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Help! My Jade Plant Is Getting Weaker

Ask The Plant Expert:

Hi there
Thanks for your help with my Jade plant, but I still really don’t know what’s wrong with it. I water it when the soil gets dry. I fertilize & mix its water with Bonsai’s vitamin too but it’s still loosing leaves.The great number of its leave wilts & drops. I attached you some photos that you can see its changing over these 2 months. I’m really worry. The color & shape of the new leaves are different. When I received it, the leaves were dark green & plump. But now all of them are light green & thin. I’m not sure if these leaves can store water as much as the prior leaves, & 1 more problem: It’s small branches are wilting & falling; as u can see in one picture the short branches are wilting & some fell off branches are in my hand. In your previous reply you told me “if it’s high in the pot” ,sorry but I don’t understand your meaning by this sentence. Plz guide me through taking care of it. My Jade is too weak; its leaves & branches fall off by itself & even with a small shake. It has no new sprout anymore too.
thanks. -Gisou

Weak Jade Plant - before & after

Weak Jade Plant - before & after

Weak Jade Plant

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:


Jade (Crassula ovata) needs bright light and a well-drained soil. Although you may only water when the soil is dry, excess water maybe pooling around the roots causing root-rot. This issue, combined with insufficient light is most likely the problem. I recommend re-potting the plant into a container with a drain-hole and using a succulent soil mixture. Your local garden center should have the soil that you need.

Before you add the soil to the pot, place a few rocks or broken pottery pieces in the bottom to keep the drain hole from becoming plugged. Once you have re-potted the Jade place it in front of a window or in a very bright room.  If the sunlight is extremely hot and bright coming though the window, don’t place it in the window; instead step it back a few feet.

In a few weeks you should see an improvement in the plant. I would not fertilize during this time period. When you do fertilize use a very weak solution.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.


  1. My jade tree was left in direct full harsh sun light outside all day and it’s been two weeks and it’s slowly loosing all its leaves. How can I nurse it back?

  2. Jamie Woods says:

    Your jade has most likely been burned from too much sun exposure. You will need to keep your plant in bright, indirect light for a while and just give it some time to recover. Depending on how badly it was damaged, it may or may not make a full recovery.

  3. Help! I moved a few months ago and I brought a tiny Jade clipping: it had roots and a few leaves, a truly tiny plant. The air port security machines killed the roots, and I covered a water bottle, got some muddy water, and stuck the bottom of the stem in there. The roots have grown back!!!! And no root stem rot!!! Its actually doing well; as in no roots rotting or leaves falling and after having done this a few times (repotting but in winter at 30 degrees latitude) it is having new leaves.

    Why is my plant loosing roots when I take the water away and try to repot it? Is it because I did this in the not cold winter? Why arent the roots rotting, just standing in clay-silt water that is covered from the sunshine?

    What can I do to successfully repot my tiny little jade?

  4. Aynsley Broom says:

    Hi Joe,
    Your jade plant sounds like a fighter. It can still also be in some shock from the move. We do have a great blog about house plant propagation with great tips here: https://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/newsletter-june-2006/

  5. My jade plant is very fragile. If i bump into it brances and leaves fall off. The plant is quite large and over 10 years old.

  6. Jeffrey Balch says:

    If the rest of the plant is still healthy, it sounds like it may need to be in a larger container. When you repot, you’ll also want to replace the soil so that root rot doesn’t become an issue.

  7. Gisou’s plant is not Crassula Ovata, it is Portulacaria afra. It is common for this plant to drop many leaves. It is fussy and doesn’t like to be moved around. The leaves will grow back.

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