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Does Jade Plant Need Fertilizer? (How Much+How Often)

Jade plants are known to be sturdy and easy-going houseplants. They have sparkling and thick leaves, for which they need sufficient nutrients to survive and thrive. 

If your jade plant doesn’t get enough nutrients, they are likely to grow weak and limp. But what kind of fertilizer do jade plants need and how often? Let’s find out!

As a general rule, a jade plant needs to be fertilized 2-3 times every year. For ideal growth, fertilize them once in the early spring and in once in the late summer. You can use any fertilizer with a 10:20:10 ratio to provide the appropriate balance of nutrients to your jade plants. 

Fertilizing your jade plant is crucial for its long healthy life cycle. With all these, the question arises of which fertilizer to use, how often you should use it, and other relevant points.

We are here to take you out of the mess in choosing the right fertilizer and how to work with it to grow a beautiful jade plant. So, let’s get right into it.


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Why fertilizing your jade plant is important

Jade plants need to be fertilized to develop well and remain healthy. They need vital nutrients to encourage their growth. If you don’t fertilize them, they will end up with weak stems, dull leaves, poor color, and less vigor.

Potted jade plants are restricted to the soil in their pot, and once the soil loses its nutrients, the rootlets cannot reach out for more. 

If you think that your jade plant is growing in a nutrient-rich soil mix and don’t need to be fed, then you are wrong. The plant will use up the nutrients in the soil over time, draining them of their nutrients. 

Yes, your jade plant can survive without fertilization but will not grow to its full potential. 

Therefore, it would be best if you rejuvenated your soil mix by giving them a dose of a set of nutrients essential for your jade plant’s growth.

When jade plants are nutrient deficit, they show the following signs:

  • Leggy growth
  • Yellow leaves
  • Droopy foliage
  • Stunted growth
  • Weak roots and stems

You must check your jade plant for nutrients when they are showing the above signs. After that, they will have poor growth and less vigor.

Nutrients for jade plant

Fertilizers are essential for the plant’s growth, and before picking a fertilizer for your jade plant, we want you to know what these fertilizers contain.

Each of the following nutrients has a definite function to function in the development and health of the plant.

IngredientsNutrients
MicronutrientsIron, Zinc, Copper, Boron, Chlorine, Manganese, Molybdenum
MacronutrientsNitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium

Macronutrients- Micronutrients consist of primary plant nutrients. They are required for achieving maximum growth of the plants. 

These nutrients are indispensable for plant growth and are required for their cellular growth, boosting the immune system, photosynthesis, energy transfer, etc.

Micronutrients- Micronutrients also known as trace elements, are present in small portions in fertilizers. They are essential to supplement the growth and overall health of the plant.

What is the best fertilizer for jade plant?

Healthy growing jade plant

When it comes to figuring out which fertilizer is best for your jade plants, it gets terrifying. With so many fertilizers available in the market, it gets complicated rather than easier. 

Choosing the right fertilizer for your jade plant is essential to replenish the soil to support their health and growth. 

Your jade plant needs a 10:20:10 fertilizer, but what do these series of numbers mean. Let’s find out.

This ratio means that your bag of fertilizer contains 10% phosphorus, 20% nitrogen, and 10% potassium, and the remaining 60% consists of other nutrients.

Jade plants, especially young ones, need high nitrogen fertilizer for their growth and development. Mature plants like high nitrogen content but will thrive in balanced food too.

Along with knowing which is the best fertilizer for your jade plant, you must also know what nutrients these fertilizers do for your plants.

Nitrogen:

  • Required for photosynthesis
  • An essential element of protein, protoplasm
  • Stimulate the growth of leaves and living tissues

Phosphorous: 

  • It consists of some amino acids
  • Serves in cellular growth
  • Crucial for cell division and stimulates root development

Potassium:

  • Assists integration of protein
  • Utilization of water
  • Boosts immunity
  • Enhances quality of flowers and food

Macronutrients:

  • It helps other nutrients to be more effective
  • Required for optimum growth
  • Acts as catalyst co-factors to build proteins and compounds

Look for 10:20:10 fertilizer for your jade plant. It will help them grow bushier and resist diseases.

Types of fertilizers

Fertilizers come in different types, easily and readily available in the market. You can categorize them into three groups, which are:

  1. Liquid Fertilizer
  2. Granular Fertilizer
  3. Slow-release Fertilizer

Liquid Fertilizer- Liquid fertilizers come in powder form or liquid bottle solutions, give a quick burst of nutrients to your plant. They can be poured into the soil or spray onto the leaves. 

Dilute the instructed dosage to ¼ by mixing with water and then use. These fertilizers are more easily retained in soil with organic matter.  

Granular Fertilizer- Granular fertilizers are in pellet form with high nitrogen and potassium content. 

They can be a shocker for the plants due and can lead to browning and scorching of foliage. They are better for fertilizing larger areas.

Slow-release Fertilizer- Slow-release fertilizers are also in pellet form, but they are released gradually without shocking the plant. 

These plants feature layers due to which they release over 3 to 9 months. As a result, they will keep your plant nutrient-rich as they leach nutrients with every watering. 

The best-suited fertilizer for your jade plant is liquid fertilizer.



Compost as fertilizers for jade plant

Compost is a more natural and organic way to feed your plants. They are made up of natural waste and organic matter and turns into a nutrient-rich component that works wonders for your plant.

Compost has the following benefits:

  • Increases soil’s fertility
  • Make plants resilient
  • Helps in improving soil structure
  • Retaining moisture

You can add a small amount of compost to the soil and keep watering to let the nutrients distribute evenly to the entire mix.

The problem with using compost are:

  • You cannot control nutrients going into the soil
  • They produce foul odor sometimes
  • The ratio of nutrients are not balanced

You can still add a small amount of compost to the soil of your jade plant that will not harm and help plants get an additional dose of nutrients.

We recommend using either succulent compost mix in place of a general soil mix. If using general compost mix, then add 40% sand, perlite, or grit to make a well-draining soil mix for your jade plant.

Do jade plants like coffee grounds?

Jade plants like the coffee ground, but the amount should be in moderation. 

Coffee grounds are acidic, which is preferred by jade plants as they have all nutrients they need to thrive in. Coffee grounds have a few benefits:

  • Promoted thick stem growth
  • Better water retention
  • Prevent dropping leaves

Coffee grounds can be spattered in soil but do not sprinkle it on their leaves. It can lead to brown spots. 

Instead, you can water them with cold-brewed coffee as it will work as an excellent chemical fertilizer alternative.

You can water with this cold-brewed coffee once a month in the growing season, but you should do it alongside fertilizers to complete the nutritional requirements of your jade plant.

My recommended fertilizer for the jade plant

If you are someone who just wants to know which fertilizer to use for their jade plants and have come here skipping all the information given above. Then here is my best pick for you.

With over a dozen fertilizers present in the market, choosing the best one was not easy. But after conducting all the experiments, we have narrowed down the list. Hence, we have come to the two best fertilizers that we would recommend you to use.

Miracle-Gro succulent plant food is one of the best choices for feeding your jade plant. They fulfill all the nutrient requirements.

We recommend you to use 1 tsp. with a gallon of water. You can also use ¼ of the recommended dose to avoid overfeeding them.

If you want to go the organic route, then options are pretty limited. I recommend espoma plant food for most beginners. Fertilize by adulterating ½ the strength of the prescribed dosage. You will see your jade plant flourish.

You can also use compost alternatively with fertilizer once a month. However, using both simultaneously might lead to the burning of the leaves, as it will stress the plant.

How much fertilizer does a jade plant need?

Fertilize your jade plant with liquid fertilizers by diluting to ½ the strength prescribed on the label.

If the formulations of nutrients in the fertilizer bag are with higher numbers, consider diluting ¼ the strength. Then, mix it up and use that to water your jade plant when you want to feed them.

For compost users, add a handful in the top layer of the soil.

Before fertilizing, you must constantly water your plants to allow proper absorption in the soil and prevent damage to the root system.

How often should I fertilize my jade plant?

Jade plants don’t need as much fertilizer as many plant owners think. They are light feeders. Hence fertilizing them 2 to 3 times a year is good enough.

Fertilize them once in the early spring and in once in the late summer. If your jade plant is kept in bright light, then you might consider them feeding throughout the growing season once every other month.

During dormancy, they rest and do not like to be fed or stressed. By feeding in the growing season, you make them strong enough to survive colder months.

Also read: Should I Fertilize My Indoor Plants in The Winter?

How do you fertilize a jade plant?

The right way to fertilize your jade plant is also an important point to know, let’s learn it below:

  • Choose the right fertilizer for your jade plant and prepare for dosing.
  • Dilute the ½ of the recommended dosage in the label with a gallon of water and use it to feed your jade plant.
  • For compost, take a handful of compost and apply a layer on the soil every two weeks.
  • For coffee grounds, prepare a compost mix out of it or a liquid fertilizer that can be drizzled on your plants.

What happens if you over-fertilize your jade plant

Over-fertilizing can cause more harm than you think. Many planters keep fertilizing their plant to stimulate and fasten their growth and development. Unfortunately, Over-fertilizing will lead to several issues in your plant than promoting growth.

Following are the issues your jade plant would face when overfed:

  • Leaf burn
  • Slow growth
  • Salt build-up on the top of the soil
  • Stunted growth
  • Brown and yellow spots on foliage

These are signs that a jade plant shows when they are constantly overfed. Therefore, you should feed them according to the suggested dosage to avoid over-fertilizing.

How to fix an over-fertilized jade plant?

If you see the above-given signs in your jade plant, then the chances are that you have ended up over-fertilizing your jade plant. 

Do not stress because it is our responsibility to de-stress you by correctly diagnosing your plants.

You cannot save the damaged parts, but you can always save the rest of the plant with proper care. Then, you can again have a bushy and healthy growing jade plant.

Follow the following steps to fix our over-fertilized jade plant:

  • Clip the damaged leaves with a pair of sterilized scissors. Also, sterilize used scissors after using them.
  • The best way to eliminate excess salt in the soil is by scraping the top layer of the soil by about one inch. Now replace it with a fresh soil mix.
  • Water the soil thoroughly with a strong stream of water to leach the leftover fertilizer.
  • If the situation is complicated, consider repotting them to avoid severe problems in our plant in future.
  • Do not fertilize for at least a month after this process. 

If you are looking to buy a lot of houseplants to brighten up your space and that too on a budget, try out Cellardoorplants. They offer a wide variety of plants, delivered right to your doorstep, and that too for every budget. If you haven't checked them yet, Try them now!


Final words

Jade plants are light feeders, but they do need high-nitrogen fertilizer to thrive i.e., 10:20:10.

You can feed them with a fertilizer formulated for succulents by diluting the strength to half to avoid overfeeding.

Fertilizing is essential to incite their growth and development and for fuller and robust foliage.

Fertilize jade plants in the growing season, once every month with your preferred fertilizer.

You can use coffee grounds by making a liquid fertilizer, but not more than once a month. However, overfeeding your jade plants with coffee grounds can burn the leaves as well as the roots.

Also read: 9 Indoor Gardening Mistakes That You Didn’t Realize You Are Making


Source: NYBGThe University of ArkansasUniversity of FloridaPhytochemical and Antimicrobial Activity of Jade PlantCABIUniversity of MinnesotaThe University of Missouri.