The Jade plant’s exquisite look and low-maintenance requirements make it a highly desirable option for many gardeners, especially beginners.
That being said, beginners might get confused when growing this plant as its roots look slightly different from other succulents.
One common question that new Jade plant owners ask is, does a Jade plant have deep roots?
The answer is no. Jade plants’ roots are small and shallow. They typically won’t grow deeper than 3 feet during the plants’ lifetime.
This post will break down why Jade plants have shallow roots. We’ll also provide the essential tips to grow a healthy Jade plant root system.
Jade plant roots are naturally shallow and small for the following reasons:
To Adapt to the Desert’s Limited Moisture
Jade plants are succulents that originally grow on sandy slopes in South Africa. When it rains in these sandy deserts, the water quickly evaporates due to the extreme heat. So, there’s always a high probability that the water won’t go deep into the ground.
That’s why a shallow root system is essential for these plants to access the water before it completely evaporates quickly.
For that reason, Jade plants developed a shallow root system over time to adapt to the limited water availability in the desert.
To Direct Their Energy Toward Storing Water
Because of their original habitat’s severe lack of water, Jade plants survive by storing water in their thick leaves and stem.
That way, they direct most of their energy to grow leaves to help store more water. As a result, only a tiny amount of energy remains for maintaining and growing roots.
Looking at Jade plants’ shallow and small roots, they can’t be invasive roots at all. On the contrary, Jade plants can grow in small containers with no problem.
However, growing two or more Jade plants in one container isn’t recommended. In this case, the two plants will compete for the available resources.
That way, both plants will have difficulty growing their root system, which will negatively affect their health.
Moreover, unlike many other plants, they don’t require to be repotted frequently as their roots don’t spread quickly.
Jade plants can grow in the same pot relatively long before you have to repot them into a larger one. That’s because of their small roots that fit well in small containers.
Generally, you need to repot young Jade plants once every 2–3 years. As for older Jade plants, you’ll need to repot them every 4–5 years.
Keeping your Jade plant’s roots healthy is simple but needs special attention. Here’s a list of the three most critical requirements to grow a healthy Jade plant’s roots:
You need to keep Jade plants in full sunlight as they require at least 6 hours of daily sunlight to thrive. That way, it’s not recommended to keep them indoors.
Nonetheless, you can still place them indoors if you prefer this. To do this correctly, place them in a spot where they can access sunlight for at least 4–6 hours a day.
Jade plants are succulents that don’t need much water. So, you need to ensure that you don’t overwater them. Because if you do so, their roots can rot quickly.
You’ll need to water them only once every two to three weeks. Still, to stay on the safe side, ensure the top 1–2 inches of the soil are dry before watering the plants.
Ensure that you grow your Jade plants in well-drained pots with drainage holes to minimize the effect of any possible overwatering.
In addition, make sure the potting mix you use doesn’t retain water. To do so, pick a loose and well-aerated potting mix.
Does a Jade plant have deep roots? The answer is no, it doesn’t.
Jade plants have a shallow root system developed to help them survive in the harsh weather of deserts.
On that account, Jade plants’ roots are too far from being invasive. They even can fit well inside small containers!
Be sure to repot your young Jade plant only every 2–3 years and old ones every 4–5 years.
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.