Do you want to add a beautiful, low-maintenance plant to your indoor gardening setup?
The jade plant or Crassula ovata is one of the best options because it’s pretty easy to take care of. Moreover, it’s associated with good luck and positivity.
This is why it’s pretty popular among homeowners, as people believe it can attract wealth and good luck.
Yet, to keep your plant happy, you must be aware of your jade plant light needs.
What kind of light will help this plant thrive? Do you need to use grow lights if there’s no access to sunlight?
We’ll answer all these questions in this article, so keep reading.
Jade plants are native to Africa, where this beautiful plant grows as a succulent that doesn’t need much watering.
But this plant has become quite popular in several regions.
In Asian cultures, it’s linked to good luck, as it’s believed to attract success, wealth, and prosperity.
This is why people call it the fortunate or good luck plant and use it in their homes and offices.
The jade plant grows to reach a maximum height of six feet in its natural habitat. As an understory plant, it thrives with bright indirect or filtered sunlight.
You can grow this plant in your home as long as you satisfy its light needs.
Jade plants grow in arid climates and hot temperatures. But this doesn’t mean this plant can tolerate the scorching afternoon sun.
As a matter of fact, too much sun is just as bad as too little sun for this beautiful plant.
The jade plant thrives in dappled or filtered sunlight. Therefore, when it grows under taller trees, this plant will receive its light needs while being protected from the harsh light.
Dappled light is similar to partial shade, where the sunlight passes through the branches and foliage. This will be suitable for the jade plant because it can get its light needs covered without burning the foliage.
When growing inside the house or in an office, you need to place your jade plant pot near a west or south-facing window. This guarantees it doesn’t spend much time exposed to the hot noon sun.
Younger jade plants need more light than older ones. Without enough light, a young jade plant will be prone to diseases and pest attacks and might not survive.
During the growing season, you must give your jade plant more light. This will make it stronger and might encourage blooming.
However, indoor jade plants rarely bloom, and when they do, they grow short-lived flowers. Yet, without enough light, this won’t be possible.
Ideally, the jade plant will grow best when it receives between six and eight hours of bright indirect sunlight daily. Of course, it gets exposed to less light in the fall and winter, which is essential for a healthy lifecycle.
The plant will enter a dormant stage with less light, which helps reset it. As the temperature increases and the plant receives more light, it might start blooming and will continue to grow its foliage.
At least four hours of bright indirect sunlight is needed to keep this plant healthy. With too little light, your jade plant might not survive.
Plants need light to perform the photosynthesis process. Although some plants can survive in total shade, the jade plant isn’t one of them.
Your jade plant will suffer in several ways when it doesn’t receive enough sunlight.
A jade plant will experience stunted growth when it doesn’t receive enough sunlight.
Stunted growth refers to dwarfing, an overall loss of foliage, and an unhealthy look. This can be a big problem for the jade plant because it’s a slow grower.
Without enough sunlight, this plant will stop growing altogether, and then the leaves will start wilting before they fall off the plant.
Plants are pretty adaptable, and when you don’t provide them with enough light, they will try to find more of it.
You can have a leggy plant when it tries to grow a long stem with a few leaves.
In this case, the plant is said to be leggy and healthy because it uses its energy to grow a longer stem but no foliage.
Since plants need to do photosynthesis to produce food, this plant will be in bad shape and eventually die.
Without enough light, your jade plant will be too weak. This means that it can easily topple over, and the foliage will point downward.
Jade plants aren’t usually tall, but they go upright.
A plant that doesn’t receive enough light won’t be able to do this and will be easily broken if the wind hits it. It might also easily break upon minor impact inside or outside the house.
Jade plants are succulents, so they store water in their fleshy leaves. Yet, they must still be watered regularly to maintain regular and healthy growth.
Nevertheless, when the plant doesn’t receive enough light, too much moisture in the soil can lead to root rot.
Root rot is a serious disease that easily kills plants. When the roots suffer from rot, they become unable to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Eventually, the plant will die.
Jade plants thrive in moist but not wet soil. The excess moisture in the soil can lead to root rot, and the infected roots must be removed.
Jade plants won’t survive in complete darkness or full shade. They need at least four hours of sunlight to survive.
With this amount of light, your jade plant will barely survive, but it won’t be healthy, and it’s unlikely to bloom.
Without access to sunlight, using grow lights will be necessary.
Grow lights are artificial lights that provide a suitable light spectrum for your indoor plants, allowing them to thrive in any climate.
They’re available in bulbs or light fixtures. Light bulbs are easier to use and more affordable, while light fixtures are more expensive but can provide suitable light for several plants at a time.
Several technologies are available, including LED, fluorescent, and incandescent lights. Each one comes with several pros and cons.
In general, full-spectrum light bulbs will work for your jade plants and can be used in winter. They can also be used if you don’t have a sunny spot to put your jade plant pot.
Younger plants will benefit from grow lights, as they will help them get established.
Adding plants to a dark room will make it more aesthetically pleasing. But, unfortunately, jade plants aren’t tolerant of low light conditions and won’t survive if you keep them in a dark room.
However, providing your plant with a grow light will help it survive.
Grow lights provide your plant with the necessary light energy to perform photosynthesis. This is the only way you can grow an indoor jade plant without access to sunlight.
Jade plants aren’t fussy and can tolerate several challenging conditions.
Yet, this feel-good plant won’t survive in full shade and needs bright indirect sunlight to stay healthy.
Your jade plant will achieve its best growth and might even bloom when it receives at least six to eight hours of bright indirect sunlight. With four hours of sunlight, your plant will survive, but it won’t be that healthy.
Too much sunlight can scorch the leaves and damage the foliage. At the same time, not receiving enough light leads to stunted growth, a leggy plant, and root rot.
Using grow lights will be essential when there’s no access to enough sunlight. This is the only way to keep a jade plant alive in a dark room.
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.