Everything You Need to Know About Repotting Jade Plants at Home

Repotting is a simple enough practice, but succulents like Jade Plants (Crassula ovata) need a little extra care during the process to avoid damage. It’s all too easy for the stems to break or individual leaves to snap off. With careful handling and a pot that is only a little bigger than the old one, your Jade Plant should soon thrive in its new home. Learn when repotting is recommended for the Jade Plant in particular.


Repotting Jade Plants – The Essentials

Moving a Jade Plant to a new pot requires no special tools, just your hands. Wait until the plant is heavily root-bound and only move up to a slightly larger container each time. Most Jade Plants will only need repotting every other year or less.


Why Repotting Jade Plants Might be Necessary

Why Repotting Jade Plants Might be Necessary

Like all houseplants, most varieties of Jade Plants eventually need larger pots as they grow. However, they are slow-growing enough that this is only needed once every few years for most plants. Jade Plants generally only need repotting for growth reasons. 

They’re low-demand feeders and don’t mind if the soil mix becomes compacted or sandy over time. It’s also fine to repot a Jade Plant just because you found a new planter you like better, as long as it’s the right size for the root ball.

How Often Do Jade Plants Need Repotting?

Thanks to their slow growth rate of just 1 to 2 inches per year, Jade Plants rarely need repotting even once a year. It’s often fine to only repot them every other year or even less, depending on growth and how root bound they become. 

Root growth is as slow as the upper growth, so they shouldn’t move up in pot size too quickly. Jade Plants don’t mind being somewhat root-bound. Even when the roots reach the sides of the pot and begin to circle, it shouldn’t hurt the plant or stop its growth. 

However, roots that protrude from the watering holes at the bottom of the pot indicate it’s finally time for repotting.

Best Times of Year to Consider Repotting

Best Times of Year to Consider Repotting

It’s best to repot (and propagate) most houseplants, including Jade Plants, during the season of active growth. 

Spring and summer give the plants the best response to the stress of moving into a new pot. Roots will quickly grow into the new soil, reducing the chance of root rot and other issues that can develop over the winter. 

However, a severely root-bound plant or one with a damaged pot is fine to repot regardless of the season. Don’t let the plant struggle just because it’s the wrong time of year if you think a slightly bigger pot or new potting mix would help.

The Best Soil Mix When Repotting Jade Plants

Jade Plants grow best in well-draining soil that nonetheless still holds a small amount of moisture around the roots since it’s a succulent. 

Try starting with commercial cacti or orchid mix that is based on a combination of fine and coarse bark. Add in coarse sand and extra pumice or perlite. The mixture should be two parts cacti or orchid mix, two parts sand, and one part perlite or pumice. This will make the soil heavy enough to keep large Jade Plants from tipping over under their own weight since they are fairly shallow rooted. 

Make sure the soil mix you use as a base has some organic material like bark or forest loam in it since Jade Plants need water held around their roots to a small degree.

What Tools Will I Need When Repotting Jade Plants?

If you are only repotting the plant in order to give it more space to grow, you shouldn’t need any particular specialty tools. A flat hand trowel or spade can help loosen the plant from the container if the roots are pushed tightly against the walls. It can also help you divide the Jade Plant if it is large and mature. 

Make sure to have your new pot or container on hand and plenty of extra potting mix to fill in the gap around the root ball. A chopstick can tease apart roots or knock loose any old potting mix you want to remove. These plants aren’t too sensitive to depleted nutrients or compaction, so it’s not usually required except for the most root-bound Jade Plants.

Size & Types of Potting Vessel Considerations

Size & Types of Potting Vessel Considerations

Only move up by one size category, or about ½ inch all the way around the root ball, at any one time. Jade Plants prefer to feel a little crowded rather than being settled into a large, oversized pot. This is a common trait shared among many succulents, cacti, and similar houseplants.

If your Jade Plant was growing in a 4-inch pot, move up to a 5-inch pot at the next repotting. This leaves ½ inch of space on either side for growth. Jade Plants grow equally well in clay and plastic potting vessels. Glazed pots and containers are recommended over bare terracotta since the material can hold too much moisture for these plants.

How to Repot Your Jade Plant

How to Repot Your Jade Plant
  1. Start by trimming off any damaged, dried, or dead plant tissue. Do a little pruning if the plant is unwieldy, off-balanced, or too heavy in one particular area. This reduces the chances of damage while you’re transferring the plant to a new pot. Limit the pruning to under 10% of total healthy plant tissue to avoid shocking the Jade Plant.
  2. Slide a flat hand trowel or butter knife between the soil and the pot edges. Gently loosen the root ball and knock loose the soil at the edges, so there’s less friction as you slide the pot off.
  3. Tip the plant to one side, holding the Jade Plant’s stems at the very base where they meet the top of the soil. Grasp the container or pot with the other hand and try to pull it loose without tilting it too much. Twist the pot if you can to get more leverage for loosening it.
  4. When the Jade Plant’s root ball comes loose, gently set it down on the roots on the table or work surface. Check for any signs of damage and remove any soil you don’t want to transfer over to the new container. Divide the plant if desired at this point.
  5. Put about 1 inch of potting mix in the new pot or container. Settle the Jade Plant into the container and spread the roots if possible around the bottom of the pot. Hold the plant upright with one hand as you fill the potting mix around the sides. Press down to find pockets of air and add soil until everything tamps smoothly around the plant.

Post Repotting Care

Post Repotting Care

Avoid the urge to water a Jade Plant immediately after repotting. The roots are sensitive and will be extra susceptible to rot at this stage, especially if you divided or pruned the jade plant too. 

Wait up to two weeks before watering your jade plant unless you see signs of wilting, wrinkled, or dropping leaves. Water at the first sign of water stress, but wait until the plant has a chance to recover otherwise. 

Watch out for cold breezes and extra hot air as well during the first month after repotting. Jade plants love bright, sunny locations, and thrive in warm temperatures with high humidity.

In addition, keep an eye on common jade plant pests and diseases.


Repotting Jade Plant FAQs:

Should I soak my Jade Plant before repotting? 

Since Jade Plants are sensitive to watering, it’s best not to soak them during the repotting process. But if the plant is stubbornly stuck in a pot that’s too small, soaking may be the only option. Just make sure not to water after repotting.

Should you water a Jade Plant immediately after repotting? 

Even if you don’t soak the Jade Plant before repotting, it shouldn’t be watered for up to two weeks after repotting.

Do Jade Plants like big pots? 

Jade Plants like their containers on the smaller side rather than the bigger one. Pots should only be ½ to 1 inch bigger than the plant on all sides.

Why is my Jade Plant limp after repotting? 

Stress and shock cause many Jade Plants to go limp after repotting, including early watering or use of wet potting mix. If the leaves are wrinkled, they could need water instead.

Should I mist my Jade Plant after repotting? 

Misting a Jade Plant after repotting isn’t generally recommended, but it is a good trick to help cuttings take root after pruning.

Should I fertilize my Jade Plant after repotting? 

As a plant that prefers low nutrient levels, Jade Plants don’t enjoy fertilization after repotting. Wait at least 4 months before adding any jade plant fertilizer and try not to apply nutrients in the months leading up to repotting.


Wrapping Up

The Jade Plant shouldn’t need repotting much at all, but eventually, a mature plant will need at least an 8 to 12-inch wide pot to accommodate its root ball. Just keep in mind the slow growth rate means it may take a decade for a plant to get that large.

If you’re looking for your next jade plant, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering jade plants nationwide.


Author

I’ve long been fascinated with the world of flowers, plants, and floral design. I come from a family of horticulturists and growers and spent much of my childhood in amongst the fields of flowering blooms and greenhouses filled with tropical plants, cacti, and succulents from all over the world. Today, my passion has led me to further explore the world of horticulture, botany, and floristry and I'm always excited to meet and collaborate with fellow enthusiasts and professionals from across the globe. I hold a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and have trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris.

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