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Caring For Jade Plant Outdoors- An Ultimate Guide

A few years back, my best friend had gifted me a jade plant on friendship day. Back then, I had no idea what it symbolized or how I was supposed to care for it outdoors.

I searched through numerous articles and blogs before figuring it out. Indeed, it is still a part of my garden!

The jade plant might look like it needs a lot of effort due to its decorative houseplant-like appearance.

But in fact, caring for jade plants is simple, and they make an excellent choice for a starter plant.

To care for a jade plant outdoors, you need to keep it under direct sunlight for at least 4 hours daily. When the temperature dips below 50°F (10°C), bring it indoors. You should water it every 10-14 days and keep it in a low-humidity environment at all times.

Small Beautiful Jade Plant
Small beautiful Jade plant (Source: Unsplash)

Jade plants are also known as the lucky plant, friendship plant, or money plant. They are appealing to the eyes, require little to no effort, and are even deemed a sign of good luck and wealth.

Here, I have the ultimate guide to care for jade plants in an outdoor setting. 

What Are Some Good Uses of Jade Plants Outdoors?

  • These succulents make beautiful hedges. Likewise, you can also keep them clipped and use them as border plants.
  • Any leaf cutting that falls to the ground or comes into contact is likely to take root and grow into a new plant. Hence, they are a well-liked choice for cutting propagation.
  • For a less formal, more natural look, jade plants can be allowed to grow into colonies.
  • They can also be fashioned into one-of-a-kind bonsai specimens.

If Grown Outdoors, Do Jade Plants Need a Lot of Care?

Jade plants need some additional care if you decide to keep them outdoors. However, if you provide a healthy living environment, jade plants will thrive more in an outdoor setting.

  • If you live somewhere with cold climates throughout the year, you need to take the extra step of periodically shifting jade plants indoors. 
  • Splashing water on the leaves can cause them to rot. So, you need to keep a careful eye on them while you water other plants in your garden.
  • Commonly, infestations are caused by bugs carried in from outside or introduced by other plants near it.

12 Points to Remember While Caring for a Jade Plant Outdoors

Jade plants are resilient pieces on their own. They fancy being in areas with bright sunlight, which is usually outdoors. 

Nevertheless, considering these following factors can give your jade plant some added benefit.

1. Location and Sunlight

An excellent outdoor site is a slightly shaded area that gets good exposure to morning sunlight and blocks scorching heat in the afternoon.

Each day, jade plants require at least 4-5 hours of direct sunlight to ensure proper growth. Nonetheless, more than 7 hours of scorching heat can induce burnt brown spots on the leaves. 

If you have time, you can try giving your jade plant a quarter rotation every week or so to ensure even growth on all sides.

However, it is recommended that plants in their early stages be kept in indirect sunlight to avoid the leaves from getting burnt.

This is usually achieved by placing the plant a few inches away from a window with bright sunlight shining through.

Sunlight Hitting the Leaves
Sunlight hitting the leaves (Source: Unsplash.com)

Fact: When jade plants receive enough sunlight, leaf tips turn into a slight reddish color.

2. Type of Containers

When selecting the ideal pot for a jade plant, there are various factors to consider. First, the container must be durable since pots will be kept for long hours in bright sunlight.

Jade plants can get top-heavy, so you’ll also need a pot with a broad, solid base to support the plant’s weight. Furthermore, a pot with adequate drainage is also essential.

Types of containers
Types of containers (Source: Amazon)

These are some containers you might want to invest in for the jade plant outdoors.

Pot varietiesFeatures
1Un-Finished Terracotta with Drainage HolesExcess water is absorbed by the clay, improves airflow, inexpensive.
2Ceramic potsAvailable in several artistic designs, very durable.
3Concrete and Cast-stone potsDurable and weather-resistant, ideal for large plant setups.

3. Watering Schedule 

Jade plants demand more water in spring and summer, but you should always let the soil dry up before watering it again. 

Jade plants kept indoors need water every 2-3 weeks, and it needs more watering if held outdoors.

It would be best if you watered outdoor jade plants every 10-14 days in hotter seasons. Although in the winter months, you may water it once a week or even once a month. 

If the leaves begin to curl or turn brown, it would be time to water more frequently. However, if the leaves feel too spongy, it’s time to stop. 

4. Ideal Temperature

Jade plants can survive in arid and hot climates but are susceptible to freezing temperatures.

So, it’s wise to put them indoors when the temperature dips below 50°F (10°C) or throughout the fall and winter months to avoid frost damage.

Daytime temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and night-time temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal for jade plants.

Well grown jade plants
Well grown jade plants (Source: Unsplash)

Your jade plant may become droopy if it remains exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period.

Cold is very harmful and can even be deadly to these plants.

If you keep your plant outside in the cold for a limited time, you can place it under an overhang or a tree.

You can also gently place a frosting sheet or a thin sheet of cloth to preserve some heat.

5. Humidity Requirement

High humidity levels can decay your jade plant and induce fungal or bacterial growth. Furthermore, if they remain in this state for an extended time, it can turn fatal.

The typical humidity level for jade plants is 30-50 percent, and we must help the plant maintain that level throughout the year.

If you keep the plant outdoors, placing it in an area with enough sunlight and proper air circulation helps regulate the humidity required for it.

It would be best to avoid keeping them with other tropical plants, increasing the moisture around them.

When you keep the plant indoors during the winter months, make sure to put the plant near a window with good sunlight.

Also, keep your jade plant near heaters and air conditioners where the air is a little drier if your home is excessively humid. 

6. Proper Fertilizer

Provide them a cactus and succulent fertilizer once a month.

Organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion provide adequate nitrogen for jades to prosper. However, liquid fertilizers are the most convenient to use on your jade plant.

Just make sure to select a formula designed specifically for cactus and succulents.

When using a liquid fertilizer, never apply it to dry soil, affecting the plant’s root structure.

For optimum absorption, water your jade before and after applying liquid fertilizer. During the winter months, use less fertilizer.

Succulent fertilizer
Succulent fertilizer (Source: Amazon)

After several years of growing a jade plant and using fertilizer, salt can accumulate in the soil.

If this occurs, the jade plant can benefit from prolonged watering that will flush out the salt.

Click this link, succulent fertilizers, to find out some fertilizer options from amazon.

7. Flowering in Jade Plants

Usually, jade plants grown outdoors produce beautiful star-shaped flowers. Unfortunately, due to the lack of sunlight indoors, jade plants planted indoors rarely bloom.

A healthy jade plant
Flowers in a jade plant (Source: Unsplash)

Jade plants can go for many years without blooming. Therefore, a jade plant needs to mature first for the flowers to bloom, usually in late winter or early spring.

If it blooms, you have found your plant’s happy place so leave it in that location.

If the weather compels you to relocate it for the winter, return it to that same joyful spot when the weather improves.

8. Pests and Insects

Jades are extremely pest-resistant, and just a few insects appear to infest Jade plants with much regularity.

PestsHow To Spot ThemSymptomsSolutions
1Mealybugs or scaleUnder stems and foliage.Cottony material on the stems and leaves' joints.Wipe parts using a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
2Spider mitesUndersides of leaves in colonies.Patchy discoloration and brown leaves.Use alcohol wipes, cut parts that have been severely damaged.
3AphidsPresence of a sticky honeydew substance.Sooty mold can grow on the sticky substance.Shake the plant, spray plants outside with water.

9. Disease Risks

Jade plants are vigorous and will hardly suffer from diseases if you water them correctly and provide enough sunlight.

However, mostly during season changes, you should look out for some of these diseases.

I. Bacterial Soft Rot

The symptoms of bacterial soft rot include the tissue becoming dark, squishy with a foul odor.

It causes jade plants to grow slowly and eventually collapse. To solve this problem, we must clip and discard affected parts immediately.    

II. Powdery Mildew

This disease causes dusty, white to gray coating on various parts of plants. It can distort leaves, buds, and emerging tips. Leaves may also turn yellow.

We can quickly treat this disease by using a fungicide recommended for jade plants. First but, we should remove highly infected areas.

III. Black Ring Disease

Black spots on the undersides of the leaves are a clear sign of the black ring disease. There is only one way to solve this problem, is to remove affected areas of the plant.

10. Repotting Jade Plants 

If you provide the best conditions for your plant, it will grow about 2 to 3 inches per year outdoors.

Then, slowly but surely, the pot will become too small to support vast root structures and the heavy top of the plant.

Their development will halt if their pot becomes too tiny. Therefore, it is a suitable method if you want to keep the size of the plant small and manageable.

Nonetheless, it is still recommended to repot jade plants as it allows the roots to better absorb nutrients in the soil.

Young jade plants need to be repotted every 2 to 3 years to stimulate growth.

Older jade can be repotted every 4 to 5 years or as required. It would be beneficial if you performed whatever your plant seemed to require.

Jade Plant with reddened leaf tips
Jade Plant with reddened leaf tips (Source: Unsplash)

For a more detailed step-by-step guide on repotting jade plants. Check out our article: How to Repot a Jade Plant?

11. Pruning Jade Plants

Pruning promotes additional branching for a more full-bodied plant. But again, we should do this after the plant is around one year old.

Pruning equipments
Arrangements for pruning (Source: Unsplash)

You can also use pruning to your advantage if you want to create stunning, tiny-tree-like jade plants—a great addition to your outdoor garden’s beauty.

Examine the plant thoroughly for any branches growing at an awkward angle or obstructing the light for other parts. Also, look out for branches that are leggy or drooping—pruning most jades at least once a year is recommended.

When pruning your jade, use a sharp pair of pruning shears. To avoid the spread of infections, sterilize the blades nicely. This can assist the plant in becoming more upright, symmetrical, and elegant.

Here is the amazon link for pruning shears.

12. Growing According to USDA Zones

The Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a standard for determining which plants are most likely to thrive in a given area.

Jade plants favor hot, drier temperatures, so they thrive outdoors in zones 10-11. But, they are susceptible to rot and other fungal issues in wet regions.

A jade plant can reach a height of 10 feet in USDA Zones 10 and 11, but it is unlikely to exceed 3 feet indoors.

It is widely accessible in many places, within its hardiness range.

Can a Jade Plant Survive Outdoors in Winter?

These plants can get frost damage if exposed to frigid temperatures. The plant might start to appear limp, and leaves may turn black. In severe cases, the leaves may even begin to fall. Frost can also influence the leaves to rot.

Jade plants can bear 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit (7-13 degrees Celsius) in the winter. 

If you live in an area that doesn’t get freezing climates, you can put your jade plant outdoors. But, it would help if you could keep checking up on the plant during the winter months. 

You can protect the plant from occasional cold temperatures by moving it to a covered patio and covering it with thin fabric. 

However, if you live in a region that constantly stays cold in the winter, it is better to raise the plant indoors

Final Takeaway

So, now you will be able to plant and take care of jade plants adequately. But, pay careful attention to the above guidelines to ensure that your jade plant lives longer and stays beautiful.

Then, you can propagate and gift them to your loved ones or even pass them on to your kids due to their long lifespan. 

With some practice, you might want to buy more jade plants or even want to try out plants with similar features.

Caring for jade plants outdoors is not as hard as it might sound, right? I hope that this article clears all your questions. You can now set out on raising your jade plant efficiently!

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