Underwatered Jade Plant: Symptoms And How To Revive!

Jade plants are considered to be most popular among indoor plant lovers and they are fleshy and have oval-shaped leaves also regarded as lucky emblems. Scientifically known as Crassula ovata, they are drought tolerant plants, but sometimes we may forget to water the jade plants completely. This underwater problem can be a real issue if not cared for properly. It can cause your jade plant to lose its leaves or turn yellow. 

So, without further delay, let us discuss this issue of underwatering in jade plants, how to know if your jade is underwater or what are the signs, the reasons and what can you do to fix this problem. Let’s begin!

Is Your Jade Plant Under-Watered?

Your plant could be stressed due to several factors, including a lack of water. Of course, you should have realised by now that you haven’t been watering frequently enough. However, you are not the only one to blame here. There can be other reasons like the soil may not be keeping the moisture, evaporation may be very excessive, or the plant may have outgrown its container. Additionally, Nitrogen toxicity may manifest symptoms similar to those of jade plant over-drying, deceiving you into believing that it is the case.

Let’s take a look at all of the reasons why your jade plant can be too dry!

1. Unusual Watering in jade plants

Of course, how you water your jade plant will determine whether it is over or under-watered. You should be aware that these plants should dry out between waterings. Nonetheless, have water delivered to them right away on regular time. You should always check if there is a dry top layer of potting soil with some moisture remaining deeper in the soil or not. If you use a stop-start watering method, the plant has to deal with being either too wet or too dry all the time. Typically, this happens when you water too little or underwater.

2. Rapid Vaporisation in jade plants

The rate of evaporation in jade plants influences the moisture level in it. This changes throughout time. For instance, evaporation is likely to be slow during winter. But it might significantly pick up speed in the summer. You will need to water at the proper time. You should water more frequently during the warmer months than in the dormant season when you won’t need to water at all. Air conditioning and heating may also need to be taken into account. Both of these technologies can alter the evaporation rate.


3. Soil absorption potential in jade plants

Moisture retention varies among soil types. This problem further becomes complicated because of the soil’s ability to retain water which deteriorates over time. Older soil has less absorbent material, which allows water to move through more quickly.

4. Toxic effects of nitrogen in jade plants

Here’s one you might not have thought of. Although nitrogen is essential for plant growth, an excessive amount can be hazardous. This only becomes a problem when over-enthusiastic gardeners fertilise their plants excessively. Use a balanced houseplant fertiliser and avoid feeding jade plants too frequently or at all during the winter.

Under-watering symptoms might be fairly similar, for example, brown leaf edges, yellowing leaves, and eventually leaf fall. A dry potting mix is less likely to cause this issue, which indicates inadequate watering rather than overfeeding.

Signs of an under-watered jade plant

1. Leaf yellowing in jade plants

A jade plant submerged in water will begin to develop yellow leaves. If your plants’ leaves start to turn yellow, it’s a sign that something is missing because healthy leaves are green, plump, and firm.

2. Drooping leaves in jade plants

If your plants’ leaves begin to wilt and droop, they are submerged. The leaves will also exhibit a noticeable loss of texture and may have a wrinkled look.

3. The fading of the leaf tips in jade plants

An underwater jade plant may develop brown leaf tips. These lifeless areas will appear parched and desiccated. The discoloration will eventually begin to descend to the leaf margins. Dry, brown stains will appear on the inside of the leaves.

4. Curved leaves in jade plants

When jade plants are submerged in water, they dehydrate, which results in their leaves being wrinkled and curled. Dehydrated plants have soft, wrinkled leaves, but healthy plants have solid, slightly swollen leaves.

5. Coarse potting soil in jade plants

An underwater jade plant will have dry, powdery potting soil surrounding it. Normal conditions may cause the top layer of soil to dry out, but if you stick your finger into the soil, you can feel a thin layer of moisture beneath it. When soil is chronically underwater, it will be completely dry on all layers.

6. Twisted roots in jade plants

If the roots are fragile and snap readily, your jade plants are submerged. They might also start to grow aerial roots to counteract the stress of the drought.

How to revive an underwater jade plant

Now, you know the reasons for under-watering jade plants and the symptoms you should look for. Let us consider the solutions to fix this issue and healthily revive your jade plants!

1. Get the plants wet!

Get the plants wet so that all the roots have access to water thoroughly, and soak the soil in a basin of water for at least 10 minutes. To prevent standing water around the roots, dump away any extra water when you take the pot from the basin or make sure it drains via the drainage holes in the pot.

2. Prune off plant sections that are seriously damaged!

Any badly damaged plant components should be removed because they are no longer used and don’t add to the health of the plant as a whole. If the damage is slight, you may decide to keep them until new leaves have emerged to take their place.

3. Pick the right potting soil!

Your plants will become underwatered if the soil is unable to absorb moisture. Repot them in brand-new, the right kind of potting soil to fix this. Choose a soil that is free-draining, such as cactus or succulent mix. Alternatively, you can combine two-thirds general-purpose houseplant potting soil with one-third perlite or grit.

4. Pick the appropriate container size!

Select a pot or container that is one size larger than the one you just used to prevent underwatering. It should have a pot that is two inches bigger in diameter than the one before it; otherwise, the soil would hold too much moisture. Make sure that the base has enough drainage holes. After repotting the plants, wait a day or two before giving them their first drink of water.

5. Put the plants in an appropriate location!

Although jade plants can tolerate low light levels, you should still make sure they get at least four hours of indirect sunshine each day. Keep in mind that if they are placed in direct sunlight, their moisture will evaporate more quickly and they can require more regular watering. But direct sunlight keeps the plants from growing lanky and spindly.

6. Avoid letting the soil dry out entirely!

When watering your jade plants, also be careful not to water them too frequently as this could cause root rot. Instead of following a strict schedule, regularly examine the soil first and then water the plants just when the top layer seems dry after touching. The presence of leaf spots or loss could potentially be a sign that the plants aren’t getting enough water.

Jade Plant Watering Instructions

Spraying Crassula Ovata

Now you know everything about the jade plants, from underwatering, the reasons, the symptoms, the solutions and so, now you must know the instructions you should follow while watering your beloved jade plants. Let us begin!

The first method is top watering which is to water the pot from the top. Your plant must be supported in a dish or basin before being watered. Use a bottle or watering can. Pour it until you see water starting to drain through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot onto the top of the potting soil. Allow the water to stop draining after that, then put the plant back in its saucer and set it back where it belonged. Also, take care to prevent water from draining from the soil, by filling the saucer, and placing the plant in an atmosphere that is too wet.

The next method is bottom watering. After setting the pot within the basin, you should fill the basin to about half its depth. Capillary action causes the soil to slowly absorb water from its base up over time. Then, discard any remaining water once the soil’s surface is wet, and then let the pot drain once more. This approach takes longer than top watering but guarantees that the soil is well saturated before draining begins.

Even though the second method takes longer, we don’t mind because these plants often require occasional watering, and even less frequently during the dormant season. Several succulents can be placed in a bowl of water at once, which will speed up the process.

Note: One more important note you should follow about watering is that, if you water your plants with standard tap water, chemicals like chlorine tend to accumulate in the soil. Since jade plants are susceptible to this, it is best to use filtered or bottled water to prevent such a problem. Rainwater is best suitable to give to jade plants as it is chemical-free and safe to use.

Some important tips you should follow before watering your jade plants which we have discussed below!

  1. These plants can store water in their leaves, roots, and even stems, much like almost all succulents can. This indicates that they frequently use less water than other varieties of houseplants. And because of this, they are occasionally disregarded and begin to dry out along with some of the issues we have already discussed. 
  2. Before watering your plant again, you should ideally wait for the top two inches of potting soil to dry out. 
  3. Depending on the season, air humidity, the pace of evaporation, and even the size of your plant, this amount of dryness develops at various speeds. The rate of transpiration will increase with plant size. Examine the moisture level frequently rather than adhering to a tight timetable.
  4. Simply inserting your finger into the ground to a depth of two inches or less will allow you to test the soil moisture (about the second knuckle). You’ll be able to tell whether the deeper soil is moist or not with ease. You will be able to determine when to water and when not if you conduct this test a few times every week. In the spring and summer, when the weather is warmer, water your plants every two to three weeks. 
  5. During the fall and winter, when the jade plant almost goes dormant and the evaporation rate is significantly lower, this slows down noticeably. 
  6. Finally, whatever method you choose to use to water your plants, avoid spraying water directly on the foliage. The plant is more susceptible to a variety of fungi diseases when its leaves are wet.


Q1. Why won’t my jade plant grow? 

Ans. In reaction to less natural light and colder temperatures, jade plants grow very slowly in the winter and may not appear to be growing at all. With more sunlight, the jade plant should develop normally again in the spring and summer.

Q2. What Kind of Sunlight Do Jade Plants Need? 

Ans. The jade plant needs at least 4 hours of light per day to grow. During the spring and summer growing seasons, keep the soil moist but not soggy. Keep in mind that as the weather rises, your soil will dry out more quickly and you’ll need to water it more frequently.

Q3. When Should Jade Plants Not Be Watered? 

Ans. Regular watering of your jade plant is not advisable. Water your jade plant only when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch. The most likely cause of your jade plant is by losing its leaves or turning yellow in a dry atmosphere. If the soil around your jade plant is still wet, avoid watering it. Root rot will result from this.

Q4. Which Soil Type Should I Use For Jade Plants? 

Ans. Like the bulk of succulent plants, jade plants thrive in loose, rocky soil that drains well. Enough drainage is essential since too much moisture could result in soggy roots, which could cause root rot. Avoid using the all-purpose potting soils that are frequently seen while growing jade plants.


We hope this article answers and clears all your doubts in your mind on the subject of underwatering of jade plants. We know that sometimes we complicate simple things in life which is by underwatering our beloved jade plants. But, hey, you can always fix this issue but the secret method is by feeling the soil before watering, every time and all time of the year.

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!

Related Articles


  • Manish Lakhera

    Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.Share a little biographical information to fill out your profile. This may be shown publicly.

Leave a Comment