Jade plants are sturdy plants that need little care to thrive. However, many plant owners ignore their needs altogether. It may affect their health, and the leaves become soft and weak as a result.
Overwatering is the primary cause of soft leaves in a jade plant. When you overwater the plant, it leads to root rot, due to which the plant doesn’t get enough nutrients to sustain. Hence, the leaves turn soft and start wilting. Other causes of soft leaves are lack of nutrients and poor lighting.
Many planters assume that the plant is dehydrated by looking at the leaves, but this is not the case all the time.
Therefore, you need to check thoroughly for all possible reasons by recalling your caring pattern and cultural conditions.
We have made this easy for you to understand the core issue and fix them effectively. Read further to make sure you are taking the right steps to save your plant.
Table Of Contents
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My jade plant has soft leaves
Jade plant leaves may be becoming soft due to several reasons. So, we emphasize finding the problem first and then treating it appropriately.
Let’s see what could be possible reasons for soft leaves in a jade plant, and then we shall discuss about their solutions:
- Incorrect watering
- Inadequate lighting
- Lack of nutrients
- Temperature shifts
- Wrong size of the pot
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Jade plant leaves will get soft due to incorrect watering. It may be overwatering or under-watering.
Many planters water their jade plant now and then. That keeps them moist all the time and never lets the soil dry completely. Unfortunately, this leads to root rot.
The wet soil inhibits oxygen from reaching roots; hence roots become soggy. The overwatered jade plant will act weird first by turning its leaves soft, yellow and will end up wilting.
The leaves lack water and nutrients due to root rot. Since the roots and soil are choked due to excess water, it is expected that the plant experiences root rot.
This stops their ability to flow nutrients and water to other parts. In addition, the cells in leaves that hold moisture have nothing to keep the leaves firm; thus, the leaves turn soft and start wilting.
Underwatering is also not recommended for your jade plants, even though they can sustain under-watering. This gives a lot of planters a free will to keep their jade plant underwatered frequently.
If the plant stays dry for a continuous period, the leaves will lack moisture and hydration, causing them to become soft and wilted.
The best way to prevent your jade plant leaves from turning soft and mushy is by ensuring that you are not overwatering them in the first place.
Also, check its drainage system because poor drainage often leads to water-holding, which results in soft leaves.
- Check the soil of your jade plant before watering them to ensure they are dry enough to get watered again.
- Rather than sprinkling water now and then, water them thoroughly and wait till the soil is dry up to a few inches from the top.
- Always ensure the excess water has drained out. If using a saucer, then empty it to void the soil and roots from sitting in a pool of water.
- If overwatered, let the soil dry out completely. Give it proper light and some hours of the direct morning sun.
- Keep the plant in good light and water always when the soil is dry. Always prefer to avoid watering them when in doubt to avoid overwatering.
- You can also use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture level and water them on time.
- You can also take out the plant from the pot and check it properly. Knocking off some old soil will also help. Repot with fresh soil mix.
Also read: How often should I water my jade plants?
Proper lighting is very crucial for the growth of your jade plants and their overall health. The leaves and stems need proper light to stay firm and green.
When there is a lack of light for a long time, the plant has less energy to stay healthy, fleshy, and firm.
Light helps with the photosynthesis process and allows the soil and roots to supply enough nutrients to the leaves and stems.
The leaves use these nutrients to stay firm, green, and healthy. However, due to poor lighting, the soil and roots dry slowly and might stay wet for longer periods.
This might also affect the supply of nutrients to other parts. Hence, The leaves become soft.
Jade plants need a lot of light to stay healthy and happy. Therefore, they may suffer if they lack light, especially if they are kept in low light for very long.
If you have also made the mistake of keeping them in low lighting conditions for a long time, you need to act on it right away.
- Move your plant to better lighting gradually from low to moderate. Do not move them to bright light at once. Go slow.
- Keep your jade plant in a window sill, where it can get direct morning light and indirect daylight every day.
- You can use grow light if you do not have desired natural light available to keep your plant healthy.
- Keeping the plant safe from the fireplace and radiators as they can harm the leaves.
Also read: How much light do jade plant need?
Lack of nutrients
Potting soil in which you are growing your jade plants is initially filled with nutrients that your plant can feed on for quite a while.
However, these nutrients are flushed out of the soil with time due to constant watering. But, the plant needs those nutrients to survive and maintain its leaves and stems.
The soil and roots need nutrients to stay healthy and support their leaves and stems. However, if you don’t feed your jade plants, the leaves and stems may have deficit nutrients due to a lack of nutrients supply.
The leaves require all their needs in check to remain fleshy, firm, and green. If the nutrients are lacking, the leaves become soft, wrinkled, and may even fall off.
- During the growing season, fertilize your jade plant with high nitrogen food, once at the beginning of spring and once at the end of summer. (Recommended: Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food)
- Adulterate the fertilizer to half the strength of the recommended dosage.
- Do not fertilize them in the dormant months. It will only hamper their health and growth.
- Always water your plant before feeding them. This will evenly distribute the fertilizer and prevent salt build-ups.
Jade plants are known to be sturdy plants, so they are taken for granted by many planters.
Therefore, these planters often keep their jade plants in adverse conditions or move them from one place to another without any prior thought.
This attitude towards the plant can harm them after a point in time.
Though jade plants are adaptable to different conditions, keeping them in extreme conditions and expecting healthy leaves and stems out of them is unfair to them.
Keeping them in extreme cold or hot temperature levels may lead to their suffering. Of course, they can withstand extreme conditions, but consistently keeping them in such conditions may harm them.
Jade plants especially suffer most when moving from one different condition to another.
When moving them indoors from outdoors, the conditions are very different, outdoors there is hot temperature, and indoors there is a room or cool temperature.
So this shift may shock them a bit. You can see the effect as wilting, soft, and yellow leaves.
Soft leaves are initial signs of stress by your jade plant. This means we have our chance to save our plants by giving them proper care and required changes.
- You can start by moving your plant from an extreme condition to a slightly less extreme condition.
- Aim at keeping your jade plant at a temperature level ranging between 65°F-85°F.
- Keep them away from northern windows during winters to prevent frost. Keep them at least a few feet away.
- Avoid keeping them near vents, radiators, furnaces, or any other heating systems, etc.
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Wrong size of pot
Some planters with little knowledge grow their jade plant in whichever pot they like or find attractive. Unfortunately, the wrong-sized pot will affect your plant’s health and growth.
If grown in smaller pots, there will be less soil in it, which means fewer nutrients are available for your plants. In addition, a small pot constricts the roots, which will affect the plant’s growth.
The leaves will lack nutrients and become soft, wilt, and may drop. Thus, small pots can wreak havoc on your jade plant’s health.
Large containers are also not recommended to plant jade plants. This is because the plant will not be able to fill the container with its root.
In addition, the roots and soil will stay wet for a long time as larger pots take a lot longer to dry out.
Due to water retention, the roots will rot, and less water and nutrients are available for the leaves and stems, leading to soft leaves.
Choosing the correct pot size is essential because jade plants have fragile roots that may get damaged due to inappropriately sized pots.
- Choose the right size of the pot, the best way for that is to check that the pot’s diameter is 10% larger than the width of your jade plant.
- If your jade plant has a width of 5-inches, a container with a 5.5-6 inch diameter will be suitable for it.
- Repot your jade plant on the right-sized pot to give your plant sufficient space to grow healthy and happy.
- Always make sure the container has a proper drainage system to allow the excess water to drain out quickly every time you water your plant.
Also read: Do jade plant like to be root bound? What type of pot and soil do they need?
Jade plants prefer ample indirect light and some direct light to thrive, though you should keep them away from intense sunlight.
They should be grown in the correct size pot to give the roots enough space and help the plant grow.
Many planters blame watering as soon as they notice soft leaves of the jade plant. But you should deeply examine the issue without jumping to a conclusion.
Check the lighting and temperature conditions around them. If they live in extreme conditions or there are frequent shifts in temperature, it could lead to soft leaves.
Consider feeding your jade plant throughout the growing season. Lack of nutrients can affect the health of the leaves and plants.
Source: NYBG, The University of Arkansas, University of Florida, Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Activity of Jade Plant, CABI, University of Minnesota, The University of Missouri.
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