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Can Jade Plants Get Sunburned? (+How To Recover)

The jade plant is a sturdy plant that can adapt to quite an extensive range of conditions. However, extreme conditions like intense sunlight will damage the leaves of your jade plant.

In this article, we will learn all about sunburn in jade plants and how you can fix the issue.

Jade plants are succulents that prefer bright sunlight to stay healthy. However, overexposure to the sun or intense afternoon sun will lead to sunburn in a jade plant. To fix the issue, start by moving the plant to a spot where the plant gets filtered sunlight and trim the damaged part of the plant.

Sunburn destroys the plant’s natural appearance and makes it look dull and unpleasant. Not only that, you can’t repair the damage caused by the sunburn.

The jade plant is a very resilient succulent and can even tolerate neglect. However, it cannot stand the scorching sunlight.

Today, we will discuss the different causes, solutions, and precautions that you can take to save your jade plant from sunburn.


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Can a jade plant get too much sun?

Yes, jade plants can stay in full sun. However, intense sunlight may burn their leaves. So, make sure you keep them under partial shade or filter the sunlight using a sheer curtain.

The jade plant is native to the warm climate in South Africa. But it is not the situation how you want to keep the plant indoors.

In any case, it is more appropriate to keep the plant in the shaded area. Direct and harsh sunlight can damage the foliage.

Indirect and bright light works best for jade plants. You can trim the damaged leaves to promote healthy growth.

The placement of the jade plant also determines the amount of sunlight it receives. For example, if the pot is kept near the east-facing window, it gets the morning sunlight, but it will not be enough throughout the day.

If the plant is kept in the west-facing window, it will get some evening sun, but it will not get enough bright sunlight for the day.

Similarly, a south-facing window will provide the optimum amount of sunlight throughout the day. But if you keep the plant outside, it will receive too much light.

Usually, a healthy jade plant needs indirect sunlight for at least six hours a day and soft direct sun for a maximum of 4 hours.

Thus, by keeping the plant near the south-facing window, you can manage to get enough lighting for them.

If a south-facing window is not feasible, you must go with west or east-facing window. Never place them in a north-facing window as it might not be enough for your jade plants.

Also read: Ideal placement of jade plants

Signs of sunburn on the jade plant

If you have noticed the spot on the leaves of the jade plant, it starts to turn from yellow or white to dark- reddish-brown depending upon the intensity of sunlight. It means that your plant has suffered from sunburn.

The spot burned by the sunlight slowly becomes crispy, and there is no chance for the leaves to recover from this state.

These spots are not subject to any specific area. It may appear anywhere or any part of the leaves.

Usually, the tip of the leaves will show spots first because that is the part that was exposed to the sun.

But sometimes, the leaves may show the marks beneath if the sun hits the plant from another direction.

Apart from turning the leaf crispy and dry, the sunburned leaves eventually fall off from the plant.

Therefore, they are beyond any kind of recovery.

Although the sunburn does not hit the whole plant, keeping the plant in direct sunlight even after the plant shows signs of suffering may put the plant in an unrecoverable situation.

Why is my jade plant sunburned?

After noticing the signs of sunburn in the jade plant, another essential step is to find the exact problem. So let us understand the same so that we can stop them from happening again.



Direct sunlight

It is seen that when the jade plants are grown in the wild, the direct sunlight does not cause a lot of problems to them, as they remain safe under the canopy of other trees and bushes. 

But the same is not the case with the plant grown indoors. The indoor jade plant does not tolerate direct sunlight as they are acclimated to medium indirect lighting conditions.

Indoors jade plants have been accustomed to limited light and cultural conditions, making them vulnerable to unfavorable conditions.

If you have placed your jade plant near the balcony or outside, it will receive direct sunlight and eventually get scorched leaves.

Also read: How much light do jade plant need?

Sudden exposure to the sun

The jade plant prefers to stay untouched. It likes to stay consistent in one place with no need for any displacement. 

For example, if you have placed your jade plant indoors and provided it with the perfect sunlight and other nutrients, but suddenly you decide to place it outside under the direct sun, it will definitely get a sunburn.

The continuous exposure to direct sunlight gives spots of sunburn. 

In addition, the jade plant requires some time to adjust to different conditions, so bringing a sudden change will shock the jade plant resulting in brown spots.

Identifying the brown spots

There may be many reasons behind the leaves turning brown. But, unfortunately, it is not always the sunburn behind every yellow or brown spot. 

It is essential to know the exact reason behind the signs given by the plant. For example, if you notice that only the upper leaves exposed to the sun show the spots, it is most probably because of the sunburn.

However, sometimes your jade plant may turn yellow or brown even when they are not kept under direct sunlight. You can learn more about it from our article below:

How to help the jade plant recover from a sunburn?

The sad part with the sunburned leaves is that you can’t recover them. 

The burned spots on the leaves caused due to intense sunlight damage the tissues entirely and did not leave any chances to recover.

So, pruning off the burned leaves is the best option for us. But, it would be best if you also avoided the mistakes that led to sunburn in the first place.

Before pruning, make sure that the scissor is sharp and has been appropriately sterilized. In addition, the cut should be clean and clear.

It is recommended to wear glasses and gloves before pruning as the jade plants are toxic, and you must also wash your hands after the whole process.

The other points that you have to take care of are:

If your jade plant receives direct sunlight, move it from there and keep it in a location where it can have access to bright sunlight but indirectly.

While you are in a mood to shift the jade plant location, please don’t do it suddenly and make consistent step-by-step changes so that the plant may not get the sudden shock from the change in the environment and can easily adjust to the situation.

Tips for placement of jade plant

The placement of the plant plays a crucial role in the growth of the jade plant. So, it would be best to consider a few factors before deciding the placement of your jade plant.

The first thing to consider is light: jade plants prefer bright light. So select a place where it can receive the bright light throughout the day. If not, then make sure it is getting at least four of the bright daylight daily.

Placing the jade plant near the south-facing window would help the plant to get ample light. If you can’t provide natural light, then artificial light can help with lighting issues.

Another factor is temperature: The jade plant can survive in a variety of conditions. But in extreme temperatures, you need to keep monitoring their condition.

The ideal temperature for the jade plant ranges from 65°F-85°F Keeping the plant in the temperature above this range for a longer period may cause damage to the plant.

Keep the plant indoors during the scorching month to save them from the hot draft and too much heat.

Just like the extreme heat, chilly conditions are also not suitable for the jade plant. However, it can survive temperatures between 35°F-55°F in winter. 

Still, it is preferable to maintain the temperature above 45°F to avoid any repercussions.

Humidity is another critical factor: Jade plants come from a dry climate in their natural habitat. Therefore, it thrives in low and moderate humidity levels.

The ideal humidity level for the jade plant is about 30% to 50%. 

Misting or splashing water on the leaves must be avoided. Keeping them in a low humidity area with dry soil keeps them happiest.

Also read: Can you keep jade plant outside?

Some tips for growing healthy jade plant

Jade plants are easy to grow succulent plants. Keeping them in a favorable condition will help them flourish.

Light, temperature, and humidity are three crucial factors that you must consider before selecting the right spot for the jade plant.

Jade plants like to be consistent and want to stay in one place for a longer period. So if you want to shift the plant’s location, then don’t do it out of a sudden.

Bring slow and steady changes so that the plant can easily adjust to the new environment.

You can use the dehumidifier and thermometer to check and maintain the ideal humidity level and temperature around them.

Watering should only be done after the upper layer of the soil completely dries out.


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

To avoid any sunburn damages, keep the jade plant indoors and provide them with the required bright indirect light. But do not let it get exposed to the harsh and intense sunlight.

If the plant has already taken damage from the sunburn, it is better to prune those parts of the plant so that the plant can focus on its fresh and healthy growth.

Damages caused by sunburn are not going to recover as it damages the tissues. So, pruning is the best way out.

Keep the plant indoors, provide them with ample light and proper air circulation to help them achieve optimum growth.


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