You brought home a beautiful Jade plant with the best intentions but soon, you notice bad signs: wilting leaves, yellowing stems, and a sense that something’s wrong. Sometimes, the solution to this struggle can be found in the answer to a simple question: do Jade plants need drainage?
Yes, Jade plants need drainage. Without proper drainage, fungal growth can occur, leading to root rot.
In this article, we’ll tell you why you need to pay attention to proper drainage and how to ensure your jade plant is getting enough water to thrive.
Drainage is crucial for many plants, including Jade plants, because it ensures they’re not getting too much water. When the soil is oversaturated with water, fungal spores multiply in the soil and spread to the roots’ extremities, causing root rot.
Healthy roots, which are initially white and firm, start to turn brown and mushy as they decay. With dying roots, the plant won’t absorb the nutrients it needs.
Signs of bad plant health will start to show, including:
- Yellow or wilted leaves
- Black spots on the leaves
- Brown or blackened roots
- Stunted growth
- Death of your plant
Jade plants are succulents, which means they store water in their leaves and don’t need much watering. They won’t thrive in constantly moist soil but don’t neglect to water them either.
A helpful tip to help you give them enough water is to pay attention to the soil.
When watering, ensure the soil is moist throughout, not just at the surface. Before watering again, the top one to two inches of the soil should be dry to the touch.
Indoors, this could mean watering once every two to three weeks. Also, keep in mind that Jade plants may need more water in the spring and summer when they’re active.
We’ve already mentioned how a lack of drainage can cause root rot in your Jade plant and lead to its eventual death, but that’s not the only issue improper drainage can cause.
Here are other results of inadequate drainage that can plague your plant:
Healthy Jade plant leaves should be firm, but they become soft and mushy when they’re storing too much water. This could be your first sign of overwatering or improper drainage.
Before your plant gets root rot, ensure there are enough drainage holes and you’re letting the soil dry before watering.
Too much water and insufficient drainage can also cause your Jade plant’s green leaves to turn yellow. This is also a sign of root rot.
If you notice your plant’s leaves are yellowing, you should refrain from watering your plant until its leaves turn a healthy green again.
Black leaves are often an urgent sign of a dying Jade plant. At this point, the decay in the roots has begun to spread to the stem and leaves of the plant.
Aside from black leaves, you may also notice shriveled stems.
To avoid too much water in the soil and its adverse effects, you should ensure proper drainage for your plant. There are plenty of ways to prevent overwatering and improve drainage, including:
The surest way to avoid waterlogged soil is by getting a pot with more than one drainage hole on the bottom. If your container doesn’t have holes, you can drill them into the pot.
We also advise getting a pot with a wide base if you have a large Jade plant. Doing so helps to balance out the plant’s top-heavy nature and reduces its risk of tipping over.
Some soils drain more thoroughly than others. An all-purpose potting mix will do a sufficient job, but mixing in additional perlite can further improve drainage.
The recommended ratio of potting mix to perlite is 2:1.
You can also try bottom watering your Jade plant, as this is something succulents benefit from. To start, pour some water into a shallow dish or tray.
Next, place your pot (make sure it has drainage holes) on the dish or tray. This method allows the soil and roots to absorb the water from the drainage holes.
Bottom watering has several benefits, including providing an even moisture distribution throughout the soil. It reduces overwatering and prevents water from splashing on the leaves.
Watering your Jade plant seems like a simple task. However, if you don’t do it correctly, your plant can get root rot and even die.
You don’t want that, so remember to get the right pot and soil for better drainage. Additionally, check the soil regularly, water deeply, and wait for the soil to dry before watering again.
When you take the time to research your plant’s specific needs and give them the attention they need, you’ll watch them slowly flourish under your care.
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.