Jade Plant Sunburn: Causes And How To Recover!

Is your jade plant suffering from sunburn? What should you do to fix this issue? 

Don’t worry, in this article, we are here to guide you through all you need to know about why jade plants get sunburnt and what you should do to solve this problem. 

Thankfully, sunburn won’t lead to the death of your jade plants. If they do not get enough care, your jade plant might face such problems and cannot be recovered easily. Sunburns look like brown spots or brown patches on the foliage, if neglected they may spread to the stems. 

So, without further delay, let us first start with what is a jade plant sunburn and what are the causes of this issue!

What is Jade Plant Sunburn?

Brown spots or patches that grow on the leaves which are rough and crispy are called sunburns. Sunburns affect the appearance of the plant and also damage the plant’s health. The effect of sunburns is irreversible and needs a lot of patience to treat. The main cause of these sunburns is over-exposure to the sun. Jade plants need 6 hours of direct sunlight in a day, to grow properly. More than that or placing it outdoors in the afternoons of the summer may cause sunburns.

What are the causes of the Sunburn Jade Plant?

If your Jade plant is facing sunburns, let us first know the roots of the problem to solve it, and help the plant to grow healthy again. Knowing the reason will help you to avoid repeating the same mistake in the future. We have given below the probable reasons for the sunburns on your Jade plant.

1. Placing the Jade plant under hot sun

Generally, Jade plants love being in the sun. But they grow well only if they are surrounded by some other plants and trees that provide some shade to them. If your Jade plant is growing alone outdoors under the hot sun, it will surely face the problem of sunburns. A jade plant needs 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight to thrive. Do not allow it to absorb more than enough sunlight.

Avoid placing it in direct sunlight for more than 4-5 hours because the direct intense sun rays will damage the tissues inside the plant cells and cause sunburns. Overheating may lead to dehydration and finally results in the sunburned Jade plant.

Even if you take certain precautions while placing it and still your plant is facing the same problem, then we have listed some reasons below which might be the cause of this issue!

a) Sunlight that passes through the glass

If you are aware of the truth that placing the Jade plants outdoors alone will cause sunburns, then you should place them indoors. To provide a good amount of sunlight, you should place your plant on a windowsill that is closed with glass but doing this, your plants will still face the same issue. Then the reason is that the sun rays that pass through the glass become more intense and attack the plant. So, place it just beside the window, on a table to let the intensity of the light decrease, or cover it with a light-colored curtain to avoid the problem.

b) Droplets on the foliage

If some droplets of water remain on the leaves of your Jade plant, which acts as a magnifying glass when the sun rays pass through them, then they cause sunburns.

2. Sudden climatic changes around jade plants

Jade plants do not like to be replaced often. They like to stay in one place for a long time. Also, they should be replaced gradually. Sudden replacement will upset the plant’s growth. They inhabit the climatic conditions in the place they are kept. If you replace your Jade plant suddenly and keep it outdoors in the direct sun, then it will lead to sunburns, because it may not adjust to the hot climate within a short time. So, do not replace it suddenly or introduce it to the direct sun in a short span.

3. Not enough watering the jade plants

Jade plants need water to survive, although they are succulents. Continue to water your Jade plant until the extra water drains out to provide enough water to it and let the soil dry before the next watering. If you do not provide enough watering to your jade plant, then it will result in dehydration which is another cause of sunburns.

Now, you the causes of sunburnt leaves of jade plants, let us now discuss the signs to check sunburned leaves of jade plants and how to treat and prevent this issue!

What are the signs of the sunburned jade plant?

If you pay some attention to your Jade plant, you can find that your plant is suffering from sunburns in the early stage and then you can quickly take action to save your plant. Let us know the signs of sunburned Jade plants.

1. Discoloration of leaves

Over-exposure to the sun may result in dehydration if you are watering it periodically. So, the dehydrated plant turns green and leaves turn yellow. These yellow leaves eventually fall off due to a lack of water. It is the first sign of sunburn, and it is time you should give proper attention and care to them.

2. Brown spots or patches

When the intense sun rays fall on the surface of the leaves of your Jade plants, it leaves a mark of brown spots that are usually rough to touch. These spots are gradually converted into patches which are called sunburns. This is another sign in which your plant might be needing more care.

3. Dry and crisp leaves

The preferred soil mix for the Jade plant is a cactus mix that drains fastly. Due to overheating, it dries even faster and the roots become very dry. So, there will be no transfer of water from the roots to the leaves and thus, due to dehydration, the fleshy leaves of Jade plants become dry and crispy.

4. Falling leaves

We can observe droopy leaves and also droopy branches, during the period of dehydration. The leaves of your Jade plants eventually fall off in this case. The falling of older leaves can also be observed in an aged plant. But if you see a continuously increasing leaf-fall, then it is time for you to take care of it.

How to Treat a Sunburned Jade Plant?

If you are too late to suspect the signs of a sunburned Jade plant, and your plant is facing severe damage from it, now is the time to save your damaged jade plant. Of course, the damaged leaves may not be recovered completely. Because the tissues are damaged inside. But we can help the plant to heal from the effect of sunburns. All you have to need is a lot of patience and provide proper care to your plant and always be attentive to its needs. Let us now discuss the solutions to fix this sunburn issue of your jade plants!

1. Replacing your Jade plant

The first and most important thing to do immediately after recognizing the sunburns on your jade plant is to replace your plant. Because the place where your jade plant is kept might be getting a ton of direct sunlight and that is damaging your plant’s health. Moving your plant out of direct and harsh sunlight might be giving relief to your sunburned Jade plant.

Now, decide on a better place for your jade plant, which is getting a good amount of partial sunlight. You can also bring them to a shade and make sure that the temperature of the new place is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not keep your damaged plant in a dark place to pacify it because your jade plant needs sunlight to thrive after recovering from the damage. 

2. Prune the damaged leaves of the jade plant


After replacing your Jade plant with a safe place, the next thing to do is prune the highly damaged leaves. Keep in mind that the leaves that are slightly damaged, should not be pruned and you should leave them to encourage new growth. These leaves will not harm your plant anymore and there are some chances of partial recovery of slightly sunburned leaves. 

Also over pruning may shock your plant and it results in stopping the new growth for a while. Pruning the highly damaged leaves will help the plant grow even better.

3. Increase the frequency of watering for jade plants

One of the most common reasons for the sunburns in jade plants is dehydration. Well-hydrated plants may not be affected by the hot sun and the sunburned jade plant needs enough watering in the process of recovering. So, supply enough water to your plant. Water your plant, till the excess water comes out of the drainage holes. 

Also increase the frequency of watering your Jade plant if the damage is too high, till it recovers. The sign of recovering is the growth of fresh and fleshy leaves. Remember succulents need water to grow, but overwatering may damage the plant’s health even worse. Be attentive and water your plant only if the soil becomes completely dry. A dehydrated plant dries quickly. So, check the moisture of the soil frequently.

4. Fertilization requirements for jade plants

If you feel that your plant is almost recovered then it is time for feeding extra nutrients to your sunburned jade plant. Because the sunburns have damaged the growth of the plant and the nutrients that your plant has might be exhausted. Fertilizing your recovered jade plant is a good idea, but remember to use mild fertilizer and dilute it before applying it to your plant because the fertilizer may even burn the sunburned leaves. So, be careful while fertilizing it.

How to Prevent Jade Plant Sunburns?

To prevent your Jade plant from sunburns, you need to take the following precautions that we have mentioned after discussing with our jade plant experts!

1. Placing your jade plant in a safe place

Setting a location to place a jade plant is very important. Jade plants need sunlight to thrive. So, placing it outdoors under the hot sun results in sunburns. Also, placing it on shelves or in a place where it cannot absorb sunlight, will damage the plant’s growth. So, it is better to place it on a windowsill or a table just before the window helps the Jade plant grow better indoors.

If you cannot maintain a plant indoors, you can place it outdoors, in a shade that allows partial sunlight. Make sure that your plant is getting 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight or 3-5 hours of direct sunlight with proper watering.

2. Maintaining temperature around jade plants

The suitable temperature for a Jade plant to grow properly is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures below this range will lead to several problems and temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit may cause dehydration and sunburns. So always keep the plant in an environment with a suitable temperature. 

To control the temperature you can use artificial grow lights in the winters and falls. Place them in a shade during the hot summer.

3. Maintaining humidity around jade plants

Jade plants are natives of the rocky hills of South Africa, where the climate is too hot and dry. They only survive with the rainwater in those places. And that is why they love being in low humid areas. It cannot tolerate high humid conditions. 

Misting the leaves should be avoided. But, give your plant a good drink of water in the growing season. Maintain low to moderate humidity conditions to grow your plant. Complete drying may result in sunburns and dehydration in the plant.

4. Other important tips that you must follow while caring for a jade plant

  • Use sheer curtains to filter the direct sunlight if you place your Jade plant on a windowsill which can help to avoid sunburns.
  • Using a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of the soil mix also helps you to know the water requirements of your jade plant if you are a beginner.
  • Jade plants hate sudden climate change, so they like to stay in the same place for a long period. Do not replace it often and avoid sudden replacing.
  • Water the plant slowly without disturbing the soil mix. Also, keep in mind that watering should be done only if the soil is completely dry.


We hope this article answers and clears all your doubts on the topic of sunburn in jade plants. Let us again take a quick recap on the causes of sunburned leaves of jade plants:

  1. Placing the jade plants under the hot sun
  2. Sunlight that passes through the glass
  3. Droplets on the foliage
  4. Sudden climatic changes around jade plants
  5. Not enough watering the jade plants.

Jade plants are beautiful plants and can be maintained with minimum care. Like any other plants, these plants can also be damaged, if you neglect them. So, love and care for your jade plant to keep your plant healthy and long-lasting.

We hope you like this article and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. After all, all our jade plant enthusiasts should get all the information that we have given in this article!

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  • Purnima

    She is a Forestry and Agriculture graduate with over two years of experience in designing, planting, and maintaining an indoor plant and herb garden. She is an evergreen plant lover and plant parent.

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