How Much Sunlight Do Jade Plants Really Need?

As a jade plant grower, it’s crucial that you focus on the essential need of these plants for light to maintain their health. It’s particularly challenging to get the shiny leaves that jade plants are known for without a significant amount of sunlight. Therefore, one might wonder, what is the precise amount of light needed by jade plants?

Jade plants require at least four hours of sunlight daily to maintain healthy growth. Larger plants can withstand direct sunlight, while younger plants will still thrive under conditions with indirect sunlight.

Many conditions should be met for the healthy growth of your jade plants apart from lighting. However, you need to know just how much light is necessary for the healthy growth of these plants. Read more as we examine the lighting conditions necessary for the jade plant’s growth and development.

Why Sunlight is Important for Jade Plants

Sunlight is considered the ultimate source of energy for most living things-plants included. For jade plants, light plays a crucial role in photosynthesis. Since plants get their energy to develop from this process, adequate light is essential in jade plants’ growth. 

Jade plants are sun-loving, meaning that if you give them access to adequate sunlight, their growth is unchecked even by other external factors. However, the lack of adequate sunlight to your jade plants will ultimately affect the healthy growth of your jade plants. 

The greatest challenge many jade plant growers face is determining which direct and indirect sunlight is best for their plants. While it is impossible to guarantee the plant direct access to sunlight, your plant will still do just fine under indirect sunlight conditions.

What Kind of Light is Best for Jade Plants?

The Jade plant is native to South Africa, a country characterized by hot weather all year through, and this is probably why Jade plants love sunlight, which means that the more access to sunlight your plant has, the better the process of growth and development. 

While Jade plants can adapt quickly to changing sunlight conditions, rapid lighting conditions might affect the plant’s growth. The ideal spot for growing your jade plants is a bright area. However, this spot should also consider several factors outlined below.

What is the Right Amount of Sun Exposure?

Since jade plants love sunlight, keep them in an area with direct access to sunlight the entire day. However, there is a limit regarding the amount of this exposure. For at least 4 hours, please keep them in an area to get direct sunlight. After that, getting indirect sunlight will not affect the plant’s growth. For example, you can choose a west window where the plant is guaranteed access to sunlight for a long. 

A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the sunlight is not too direct to the extent that it will scorch the plant’s leaves. A window facing east is also a great option as it ensures that your plant has direct access to the morning sunlight but is slightly facing away from the scorching afternoon sun.

What is the Ideal Direction of the Plant from the Sun?

How do you determine whether the spot you have chosen for your jade plant will support its healthy growth? Here are some window directions and their overall impact on your jade plant’s growth:

An east-facing window: An east-facing window had adequate access to morning sunlight. At the same time, it gets ample sunlight in the afternoon, which is not too harsh for the plant.

A west-facing window: A window facing west is not an idea for a jade plant because the window is directly facing the sun during the afternoons when the sun is too harsh for the plant’s leaves.

A south-facing window: A window facing south is ideal for the plant as it receives light throughout the day. The sunlight is primarily indirect and does not experience sudden shifts in intensity.

A north-facing window: A window facing north will still have access to some light during the day, but this light is not enough to support the healthy growth of your jade plant.

In a nutshell, a south-facing window is an ideal spot for your jade plant. Alternatively, you can use sheers to reduce light intensity, especially in places facing direct sunlight.

Is Moving the Plant Right?

The overall goal of any jade plant enthusiast is to ensure that their plants are healthy, and this is why people tend to move the plants to different locations depending on the light conditions. While such a practice is not entirely wrong, exposing your plant to different light conditions has some downsides. 

For example, a sudden shift from low sunlight to extremely high light conditions can cause the leaves of your jade plant to have some brown spots. These spots eventually affect young jade plants. 

The ideal location for your jade plant is an area with access to sunlight for some hours but is not too much exposure to direct sunlight. If you have to move your plant, make sure that you give the plant ample time to adjust to the new light conditions before further movement.

Can Jade Plants Survive Low-Light Conditions?

Of course, jade plants will still survive in low-light conditions, but do not expect them to thrive. Poor lighting conditions often lead to less-vigorous and leggy plants. Your plant will have stunted growth when exposed to poor lighting conditions for an extended period. 

A lot goes into ensuring that your jade plant is healthy. Being a sunlight-lover kind of plant, you should never gamble with the amount of light that the plant is exposed to.

When Your Jade Plant Has Limited Sunlight Access

If you find that your jade plant has limited access to sunlight, you should consider moving it to an area with better lighting. The best option is to move the plant to a south-facing window. If your house has no south-facing window, look for a great spot facing the sun. Alternatively, you can use artificial lighting to provide the much-needed light for your jade plants.

Signs That Your Jade Plant is Not Getting Enough Sunlight

Many signs indicate that your jade plant is not getting enough light. These signs include:

Yellowing of leaves

If your plant has yellow leaves, this is a sign that the plant is not getting enough nutrients. One way of remedying this problem is to move your jade plant to a brightly-lit area.

When leaves point towards a light source

When a jade plant is subjected to poor lighting conditions, the leaves grow towards any possible light source. Naturally, the leaves of jade plants are bright and relaxed, which means that any sign of thin and floppy leaves, especially in older plants, could also result from poor lighting conditions. Your jade plant should have the right amount of sunlight from a young plant until they grow old.

Stunted growth

Stunted or slow growth indicates that your jade plant is not getting enough sunlight. As a result, the plant lacks enough energy for healthy growth and development. When there are signs that the stem of your jade plant is thin and has very few leaves, consider changing the lighting conditions, such as moving the plant to a brightly-lit area.

What to do When Your Plant Has Limited Access to Sunlight

When your jade plant has little or no access to sunlight, there are several ways that you can ensure the plant’s healthy growth. Remember, jade plants grown under low-light conditions need extra care to revert to average growth. Here are some of the ways you can ensure the healthy growth of your jade plants that have limited access to sunlight:

Use artificial sources of light

Artificial light sources such as grow lights can effectively supplement the natural light your jade plant has access to. Essentially, such lights act as possible alternatives to sunlight, especially during winter, and the winter season is characterized by little or no sunlight, which affects the plant’s growth. 

All you need to do is switch on the artificial lights and keep them close to where your jade plants are. Even with little or no natural lighting, your plants will still have access to adequate lighting, thanks to your glow and other artificial lights.

Water your plants

Watering your jade plants is crucial in growing healthy plants, but how frequently you exercise depends on how much sunlight the plant is exposed to. If your plant is under indirect sunlight, watering should be less frequent.

Fertilize your plant

When jade plants are subjected to low-light conditions, they need enough food for proper growth, and fertilizing. However, fertilizer should be applied immediately, depending on the plant’s needs. 

For starters, young plants require fertilizer that has less nitrogen. If the plants have adequate access to sunlight, fertilizers are necessary throughout the growing season.

How to Deal With Sunburns on Your Jade Plants

Despite requiring a lot of sunlight, this does not imply that your jade plant cannot suffer the effects of sunburn. Sunburned leaves are characterized by brown spots that can soon turn into yellowing leaves. In sunburnt jade plants, prune the affected leaves and move the plant away from too much light.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my jade plant bushy?

Prune the jade plant just above one of the brown rings around a stem, called a leaf scar, with sharp pruning shears or a sharp knife. Two new stems will sprout at the pruning site, so select the stem to prune based on where you want the jade plant to be thicker and fuller.

How fast do jade plants grow?

The jade plant is a popular succulent houseplant with fleshy, oval-shaped leaves and thick, woody stems that resemble tiny tree trunks. With just a bit of care, it can grow between 3 and 6 feet tall, but it does so slowly, growing about 2 inches a year.

How often does a jade plant flower?

The imposing succulent, which he started from a single leaf, has increased its circumference by 4 inches and blooms every year, November through February.

Why are the leaves of my jade plant falling off?

Poor drainage is a common reason why Jade plants drop their leaves. Well-draining soil is imperative for the long-term happiness of most succulents. Excess moisture can lead to root rot if your Jade plant’s soil doesn’t drain well. As a result, the leaves will fall off.

Are jade plants poisonous to touch?

Jade plant shows signs of toxicity in humans when the sap or juice comes in contact with the skin. The symptoms of skin irritation include itching or a burning sensation. Ingesting the plant in a considerable quantity leads to signs of an upset stomach. In cats and dogs, the symptoms are more severe.

Conclusion

Like any other indoor plant, jade plants require a lot of care. However, it knows it can make a difference when your plant is exposed to too much light. Most people move their jade plants without considering how rapid sunlight intensity changes can affect the plant. 

As stated earlier, the ideal location for your jade plant is a south-facing window that receives adequate sunlight throughout the day. However, further changes are necessary for extreme weather changes, such as winter.

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