Decado
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What kind of Soil for new Jade Plant & Should I Repot?

[img]https://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y69/wrathloki/Jade.jpg[/img]
This Jade was cut from a 33 year old Jade plant which was cut from a 50 year old Jade plant so on a level this is an 83 year old jade right here. For now I just put it in potting soil but since I need to get a new pot (one that drains) I was wondering what kind of soil I should be using for this plant, and if I should repot it right away or give it a little while to take (before this it was in a jar with water).

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Gnome
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Decado,
For now I just put it in potting soil but since I need to get a new pot (one that drains) I was wondering what kind of soil I should be using for this plant, and if I should repot it right away or give it a little while to take (before this it was in a jar with water).
Re-pot ASAP into a pot with drainage holes or it will soon be an ex Jade plant There are not may plants that do well in a heavy soil and no drainage, Jades are certainly not one of them. Jades are succulents and as such they evolved in arid conditions that receive water in intermittent bursts. They then store water for the dry periods. You need to mimic this if you are to have any success with this plant.

I keep a lot of Jades/Portulacaria and they do well in an open, free draining mix. If you don't want to get into the whole 'mix your own soil' scenario then something like a cactus mix is more appropriate than common potting soil. My medium is very rocky with only a little bark as an organic component. Choose a pot that has good drainage. After you move it don't water if for a while as it has now surely stored enough water for several weeks.

Norm

cynthia_h
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Do you plan to make this jade plant into a bonsai or cultivate it as a regular container plant?

If you plan to keep it as a regular container plant, and have seen the 33- and 50-year-old plants, then you know how LARGE jade plants can grow! :) (We have some ≥ 40 y.o. jade in the ground as a "hedge.")

So you will, eventually, need larger pots and a reliable source (whether yourself or commercial or a friend) of appropriate potting mix.

Some of our jade (Crassula) has 10-inch-diameter trunks...but I don't know whether this size can be achieved in a container.

How big were the older specimens which provided this cutting?

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Decado
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Gnome wrote:Decado,
For now I just put it in potting soil but since I need to get a new pot (one that drains) I was wondering what kind of soil I should be using for this plant, and if I should repot it right away or give it a little while to take (before this it was in a jar with water).
Re-pot ASAP into a pot with drainage holes or it will soon be an ex Jade plant There are not may plants that do well in a heavy soil and no drainage, Jades are certainly not one of them. Jades are succulents and as such they evolved in arid conditions that receive water in intermittent bursts. They then store water for the dry periods. You need to mimic this if you are to have any success with this plant.

I keep a lot of Jades/Portulacaria and they do well in an open, free draining mix. If you don't want to get into the whole 'mix your own soil' scenario then something like a cactus mix is more appropriate than common potting soil. My medium is very rocky with only a little bark as an organic component. Choose a pot that has good drainage. After you move it don't water if for a while as it has now surely stored enough water for several weeks.

Norm
So what exactly am I going to want to mix for the soil for the jade plant? I'm not really sure what a cactus mix would be.
cynthia_h wrote:Do you plan to make this jade plant into a bonsai or cultivate it as a regular container plant?

If you plan to keep it as a regular container plant, and have seen the 33- and 50-year-old plants, then you know how LARGE jade plants can grow! :) (We have some ≥ 40 y.o. jade in the ground as a "hedge.")

So you will, eventually, need larger pots and a reliable source (whether yourself or commercial or a friend) of appropriate potting mix.

Some of our jade (Crassula) has 10-inch-diameter trunks...but I don't know whether this size can be achieved in a container.

How big were the older specimens which provided this cutting?

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9
The older specimens were pretty big (I've seen the 33 year old one) and I think I'll probably end up just letting it be a regular container plant.

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Gnome
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Decado,
So what exactly am I going to want to mix for the soil for the jade plant? I'm not really sure what a cactus mix would be.
I mix my own soil/medium with ingredients such as Turface, Haydite, Lava Rock and Pink Bark. I did not think you were interested in getting this involved for just one plant. Most garden centers have a mix for cactus and this is what I was referring to. The key is to provide good drainage. If, when you water, the water pools on top of the soil rather than draining out, your mix is too heavy/dense. Look for a gritty quality rather than a fine texture, larger particle size is key.

Don't expect Jades, in your climate, in pots, to do as well as Cynthia's. Her Climate is much different than yours or mine where we must confine our plants to pots. Some of my plants are a decade old but are nowhere as big as she is able to achieve, growing in pots is not the same as growing in the ground. Jades seem to do well in the confines of a pot but they will not put on the growth that Cynthia notes.

Norm

cynthia_h
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Agreed. Container-grown jade is much more manageable!

We didn't plant the jade in the ground ourselves. The people we purchased this house from in 1997 said it had already been in place when *they* moved in in 1976, and that it was "large" then.

Thus the ≥ 40 y.o. age estimate.

I have seen good-sized specimens of Crassula in large glazed containers (the $$$ kind which resemble classic pottery, with the green crackle glaze). The trunks were maybe 5 to 6 inches in diameter, and the container maybe 24 to 26. But the only places I've lived when I knew what jade plant was called were Atlanta and the Bay Area, so I don't know a reasonably achieveable (?) size for a northern-grown Crassula in a container.

If you're used to babying tomatoes along, yummy water pigs that they are, you'll think for sure that you're killing that poor jade plant by *not* watering it like the tomatoes. Rest assured: here in the dry season (usually April through October), some jade plants in the open are lucky to get any water at all, in areas which regularly experience temps in the 80s and 90s. I'm not recommending such a watering regime--obviously mine get a little more water than that--but it does give a new perspective on the function of those fat little water-saving leaves! :)

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Decado
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Well, thank you two for all the help, I'll get to this soon. So Gnome, right now they're redoing my street, and there's lots of real fine gravel that I could get, should I get some of this fine gravel and mix it with some cactus mix? Would that be a good mix? I'm not sure I have the kind of all encompassing garden centers around that would have the things you mentioned.

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Gnome
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Decado,
So Gnome, right now they're redoing my street, and there's lots of real fine gravel that I could get, should I get some of this fine gravel and mix it with some cactus mix?
I have always avoided that sort of thing, you never know the origin of such material or what might be associated with it. If it is like slag I would beware. If it is more like pea gravel you could probably wash some. Another option would be un-dyed aquarium gravel. I prefer more irregularly shaped particles but it could work. Coarse Perlite will also help to open the soil.

You can grow Jades in heavier soil, you just need to be very careful about watering too frequently.


Cynthia,

I missed that yours is 40 years old so it is no wonder mine is such a runt in comparison. I have seen some large Jades around here as well. There is a very large one in a local greenhouse but it is the exception. Generally they are kept as houseplants here and seeing a really large one is uncommon.

Norm

Decado
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It is definitely pea gravel.

Also, the 33 year old jade I got this clipping from is quite large and it is a house plant. It's about 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide with 2-3" trunks, mostly grown inside but put outside in the daytime in the summer.

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Big Vine
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About the potting mix...
Would you say it is beneficial to put a layer of pea gravel on the bottom (inside) of the pot so that the cactus mix on top can drain more readily when watering?

I've been doing this with all plants, but I'm thinking it is particularly important when it comes to jade plants and other succulents.

Any validity to this method, or are there inherent flaws to it which I may be overlooking?
BV
Sean
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LowEffortGarden
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sprawl-mart has cactus mix, I'm sure other big box stores would too.
USDA zone 4b



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