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Does A Jade Plant Like To Be Root Bound?

The Jade plant is a resilient plant with jewel-like small plump leaves. If your jade plant suddenly stops its growth, then root bound might be the reason you are looking for. But, does the jade plant like to be root bound? Let us find this out in our further discussion.

Jade plant prefers small pots, but these plants don’t like to be root bound as it can lead to stunted growth, droopy leaves, and lack of oxygen and water supply in the plant leading to various other issues. If your plant shows these signs, you should consider repotting the plant.

The growth of the jade plant is relatively slow, and it requires repotting every three to four years.

Therefore, it won’t be easy for everyone to know the root bound in the plant.

However, we have discussed the simple signs which can help you in identifying the root-bound.

We have also covered some important topics like how to save a root-bound jade plant and how to repot the plant into a new pot. So let’s begin!

Root bound jade plant

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

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Does a jade plant like to be root bound?

No, jade plants don’t like to be root bound. If the plants are kept in smaller pots, then how can they grow freely? This only restricts its development and hinders its maturity.

With the growth in the plant, the expansion of the root is very natural. However, this expansion of the root needs space in your pot.

If the roots do not get sufficient area for their development, they will form a tangled root in a ball-like shape by displacing all the soil from the pot that can’t absorb the required supplies for the plant.

This root bounding forms clusters; since it does not have enough space for its growth, it will start turning brown, and finally, rotting of the root will start taking place.

As there is no soil to hold nutrients in the pot, the nutrients and water will easily pass through the drainage system. As a result, the plant is dehydrated and deficient in the required nutrient.

At this point, you need to shift the plant to a bigger pot. If not, then it might not be possible to save the plant. As the plant doesn’t have enough nutrients, it will start wilting and die in a few days.

In a situation like this, you have to check your plant carefully and determine the early signs. Otherwise, complete disaster is not a long way to go.

How do I know if my jade plant is rootbound?

When and WHEN NOT TO Repot your Succulents (Timing is Important)

It can be challenging for anyone to know if their jade plant is root bound or not. So, we have decided to help you out with this by making it simple for you. 

Here are two steps you can follow to find out whether your jade plant is root bound or not.

Firstly, look for the visual signs that your jade plant is telling you very loud and clear.

Secondly, slowly slide the jade plant out from the pot and examine if it creates the complex cluster of the root in the ball-like shape.

The visual clue that our jade plant gives when it is root bound includes:

  1. The leaves of your jade plant will start turning yellow, and some may become brown.
  2. The plant growth will stop or slow down.
  3. Roots will try to come out even from the drainage hole.
  4. The roots will start to displace the soil to make space for themselves.
  5. Leaves of the plant will start to droop and curl.
  6. You can’t find the soil in the pot.
  7. Dehydration in the plant can be seen, which can also be followed by looking at the dryness in the soil.
  8. The pot will start cracking down because of the root pressure.

If you are adequately nourishing your jade plant, and you still can’t see the growth in the plant, then it is a clear sign of root-bound.

Also read: How often should you water your jade plant?

To confirm that root bound is causing the hindrance in the growth of the plant. Let’s go further with our second steps:

  1. Slowly slide out your plant from the pot.
  2. Try to loosen up the plant and slowly take it out of the pot.
  3. If it is not coming out of the pot, please don’t apply force as it will make things more complicated.
  4. Instead, use a long and thin knife and rotate it inside the wall of the pot.
  5. This will loosen up the plant after that and gently bring the plant out of the pot.
  6. If still, it is not getting out, then don’t apply force; instead, break the pot.
  7. Once the plant comes out of the pot, examine it properly if the roots are bound in a ball-like shape.

The root bound can be in different stages. So you have to take measures according to their stage. We have discussed different stages below:

Stage 1. The roots have just begun to wrap around each other. It is the primary stage and can be easily fixed. You can ignore it for some time and shift in a bigger pot even after a year.

Stage 2. When the roots start forming mats around the root ball, it is a slightly complicated stage and can still be fixed. At this stage, you have identified the problem at the right time and repot the plant accordingly.

Stage 3. If the roots have displaced all the soil and formed the complete cluster shape, it is a dire situation that needs to be treated immediately. Your plant needs to be shifted immediately.

How do you know when to repot a jade plant?

Jade plants are easy to care for, but complete ignorance can bring disaster to your plant. 

The growth of the jade plant is slow-medium; it grows at a very average rate, not very fast, and not even very slow. 

Therefore, you have to repot the plant every 2-3 years, depending on its growth. 

If you nourish your plant correctly and everything goes fine with no environmental issues, your plant needs repotting every two years.

Spring and summer season is best suited for repotting of the jade plant. 

However, it is recommended to avoid repotting during winters as the plant lies in the dormant stage. It will only harm the plant than doing any better.

Best soil and pots for jade plant

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A rootbound jade plant can be fixed by adding fresh soil and pot. However, before you do that, it is essential to know the requirements of the plant. 

Selecting the right pot is essential for the better growth of the jade plant. 

Most commonly, pots between the size of 4″ to 15″ are used for potting them. In addition, you can use a heavy clayed, ceramic, or terracotta container. 

While selecting the plant’s pot, one must keep in mind it must be at least 2″ bigger than the plant size.

For example, if you have potted your plant in the 8″ pot, then repotting should be done in a pot with 10″ in size. Keep in mind that potting them in a larger pot, say 6″ bigger than the current one, will only harm them.

After selecting the best-fitted pot for your jade plant, the next step is to add the correct soil type to support the plant in its further growth. 

Everyone knows the importance of the soil to the plant. Each plant has its soil requirement, and the same goes for the jade plant.

Jade plants prefer soil that has the quality to retain the soil for some time, but at the same time, it does not want its soil to become soggy. 

Below we have provided the ideal mixture of soil for the jade plant:

  1. 3/4th of succulent potting soil.
  2. Another 1/4th part should be pumice stone or perlite, or coarse sand.
  3. And finally, top it up with a handful of compost or worm casting.

Also read: What type of soil do jade plant need?

How to save a root bound jade plant?

Rootbound of the jade plant can be fixed in the following manner

  1. Repotting is one of the best ways to fix this problem.
  2. Trimming the extra roots can also help fix this problem.
  3. The plant can be divided into two halves. 

By following one of these methods, you can save your jade plant.

Repotting jade plant


The Jade plant is a desert plant, and spring and summer are most suitable for the repotting of the jade plant. 

You can repot jade plants into a bigger pot than the previous one. It must not be too big of a pot; 2″ bigger than the previous one will do good. 

We have seen 3′ tall jade plants doing just fine in the 6″ container. You don’t need a large pot for your jade plant until its roots are developed.

Place the plant at the center, then add the above-told mixture of the soil into the container. Do not give water to the plant for a few days after repotting. It will damage the new roots. 

Trimming jade plant

You can fix the complex cluster of the root-bound by trimming the unwanted roots. Keep in mind not to damage the primary roots. It would be best if you trimmed the supportive root or the roots that are unhealthy. 

The best time for trimming when repotting is done in the same size pot. 

Trimming old roots helps the plant in growing fresh and healthy roots. This supports the further growth of the plant.

Dividing jade plant

Separating & repotting my Crassula Ovata Jade plants

Trimming the root ball helps to remove the complex cluster and helps with new growth. 

However, if you want to propagate your jade plant or keep them in the same pot, dividing them is an excellent choice.

Always keep in mind to water your jade plant the night before you divide your plant. Then, take the plant out of the container. Finally, split the plant into two or three parts.

Now take these plants into their respective pots already prepared with the soil mixture and place them accordingly. Please do not keep it in the direct sunlight for few weeks or until it start gaining strength.

Final thought

The Jade plant is a desert plant that can grow up to 10″ in height. These plants have an average growth rate.

So, it is ideal to repot them every 2-3 years. However, the fully grown jade does not need repotting before 4-5 years.

Repotting helps the plant to grow fresh and healthy roots and avoid the situation of root-bound. You must avoid a rootbound situation for the damage-free and better growth of the jade plant.

Thus, look for the signs that your plant gives and repot the plant if it gets root bounded.

Source: NYBGThe University of ArkansasUniversity of Florida, Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Activity of Jade Plant, CABI, University of MinnesotaThe University of Missouri.

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