The Jade plant, also known as “Crassula ovata”, is one of the most succulents for indoor decorations.
Besides its beautiful fleshy leaves, the houseplant is called “the money tree” because it’s deeply associated with good fortune.
It’s also a great plant for beginners because it doesn’t require a lot of care if you provide it with the right conditions, such as good fertilizers. But what is the best fertilizer for a Jade plant?
In today’s article, we’ll answer this question and provide you with all the necessary information to maintain a healthy succulent. Let’s jump right in!
Jade plant is a relatively hardy plant that can tolerate suboptimal conditions. However, if you want it to stay healthy and grow larger, you need to provide it with essential nutrients.
Ideally, Jade plants require both macronutrients and micronutrients for healthy growth.
These are the essential nutrients needed in large quality for growth, such as:
- Potassium (P): Heavily associated with the movement of both water and complex sugars inside plant tissues through a phenomenon known as osmotic pressure.
- Phosphorus (K): Also important for osmotic pressure and critical enzymatic component for plant growth through cell division.
- Nitrogen (N): Plays an essential role in the formation of amino acids necessary for the plant’s structure.
Most plants require these three elements, which is why they’re common in most fertilizer formulas, also known as “NPK fertilizers”.
These fertilizers exist in various ratios, such as 1:1:1, 3:1:2, 6:2:4, and 1:2:1, etc. they can also be represented in strength of each component, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.
These nutrients are also necessary for a healthy Jade plant, but they’re required in much smaller amounts and have very specific enzymatic functions.
Micronutrients are mainly provided in ionic form, including elements like zinc (Zn), Calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), molybdenum (Mo), copper (Cu), and Boron (B).
Before answering this question, you should first know that there are three different types of fertilizers that you can use with jade plants, including:
- Liquid fertilizer
- Granular fertilizer
- Slow-Release fertilizer
Liquid fertilizers and granular fertilizers are typically the best types of fertilizers for Jade plants because they’re easily absorbed and applied directly to the plant or incorporated in the soil.
They’re also easy to store and last for a long time because you can buy them as powder and add water to them before spraying.
Slow-release fertilizers are also good for Jade plants but they stay longer in soil, which can cause over-fertilization problems (fertilizer burns).
Most plants can do well with balanced fertilizers, including jade plants. However, the ideal NPK fertilizer ratio for the money tree is 1:2:1
Ideally, the best way to fertilize a plant is during its growth phase, and Jade plants are no exception to this rule.
In average climates, Jade plants grow from early March to late August (early spring to late summer), so you should consider feeding the plant around that time.
This way, the plant will find all the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients necessary for developing healthy leaves, roots, and flowers.
On the other hand, you should avoid feeding the plant during the fall and winter. This is because the plant remains dormant during this period and won’t benefit from the nutrients in the soil.
The excess fertilizer can dry up the soil and cause excess salt buildup, which damages the plant’s leaf tips. So, as a golden rule, it’s better to under-fertilize Jade plants than over-fertilize them.
Eggshells can be an excellent source of essential nutrients for plants, as they’re rich in calcium and various nitrogen-based proteins. It also has various elements that promote jade plant growth.
You can also use a variety of kitchen byproducts and compostable organic wastes to fertilize jade plants, such as banana peels, coffee grounds, fish remains, and Epsom salt.
Jade plant is a very hard plant and tolerant to harsh condition. Since the plant needs very little water to survive, some people think that it’s also the case with fertilizer. However, this is unfortunately not true.
Without proper fertilization, Jade plant can suffer from slowed growth or even stop growing altogether.
However, the good news is that you don’t need to use a lot of fertilzier to grow a healthy Jade plant.
Besides fertilization, you should also keep your Jade plant in a suitable environmental condions for a healthy growth, such as:
- Soil pH: The plant needs a slightly acidic soil, which is why balanced fertilizers aren’t the best choice for them.
- Temperature: keep the plant in a temperature range of 60 and 75 °F and avoid temperatures that are too cold or too warm
- Watering: water the plant once every 2 to 3 weeks and avoid overwatering by checking the top 1 inch of the soil before watering sessions.
There you have it! A brief guide that shows you the best fertilizers for a jad plant, and how to properly use them.
As you can see, providing Jade plants with a 1:2:1 NPK fertilizer is the best way to enjoy a healthy succulent, although it can also grow well with other types.
Besides fertilizer, you should also ensure a healthy environment for your plant by meeting its other growing conditions, such as temperature, pH, and soil.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.