An overwatered jade plant can be easily identified by its yellowing leaves and, in extreme cases, root rot. You may also notice leaves turning black or brown, but you will rarely find dry leaves as the plant is a succulent.
All these signs and symptoms have the effect of snatching away the beauty and vibe of your plant. Because of this, tips for getting your plant back will certainly come in handy under such circumstances.
The main purpose of this article is to furnish you with the much-needed information on how to save your overwatered jade plant.
- Why is Your Jade Plant Overwatered?
- Ideas for Saving an Overwatered Jade Plant
- – Remove Sitting Water
- – Refrain From Watering for a While
- – Check and Rectify Drainage Facilities
- – Repot Your Plant
- – Remove Damaged Leaves
- – Research and Use Alternative Pest Control Interventions
- – Be Aware of Climatic and Environmental Changes
- – Monitor Humidity Levels
- – Check and Treat Root Rot
- – Consider the Propagation Route
Why is Your Jade Plant Overwatered?
A jade plant is more likely to become overwatered if it is exposed to factors such as inadequate drainage facilities, excessive watering, humidity that is too high, pest control methods that involve water, and the plant parent not adjusting to changes in climatic and environmental factors.
– Inadequate Drainage Facilities
Without an adequate drainage system, overwatering your jade plant is bound to happen. An inefficient drainage system is characterized by inability of water to pass through the potting mix. You may see water pooling on the surface of the potting soil or it might remain excessively wet for long.
When the potting soil that you use predominantly contains clay, it becomes highly compacted. The resulting structure and texture of the potting mix closes the air pores that are supposed to allow free movement of water and oxygen.
By the term “structure,” we are referring to the arrangement of the soil particles, while “texture” describes the size of the particles.
The pot should have drainage holes that are ideal in number and size for releasing excess water so that it does not accumulate in the potting mix. Too few drainage holes may impede the rate at which water escapes the pot; the same applies with the ones that are too small to be efficient.
Sometimes, the drainage holes may be large enough to aid good drainage but they can be clogged by compacted soil particles, thereby reducing their efficiency. The result is waterlogged conditions that may cause leaf drop and rotting rooting, among other problems.
– Excessive Watering
Excessive watering is rarely caused by addition of high amounts of water, but rather by the frequency at which you give your jade plant a drink. Normally, we advise that watering jade plants be done using the soak and dry method.
The soak and dry method consists of giving water from the top thoroughly until it starts to come out of the pot through the drainage holes at the bottom. The potting soil is then allowed to completely dry out before you can water your plant again. You need to be very sure that the soil is completely dry before watering again.
From the description that we have given, you might have realized that the recommended method for watering your jade plant already involves adding water in excess.
This procedure only becomes a problem when you do not give your potting soil enough time to get rid of moisture before the next watering session. This is what causes overwatering, in this case.
There are many reasons that explain failure to adhere to the recommendation to add water only to completely dry soils. If you measure the soil’s moisture incorrectly, chances are high that you may add more water to a soil that is not completely dry.
The same applies when you use the same watering schedules as seasons change, considering that factors such as temperature, humidity, and sunlight vary as the year goes by. This is mainly a problem when you use summer watering schedules in winter, as your jade plant will be relatively inactive during the latter.
– Exposure to Too High Humidity
Jade plants survive best when grown under conditions with low humidity levels, otherwise rotting occurs. Low atmospheric humidity levels around your plant enhances the rate at which water is released from the plant’s leaves and the potting soil.
As your plant releases more water, it also draws more from the soil through its roots. This is also another way of making the potting mix dry.
When you place your jade plant on a spot that has high humidity levels, loss of water from its soil is hampered. Once this happens for a long time, the results are more obvious一jade plant overwatering takes place.
Similar results are expected in instances where you place your plant in bathrooms or kitchens where atmospheric humidity is naturally higher. Care procedures such as misting also increase the levels of humidity so they might also contribute to jade plant overwatering, ultimately resulting in leaves falling or turning yellow.
– Pest Control Methods That Involve Water
The frequency of watering matters more than the actual amount you add as you water jade plants. Pest control methods with water are likely to have similar results to overwatering jades. This is because each time you administer the pest control strategy, the moisture in the potting mix is increased.
Imagine what happens when you use a garden hose to create a strong stream of water for washing off pests like aphids and spider mites. Water will pool on the surface of the potting mix and this is as good as a standalone watering session.
If you do not carry out this procedure on the day that you were supposed to water your plant, then frequent watering will occur. Therefore, if you notice color discrepancies on jade plant leaves when you have been following the correct watering schedule, consider checking your pest control interventions.
– Changes in Climatic and Environmental Factors
Movement of water from the potting soil depends on factors such as sunlight and temperatures. Ignoring changes with regard to these factors will make your jade plant vulnerable to overwatering.
When temperatures are higher, water loss from the soil and your plant’s foliage takes place at a faster rate. The same applies when there is more sunlight, considering that such conditions are associated with increases in temperatures.
Moreover, the pores, which are openings that allow water to come out of the leaves of your jade plant, open in response to sunlight intensity. During the night when there is no light, these openings are closed so water loss is highly reduced.
Based on the explanation that we have given in this section, we can safely deduce that higher levels of temperatures and sunlight quicken the rate at which the potting soil dries. As a result, you would need to water your plant more frequently. When these factors are on the low side, the potting mix stays wet for longer so be mindful not to water wet soils.
If your plant starts to have soft leaves that may be turning yellow, consider checking if your watering frequency matches the environmental and climatic factors under which your plant is growing.
Ideas for Saving an Overwatered Jade Plant
To save an overwatered jade plant there are a few remedies: Remove any sitting water, refrain from watering, check and rectify drainage etc.
One sign of having watered jade plants beyond the recommended levels is leaves turning yellow. The plant leaves may even become super soft or assume a brown color, so they are a major sign that you watered jade plants excessively.
Please note that these signs do not mean that your plant has reached the end of the road. This section will enlighten you on what you can do to save your beauty again.
– Remove Sitting Water
Do you have any water lying on top of your potting soil? If yes, remove this water by tipping the pot over. Once there is no more water sitting on the surface of your plant’s soil, then the drying process can take place at a relatively faster rate.
– Refrain From Watering for a While
The jade plant can survive for relatively longer periods without being watered. Therefore, there is no harm in withholding water from the plant for some time, as a way of making sure that the potting soil dries completely.
This step usually works well if effects of overwatering are not yet severe. In a few days, you will see your plant retaining its vibe again. You can resume watering once your plant has recovered but be sure to maintain the right watering frequency so that you do not find yourself dealing with another case of overwatering.
– Check and Rectify Drainage Facilities
Check the type of soil that you are using for your plant. The jade plant is a succulent that prefers loose, rocky soild, and therefore, well-draining.
Be sure not to use all-purpose potting soils when growing your jade plant. If you have been using one, transfer your plant to another pot that has a more well-draining potting soil that better supports it.
If you have no option than to use an all-purpose potting mix, adding perlite can give it a structure that is more well-draining. Ideally, mix the potting soil and perlite at a ratio of 2:1.
Ensure that the soil that you are using has enough drainage holes so that your plant will not sit in water. Also, make sure that the holes are large enough to release water but not the potting mix. Also, check if some of the holes are not blocked, otherwise you can use toothpicks or chopsticks to unclog them.
– Repot Your Plant
If the potting soil that you have been using was not well-draining enough, you could consider repotting your plant to a pot that has another one with better draining properties. You can also do the same if the current pot does not have the recommended number of holes.
Repotting is also a good option if you are dealing with a case of root rot. This way, you allow your jade plant to start on a fresh page, considering that the fungus that causes root rot might be present in the potting soil.
– Remove Damaged Leaves
The yellow and brown leaves will never come back to life, no matter the interventions that you use. In fact, they waste the resources that are supposed to be directed to the plant’s revival endeavors. This is because the roots continue to direct these resources to all leaves, irrespective of whether they are still alive or not.
Removing the damaged leaves helps plant nutrients and water to be directed to the leaves that really need them for making plant food. You can use pruning shears to cut the yellow and brown leaves off.
Please, avoid making cuts that are too deep as they take more time to heal and may even make your plant more susceptible to infection by bacteria and fungi. We also recommend that you wear gloves as you carry out these care procedures, to further protect your plant from disease-causing microorganisms.
– Research and Use Alternative Pest Control Interventions
While pest control strategies such as hosing the pests off with a strong stream of water are cost-effective, they can be detrimental if they eventually cause overwatering. There are many other methods that you can employ in dealing with pests.
For example, you can use rubbing alcohol. You can use it to dab the pests you saturate cotton balls with or you can even spray it on your jade plant, starting with a small portion.
Another viable method for dealing with pests such as spider mites is Neem oil. Please note that you will have to spray the Neem oil over days or weeks for noticeable results. If the pest infestations are still low, you can remove the pests mechanically, though this procedure is relatively slow.
– Be Aware of Climatic and Environmental Changes
Always take note of changing seasons and that watering frequencies will change. Generally, you will have to reduce how many times you water your plant as the biological processes within the plant are relatively low. In other words, your jade plant is dormant so its water requirements are low.
The best way to avoid overwatering, despite the conditions of temperature or sunlight, is to check the moisture levels of the potting soil. You can do this by dipping a finger or chopstick into the soil. If the tool that you have used comes out with wet soil clinging on it, this is a sign that the soil is not completely dry so refrain from watering.
A more precise tool that you can use for evaluating the moisture levels in the potting mix is the moisture meter, which is also known as the damp meter. This tool will give you readings that will help you to make more accurate assumptions on the extent to which the potting soil is dry.
The good thing is that the moisture meter is not prone to human error as the finger method would be. Once you are accurate with regard to when to water jade plants, overwatering is less likely to recur.
– Monitor Humidity Levels
Ideally, jade plants require humidity levels that range between 30 to 50 percent. These levels are relatively low so if you are growing your plant indoors, spots that are in the bedroom or sitting room are best.
Keep your plant away from the high humidity rooms like bathrooms and kitchens while your coolant recovers and even after it has retained its vibe. Avoid care procedures such as misting so that you maintain low humidity levels.
– Check and Treat Root Rot
Root rot is the worst case scenario. If the situation was not yet severe, you can easily save your jade plant. The first step is to uproot your plant from its potting soil, shake the clinging soak off, and wash with clean water. Be sure to wear gloves.
Check the extent of damage that has been caused by overwatering on your roots. Brown, mushy roots are the ones that have been damaged by the fungus that causes root rot, and white ones are still fine. If there are still some white roots, then your jade plant has a chance of surviving, even more if there are more than the damaged ones.
Using sterilized shears, cut off the brown and mushy roots, prior to discarding or incinerating them. You can apply a fungicide on the root system to ensure that you destroy the fungi that cause root rot.
Also, consider applying a rooting hormone to hasten the development of new roots once you have replanted your jade plant. Repot your plant in a sterilized new pot that is packed with a new, well-draining potting mix.
– Consider the Propagation Route
If, based on the assessment that you do on the root system of your jade plant, you see that all the roots have been severely damaged, the chances that it will survive is slim. However, there is still hope to have another plant that is just like the original. All you have to do is to propagate your jade plant using stem cuttings that are not diseased.
Get a stem that is three to four inches long to increase the chances of having successful rooting. Make sure that the tools, like a knife or clippers, that you use to get your stem cutting are sterile by spraying them with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol or dipping them in soapy water.
Put the cuttings on a flat surface for a few days so that they can callus. You can then plant your stem cutting in a new pot with fresh potting soil.
You can also use leaves for propagating your jade plant, though this is a relatively longer process, compared to using stems. Carefully take the leaf off, making sure that it still contains the part that connects it to the stem, otherwise roots will not develop.
Allow the leaf to callus, prior to dipping it in a rooting hormone. After planting leaf or stem cuttings, be sure not to expose them to full, bright sunlight, and als avoid watering them until roots have developed.
Noticing that your plant has been overwatered can be disheartening but not when you have the information that you have learned from this article.
Let’s quickly go through the main takeaways once more:
- Overwatered jade plants can be identified by root rot, as well as leaves that are softening or assuming yellow, black, or brown colors.
- Drainage issues and excessive watering are the main culprits when it comes to an overwatered jade plant.
- Other possible causes of overwatering in jade plants are mainly related to care procedures such as pest control methods.
- Saving your plant is mainly hinged upon revising your watering and drainage properties.
- If your plant has been affected by root root, make efforts to treat it but if the situation is severe and irreversible, consider propagating your plant via stem or leaf cuttings.
With the nuggets that you learned in this article, you can develop the resilience that will enable you to save your plant. Identify the cause of overwatering on your plant, implement the right interventions, and be your plant’s super hero!
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