Jade Plant Dropping Leaves: Common Causes

Jade plants are beautiful houseplants that are commonly referred to as money plants. They are said to bring their owners luck and good fortune and make excellent housewarming gifts. Jade plants are succulents that are fast-growing and can reach up to six feet in height with the correct care. They are also long-living, and it’s said that you can hand jade plants down for generations.

If you have a jade plant that’s dropping its leaves, you’ll likely be wondering what the cause is and how to improve the health of your plant. Let’s look at the most common reasons for a jade plant to drop its leaves.

Why is my Jade Plant Dropping Leaves?

Jade Plant Dropping Leaves

Jade plants are relatively easy to care for but may drop their leaves if the conditions aren’t right. An unhealthy jade plant will start to drop its leaves due to incorrect watering, pests, or poor soil quality.

Incorrect Watering

Jade plants are succulents and therefore require less water than most houseplants. That being said, it’s essential not to neglect your jade plant and underwater it. An overwatered or underwatered jade plant will start to drop its leaves. Often when the plant is beginning to suffer, you’ll notice that the leaves begin to look wrinkled and feel softer. This is likely to be due to dehydration.

Jade plants like to be soaked and then left to dry out completely before being watered again. You can finger test your jade plant’s soil to see whether it’s been underwatered. You can then completely soak the soil and let the water leak out of the drainage holes.

Poor Drainage

Another common reason that jade plants drop their leaves is due to poor drainage. When growing a jade plant, you should ensure the pot has holes in the bottom to let out excess water. If the soil becomes waterlogged, your plant will get root rot which will affect its overall health and cause it to drop its leaves. When a plant has root rot, it won’t be able to absorb the water and nutrition it needs and will eventually die.

Poor Soil Quality

Jade plants require soil that’s rich in nutrients, and they should be provided with fertilizer at least once a year. If your Jade plant’s not getting enough nutrition, its growth will be stunted, and it may drop its leaves.

Before the plant drops its leaves, it will likely start to shrivel up and turn yellow. This is an indication that your plant is dying. Jade plants prefer dry soils and naturally live-in rocky environments. Providing a balanced houseplant fertilizer will help your jade plant grow and produce new leaves. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and mix the correct fertilizer to water ratio to keep your Jade plant healthy.

Light Conditions

Jade Plant Sunburn dropped leaves
jade plant with sun damaged leaves

Jade plants love the sun but shouldn’t be left in full sunlight for too long. They can grow on a sunny windowsill or inside in the shade with natural bright light. It’s recommended that jade plants get about four hours of direct sunlight a day to thrive. Jade plants that don’t get enough sun will begin to drop their leaves.

Sunlight that is too intense can lead a jade plant to get sunburn.


When a jade plant becomes infested with insects, it will be prone to dropping its leaves. Bugs such as mealybugs or scale commonly affect jade plants. These are relatively easy to get rid of and can be removed by wiping your plant’s leaves. You can also spray your plant with an insecticide to control insect infestations.

Temperature Fluctuations

Jade plants don’t like sudden temperature changes and can drop their leaves if the temperature is either very cold or very hot. Don’t move your jade plant around your home too much. If you decide to move your plant outside, don’t leave it out in extremes of temperature. Jade plants should be kept in temperatures of between 65°F to 75°F.

Dropping Older Leaves Naturally

Your jade plant will drop one or two leaves every now and again, and this is nothing to worry about. Sometimes the plant will be renewing its leaves and drops the odd leave to make space for new growth.


Jade plants are excellent houseplants that are easy to care for and look great. If you’ve recently noticed that the plant’s leaves have gone soft, become wrinkled, or are dropping off excessively, you’ll need to figure out what the cause is and provide your plant extra attention. Creating the ideal conditions for your plant will allow it to thrive.