Jade Plant Light Requirements: How Much and When

The Jade plant is popularly known for its tiny green oval-shaped leaves. It is a low-maintenance plant and won’t give you much trouble. If you take good care of your little jades, they can grow into a large plant and stick around for a long time. 

But what if you find your jade plants’ burning, having leggy growth, and leaves curling up? As succulents require less care, you neglected them completely. Now the jade plant sunlight is threatening its health.

You might be having some questions like, “how much sun does my jade plant need, and can my jade plant grow in low light?” But before we jump into the jade plant light requirements, let’s get into whether your jade plant can survive without sunlight.

Can a jade plant survive without sunlight?

No, jade plants cannot survive without sunlight. They need intense sunlight to grow. However, an alternative could be using artificial light to compensate for the loss of natural sunlight. 

You should never compromise on lighting needs as it will hamper development. You can provide a little shade during the day, but complete darkness or lack of sunshine would result in the loss of leaves on this succulent plant.

The health of the jade plant’s leaves will decline without sunshine or reduced exposure. It will lead the plant to develop at a much slower rate. 

Now that you know sunlight is an essential aspect of the jade plant let’s understand why it is important.

Why is sunlight important for a jade plant?

Plants are unique as they can actually create their food within their bodies, unlike humans or animals. And the ultimate key to this is the right amount of sunlight, isn’t it?

Jade plants inhale carbon dioxide and water using their leaves and roots to meet their nutritional needs. Then your plant combines these ingredients with sunlight. This allows the plant to cook up the food it needs to fuel its growth. And the entire process is known as photosynthesis. 

The right amount of sunlight helps the jade plant to grow well. It becomes healthy and serves you with tiny green leaves.

Now you must be questioning, “how much sun does a jade plant need? ” or “What are jade plant light requirements?” Let me walk you through the same.

How much sun does a jade plant need?


Too much or too little sunlight can negatively affect the jade plant’s growth. Like humans, green friends can get burnt if they sunbathe too long. It can kill weak young leaves while hampering their growth. 

If the jade plant doesn’t get enough sun, it can’t make the right amount of nutrients to grow properly. A lack of energy causes stunted growth, resulting in thin stems with weak, sparse leaves. 

The right amount of jade plant light creates lovely and thick foliage. Let me guide you with the proper jade plant light requirements.

1) Type of Light

The type of light required depends on the jade plant’s growth. Young jade plants need indirect light for at least 4 to 5 hours. On the other hand, larger, more mature jade plants need 5-6 hours of direct sunshine.

Even with indirect light sources, a young jade plant would thrive and continue to grow. However, weak jade plants may experience sunburn and develop some yellow or brown blotches on their leaves if exposed to bright and direct sunshine.

You can provide your jade plants with at least 4 hours of direct sunlight to grow larger and healthier. In most cases, you can place your mature jade plants in insufficient indirect sunlight for a long time. 

2) Intensity

You should consider the light intensity when placing a jade plant in direct sunshine.

You can manage the light intensity by altering the distance between a light source and the jade plant. They prefer to grow in environments with medium to high light levels. Due to this, you can grow them indoors in well-lit spaces.

Jade Plant Light Note: Low to medium light is preferable if your jade plant is young. In contrast, you can provide medium to high jade plant sunlight if it’s mature.

3) Light Period

Jade plants light requirements are usually 4-5 hours each day. Five hours would be more than enough for your jade plant to grow well in direct sunshine.

However, it does not imply that the jade plant will not require light exposure for the remaining day. You should provide your jade plant with indirect sunlight all day long.

4) The Sun’s Direction

The sun’s direction is one of the crucial factors in jade plant light requirements. Knowing which way your home faces will help decide the ideal place for the jade plant. 

Have I mentioned which window direction can provide better jade light requirements? Let’s find out.

a) East-facing window: These windows receive plenty of morning light and relatively late-afternoon intense sun for a few hours. You can place your jade plant in the morning, yet you have to change the place afterward. But switching places often can restrict their growth.

b) West-facing window: This type of window receives strong afternoon sunlight, which can be damaging to the jade plant’s leaves.

c) South-facing windows: These are one of the ideal windows to fulfill jade plant light requirements. The plant will enjoy the constant light.

d) North-facing windows: They receive some light, but not nearly enough for your jade plant to flourish.

You should keep your jade plant away from windows, even if they are exposed to a lot of direct sunlight for a long time. You can also use a sheer curtain to lower the light’s intensity.

5) Be Consistent

Jade plants are hardy, and some gardeners move them around often to take advantage of different lighting situations.

If you switch places often, they can get agitated. You should be consistent in maintaining the health of your jade plants.

You should stick to a single location where they may receive adequate indirect light. Although, some direct jade plant sunlight will be the icing on the cake.

Jade Plant Sunlight Tip:

If you want to relocate your jade plant, do it gradually to give it time to get used to the new lighting.

But do you know low light can cause the leaves of your jade plant to scorch or develop unsightly brown spots? Or worse, it can restrict the jade plant’s growth. There are various ways to figure out whether your jade plant is receiving sufficient light or not.

Signs of Insufficient Jade Plant Sunlight

As you know, the jade plant is native to the desert and enjoys soaking up the sun. It will develop slowly and worsen if it doesn’t get enough sunlight. Placing the plant in a too dark area can lead to death. 

Here are a few indicators that your jade plant needs more light:

1) Leggy growth

Jade plants can produce plenty of dense, healthy foliage when they receive the correct amount of sunshine. However, it affects their growth if they don’t receive enough light to photosynthesize. Low jade plant sunlight can result in weak and restricted growth.

The stems begin to sag and take on a droopy appearance. The jade plant will recover if you relocate it to a more sunny location and cut back the weak stems.

2) Falling of leaves

The shedding leaves are another low jade plant sunlight indicator. It indicates that the plant can produce insufficient food through photosynthesis to support healthy growth. 

It may lead to deteriorating leaves and ultimately falling off the stem. Jade plants that are weak or limp may be more vulnerable to pests and illnesses.

You can place your jade plant in more bright, indirect sunlight to prevent further leaves from falling off. Repotting in rich nutrient soil could be a solution.

3) Stunned Growth

The plant’s reduced development is the most prominent low jade plant sunlight symptom and the primary indicator. Without enough jade plant light, it lacks the energy to expand.

4) Curling Down Leaves

The jade plant’s leaves curl downward in the absence of sunlight. With limited exposure to sunshine, the plant lacks nutrition, and the leaves begin to curl.

5) Pointing Toward the Light Source

A damaged jade plant is a sign of not receiving enough light. If your jade plant points towards the light source, it signals that the plant is unwell and requires more sunlight.

6) Change in leaves’ color


If you witness any change in the color of the leaves, it should be the first sign.

The brown or yellow leaves can be due to the plant’s nutrient deficiency. However, excessive exposure to strong sunlight can result in the same.

What other signs do your jade plant show when it receives too much sunlight?

Signs of Too Much Jade Plant Sunlight

Even though jade plants enjoy soaking up the sun, too much exposure to the sun’s rays is harmful to them. Since the sun is at its peak in the late afternoon, leaving your jade plant in its direct rays can burn them.

The following signs indicate that your jade plant is receiving too much light:

1) Brown scabs on the leaves

Your jade plant may become burned by too much direct sunlight. Newly propagated jade plants are sensitive and are the most impacted.

Typically, you can witness the sunburn as dark blotches around the leaf edges. These patches will eventually start to dry out and become wrinkled or crusty. If this occurs, you should relocate your jade plant to a filtered place away from direct sunlight in the afternoon.

You can prune off the burned areas with the care that will aid the jade plant’s recovery. Additionally, you should look after your plant’s watering cycles. Make sure it gets enough moisture, and feed them fertilizer to strengthen the nutrient basis.

2) Crimson leaf margins

The edges of a jade plant’s leaves may wilt, become red, or even fall off if it suffers from intense jade plant sunlight. It can extend across the entire leaf covering the whole plant.

If you’re worried, consider shielding your jade plant from the sun in the late afternoon.

You must be wondering, if not in intense light, can you grow a jade plant in low light? Can low light fulfill all the essential nutrients a jade plant requires? Let me walk you through it.

Can the Jade plant grow in low light?

Jade plants are resilient and hardy, and they can survive in low light conditions as well. However, you would be wrong to expect your jade plant to flourish in low light.

Your jade plant will grow lanky and less vigorously in inadequate sunlight. If kept in such circumstances repeatedly, they may potentially become weak. We, therefore, suggest keeping them in a well-lit area.

So what should you consider while growing a jade plant indoors or outdoors?

Indoors Jade Plant Sunlight Requirement

jade plant care

Jade plants require intense light indoors, which you can easily get in a south or west-facing window. If you don’t have a sunny space, you might put your plant close to an artificial light source. 

If you are using fluorescent lighting, you should pick a two-bulb fixture with one cool-white and one bulb designated for plant use. It will give the plant a broad spectrum of light. 

In the winter, you should relocate the jade plant a short distance away from the window or draw the shade or curtain over it, especially at night.

Outdoor Jade Plant Light Requirements 

Jade plants are native to South Africa, a country with mild temperatures. They are well accustomed to dry climates. Jade plants grow best with plenty of light because they tend to become skinny and weaker when planted in dim lighting.

Like many succulents, tiny jade plants collect water in their fleshy leaves and thick, smooth-skinned stalks. So the dry climate doesn’t affect them much.

If you want to grow your plant in the garden or balcony, give them full sun for at least four hours of sunlight each day. They might get burned in the afternoon sun in hot climates. Therefore you should place them in light shade during the warmest part of the day.

Many of you, like me, live in apartments or flats, where we don’t have enough sunlight. What can you possibly do in that case? You can use artificial light for your tiny green friend.

Can I grow the jade plant in artificial light?

For proper growth, you must take care of jade plant light requirements. However, if you don’t have sufficient light access, it won’t keep you from having a cute jade plant. 

You can use artificial lighting methods. Artificial lighting compensates for the lack of natural light exposure and sunlight. You can use these for artificial lights:

  • LEDs  
  • Fluorescent light bulbs 

You can also use high-pressure sodium bulbs. However, fluorescent bulbs are recommended since they are widely available and do not easily sunburn the foliage.

Jade Plant Sunlight Note:

The best option for a jade plant’s healthy growth is direct sunshine. You should only use artificial light if there is no sunlight available. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Artificial Lighting

Now I will tell you what you should consider while using artificial jade plant light.

1) Light Intensity

One of the important factors to consider is light’s intensity. The amount of light will vary depending on the jade plant’s growth.

You should make certain modifications in the light according to the symptoms of the jade plant. Artificial lighting with an intensity of 500 to 1,000-foot-candles would be ideal for a healthy jade plant.

Note: A foot candle is a measurement of light intensity.

2) Distance between the plant from the light

Maintaining a specific distance between the source of artificial light and the jade plant is necessary for controlling artificial lighting.

It is crucial since maintaining close proximity could result in heat. High-pressure bulbs can burn the plant’s leaves.

You should keep the right distance for healthy growth. It would be ideal to maintain a spacing of 12 to 24 inches between the plant and the artificial source of light for a jade plant.

3) Type of Jade plant light

You should consider the type of light you use for the jade plant. The technology you are using matters a lot.

You can use grow lights because they exclusively emit light from the red and blue wavelengths of the light spectrum.

4) Duration of light

The jade plant may thrive and flourish with the assistance of artificial lighting. But the plant won’t be able to survive with just 4 or 5 hours of extra lighting.

You need to give at least 12 to 14 hours of lighting for healthier growth. 

Jade plant light note: Compared to the amount of time the jade plant needs for direct sunlight, it needs 2X for artificial light.

5) Temperature of Color (Kelvin)

The Jade plant prefers a color temperature of 5,000 Kelvins, which produces a full spectrum. It closely resembles sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1: Can Jade plants survive in low light?

Ans: As I mentioned earlier, they can survive in low light. But jade plants need a lot of direct, intense sunlight for optimal growth. Low light environments will result in slower growth that is stunted or distorted.

Ques 2: Can jade plants thrive indoors?

Ans: These succulents can survive peacefully indoors if given adequate sunlight. Jade plants are excellent picks for new plant parents since they require little maintenance. These plants grow best if they receive four to six hours of bright sunshine daily.

Ques 3: Can jade plants grow in full sun?

Ans: Jade plants like a few hours every day of full sun. 

As morning light is less intense than afternoon light, it is preferable. You should try for at least four hours of jade plant sunlight. 

Ques 4: How much light do jade plants require?

Ans: For optimum results, jade plant light requirements are bright, direct morning light, or indirect afternoon. 


If you are passionate about growing green beauties, you should take care of jade plant light requirements. Proper lighting is crucial for them to thrive well.  

Your jade plants will continue to develop under bright indirect light and some hours of direct light. Ideally, you should keep your jade plants in a south-facing window. 

But if the sun is too intense, use sheer drapes to screen the light. Try to avoid the intense direct light as it can burn the leaves.

You can use artificial jade plant light sources to increase natural light for your jade plants during the winter. You can comment below if you have any questions regarding How much sun a jade plant need.

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  • Navya Rathour

    Navya is an Agriculture graduate with a keen interest in plants. She is a plant lover and loves to share her knowledge to the best of her abilities. She has worked for the welfare of plants since she was ten years old, has grown more than 50 houseplants inside her home, and loves to share her experience.

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