The jade plant or also known as Crassula ovata is an excellent succulent to grow indoors. It grows like a small tree, something you can mistake for a bonsai. Like most succulents, it is very easy to grow, especially for novice or somewhat careless gardeners. We could do a very long article to talk about this beautiful indoor plant, but this time we will only deal with talking about the best soil for jade plant.
When we think of a jade plant, the classic comes to mind, which in many places is called a money plant, but the truth is that there are dozens of varieties. To mention a few, I can list the following; Crassula Ovata ‘lemon & lime’, Golden Jade Tree, Pink Jade Plant, Gollum Jade, Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’, etc. In this post we will talk in a general way since although there are differences between each variety, the needs in the soil do not vary from one to another.
Interesting fact: although its use is mainly decorative, this striking little plant has other uses. For example, its root is used as food in certain tribes in Africa. The leaves can also be used in certain treatments for diarrhea or as a relief in epilepsy attacks.
1. What does it need from the soil?
We already said in the first paragraphs that the jade plant is a succulent that requires little care, it could be classified as a rustic plant. You just need to provide the right soil, place it in a place that feels comfortable, and water it regularly.
Unlike many other plants, they do not need very fertile soils, the most important point regarding the soil is that it must drain quickly. If the soil in which your jade plant is planted holds a lot of water, there is a risk that they will generate fungus in the roots.
The most important point regarding the soil is that it must drain quickly.
Well-drained soils must contain a certain amount of granular material, such as sand, in their composition. Never plant a jade plant in clay soil, they retain water for a long time. A 50/50 mix of clay soil and sand may be a better option.
2. Best soil for jade plant
We already know that the soil in which we must plant it must drain very well because it can suffer from fungus in the roots. Also that the soil must contain a certain percentage of sand and that we should never plant it in 100% clay soil. Also, a 50/50 mix of clay and sand may be an option. But is that the best option for our jade plant?
No, a mixture of sand and clay is not the best, it will work but there are better options.
2.1 Potting mix for jade plant
The best potting mix for jade plants is a mixture of sand and soil for succulents or cacti. This mix can be 50/50 giving a good drainage capacity.
If you don’t want to buy succulent or cactus soil from a nursery, you can swap it out for any soil with some organic matter. The soil you use for any of your garden plants mixed with sand will be a very good option.
Once you have your mix ready, it’s time to find the pot for your jade plant. This can be changed as the plant grows. Try to verify that it has good holes in its bottom. It will be useless to put a well-draining soil if the pot holds water.
2.2 How to make soil for jade plant
Making the soil for your jade plant is super quick and simple. You will only need to have potting soil (if it is a mixture for succulents or cactus better), coarse sand, perlite, garden spoon, container.
With the materials already at hand we can start:
- First: we will take the container and inside it we will place four tablespoons of potting soil. This soil must be dry, do not wet it because it will be difficult to mix it with sand and perlite.
- Second: inside the same container we will place three tablespoons of coarse sand and one of perlite.
- Third: it is time to stir very well with the spoon until the mixture is as homogeneous as possible.
And voila, you have soil for the jade plant. 🙂
3. Consequences of poor soil on the jade plant
I think I’ve already made it pretty clear that the key to the soil for the jade plant is in its drainage ability. In general, you will not have problems due to lack of organic matter or deficiency of some nutrient. Soil problems will be mainly related to water.
If the soil that you have placed does not have enough drainage capacity and a lot of water begins to accumulate, certain symptoms will begin to be seen. The leaves will be the first to show these symptoms, you can see how they darken and acquire a softer consistency.
If you don’t act quickly by changing the soil, the leaves will start to fall off. To such an extent that it will run out of leaves and your plant will have died. On the other hand, a symptom that you will not be able to see is what happens in the roots. They will also start to soften and turn brown. They are entering a stage of decomposition. The more the roots rot, the lower the ability to transport water and nutrients to the plant. That will be the end of your jade plant.
Another option is that instead of having too much water, it is too little. You may have put in very sandy soil that doesn’t hold water. This case is less serious, since the jade plant has a very good ability to withstand drought. But if you are exposed to a dry spell more than you can bear, you may start to see leaf spots appear, some discoloration, slow growth, and leaf drop.
As you may have noticed, not providing good soil for your jade plant can lead to several problems. Try to find the best soil and always accompany it with moderate watering, never cause waterlogging in the pot.
4. How to improve the soil with fertilizer
Your jade plant will be able to live perfectly if you have provided it with the right soil and change it regularly (with each transplant). In general, no fertilizer is necessary.
Anyway, if you want to give it a little push, for better growth, you can apply some fertilizer. The most appropriate thing is to buy a special fertilizer for cacti or succulents. It is best to find it in liquid format and apply it along with irrigation.
Do not abuse the use of fertilizers, an excess of nutrients can end up damaging your jade plant. Start fertilizing in early spring and apply every 15 days. Use a fairly dilute dose of fertilizer, half the recommended dose on the bottle.
More information to consult:
- Crassula argentea Jade Plant – ufl.edu.
- Jade plant care guide – plantshed.com
- Propagation of the Jade plant by cuttings – mcgill.ca.