Considered to be the easiest and simplest to care for of all houseplants, the jade plant is succulent like the cactus and is often kept in homes and offices as a good luck charm. With its small white and pink flowers, it can be a beautiful addition to your home garden. If you have brought home this plant, and are wondering how you can take care of it, then this article will provide you with all the information that you need.
Caring for a Jade Plant
The Latin name for this plant is Crassula ovata and it is native to South Africa. A slow grower that flourishes even in household environment, the plant can reach a height of about 5 feet when grown as an indoor plant. If you care for it well, then your plant will thrive for many years to come. It blooms and produces small, white flowers during spring. The plant is an evergreen.
It is important to place your plant in direct sunlight. Even if you keep your plant in an area that has very little direct sunlight, move it to a place where it is under direct sun for a couple of hours everyday. This will help the plant to grow well.
The temperature in which this plant flourishes is about 65 - 75ºF during daytime and 45ºF at night. The plant needs the humidity to be lower than normal.
The plant needs to be watered once a week. Pour water in the pot till it drains freely from the bottom. When the top inch of the soil seems dry, it is time to water it.
Add a water-soluble liquid fertilizer to your jade plant. You need to fertilize the plant between April and October, when it's not growing. It is a good idea to use the balance 10-10-10 formulation of fertilizer to provide nutrition to the plant.
You need to drench the plant once every month with water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure the water drains out of the pot as this will help in removing any excess fertilizer residue in the soil.
Keep an eye out for any form of infestation. If you discover a soft rot, you need to remove the affected part to prevent it from spreading further. If you see something that look like scabs on the waxy leaves of the plant, then your plant has probably been infected by the fungus sphaerotheca. This plant can be treated by application of thiophanate-methyl. You can purchase these pesticides from a garden store or plant nursery.
Mealy bugs are parasites that infect the stem and leaves of the plant. These are wholly aphids that cause damage to the plant. Take a cotton swab, dip it in alcohol, and apply it to the plant to kill the bugs.
Pruning a jade plant needs a lot of care as any damage can make the plant susceptible to bacterial or fungal diseases. You need to prune only overgrown or older plants. You should remove only 20 - 30% of the branches while pruning. Use a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears to trim the branches.
These care instructions should help you to take care of the jade plant that you have at your house. With a little bit of attention, your plant is sure to thrive.