Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are renowned for being low-maintenance houseplants, requiring very little care to remain active, green and healthy. However, an important part of jade plant care is repotting – they do like to be re-potted every few years, both to encourage growth and to keep them at the peak of their health.
This article breaks down all the details of how to repot jade plants, when to do it, what kind of pot to use and which soil is best for repotting.
When should I repot my jade plant?
Most guidance say that jade plants should be re-potted every 2-3 years, but this will vary based on the conditions the plant is living in, and how fast it’s growing. It’s also worth noting that more mature jade plants, which have reached a larger size, can wait longer to be re-potted – around 4-5 years.
The best time of year to repot jade, like most plants, is just before its growing season starts. Plants like to be repotted at this time as they’re just about to start growing again, so they can settle into their new pot and heal any damage that has been caused by repotting. For jade, this means repotting in spring, and try to repot before you start to notice any active growth for the season.
How do I tell if my jade plant needs to be repotted?
There are a couple of signs that your jade plant may need to be re-potted. The first is that it’s simply overcrowding the container. If your jade plant has done a good deal of growing since it was first placed in its pot, and you can’t see that it has much room left to grow in its current container, that’s a good sign it needs to be re-potted.
The other sign is that the plant’s growth has really slowed down, even if it hasn’t reached full size yet. If you’ve had your plant a while and notice that the growth has slowed over the last growing season, even though the feeding, watering and light conditions of the plant are the same, this may also indicate it’s time to re-pot. If the jade plant doesn’t have enough space in its pot to continue growing, it will slow down.
What kind of pot and soil should I use when repotting my jade plant?
The best kind of soil for a jade plant will be one that drains freely. Like most succulents, they don’t want to sit in soggy soil.
A potting mix designed for succulents would work well. You can also mix your commercial potting mix with sand and perlite, or some kind of organic material like coir, pumice or decomposed granite. Each of these extras will help improve drainage.
The main consideration for a pot is also drainage. The pot must have drainage holes. You can plant the jade into a sturdy plastic pot or a ceramic pot as long as the drainage is adequate. Terracotta pots are also good for succulents such as jade as they pull moisture away from the soil, helping to prevent soggy roots.
The size of the pot should be just a bit larger than the plant – about 1” in diameter larger than the diameter of the plant. So, if your jade plant is 7” in diameter, put it in a pot with an 8” diameter.
What are the steps to repot jade plants?
Here is how to repot jade plants.
- First, wait for the soil to dry out before you repot your jade plant. Once you’re sure it’s fully dry, you can move to step two.
- Use a trowel, knife, or any kind of flat tool to slide around inside the wall of the pot. You’re trying to gently loosen any roots that may have built up around the walls, and loosen the soil up a bit as you go.
- Now, you can remove the plant. You can do this either by gently tipping the pot upside down and supporting the plant as it comes out. Alternatively place the pot on its side, circle the stems with your fingers and gently tug. Be careful, ensuring you’re not tugging the roots too hard. If roots stick to the bottom of the pot, you can use the knife or trowel to gently loosen them.
- Shake or knock off some of the old soil from the roots. This will help free up the roots and allow them to easily extend into the new soil when planted.
- If you notice any rotting or dead roots, remove these with a clean, sharp tool.
- Treat any visible cuts to the roots with a fungicide.
- Place the plant in its new pot and spread out its roots, then fill with soil, ensuring the roots stay spread out.
- Once in its new home, allow the plant to settle in for a few days before watering.
Should I divide a jade plant when repotting?
If you want to split your jade plant, either to propagate or because it’s getting too big, you can do this while repotting. Jade plants are hardy and can grow new plants from a single leaf, so don’t be too worried about damaging them.
If you need to slice root stems to divide the plant, ensure you use a clean, sharp tool to avoid infection. Plant the two new plants in different containers, following the steps above, and you’re good to go!
Now you know how to repot jade plants, you’ll be able to keep your jade happy for many years. With the right care, these plants can last up to 70 years, and be passed down through generations. Ensure you repot in spring, choose a well-draining soil and pot, and remove any rotting or dead roots when repotting your jade, and you’ll have a happy, healthy plant on your hands.
Think it might be time to repot your jade plant? This article tells you everything you need to know about how to repot your jade plant.