My Jade Plant is Drooping – What Do I Do?

Jade plants are quite popular, as they’re pretty easy to care for and have a distinct appearance from most other succulent plants. However, if you notice that your jade plant is drooping, this is a sign that the environment is not ideal for it.

There are several reasons why your jade plant is drooping. You might be watering it improperly, the pot it’s in might have poor drainage, there may be issues with the lighting or temperature of the environment the plant is in, or it may be afflicted with disease or pests.

Today, we’ll be going over some of the more common reasons why your jade plant might be drooping and explaining what you can do to solve these issues.

Reasons Your Jade Plant Is Drooping

As we’ve mentioned, there are several reasons why your jade plant might be looking a bit droopy. The good news is that there’s almost always something you can do to treat it, regardless of what the main issue is.

Here are some of the reasons your jade plant might be dropping and what you can do about them:

Improper Watering

With any plant, it’s important that you provide it with the right amount of water for it to remain healthy. Overwatering and underwatering a jade plant can both cause it to start drooping, but overwatering a jade is much more harmful and something you should always try to avoid.

Jade plants are desert plants, and as such are built to outlast droughts and survive in conditions where very little water is present. If the plant receives too much water, however, it can’t absorb it fast enough, and the excess of water can lead to conditions like root rot.

if you’ve overwatered your jade, you should take the following steps:

  1. Remove the plant from its original soil.
  2. Trim off the damaged roots. Healthy jade plant roots will be white, dry, and have no smell, while infected roots will be brown, smelly, and mushy.
  3. Remove the old soil from the roots.
  4. Repot the plant using fresh, dry soil.
  5. Place the plant in indirect sunlight and let it sit for a few days. If it seems like it’s doing ok, you can start watering it again (but take care to use less water this time).

Underwatering can also cause drooping. You may also notice that the leaves start to shrivel. Fortunately, the solution is far easier. You just to water it a bit more.

Poor Drainage

Even if you’re taking care to not water your jade too much, you might still see drooping and root rot if your pot has inadequate drainage. The pot may not be draining properly because you’re using the wrong type of soil, or because the pot itself doesn’t permit proper drainage.

If your jade is in poor health because of inadequate drainage, you may need to follow the steps listed in the previous section to deal with root rot before you can actually solve the problem. You can improve drainage in potted plants by using a pot with better drain holes, or using a more suitable type of soil for drainage.

An ideal soil for jade plants is a cactus and succulent mix. These are available from nurseries, garden centers and Amazon. Alternatively, you can mix all purpose compost with equal parts perlite to improve the drainage.

Improper Lighting

The lighting conditions in which you keep your jade are pretty important too. Your jade shouldn’t receive too little light, of course, but too much direct sunlight can also negatively affect your jade’s health, despite the fact jades are desert plants.

The parts of your jade that don’t get enough sunlight will become weaker, resulting in drooping. On the other hand, too much sunlight can dry out your plant and cause it to droop from lack of moisture.

Jade plants need some direct sunlight, but not too much; about 4 hours of sunlight a day is enough for a mature jade.

Unsuitable Temperatures

Jade is a desert plant, and as you can probably guess from that, jades generally fare better in warmer conditions. The ideal temperature for a jade plant is around 60-77oF (15-25oC) in most cases. 

Jade can survive occasional temperature dips down to 40oF (5oC) or so, but is unlikely to survive sustained temperatures like that. This is worth noting if you keep your plant in an unheated conservatory or greenhouse in winter. They also don’t do very well in temperatures above 80oF (27oC)

Ideally, you should always keep your jade inside its optimal temperature. If that’s not possible, however, then there are steps you can take to protect your jade from extreme temperatures.

If it’s too hot out, you can help your jade by watering it a bit extra and placing it in the shadiest spot you can find. If it’s too cold, on the other hand, you should reduce the amount of water you’re giving your jade and move it to a spot with plenty of light.

Pests and Disease

Unfortunately, any plant can catch a disease or a case of pests if the conditions are right. Healthy jade plants generally aren’t at high risk of many diseases, but it can still happen.

Aside from root rot, which we’ve already discussed, one of the other diseases that can affect jade plants is powdery mildew. This is caused by a fungal infection, and its main symptom is the presence of reddish, scabby-looking patches on your jade’s leaves. Luckily, you can treat powdery mildew through the use of an appropriate fungicide.

There are a few different pests that can affect jade plants, including thrips, aphids, scale bugs, spider mites, and mealybugs. It would be one thing if these bugs simply lived on your jade, but unfortunately, most of them actively damage it by eating plant matter.

There are a few different ways you can treat a pest problem, depending on what kind of pests you have. Wiping your jade’s leaves with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or neem oil can kill a lot of pests that might be present. Washing your jade with a non-detergent soap can also be pretty effective.

If you’re desperate, you can try using a chemical pesticide, which will probably be effective at killing pests but may also harm your jade as well. If you do opt for the chemical pesticide treatment, make sure you only use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Final thoughts

While jade plant care is normally quite easy, there are various issues that can cause drooping. Remembering that this plant is originally from arid areas of South Africa can help ensure that you give it the environmental conditions that it favors.

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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