Crassula ovata, commonly known as Jade Plant, is prized for its distinctive, attractive form, fleshy, green, oval-shaped leaves, and clusters of white to pink flowers. It is possible to grow a Jade Plant outdoors up to USDA hardiness zone 9b, but you can grow it anywhere as a houseplant. Many people enjoy growing Jade Plant in their homes and offices. Choosing or preparing an appropriate potting soil mix is key to avoiding problems like root rot.
Required Soil Characteristics
The only soil requirement that Jade Plant has is that the soil must drain rapidly. Jade Plant is native to South Africa and Mozambique and has adapted to thrive in rocky, sandy soils with low fertility. It does tend to become top-heavy, and its shallow roots make it prone to tipping over. A slightly heavier soil that contains a greater amount of organic matter better anchors Jade Plant. This succulent can grow in acidic or slightly alkaline soils but can suffer from nutrient deficiencies or toxicity in an extremely low or high soil pH.
Appropriate Soil Mix
Commercially available potting soil mixes designated for use with cacti or succulents are generally appropriate for Jade Plant. However, the plant may benefit from the addition of a small amount of organic matter.
Soil Related Problems
Root rot is common in Jade Plants and is caused by overwatering or heavy, poorly draining soil. The stems and leaves on a Jade Plant with root rot may darken and become mushy, leaves can drop, and the roots turn brown and mushy, rather than light-colored and firm. If left untreated, Jade Plant generally declines and dies. Too little water or a soil mix with little or no organic matter and a limited ability to retain water can cause drought stress on Jade Plant. Symptoms of drought stress include stunted growth, leaf spotting or discoloration, leaf drop, and extreme drought conditions, death.
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