Jade plants have a different name which is Crassula ovata. It is native to South Africa, and it is a common houseplant. This thick and woody stem plant is low-maintenance and can live up to 50 to 70 years. Yes, you read it right.
Jade plant is easy to grow and requires minimum care as long as it’s not exposed to extreme temperatures, overwatering and underwatering problems.
For their fertilizing needs, some plant owners prefer homemade over commercial fertilizers. There are so many options available in the market, and homemade fertilizers offer the same nutrients as others do.
Homemade fertilizers for jade plants can be made using common household items are Coffee grounds, eggshells, banana peels, Epsom salt, fish tank water and green tea. These items can be found easily at home and work as a natural fertilizer for jade plants.
Nutrients that Boost Jade Plant Growth
Nutrients that boost jade plant growth are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other elements such as magnesium. Let’s see these essential nutrients in detail.
The first one that boosts jade plant growth is nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for the development of healthy leaves and lush leaf growth. Adequate nitrogen levels in the soil help your jade plant to photosynthesize efficiently and produce the energy it needs to grow.
The second one is phosphorus and it is involved in various metabolic processes within the plant including the conversion of energy, the formation of new cells and even in the development of strong root systems. It helps in the expansion of roots within the soil, allowing them to grow and spread.
The third one is Potassium which helps in water uptake and nutrient transportation within the plant. Also, it enhances the plant’s resistance to disease and stress, making it more strong overall.
Another element that is magnesium is vital for the production of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is essential for plants as it gives them their green colour, and it is necessary for photosynthesis to occur.
However, as for fertilizer, you can any fertilizer with a 10.20.10 ratio to give them the appropriate amount of balance nutrients.
Importance of Fertilizing Succulents
Fertilizing succulents can benefit them in various ways. As these plants can survive in harsh conditions with minimal care, giving nutrients through fertilization can make a significant difference in their growth and appearance.
One thing why fertilizing succulents is important is that it helps refill the nutrients that may become depleted over time in their growing period.
Succulents often grow in well-draining soil mixes that lack an abundance of nutrients. Fertilizers act as a supplement, ensuring that these plants receive a balanced diet of essential elements.
- Fertilizers provide succulents with the necessary nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, commonly referred to as N-P-K.
- Nitrogen is responsible for leaf development, while phosphorus promotes root growth and flowering. Potassium helps in resistance to stress and diseases.
- Regular fertilization also helps succulents. Proper nutrition encourages sturdy growth, ensuring that the plants maintain their desired shape and form.
However, over-fertilizing by mistake can give you so much trouble. So be careful when fertilizing your succulents.
Best Homemade Fertilizer for Jade Plant
When it comes to providing essential nutrients to your jade plant with fertilizer, you have several options that can be easily made from common household items.
These natural fertilizers can help nourish your plant while avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. Here are some common and easily found homemade fertilizers –
1. Coffee grounds for jade plants
Don’t throw away those coffee grounds! You can use it now. They are a fantastic source of nitrogen, which boosts healthy leaf growth.
After brewing your morning coffee, allow the grounds to cool down and then sprinkle them around the base of your jade plant. As they breakdown, they gradually release nutrients into the soil.
Another method you can try is creating a liquid fertilizer for your jade plants. It’s quite simple!
Just take an equal amount of coffee and water, mix them together, or even combine leftover coffee grounds with water. Once you have your mixture ready, you can use it as a fertilizer spray for your beloved jade plants.
2. Eggshells for jade plants
Save those eggshells instead of tossing them in the bin! They contain calcium, which is beneficial for strengthening your jade plant’s cell walls.
Crush the eggshells into small pieces and sprinkle them around the soil or mix them into the potting mix. The shells will slowly release calcium as they decompose.
There is another way to use eggshells and this will take some more time about 5 months or more to completely break down in the soil. To make this, simply take clean crushed eggshells not a grind one and directly use them in the soil.
3. Banana peels
Banana peels contain a significant amount of potassium, which is a vital nutrient that supports plant growth. Cut up the peels and make them into pieces.
Now, place it in a shallow container. Add water to cover the peels and ensure they are submerged. Find a shaded spot and let the container sit for approximately 3 to 4 days. This allows the nutrients from the peels to infuse into the water.
Remove the banana peels from the water. Now, you have a homemade fertilizer ready to be used for your jade plant. Simply use this nutrient-rich water to water your jade plant once per week, providing it with a regular supply of beneficial elements.
4. Epsom salt
Epsom salt is a popular choice for gardeners as it contains magnesium and sulfur, which are beneficial for plants. Dissolve a teaspoon of Epsom salt in a gallon of water and use this solution to water your jade plant once a month.
Be cautious when watering your plants and avoid getting the fertilizer mixture on the leaves. Epsom salt should only be used in the soil, as this is the most effective way for your plants to absorb the nutrients. Overdoing it can result in harming your plant.
5. Fish tank water
If you have a fish tank, you don’t need to throw away that water anymore. Fish tank water is rich in beneficial nutrients that are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Use the water from your fish tank to water your jade plant, providing it with a nutrient boost. Also, you can dilute it with water too.
6. Green tea
Coffee grounds and now green tea, you might be wondering they love to drink caffeine more. To create a green tea fertilizer for your jade plants, gather two bags of green tea and a gallon of water.
- Fill a bucket with water and hang the tea bags in the water, securing them on the lid to prevent them from fully submerging.
- Leave the bags in the water for approximately 3 to 4 days.
- Remove the tea bags from the water, and you’ll be left with a nutrient-rich liquid.
Liquid Fertilizer for Jade Plant
To prepare liquid fertilizer, all you need is water and a few readily available ingredients.
Start by grabbing a clean container and filling it with water. Then, depending on the specific ingredient you choose that is coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, or leftover tea. These ingredients are rich in nutrients that jade plants love.
To use coffee grounds as a liquid fertilizer, simply mix them in 1 gallon of water. Allow the mixture to sit for 3 to 4 days, giving the nutrients time to infuse into the water.
If you have green tea, you can use it as well. Steep the tea bags in water for a couple of days to create a nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer.
Once your chosen mixture has had time to steep, you can strain out any solids and transfer the liquid to a spray bottle or watering can. When applying the liquid fertilizer, make sure to water the soil around the jade plant, avoiding direct contact with the leaves.
Using this homemade liquid fertilizer once a week or every few weeks can provide your jade plant with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to support the growth of jade plants.
Also Read: How Much Light Do Jade Plants Need?
How Often to Fertilize Jade Plants?
Jade plants should be fertilized every two to three months during the active growing season, which typically is from spring to summer. This ensures a consistent supply of essential nutrients to support their growth and vitality.
However, it’s important to closely observe your jade plant’s growth, keeping an eye on its overall health, leaf colour, and growth rate.
If you notice signs of nutrient deficiency or slow growth, it may indicate the need for more frequent fertilization.
How to Apply Fertilizer?
Start by selecting the right fertilizer for your specific plants. Consider factors such as the plant’s nutrient requirements, growth stage, and the type of fertilizer. It’s always a good idea to follow the instructions provided on the fertilizer packaging you’re using.
Next, prepare your plants for fertilization. Make sure the soil is moist before applying the fertilizer. If the soil is dry, give your plants a thorough watering prior to fertilizing.
For granular or slow-release fertilizers, carefully sprinkle the recommended amount around the base of the plants, keeping the fertilizer a few inches away from the plant’s stem.
If using a liquid fertilizer, dilute it and use a watering can or sprayer to evenly apply the solution to the soil around the plants.
Remember, to avoid getting fertilizer on the leaves of your plants, as it can lead to leaf burn or damage. Focus on applying the fertilizer directly to the soil to ensure the roots can absorb the nutrients effectively.
After applying it, water your jade plant thoroughly after fertilization. This helps to activate the nutrients and carry them down to the root system.
What Happens if you don’t fertilize jade plant?
Neglecting in fertilizing your jade plant can cause drooping, leggy and stunted growth.
Without fertilization, your jade plant may experience slower growth and a drooping appearance. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients that plants need to thrive.
These nutrients support various aspects of the plant’s development, including leaf growth, root development, and flower production. Without an adequate supply of nutrients, your jade plant may struggle to reach its full potential.
Additionally, a lack of fertilizer can result in nutrient deficiencies. Signs of nutrient deficiency may manifest as yellowing or pale leaves, stunted growth, and overall poor plant vitality.
Over-fertilizing Jade Plant
When you apply too much fertilizer to your jade plant, it can lead to a condition called fertilizer burn. This occurs when the excessive nutrients in the fertilizer get into the soil. As a result, the roots may become damaged and unable to absorb water and nutrients effectively.
One visible sign of over-fertilization is the appearance of brown or scorched leaf tips. The leaves even show signs of discolouration as yellowing or browning. These symptoms indicate that the plant is experiencing stress due to an excessive amount of nutrients.
Overfertilization can cause an imbalance, where certain nutrients become more abundant than others. This imbalance can hinder the plant’s ability to absorb other essential nutrients properly, leading to nutrient deficiencies despite having excess fertilization.
Tips Fertilizing Jade Plant
Here are some tips for fertilizing jade plants –
1. Choose the right fertilizer – Select a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer specifically formulated for houseplants. Choose a ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that is NPK and which is suitable for succulents.
2. Follow the instructions – Read and follow the instructions provided on the fertilizer packaging. Pay attention to the recommended dosage, frequency, and dilution rates.
3. Fertilize during the growing season – Fertilize your jade plant during its active growing season, which typically occurs in spring and summer. This is when the plant needs the most nutrients to support its growth and development.
4. Avoid over-fertilizing – Over-fertilizing can harm your jade plant. Stick to the recommended dosage and avoid applying fertilizer more frequently than suggested.
5. Water before fertilizing – Before applying fertilizer, make sure the soil is moist. This can help the fertilizer to go deep and provide nutrients throughout the soil.
6. Keep foliage clean – When applying fertilizer, take care not to get any on the leaves of your jade plant. Fertilizer residues on the leaves can lead to leaf burn or damage.
Check this out: Why is my jade plant losing leaves?
Fertilizing your jade plant is an essential aspect of its care to promote healthy growth. By choosing the right fertilizer, following the instructions, and fertilizing during the active growing season, you can provide your jade plant with the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive.
Whether choosing homemade or commercial fertilizers, use them in recommended amounts to help your jade plant to thrive well.
Taking care to water the plant before fertilizing and keeping the foliage clean are also important considerations.