Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Caring too much for my Jade Plant

Ok so a while ago (I'm thinking it was well over a year) I bought some jade plants. I'll be honest I really didn't know anything about them but that I liked how they looked. I really really liked them and they were growing really well but then for some reason they started to die! I tried to bring them back but it was like they were rotting from the inside and there was nothing I could do. I managed to save a couple of small cuttings before "the death" made it's way through the whole plant. In my last plant love post you can see some picture of them, but I won't even give you an update photo because it's really rather sad. To add to it? I didn't realize these plants could turn into trees and lives for years and years! I was at an appointment the other day and there was a 10 year old jade plant there! It looked amazing!! I was sad that I totally killed mine (normally I'm really great with plants!) but now I have a new goal; to grow a tree!! I know it will take a many many years but how cool would that be? Have a plant that's growing with you! So here are my inspiration photos and for all of you that need a little Jade Plan care tips (apparently I did! I cared too much and it turns out I over watered. And leaving it in the kitchen or near fruit is not a good idea for some reason) here's the best once I've found.

Isn't this one just perfect? I'd love to have a jade plant that looked like this!

(I'd love to get to the point of being able to grow other plants off of my first plant. I love giving plants as gifts!)

The Jade Plant

(Crassula argentea)

* Light requirements - Moderate to bright.
Its recommended to provide the jade plant with direct sunlight, at least four hours daily. Keep the plant 2 - 3 inches away from window glass to avoid scorching it's leaves. The glass can act like a magnifier intensifying the sun's rays.

* Moisture requirements (spring and summer) - Let dry.
Water plant thoroughly but allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.

* Moisture requirements (winter and fall) - Dry.
Jade plants will enter a dormant growth cycle as the days grow shorter. Cut back watering during the cooler months to help prevent rot and leaf drop.

* Soil requirements - pH 6.1 to 6.5, quick draining.
A soil that is quick draining works best for these plants. A commercial mix suitable for cacti and succulents is a good, but sometimes expensive, choice. I've read that cactus and succulent soil mix contains peat moss, sand, perlite, small amounts of lime and sometimes gypsum. A quick recipe is 1/3 peatmoss, 1/3 coarse sand and 1/3 perlite. Perlite is used to help prevent water loss and soil compaction.

* Soil pH requirements - pH 6.1 to 6.5.
Jade plants thrive with a pH balance of around 6.3. A great guide to understanding and changing soil pH can be found here Soil pH - Acid Soil or Alkaline Soil - What You Need to Know.

* Fertilizer requirements - Every 2-3 months with mild succulent fertilizer. Fertilize with 10-20-10 or 5-10-5 ratio soluble plant food once every 2-3 months during the spring and summer months. Use only liquid fertilizer mixed weaker than the directions recommend. Do not fertilize from November through March, the plants dormant cycle.

* Temperature requirements - 55° nighttime and 75-80° daytime.
Jade plants seem to do well between 55° at night and 75-80° during the day. They can even hang in there when temperatures drop to 40° but it's not recommended to allow them to get so cool. They are from south Africa after all.

* Repotting - Springtime, when necessary.
It is recommended to repot in the spring time, when new growth appears. After the winter dormancy period is the ideal time.

* Country of origin - South Africa

*Latin pronunciation - Krass-yew-luh ar-JEN-tee-uh

*Life Span - Perennial


You should really also check out the info on Jade plants on Wikipedia. There is a plant that is taller then a grown man! I think it's over 6', amazing!!

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