The jade plant is a hardy, easy-to-grow succulent that is popular with many growers. The plant’s care is basic and simple. Under the right conditions, jades can grow to around five feet in height and live for many years indoors.
The most basic element in jade plant care is plenty of light. Like most succulents, the jade plant really loves light: in fact, placing the jade in direct sunlight is one of the few ways to get the jade to flower during the summer months. For essential, non-demanding jade plant care, place the jade in a south or east facing window, where the plant can get direct sunlight. If your jade plant seems to be stunted, place it into direct sunlight for a few days.
Although the jade plant likes sunlight, it is very adaptable to heat, being able to withstand temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants can also stand higher temperatures in the summer. During the winter months the plant can withstand temperatures down to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, anything lower than that will encourage flowering.
Although the jade plant is known as a succulent, it actually does very well in drier situations, and can be a companion plant to cacti and other low-water plants. For the best level of jade plant care, allow the soil in the container to completely dry before giving more water. Ideally, you should be able to stick a finger into the soil, and not feel any dampness before the jade plant will need any water. Even this little amount can be reduced during the winter.
One way of ensuring that the jade plant does not suffer from moisture (which can make it vulnerable to rot) is to place it in a clay pot. These containers actually absorb water from the soil and plant, and help in jade plant care by ensuring that the soil dries quickly between watering sessions. If the jade's leaves become soft, the jade is too dry and needs water.
Another simple step in jade plant care is to use a mix of soil which allows for easy draining. A mix of one quarter bone meal or similar fertilizer with three quarters coarse soil or sand will provide the best level of draining for the jade plant. There are special potting mixes designed for succulents like the jade which will help you to improve your jade plant care.
The jade plant does will if gardeners regularly pinch new shoots off of the plant. Pruning encourages the jade to branch out. Careful pruning also allows gardeners to check for mealy bugs and other insects which feed on succulents. You can also use a shower hose, or another high-intensity water spray to get rid of these pests.