jade plant yellow leaves

Jade Plant Yellow Leaves? 8 Reasons Why Your Jade Plant is Turning Yellow

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If your jade plant leaves are turning yellow then you have come to the right place! 

Having yellow leaves on a jade plant isn’t necessarily anything to worry about and is actually a pretty common problem amongst succulent owners. In this article, I am going to guide you through the 8 most common reasons a jade plant has yellow leaves. 

Jade plants (scientific name, Crassula Ovata) are one of the most popular houseplants across the globe. Other names include money plant or lucky plant, this type of succulent is often given as a housewarming gift as it brings good luck. 

Jade plants are popular because they require little attention and can survive in almost any climate. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be neglectful of your little friend! 

If you begin to notice your jade plant turning yellow or your jade plant has yellow leaves that are falling off, then you may have been a little too neglectful! Alternatively, read up on why a jade plant turns red here

Below are 8 reasons why your jade leaves are turning yellow. 

Jade plant leaves turning yellow

So why does a jade plant have yellow leaves? Usually, your jade plant has yellow leaves due to; overwatering, underwatering, over-fertilizing, lack of nutrients, temperature trauma, too little light, too much light, repotting stress, pests & diseases, or natural aging. Keep reading below to find out more detailed information on jade plant leaves turning yellow.

jade plant leaves turning yellow

Yellow leaves due to overwatering

An overwatered jade plant is the most common reason for yellow leaves. Jade plants can survive on little water and in general, are very low maintenance plants. Combine this with enthusiastic gardeners that can’t wait for the next watering and you’ll encounter an overwatering issue for sure. 

I’ll often hear people describing their strict watering schedule, and this in itself can cause problems. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have a schedule and a thorough understanding of when to water your houseplants, but being super strict with your water schedule can lead to people watering unnecessarily. 

If you think you have an overwatered plant then you should check for the following symptoms: leaves turning yellow, mushy & soft leaves, and eventually, your jade plant dropping leaves. If your soil is constantly wet and soggy, then it will eventually get root rot and you’ll have a dying jade plant on your hands. Once you have root rot, you’ll notice your jade plant leaves turning black and falling over

Yellow leaves due to underwatering

A jade plant’s leaves can also turn yellow due to underwatering. However, the effects of underwatering are much less dramatic than the effects of overwatering. Because succulents are mostly from desert countries, they can store water in their stems for long periods of time. This means that they are much more susceptible to overwatering than underwatering.

However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect your crassula plant altogether and go months without watering it! If you haven’t watered your jade plant in a while and the soil is bone dry, chances are the leaves will be turning yellow due to underwatering. 

As a rule of thumb, when watering a jade plant, you should let the water dry out completely. Only then should you rewater, and when you do you should be giving it a thorough soaking until water is pouring out of the drainage holes. Then throw any excess water down the drain so that the roots aren’t sat in a pool of water. 

Yellow leaves on a jade plant aren’t the only symptom of underwatering. Also look out for shriveling leaves, crispy tips, and edges, and notice if your jade plant is drooping. 

Yellow leaves due to over-fertilizing

Although jade plants enjoy a small amount of fertilizer, excessively over-fertilizing will actually do more harm than good. Excessive fertilizing can be toxic to the roots and it will also impact the pH of the soil. Jade plants enjoy a slightly acidic soil with a pH level of 5.5 – 7.

If you over-fertilize, it will absorb too many of the nutrients and eventually cause damage to the roots. This will cause the jade plant leaves turning yellow and will ultimately die. If you have been frequently fertilizing your succulent plant then you should stop this immediately and avoid further fertilization for at least 3 months.

Other symptoms of a jade plant that has been over-fertilized are small white spots on the leaves and white fertilizer salt deposits in the soil. 

You should be using a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. I tend to use Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food if I want to encourage growth. This has always helped my succulents thrive and it’s really simple to use. The bottle says you should feed every 2 weeks, however, I advise against this. Use sparingly every 6 months. 

Yellow leaves due to a lack of nutrients

On the flip side, jade plant leaves can turn yellow due to a lack of nutrients, however, this is a lot less common. A lack of nutrients can occur if a jade plant has been in the same pot for several years and has not been fertilized in an extremely long time. This will also stop a jade plant flowering.

If you are certain that you have not over-watered or over-fertilized then a lack of nutrients could be the reason your jade plant’s leaves are turning yellow. To test this theory, the best course of action is to fertilize your succulent and wait a couple of weeks. 

A few weeks after fertilizing you should notice the color come back into your jade plant and it will look full of life. 

Yellow leaves due to temperature trauma

Succulents are native to warm desert countries and jade plants are in USDA zones 11 to 12. Ideally, they need to be kept in warm temperatures throughout the year (65-86°F, 18-30°C), but this can be difficult if you live in an area where the temperature drops throughout the winter months. 

Jade plants are a popular houseplant across the globe because they are fairly adaptable to harsher weather. However, if your plant is subjected to a sudden temperature change, this is where the problems will occur and you will notice the leaves turn yellow along with excessive leaf drop. 

Check the positioning of your Crassula. If it is near a radiator or air con unit, then it will be exposed to sudden changes in temperature quite often. You should immediately place your jade plant in a new home. It may take some time, but your plant should bounce back once it is not being exposed to constant changes in temperature.

If you have an outdoor jade plant but want to move it indoors over the winter period, then this should be done slowly. Simply bringing your plant indoors from outdoors can cause stress. 

Yellow leaves due to not enough light

The Crassula species thrive in bright light! In fact, pretty much all succulents will need to be in a south-facing window so that it gets as much sunlight as possible. Although a jade plant can tolerate dark rooms, it is best to keep it in a place that has access to daylight. 

If your jade plant is in a darkened room, then its initial response will be to increase the amount of chlorophyll it is producing. This will make the leaves on your plant appear more vibrant and green. But after time, the leaves will start turning yellow due to a lack of sunlight. 

A jade plant should be placed into a brightly lit room, where it can get lots of indirect sunlight. Too much direct sun can actually cause sunburn on your jade plant and that is something nobody wants! 

Yellow leaves due to repotting stress

If not done properly, then repotting a jade plant can cause major stress to the houseplant. What this means is that it may not thrive in its new environment. This can lead to a number of issues, particularly root damage. 

After root damage, a jade plant can’t sustain as much healthy foliage. This will lead to your jade plant having yellow leaves and also leaf drop may occur.

A jade plant won’t need repotting very often, but when it does you should be repotting in the Spring, just before a new growth period. This will mean that it will be able to quickly recover from any damage.

Jade plants like cozy roots, so you only need to repot once the roots are pouring out of the drainage holes. This will be every few years. You should also only ever repot one size up, any bigger than this can lead to overwatering. 

Yellow leaves due to pests and diseases

Ergh. The word all us plant lovers hate to hear. Pests. 

But jade plant bugs are a common problem, particularly mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids. 

A pest infestation will lead to damage to the roots, which will lead to the leaves turning yellow. There are a number of signs to look out for when treating pests on jade plants. 

The most common pest you’ll likely have is mealybugs. These annoying bugs spread like wildfire so if you think you have a mealybug infestation it’s important to move the plant away from any other houseplant you own. 

Mealybugs can easily be mistaken for dust. Their teeny, tiny, white, cottony appearance can be misleading and you may not even know you have an infestation until it’s too late. You should regularly be checking your plants for any signs or symptoms – especially since mealybugs like to hide in all the nooks and crannies of your plant! 

If you have mealybugs on a jade plant then don’t panic as they are easily treated. Use 70% or less solution of isopropyl (rubbing alcohol). Follow the instructions carefully but you should be diluting with water and placing it into a spray bottle. 

Spray your jade plant with the solution. Make sure you are spraying in all the hard-to-reach areas as this is where mealybugs like to hang out. One treatment may work but it doesn’t you’ll notice the mealybugs reappear in a few days. Simply continue the treatment until they are gone forever! 

How to stop jade plant turning yellow

jade plant with yellow leaves

As you can see there are many different reasons why a jade plant is turning yellow. You should also keep in mind that some types of Crassula actually intend to have yellow leaves such as Hummel’s Sunset. 

To stop a jade plant from turning yellow, you first need to identify the cause. Hopefully, you have read the above and have figured out where you’ve gone wrong! From here you can easily work on a fix and get your jade plant to its happy, healthy self in no time.

Jade plant yellow leaves – the last word! 

I hope you have enjoyed this article on jade plants and yellow leaves. I have given you the 8 most common reasons why jade plant leaves are turning yellow. As a quick recap, these 8 reasons are: 

  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Over-fertilizing
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Temperature trauma
  • Not enough light
  • Repotting stress
  • Pests

If you have any questions, then leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Alternatively, you can also leave a comment if your jade plant leaves are turning yellow for another reason! These are the 8 most common reasons a jade plant leaves will turn yellow, but I’m sure there are a few other reasons too! 

If you enjoyed this article, then I think you’ll love: How big do jade plants get? And how to make them grow faster!

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