With their smooth, shiny leaves and easygoing nature, jade plants (Crassula ovata) are extremely popular houseplants. Getting the watering schedule right is key to keeping your jade plant healthy and looking its best. Knowing how often to water jade plants will help you avoid both under and overwatering.
Factors That Affect Jade Plant Water Needs
There are a few factors that influence how frequently your jade plant needs water:
Climate and Season
Jade plants need less frequent watering in cool weather and more in hot, dry conditions. Water less in winter when growth slows down. In spring and summer, increase watering frequency.
Jade plants in bright, direct light need more frequent watering than those in lower light. The heat and light make the soil dry out faster.
Plant Size and Pot Size
Larger jade plants in bigger pots can go longer between waterings than smaller plants. Small pots also dry out quicker than large ones.
Some potting mixes retain moisture better than others. Fast-draining mixes require more frequent watering than those with peat moss or vermiculite.
Young, actively growing jade plants need more water than mature, established plants. Water less once the plant matures.
Signs Your Jade Plant Needs Water
Learn to read your plant’s signals so you know when it’s thirsty:
Jade leaves start to wrinkle and pucker
Leaves or stems begin to droop
Leaves lose their firmness and start feeling soft
Growth slows down or stops
Soil feels completely dry when you stick your finger in it
How Often to Water a Jade Plant ?
As a succulent, jade plants should be watered deeply but infrequently. Specific frequency depends on the factors discussed above. Here are some general guidelines:
Small jade plants in 4-6 inch pots: Water every 7-10 days
Medium jade plants in 6-8 inch pots: Water every 10-14 days
Large jade plants in bigger pots: Water every 2-3 weeks
These are general estimates. Always check the soil moisture before watering and adjust your schedule based on your plant’s needs.
How Much Water Does a Jade Plant Need?
The exact amount depends on the plant’s size, but here are some estimates:
Small jade plants: 1/4 – 1/2 cup water per watering
Medium jade plants: 1/2 – 1 cup water
Large jade plants: 1 – 2 cups of water
Pour the water slowly to allow it to soak down into the soil. Avoid splashing it on the leaves.
Tips for Proper Jade Plant Watering
- Allow soil to dry out between waterings. Don’t water again until the top few inches of soil are dry.
- Water early in the day to allow the leaves time to dry out before nighttime.
- Use tepid or room temperature water rather than cold water.
- Always provide good drainage by using containers with holes and fast-draining soil.
- Add sand, perlite, gravel or clay pellets to garden soil to improve drainage.
- Use rainwater or filtered water rather than tap water if possible.
- Water less often in winter when growth has slowed.
If the plant is wilting, give it a deep watering right away to recover turgor pressure.
Signs of Overwatering in Jade Plants
Too much moisture can harm your jade plant. Watch for these signs:
- Standing water in the drainage tray
- Leaves turning yellow or brown
- Soft, mushy leaves or stems
- Leaf drop
- White mold or fungus on the soil
- Rotten or translucent leaves
- Slowed growth
Pay close attention to your jade plant’s water needs. Water thoroughly only after the soil has dried out, and adjust frequency based on climate, season, and other factors influencing moisture requirements. A proper wet-dry cycle will keep your jade plant looking lush and healthy for years to come.