Jade plants are a beautiful variety of the succulent family. They can grow relatively quickly, they’re easy to propagate, they can be pruned into amazing beautiful shapes but when how to repot a jade plant? How do you know? Well it’s really quite simple, let’s take a look first at how to repot a large jade plant.
When Should I Repot Jade Plants?
You might think of repotting jade plants if they’ve stopped growing or if they appear too crowded. Overcrowding in the container is not bad for the plant, but it does limit more growth. Jade plants grow to the size their root system allows, often reaching three feet.
Professionals say small jade plants should be repotted every two or three years, while larger plants can wait four or five years. Increase the container size with each repotting. Usually, going one size larger is appropriate.
Select a good pot with excellent drainage
There are several things to consider when choosing the perfect pot for a jade plant. For starters, this plant can have thick, woody stems and plump, voluminous leaves. Although it grows slowly, the plant may become top-heavy after a while, as new shoots and leaves emerge and stems thicken with growth. Additionally, the plant cannot tolerate “wet feet” or water accumulated at the base of the pot, so it is extremely important to provide a pot with proper drainage to prevent this condition, which may lead to root rot.
For these reasons, the jade plant does best in a pot that provides a wide, sturdy base to support the weight of the plant as it releases new stems and leaves over time, and one that allows for maximum drainage.
Given these considerations, the best home for a jade plant either a ceramic pot or sturdy plastic pot with great drainage, keeping the soil and roots from becoming too soggy. Assuming you have a free draining mix, either type of pot will keep your plant happy and healthy. The size of the pot should be only slightly larger than the diameter of the plant. So if your new plant were about 4” in diameter, a 5” pot would be suitable for about a year or two.
Soil Mix to Use When Repotting Jade Plants
Jade Plants are succulents, so a mix that is well-drained and aerated (the roots need to breathe) is necessary. You want the water to flow out freely so the mix and roots doesn’t stay too wet. The leaves and stems of Jades store water so the mix needs to dry out in between waterings.
I want to share this DIY succulent and cactus mix recipe with you. Because I have a lot of succulents, there’s always a batch of it mixed up and ready to go. There are a couple of options of mixes that you can buy below.
I directed planted my Variegated Jade into a ceramic container (love that jazzy copper/bronze pot!) with 1 drain hole. A plastic grow pot like the 1 below has multiple drain holes so the water drains out more readily.
Because of the 1 drain hole issue, I used a couple of other ingredients I normally wouldn’t have to ensure no water builds up at the bottom. I’ll list these in parentheses below because you may not need them.
- (Clay pebbles). I placed a 1/2-1″ layer of these in the bottom of the pot.
- (Charcoal). This not only helps to improve the drainage, but it absorbs impurities & odors. This a big plus because the plant is directly planted in the ceramic.
- Succulent & cactus mix. Here’s a good option as well as this more economical one.
- Pumice. I added in a handful of this because of the 1 drain hole issue. If you buy a succulent & cactus mix & it looks heavy & not well aerated, add in a handful or 2 of pumice or perlite to up the ante on the drainage & aeration factors.
- Worm compost & compost. I added a bit of these in for natural nourishment. You can see the amounts I added in the video. Here’s how I naturally feed my houseplants with this combo.
How to repot a jade plant indoors
Repotting your jade plant frequently isn’t necessary and can typically be done every two to three years for smaller plants, and every four to five years for larger ones. Generally, a 4-inch or 6-inch pot works just fine for moderately-sized jade plants.
If you can, opt for a vessel made from clay or terracotta, which will wick away excess moisture from the soil and ensure your plant doesn’t become waterlogged. If you notice your jade plant appears to be outgrowing its container, follow the below steps to repot it properly:
- Make sure the soil is dry before repotting.
- Gently run a butter knife or other flat tool around the inner edge of the pot to loosen the soil and remove any roots that may be stuck to the walls of the pot.
- Remove the jade plant from the pot.
- Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any visible cuts with a fungicide.
- Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot.
- Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
How to Start a Jade Plant from a Leaf or Stem Cutting
As a succulent, jade plants are very easy to start from single leaves or cuttings. Here’s how:
Remove a leaf or take a stem cutting from a well-established plant. An ideal stem cutting would be 2–3 inches in length and have at least two pairs of leaves. Once you have your leaf or cutting, allow it to sit for several days in a warm place; a callous will form over the cut area, helping to prevent rot and encourage rooting.
Gather your pot and a well-draining potting mix. Use soil that is slightly moist, but not wet.
Take the leaf and lay it on top of the soil horizontally, covering the cut end with some of the soil. If you have a stem cutting, place it upright in the soil (prop it up with a few small rocks or toothpicks if it won’t stand on its own).
Place the pot in a warm place with bright, indirect light. Do not water.
After a week or two, the leaf or cutting will start sending out roots. A week or so after that, give the plant a gentle poke or tug to see if it has rooted itself in place. If it hasn’t, wait a bit longer, testing it (gently!) every few days.
Once the plant seems to be firmly rooted, water it deeply and carefully. Use something like a turkey baster to gently water the plant without disturbing the roots too much. Make sure that you don’t just get the surface layer of the soil wet, as you want to encourage the roots to grow downward for water, not towards the surface.
Let the soil dry out between waterings and keep the plant out of intense direct sunlight until it is well established.
Care of Your Jade Plant
Place your newly repotted jade plant in a brightly lit location. Jade plants can tolerate full sun, warns that too much sun may turn the leaves reddish. Bright filtered light from a south-facing window is sufficient for a healthy plant, just turn the pot every week to ensure all sides receive enough light. Under ideal conditions, your jade plant may produce tiny white to pink flowers in the spring.
Water the jade plant when the top inch of soil is dry. Soak the plant, until water drains from the bottom of the flowerpot. Keep a close eye on the soil moisture if the plant is outdoors; potted plants on the porch or patio dry out quickly. Reduce watering in fall and late winter, but don’t let the plant get so dry that the leaves shrivel. Keep the jade plant away from heating and air-conditioning vents.
Wait a month after repotting, then begin fertilizing your jade plant. Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every other month from spring through fall.