Grow a Super Jade Plant

Healthy jade plants do well in clay planters.
Photo by Colorado State University.
The first time it happened was in the fall, 20-some years ago. My 10 year-old jade plant had spent the summer in a shady spot outside during the summer. It had gotten so big over the years, I figured it could fend for itself on my patio. Actually, it was getting too big to live inside. I'd purchased a toy poodle and it grew into a Great Dane.

Jade plants are so easy to grow. I'd started several plants from cuttings and given most of them to friends. I kept a couple, and they already were on their way toward becoming sizable plants.

Blooming jade plant. Photo from Washington State University.
So what happened was that, when I was getting ready to figure out whether or not to give the big jade plant another season inside, I noticed it was covered with flowers. They weren't big, bright flowers, but blooms nonetheless. Clemson University gives a good cultural rundown for jade plants.


If you want to try putting your jade plant outside for the summer, here are some recommendations:

1.  Don't even think about putting your jade outside until nighttime temperatures are settled in the 60s.

2  Make sure the pot it is in has drainage.

3.  Position the plant under a covered patio. Jade plants don't really like direct sun.

4.  If the plant is pot bound, repot it a few weeks before putting it outside so it won't have two big life changes to contend with at once.

5.  Keep in mind that you will have to water it more often because of the heat and wind, which tend to accelerate soil drying out.

6.  Use a good balanced fertilizer, like Dyna-Gro, every other time you water, or set up a weekly schedule so you remember when you fed it last. Alternatively, you can sprinkle Osmocote on the top of the soil, which will feed the plant throughout the summer.

7.  If your garden is a haven for four-legged wildlife like squirrels or raccoons, keep an eye on your jade plant, especially during droughts. I'm pretty sure it was a pack of delinquent squirrels that ate a large stem off my jade the next year. It was salvageable but wasn't pretty. 

8. It's a good idea to take cuttings of your jade plant to keep indoors just in case the one outdoors grows too big to bring back inside.

With the combination of humidity and better light than it had inside, your jade plant will transform into a "super houseplant," with thicker stems and leaves, and possibly, even flowers.






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