Can Jade Plants Thrive In Water? Exploring The Potential

can jade plants grow in water

Can jade plants grow in water? Yes, they can! If you’ve always wanted to bring some lush greenery into your home but worry about your gardening skills, look no further! Jade plants, known for their vibrant foliage and ornamental appeal, offer a perfect solution. Not only are they easy to care for, but they also have the impressive ability to flourish in water alone.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating process of growing jade plants in water and provide you with all the information you need to successfully cultivate these stunning plants in your own space. So, let’s dive right in!

Table of Contents

Can Jade Plants Grow in Water?

Jade plants, also known as Crassula ovata or money trees, are popular houseplants known for their thick, fleshy leaves and easy care requirements. These plants are native to South Africa and are commonly grown in pots or containers using well-draining soil.

However, you may be wondering if it’s possible to grow jade plants in water instead. In this article, we will explore whether jade plants can thrive in water and the necessary steps to grow them successfully.

Understanding Jade Plants

Before diving into the question of growing jade plants in water, let’s take a closer look at these fascinating plants. Jade plants belong to the Crassulaceae family and are succulents, which means they store water in their leaves, stems, and roots. They have a unique ability to adapt to varying environmental conditions, making them popular choices for indoor gardening.

Jade plants are characterized by their thick, round leaves that can range in color from dark green to variegated with red or yellow edges. They also produce small, star-shaped flowers in clusters during the winter months, which add a touch of beauty to their already attractive appearance.

These plants are typically grown as small shrubs, reaching a height of 2 to 3 feet when mature, although they can grow taller in the right conditions. Jade plants are known for their longevity and can live for several decades if properly cared for.

Can Jade Plants Survive in Water?

While jade plants are naturally adapted to survive in arid conditions and store water in their leaves, they are not well-suited for growing solely in water. Unlike some other houseplants, such as pothos or philodendrons, jade plants do not have the necessary adaptations to thrive in a water-only environment.

Jade plants are susceptible to root rot, which occurs when the roots are constantly submerged in water, without the opportunity to dry out. Without proper aeration and drainage, the roots can quickly become waterlogged, leading to root damage and ultimately plant death.

However, this doesn’t mean that jade plants cannot be water propagated or temporarily grown in water. Water propagation is a popular method of propagating plants by placing cuttings in water until roots develop. Jade plants can be propagated using water, but they still require well-draining soil for long-term growth and health.

Water Propagation of Jade Plants

If you wish to propagate your jade plant using water, follow these steps:

  1. Take a healthy leaf or stem cutting from the parent plant. Ensure that the cutting is at least 3-4 inches long and has a few sets of leaves.
  2. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving only a few at the top.
  3. Place the cutting in a glass or jar filled with water, making sure that the bottom portion is immersed in water while the leaves remain above the waterline.
  4. Position the glass or jar in a well-lit area away from direct sunlight, as excessive light can cause algae growth in the water.
  5. Change the water every few days to prevent stagnation and the buildup of bacteria.
  6. Within a few weeks to a couple of months, you should start seeing roots forming from the submerged portion of the cutting.
  7. Once the roots are well-developed, transfer the cutting to a pot with well-draining soil, preferably a soil mix formulated for succulents.
  8. Continue caring for the newly potted jade plant as you would for an established jade plant (covered in the next section).

Please note that while water propagation can be successful, it is not a long-term solution. Transferring the rooted cutting to well-draining soil is crucial for the plant’s growth and overall health.

Growing Jade Plants in Soil

To ensure the long-term health and growth of a jade plant, it’s essential to provide it with suitable soil and growing conditions. Here are the key considerations for successfully growing jade plants in soil:

Soil Requirements

Jade plants thrive in well-draining soil, similar to what you would use for other succulents. The soil should be able to hold some moisture but should never remain soggy or waterlogged. A mix that combines regular potting soil with perlite, pumice, or sand provides the necessary drainage and aeration for jade plants.

Pot Selection

Choosing the right pot is crucial for jade plant care. Opt for a pot with drainage holes to prevent excess water from accumulating at the bottom. Clay pots are often recommended for jade plants as they allow for better air circulation and help with moisture control.

If you prefer a decorative pot without drainage holes, use it as a cachepot and ensure the inner pot has proper drainage.

Light and Temperature

Jade plants prefer bright light, but direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. Place your jade plant near a window that receives indirect sunlight or provide filtered light using a sheer curtain.

These plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures but prefer average room temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid placing the plant in drafty areas or near vents that produce hot or cold air.

Watering and Humidity

When it comes to watering jade plants, it’s important to strike the right balance. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to shrivel and drop. Here are some watering tips for jade plants:

  • Allow the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again.
  • Stick your finger into the soil to check for moisture. If it feels dry, it’s time to water.
  • Water thoroughly, ensuring that excess water flows out of the drainage holes.
  • Avoid leaving the pot sitting in excess water, as this can lead to root rot.
  • During the winter months, jade plants enter a semi-dormant state and require less water. Reduce watering frequency accordingly.

While jade plants are adaptable to low humidity environments, they can benefit from occasional misting or placement near a humidifier, especially in dry indoor settings.


Jade plants have modest fertilizer requirements. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for succulents and follow the instructions on the package for application rates.

During the spring and summer months, when jade plants are actively growing, you can fertilize once every two to four weeks. Reduce or stop fertilization during the winter months when growth slows down.

Pruning and Maintenance

Regular pruning helps maintain the shape and overall appearance of jade plants. Prune back leggy or overgrown stems to promote bushier growth. You can also pinch off new growth to encourage branching. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged leaves or stems promptly to prevent the spread of pests or diseases.

Pest Control

Jade plants are relatively pest-resistant, but they can occasionally attract mealybugs, scale insects, or spider mites. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests, such as small cotton-like clusters (mealybugs) or tiny specks on the leaves (spider mites). If infestations occur, treat them with an appropriate insecticidal soap or horticultural oil, following the instructions on the product label.

While jade plants are not ideally suited for growing solely in water, they can be propagated using water and temporarily grown in water as part of the propagation process. However, for long-term growth and health, jade plants require well-draining soil and proper care.

By providing suitable soil, light, water, and temperature conditions, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of these fascinating plants in your home. Remember to keep an eye on your jade plant’s growth, prune when necessary, and address any pest or disease issues promptly.

With the right care, your jade plant can thrive and bring a touch of greenery to your indoor space for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can jade plants grow in water?

Yes, jade plants can grow in water, but it is not their preferred method of growth. While they can survive in water for a short period, it is best to provide them with well-draining soil for optimal growth.

What are the advantages of growing jade plants in water?

Growing jade plants in water can help maintain a higher level of humidity, which is beneficial in dry environments. Additionally, it allows you to observe the roots and monitor their health more easily.

What kind of water should be used for growing jade plants?

For growing jade plants in water, it is recommended to use distilled or filtered water to avoid any harmful minerals or chemicals that can be present in tap water.

How do I propagate jade plants in water?

To propagate a jade plant in water, take a healthy leaf or stem cutting and place it in a container filled with water. Ensure that at least a couple of nodes are submerged in the water. Keep the container in a well-lit area but away from direct sunlight.

Should I add any nutrients to the water when growing jade plants?

No, it is not necessary to add nutrients to the water when growing jade plants. They can absorb the necessary nutrients from the soil or water, whichever they are placed in.

What should I do if the jade plant starts to rot in water?

If you notice that the jade plant is rotting in water, it is advisable to remove the plant from water immediately. Allow the cut end to dry out for a few days, and then consider propagating it again in well-draining soil.

Can I transfer a jade plant from water to soil?

Yes, it is possible to transfer a jade plant from water to soil. However, it is crucial to do it gradually. Start by introducing the plant to soil mixtures with increased moisture content and gradually decrease the frequency of watering in order to acclimate it to the soil.

What are some common issues when growing jade plants in water?

Common issues when growing jade plants in water include root rot due to overwatering, algal growth in the water, and the lack of necessary nutrients. Monitoring the plant regularly and taking appropriate measures can help prevent these issues.

Final Thoughts

Jade plants, also known as Crassula ovata, are popular houseplants known for their thick, fleshy leaves and ease of care. While they are typically grown in soil, it is possible to grow jade plants in water. By propagating jade cuttings in water and providing the right conditions, you can successfully grow a jade plant hydroponically.

However, it’s important to note that jade plants grown in water may not thrive as much as those grown in soil, as they may be more prone to root rot and nutrient deficiencies. Therefore, it is advisable to consider soil as the preferred method for growing jade plants, but if you are interested in experimenting with water propagation, jade plants can indeed grow in water.

Cathryn Thompson

Hi, I am Cathryn Thompson. I am a full-time blogger. I ditched my 9-5 job many years back to explore life a bit more. In this blog, I like writing about everything that can save us from the monotony of regular life and live our life to the fullest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts