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Jade Plants Dropping Leaves? How to Spot The Signs

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Homegrown plants will not always be an easy lot to handle. It doesn’t mean you should stay away from them because of the challenges you are bound to come across. Jade plants are among the most common house plants due to their beautiful appearance and ability to withstand harsh conditions. The fact is, it’s not always a smooth ride nurturing and watching them grow.

One of the most common challenges you’ll encounter is jade plants dropping their leaves. It happens for various reasons, like incorrect watering patterns, poor drainage, incorrect humidity and temperature, and low-quality soil.

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As you maneuver your way through these challenges, be sure to proceed with moderation. No one wants home plants that give a negative impression on the owner, and growing them indoors requires you to make certain adjustments around your home to accommodate them. Use the current season as a guide on treating your jade plants.

Keeping them inside all winter may delay the bloom due to inadequate sunlight. Taking them outside during the spring requires complete endurance and patience for several days. Whatever you do, apply all the requirements needed in moderation to avoid dropping of leaves.

How Often Should You Water a Jade Plant?

Jade plants and other succulents should be watered thoroughly when the soil dries out. Generally, it takes about 1-2 weeks to dry out, depending on how hot and sunny your environment is.

You will need to water your jade plant weekly during the first couple of years as they are slow growers at first. As the plants acclimate, they will gain more strength and grow much faster.

Once mature, the jade plant can take up to a month or longer without water. If you live in a dry area, it might be best to water your jade plants slightly once every week or when the soil looks like it could use some water.

The only exception is when it comes to jade plant species known as ‘moon jades.’ They are considered succulents but have the exact needs as tropical plants.

Water whenever moisture is detected in the lower soil surface by sticking your finger or a wooden stick 1-2 inches into the soil. If you notice brown leaf tips, this may indicate either overwatering or underwatering of your jade plant.

In the case of overwatering, it plumps up and becomes waterlogged. In the case of underwatering, it begins to dry out from the inside out, which will cause browning at leaf tips or edges.

When watering jade plants, you want to ensure the soil is thoroughly soaked, which means small pots will need more water than larger ones. The soil becomes dry and compacted on the top surface, slowing down or halting root growth.

Also, use the sink when watering to facilitate thorough watering by filling up the entire pot with water and letting it drain through the holes or bottom.

If your jade plant is too big to fit in a sink, use a watering can or funnel the water slowly into smaller jade plants.

Why Is My Jade Plant Dropping Leaves And Branches?

As a general rule, when a plant or branch is damaged, it will seal off the injured area, keep out disease organisms and begin to repair itself. However, the tree may have difficulty doing this and die if the break is severe.

In time, if conditions are favorable for growth, new branches and leaves will regenerate.

Jade plants, Crassula ovata, are members of the succulent family and have a fairly extensive root system that fills the pots they are growing in quickly. With their pointy leaves, jade plants are often used for bonsai or topiary because of their interesting shapes. 

Over time, these beautiful houseplants can grow quite large. One of the drawbacks to owning jade plants is their propensity for dropping branches and leaves when they get too big or are pruned incorrectly.

Jade plants will usually shed leaves when you move them to a new location. They do this because they think it’s time to relocate and start a new bonsai.

Some conditions will cause leaf drop apart from relocation, however. If your jade plant’s leaves begin turning yellow and dropping, it means that they require more water. 

On the other hand, if the lower branches on your jade plant turn brown and crispy and drop off, this usually indicates that your plant lacks water. 

You should also check to ensure that your jade plant isn’t getting too much water. Over-watering can cause leaves to turn yellow or brown and fall off, and it can also cause branches to turn brown and die back.

How Do I Know If My Jade Plant Is Overwatered?

Jade plants are succulents which means they store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. While jade plants can live for years with little care, overwatering can kill a jade plant within days.

Knowing how to tell the difference between under-watered and overwatered jade plants is essential. A jade plant that’s been overwatered will quickly wilt and appear limp. 

However, an under-watered jade plant won’t wilt at all or may lose its bottom leaves before wilting. When the plant is underwatered, it just grows slowly.

An overwatered jade plant’s stem will either turn yellowish-green or brown. Both discolorations are due to rot caused by overwatering. A wilting jade plant that hasn’t been overwatered may turn yellow or brown on the stem, but this isn’t necessarily caused by water. Sometimes it indicates disease.

A wilted jade plant that has been overwatered will go from having a green stem and roots to discolored and rotting. A wilted jade plant that hasn’t been overwatered will not have a brown and rotting stem and roots. 

Instead, the leaves will die while the other parts remain primarily green. If you notice that some of your jade plant’s leaves are no longer fresh, it may be because they’re under-watered. 

Overwatering harms the jade plant much more quickly than underwatering. If you’re unsure if your jade plant is over or underwater, but its leaves are losing their freshness because it’s overwatered.

How Do You Treat A Sick Jade Plant?

The one thing a Jade Plant needs to stay healthy is water. If your plant is in a clay pot, ensure the pot has plenty of drainage holes because this type of content tends to hold water longer than other types. You can help prevent root rot by providing excellent drainage, a MUST for every container plant!

When some jades feel unwell, they display clear signs of poor health, such as drooping, browning leaves, yellowing, and wilting. These visual indications will appear after some time with improper care and attention. 

FAQ’s about Jade Plants


Don’t act so surprised the next time you notice your jade plant dropping off its leaves. Since knowledge is power, you are better off applying all you’ve learned in this article, and your plant will revive as soon as possible.

It is essential to inspect your plant for signs of unhealthy development regularly. Ensure that your jade plant gets sufficient water and sunlight to help it revive.

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