Does Your Jade Plant Need Repotting?

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Here's how to tell if you should be repotting a jade plant into a larger container. Plus, get expert tips on repotting a ficus tree, too.

Repotting a Jade Plant

14 Sandycrooms Bbfm20Courtesy Sandy Crooms
Jade plant

Q: Should I consider repotting my jade plant into a bigger container? asks Birds & Blooms reader Sandy Crooms

Garden expert Melinda Myers writes, “Cacti and succulents have relatively small root systems for the size of the growth above ground. Moving a plant too often or keeping it in a container too big can result in the potting mix staying wet, leading to root rot. It’s time to transplant when the roots begin to encircle the rootball or new growth is stunted. Your jade plant appears to be thriving, but it looks as if it has settled in the container. This is not a problem. Some gardeners prefer to adjust this by adding soil to the bottom of the pot. Just add a bit of fresh cactus and succulent potting mix in the bottom of the container, loosen roots if needed, and set the rootball on the additional potting mix. (Psst—here’s how to find the best potting soil for every type of plant.) The new soil level should be 1/2 to 1 inch below the lip of the container.”

Did you know—you can grow new jade plants and other succulents from cuttings.

Ficus Elastica (Rubber Tree) Repotting

ficus rubber tree repottingCourtesy Kristen Eppley

Q: What’s this plant, and should it be repotted? asks Birds & Blooms reader Kristen Eppley

Melinda says, “How lucky to have a large rubber tree (Ficus elastica), especially one that has flowered. It would benefit from repotting. (Didn’t move your plant in time? Here’s how to fix a root bound plant.) Move it to a pot only one size larger to prevent root rot, as an oversized pot holds more soil and tends to stay wet longer. Consider waiting to repot your rubber tree until early spring, when the days are longer and the light is more intense. The sunnier growing conditions will help the plant recover from repotting more quickly.”

Next, discover succulents that attract pollinators.

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Melinda Myers
Melinda Myers is a nature and gardening writer whose specialty is attracting wildlife, especially birds, to the garden. She contributes regularly to the magazine Birds & Blooms, and lectures widely on creating gardens that please both human and avian visitors.