
For spectacular growth, jade plants are particular about the drainage ability of the soils they grow on. The soil also needs to have organic matter, and for a potting mix, you will need to combine grainy soil, such as sand, with organic matter.
Getting suitable soil might be challenging if you are new to growing jade plants. The soil you get for your jade plant will determine the plant’s health and growth rate, and ease of caring for the plant. In this post, I will provide detailed information on the soil requirements for jade plants and how to arrive at the ideal potting mix for the pant. Read on to discover this and more.
Soil Requirements for Jade Plants
Proper soil drainage
The soil’s drainage capacity is essential for jade plants as they are adapted to growing in sandy and rocky soils. When watered, water should be able to flow through the soil particles. Like most succulent plants, jade plants can absorb and store water within their leaves.
The plant roots require well-aerated soils whereby air can flow in and out through the soil particles. Waterlogged soils suffocate the plant’s roots and cannot carry out cellular aerobic processes that require oxygen.
Also, the carbon dioxide by-product is retained in the cells distorting the internal cellular environment. Consequently, the plant roots die from rot, an irreversible disease among jade plants.
The best soil choice for these plants should be grainy, allowing out excess water every time you water the plant. The soil should also hold just enough moisture for the plant.
Jade plant roots are shallow, spreading out to absorb water from the rare rains within the dry regions where the plant naturally grows. These roots require sandy textured soils to allow the roots to spread out through the soil.
As a result, the regular potting mixes do not work well with the plant as they are too heavy for the plant roots. Even though the soil may have adequate drainage, as jade plants require, it is too clumpy to discourage its root growth.
Due to the shallow root system, the plant requires the ground to be stable enough to provide the necessary support.
Soil nutrient content
Jade plants require substantial nutrition content for healthy growth. For this reason, apart from the soil’s drainage, you must add organic matter to the potting mix. The organic matter you add also improves the soil quality, retaining just enough moisture for the plant.
If you choose a cactus mix, for instance, you will need to boost the nutritional value of the soil by adding some organic matter. Jade plants require more nitrogen as compared to other succulents.
Whenever the plant is grown in too poor soils, they lack the nitrogen essential for growth, and you will notice the plant’s leaves begin to turn yellow and drop, starting with the older foliage at the bottom. Additionally, the plant’s shoot growth slows downs (stunted) while the roots grow extensively, searching for the missing nutrient in the soil.
As you prepare your potting mix, you must balance the soil’s drainage capacity and nutritional value.
PH levels of the soil
Jade plants prefer slightly acidic soils with pH levels of 6 to 7. If you use pH levels too high or lower, you risk your plant’s health as it interferes with the soil’s nutritional content and causes nutrient deficiencies in your plant, which slow down the plant’s growth. Jade plant leaves for plants growing in extreme pH soils burn and turn yellow before they drop.
Cactus mix provides the perfect pH for growing jade plants; however, it might lack other properties such as sufficient nutrients and water-retaining capacity.
Creating the Perfect Mix for Growing Jade Plants
When creating a jade plant soil mix, consider the three factors above the soil’s drainage, fertility, and acidity. With the necessary knowledge and components, you can create a good mix for your jade plants at home.
Using ingredients such as sand, pebbles, or perlite helps improve the soil’s drainage. You can use organic matter such as compost, worm castings, peat moss, or guano. Finally, to create the plant’s ideal acidity, include coconut fiber, peat moss, or sphagnum moss in the soil mix.
1. Creating jade plant soil using cactus or succulent mix
Cactus soil mix is often used to grow jade plants. However, there is a downside to this soil mix as it doesn’t provide sufficient nutrients for the plant. Also, the structure of the jade plant requires a more firm ground due to the heavy top and the shallow root system.
You, therefore, need to add compost to the cactus mix to improve the quality and make it suitable for jade plants. Add organic matter and two parts of the cactus mix in this case. You can add one part of perlite or pumice to the mixture to improve quality, although it is optional.
2. Creating jade plant soil using potting mix
The regular potting mix is too heavy for jade plants, thus not ideal for growing the plant. You can include other components in the soil to make it suitable for the plant, including horticultural sand, sphagnum peat moss, coco coir, pine bark fines, and perlite.
- Include two parts of either potting mix or compost; Potting mix provides the same properties as compost, and you can use either. The two components are nutritionally rich, light and well-aerated.
- Add two parts of horticultural sand; this component is composed of ground quart, granite or sandstones, providing the mix with an adequate drainage capacity.
- Add one part of perlite, coco coir or pine bark fines; these components add to the aeration and drainage properties of the soil.
- Alternatively, you can create a jade plant soil mix by adding one part of peat moss, one part of compost or organic matter, and three parts of coarse sand.
- The other options include using equal parts of agricultural lime, vermiculite, pumice, coco peats and coco chips.
Besides the soil properties, using the appropriate pot or container for your plant is crucial. Even with properly drained soils, the containers where you grow your plants need adequate drainage holes for excess water. Remember, one of the most significant challenges with growing jade plants is overwatering, which could occur from poor drainage in the soil or container.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is unique about the jade plant?
The jade plant is a succulent and renowned good-luck plant to attract wealth. This beautiful succulent plant has vibrant green leaves symbolic of growth and renewal, resembling jade coins/stones symbolic of wealth and prosperity. The Jade plant gives off nourishing “chi,” the positive energy.
Can I plant jade in the ground?
Good drainage is vital to the survival of a jade plant; plant Crassula ovata in a freely draining medium such as a cactus mix and never let it sit in wet soil. Jade plants can be planted outdoors in USDA growing zones 11 to 12, but most areas must be brought inside to winter over.
What temperature do jade plants like?
Jade plants do best with daytime temperatures between 65 and 75 ° F and nighttime temperatures between 50 and 55 ° F. During the winter, they protect plants from drafts and do not let their foliage touch windowpanes. Jades prefer the full sun or bright filtered light of a south-facing window.
Can jade plants grow from cuttings?
You can propagate Jade Plants from stem or leaf cuttings. Remember that getting a nice-sized jade plant from leaf cuttings takes a while. So, if you want to get a head start, and don’t want to wait so long, then we recommend propagating jade plant stem cuttings instead of the leaves.
Do jade plants have roots?
Jade plants have a shallow root system to compete for the limited water resources in the desert. By spreading their roots within the shallow soil, jade plants access the falling water quickly rather than waiting for it to percolate deep into the ground.
Conclusion on Jade Plant Soil For Stunning Growth
When grown in the wrong soil profile, jade plants will likely develop poor nutrition or overwatering conditions, such as dropping leaves, stunted growth, root rot, spongy leaves, and yellowing leaves.
You might also notice that the plant’s soil takes too long to dry, and the plant becomes saturated. For the plant to thrive, there is a need to balance the soil properties, including drainage, pH levels, and nutritional component.