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Jade in Need of Help

2 months ago

I sort of inherited what I believe to be a jade succulent that looks like it needs some help. It's at least ten years old. I re-potted it in fresh succulent-specific soil but I'm sure it needs some more help based on the pictures I am seeing of other similar plants!

It is straggly, which I understand can happen when it doesn't get enough sun. I have it in an east-facing window, which is the only option. However, I have read that the red coloration is heat stress. So I am not sure what the best light option is. On a clear day, because we are in an apartment building on a hill, it can get direct sunlight from sunrise to about 11:00 a.m. or so. The rest of the day is indirect since the sun is on the other side of the building. There is a west-facing window, but it doesn't get nearly as much light because of other buildings and trees. The east window is the most practical option for several reasons.

I am also wondering about the wrinkled leaves. Some newer leaves appear plump green, but these seem to be thin and shriveling! There is a plugged hole in the bottom of the pot that I unplug and then put the whole thing into a larger pot of water. I had read somewhere that allowing he soil and roots to draw the water up is better than watering from the top. I let it sit in water for over an hour after re-potting because the instructions said to water it well. I know they don't need a lot of water, especially in winter.

I am very new to succulents, so any observations or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

Comments (8)

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Sorry you haven't gotten a reply, and I hope you get one from someone more knowledgeable than I.

    I'm not sure it's a jade, but it is a succulent. Water from the top only when dry. Let the water run through a couple times and let it drain thoroughly in a sink or whatever. You can rest it on a stack of newspaper to be sure it's thoroughly drained. You can tell if it is dry by putting a wooden skewer down into the potting mix for a few minutes, and check to see if it is damp when removed. You could do that now because I'm not sure letting it sit in water is you did allowed the plant to take up water properly. I would leave the hole permanently unplugged. Succulents store water in their leaves and stems, so they don't need a lot of water. If you are uncertain about when to water, wait a few more days or a week. More succulents are killed by overwatering than by underwatering.

    It will probably need more light, so if you can shift it around during the day when you are home to get more, that would probably help.

    I think the red is just the nature of the plant. Not sure about the wrinkled leaves.

    If you are getting interested in succulents, there are some good youtube videos, but given your light issue, other house plants may be more appropriate. But there are some succulents which tolerate less light, like sansevieria (mother-in-laws tongue) and some haworthias. Good luck with your plant.

  • 2 months ago

    PS If you don't have skewers available, you can use a wooden pencil.

    gbond1967 thanked socks
  • 2 months ago

    Thank you. I tried watering it as you suggested and will see if it improves. I know they don't like a lot of water, but if they store moisture in the leaves and this one has flat, shriveled ones, that might indicate it hasn't had enough. Very little water drained out the bottom, which also makes me think it was just thirsty.

  • 2 months ago

    Soil looks PEATY, PEAT is a terrible mix for succulents (yes, it is a Jade/Crassula argentea). The soil is not getting saturated, peat soils can be very hydrophobic. I would be sure to saturate it and then move it into a better mix. Leaves will revert to normal.

    gbond1967 thanked 41 North (Zone 7a/b, NE, coastal)
  • 2 months ago

    Sorry for the delay in acknowledging your reply. The soil I repotted it in said on the bag is was made for cactus and succulents. Is there something else I should be looking for? In the meantime, I tried saturation and it seems to be perking up, but not "normal" yet. Maybe if I am able to find a better soil it will help. I have also been trying to maximize its sun exposure, since that was a suggestion too. The only practical option is an east-facing window, but we're on a hill, so on a clear day it is direct for several hours until it gets too high. Thanks for your reply.

  • 2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Commercial mixes advertised and for Cacti & Succulents, just SU!K. They are mostly PEAT MOSS. Peat is light and cheap, and in the sun, it bakes. Let me guess, Miracle Gro?! Worst solis ever! BTW, Jade plants probably one of my favorite of succulents, they get big and will flower if happy.

  • 2 months ago

    Hi Denise. Thanks for the reply. I'm in a condo on the seventh floor, so the east-facing window is the only option for periods of unblocked light. I used to water it by filling a bowl with water and opening the hole in the bottom of the pot before putting it into the bowl. I had read somewhere that this was a good way to water them since the moisture would be soaked more evenly into the soil and the roots could find it. That seems to be what you are recommending? Someone else suggested just directly watering from the top. But if the wrinkled leaves are clues of underwatering, I guess I need to adjust things.

    I had read deep pruning is a good idea. I am going to be away for two weeks. I think I will give it a good watering and let it dry over the period while I'm away. When I get back, I will look into the pruning.

    Thanks again.