Jade plants, also known as Crassula ovata, are popular houseplants known for their thick, glossy green leaves and easy care requirements.
However, jade plant owners may notice that their plant’s leaves are turning yellow and falling off. This can be a sign of a few different issues, and it’s important to identify the cause in order to properly care for your plant.
Read also: Pothos Leaves Turning White – Top 5 Causes + Quick Fixes
Jade Plant Leaves Turning Yellow – Causes
Jade Plant Leaves Turning Yellow Cause#1 – Overwatering
One common reason for jade plant leaves turning yellow and falling off is over-watering.
Jade plants prefer well-draining soil and do not like to be kept constantly moist. When the soil is consistently wet, the roots can begin to rot, leading to yellowing and falling leaves. This is because when the roots are saturated with water, they are not able to absorb the necessary oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. Without these essential elements, the leaves will turn yellow as a sign of distress and eventually fall off.
Another issue with overwatering is that it can lead to fungal growth. Fungi thrive in damp environments and can cause root rot and other diseases that can harm your jade plant. This can lead to yellow leaves, wilting and plant death if left untreated.
To prevent overwatering and the issues that come with it, it is important to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
A good rule of thumb is to wait until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering again. It is also important to make sure that the pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
Another tip is to check the soil moisture level before watering your plant. You can use a moisture meter or stick your finger into the soil to check the level of moisture. By doing this, you can avoid the mistake of overwatering your plant, which can cause yellowing leaves and other issues.
Jade Plant Leaves Turning Yellow Cause#2 – Lack of Sunlight
Another reason for yellowing leaves on a jade plant is a lack of sunlight.
Jade plants prefer bright, indirect light and will not thrive in low-light conditions. When a jade plant is placed in a spot that does not receive enough light, the leaves will begin to yellow and fall off. This is because, without enough light, the plant is not able to produce enough energy through photosynthesis to support its growth. This causes the chlorophyll in the leaves to break down, leading to yellowing.
Another issue with low light conditions is that it can cause the plant to stretch, or become leggy. This is because the plant will try to reach for the light, leading to elongated stems and sparse leaves. This can also cause the leaves to turn yellow as the plant is not able to support all its leaves.
To prevent yellowing leaves caused by a lack of light, it is important to place your jade plant in a spot that receives bright, indirect light.
A south or west-facing window is a good option. If you do not have a location that receives enough natural light, you can also supplement with artificial light using grow lights.
It’s also important to note that while jade plants can tolerate low light conditions, they will not thrive in them. To keep your jade plant healthy, it’s best to provide it with the light it needs.
It’s also important to rotate your plant occasionally, to ensure that all the leaves are getting equal exposure to light, preventing any uneven growth.
Jade Plant Leaves Turning Yellow Cause#3 – Lack of Nutrients
A third reason for jade plant leaves turning yellow and falling off is a lack of nutrients.
Jade plants require regular fertilization to maintain healthy growth. Without the necessary nutrients, the leaves will turn yellow as a sign of distress.
A lack of nitrogen, specifically, can cause the leaves to turn yellow, as it is an essential nutrient for plant growth and the production of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their green colour.
Another issue with a lack of nutrients is that it can cause stunted growth and poor overall plant health. This is because, without the necessary nutrients, the plant is not able to produce enough energy to support its growth. This can also lead to a loss of leaves and a reduction in overall plant size.
To prevent yellowing leaves caused by a lack of nutrients, it is important to fertilize your jade plant regularly. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. It is also important to make sure that the soil is well-draining, as soggy soil can prevent the roots from absorbing the necessary nutrients.
Another tip is to test your soil occasionally to make sure that it has the right pH level and nutrient levels. If the soil is too acidic or lacks certain nutrients, you can adjust accordingly.
Jade Plant Leaves Turning Yellow Cause#4 – Pests and Diseases
In rare cases, yellowing leaves can be caused by pests or diseases.
Pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects can cause damage to jade plants by feeding on the sap of the leaves. This can cause yellowing, wilting, and a loss of leaves. Pests can also spread diseases that can further harm your plant.
Fungal and bacterial diseases can also cause yellowing leaves in jade plants. For example, root rot caused by Phytophthora or Pythium can cause yellowing and wilting leaves, as well as a mushy or rotten smell from the soil.
Another disease called anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum can cause yellowing and browning of the leaves, as well as leaf drop.
To prevent yellowing leaves caused by pests and diseases, it is important to keep an eye out for any signs of infestation or infection. These signs include yellowing leaves, wilting, leaf drops, and any visible pests or fungal growth.
If you suspect that your jade plant is affected, it’s best to consult a professional for advice on treatment options.
Preventing pests and diseases from happening in the first place is also important. This can be done by providing the plant with the right growing conditions, such as the right amount of light, water, and fertilization.
Also, it’s important to keep the plant and its surroundings clean, avoiding overcrowding and keeping good air circulation.