Jade plants are some of the most famous houseplants. Native to South Africa and Mozambique, these plants have made their way across the world. They are so easy to care for, and who doesn’t like easy? However, it can be a little puzzling to choose the perfect pot for them, especially because they grow to massive sizes.
Indoor jade plants can reach heights of up to 3 feet, and don’t even get me started on the size of stem. These are just some of the things that need to be considered when you are choosing the perfect pot for and light exposure for a jade plant. In this post, we want to help you select the best pot for your jade plant, so you can keep up to its growth every now and then.
What is the right pot size for jade plants?
According to gardeners, the size of the pot should be slightly larger than the diameter of the plant. If it is a new and smaller jade plant that is 4 inches in diameter, then you should pick a pot measures at 5 inches, and this pot will be suitable for that plants for about a year to 2 years (or so). The idea here is that the pot should be at least an inch wider than the size of the jade plant.
So, although jade plants grow slowly, the plant becomes heavy after some time (especially the top part). This is because as stems thicken, new shoots and leaves emerge with growth.
On top of that, jade plants don’t tolerate water that has accumulated at the base of the pot (often termed as “wet feet”). As such, it is very important to provide a pot with proper drainage to prevent this condition, which may lead to root rot.
Typically, jade plants do very well in containers or pots that provide a wide and sturdy base in order to support the weight of the plant as it releases new stems and leaves in time. And one more thing, the pot should allow maximum drainage. At the end of the day, the perfect pot for a jade plant should take all these factors into consideration.
The Rule of Thumb on Pot Selection
When it comes to picking pots for jade plants and almost every other succulent plant, there is a general rule of thumb that applies to all the plants. The rule states that good pots for jade plants should have a good drainage.
This rule also applies to whether your succulent plants are grown inside in the great outdoors- even a mix, which means they are taken outside during the summer and inside during the cold winter. The point is, the rule applies to all succulents.
Besides the general rule of thumb, another factor you want to consider when selecting a suitable pot for your plant is to go for a plant that very heavy.
As we mentioned earlier, your plant will be getting heavier in time, particularly the top part of the plant, so if you have a light pot, it may tip over at some point, which may potentially break the plant.
The absolute best pot for jade plants and every succulent or cacti is an un-glazed and unpainted terracotta pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom.
Is the drainage hole important?
Yes, it is very important for a pot to have a drainage hole in the bottom, especially for succulent plants such as the jade.
The most important factor about the drainage hole is a self-explanatory one. The drainage hole allows excess water to flow directly out of the pot instead of sitting and accumulating at the bottom of the pot.
You might be curious about what happens when water does accumulate at the bottom. Well… If you let water to build up at the bottom of a potted succulent plant such as this one, it increases the chances that the roots will rot.
Alternatively, the plant may end up absorbing a lot of water, which will kill it slowly. You have to remember that this is a succulent plant, so it preserves water in its leaves.
That said, Succulents are drought tolerant plants, and they are naturally not used to getting water very frequently. Succulent plants typically live in parts of the world that get water in bursts, once in a while. So giving them excess water can have adverse effects on the plant.
But if the pot has the drainage hole in the bottom, the excess water will spill out the bottom, and your plant won’t have to drown is it will get water as it needs. The rest of the water will evaporate, giving your succulent time to use up the water that is stored in the leaves.
It is also very important to know when to ease up on the watering. Typically, if you are over watering your jade plant, the leaves will develop slight cracks or openings. If you see those, you are overdoing it.
If the drainage is alright, the plant will be happy. As we mentioned before, the best way to have a drainage is to have a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
What if you want to have your jade as an indoor plant? The drainage hole sounds like a big mess if you have the plant in the house. So what do you do?
If you are planning to have your jade as an indoor plant, you have to get yourself a plant saucer. You can also go for any type of type of tray or plate that will be placed underneath the pot.
Having that material means that any excess water will be collected onto the tray. But, you don’t want water to sit here, as it would be the same as letting the water sit at the bottom of the pot. So once the water collect onto the saucer or tray, spill out the water immediately.
This is likely to reduce the amount of time that the jade plant will be sitting in water, which rapidly decreases the chance of root rot, and this is precisely what we are going for.
Good drainage is a rule that should never be broken– though it can be somewhat bent by some gardeners. But I strongly advise against using a pot that doesn’t have a drainage hole.
This brings us to our next point.
As I recommended before, the best type of pot you should get for your jade plant is an unglazed terracotta pot. They give the best drainage and they are heavy.
But if that’s not an option for you, you can simply use any plant pot that’s heavy enough, and preferably one that has a drainage hole in the bottom, for obvious reasons.
If you can’t find a pot that already has a drainage pot at the bottom, you can simply buy any pot and make the hole yourself. If you want to create the hole, use a drill.
And if you move your plant often, then you can consider cutting out a square of fly screen roll that is slightly larger than the size of the bottom of the pot. You can use this to line the bottom before you can finally add your potting mix.
Why is this important?
It simply keeps the soil from falling out when you are actually moving the plant. Despite its importance, it is often overlooked by many gardeners.
Using Lighter Pots for Jade Plant
Remember when we said that light pots do not usually work with jade plants? Well, it is very much true. This is because, as we said, the jade plants get heavier in time. But, if you have a good pot that you would like to use for your jade and it is light (made out of plastic), consider adding small rocks to the bottom of your pot.
Despite myths that the rocks can increase drainage, adding them to the bottom of your pot actually does nothing to increase drainage, and it certainly doesn’t decrease it either.
The rocks will only add enough weight to the pot, which can be really beneficial when it comes to planting jade in light pots.
To sum up, the ideal size of the pot for jade plants is the one that is only slightly larger than the diameter of the plant itself.
If the plant measures at 3 inches, then it only means you should pick a pot that is an inch larger than the jade plant, let’s say, 4 inches in diameter. But it doesn’t end there. Your plant will be growing over time.
As such, your plant will need a new pot after a year or two- you will be the best judge of when the pot should be replaced with a larger one, and when you want to select the next container or pot, the same rule applies.