Trailing Jade Houseplant Guide

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Have you ever stumbled upon a plant that just takes your breath away? Meet the trailing jade. This delightful houseplant is not your regular jade plant. With its fleshy green leaves and elegant cascading stems, it’s quickly becoming a coveted addition to many indoor gardens.
trailing jade
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Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0 US <>, via Wikimedia Commons


You might be familiar with the common jade, often spotted basking on window sills. But the trailing jade brings its own unique charm. This is especially true when showcased in hanging baskets. Ready to dive into this plant’s captivating world? Join me as we explore the wonders of the trailing jade and its place among cherished houseplants.

What Is The Trailing Jade?


So, you might be wondering, “What exactly is this trailing jade you’re raving about?” Great question! The trailing jade is known scientifically as Portulacaria afra. It isn’t actually a true jade plant like the Crassula ovata. Yet, both are often lovingly called “jade”. This is due to their strikingly green, succulent leaves.


Trailing jade, also sometimes called the “elephant bush” or “dwarf jade,” is unique. Unlike the common jade plant, the trailing jade flaunts thinner stems. These gracefully spill over pots. Its fleshy, teardrop-shaped leaves are a sight to behold. These smaller leaves are paired with the cascading stems. Thus, this makes it an ideal choice for hanging baskets or decorative pots on high shelves.



Originating from South America, this gem has found its way into homes across the globe. It’s related to other succulent plants. The trailing jade stands out with its distinct appearance and style. Want to know the best part? This lovely plant is not only gorgeous but also pretty easy to care for. This makes it a win-win for all plant enthusiasts out there!

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The Roots of Trailing Jade


Did you know that the trailing jade has its roots in South America? Yep, that’s right! This plant embarked on a journey from the landscapes of South America to win hearts worldwide.


Now, it’s easy to assume that all jade plants hail from the same region. But our trailing jade tells a different tale. Many succulent plants, like the common jade, find their origins in various parts of the world. But the trailing jade’s home lies amidst the rich biodiversity of South America.


trailing jade
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James Steakley, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


What’s so cool about this? Imagine, every time you glance at your trailing jade, you’re connecting with a piece of South America right in your living space! It’s fascinating how plants, like the trailing jade, weave stories, isn’t it? So next time you admire your plant, remember the incredible journey it has taken to be with you.

Why Choose The Trailing Jade



Easy to Care For

One of the best things about the trailing jade is its easygoing nature. This plant doesn’t ask for much. Give it some bright light. Ensure the soil dries out between watering. Then, you’re on your way to having healthy jade plants that thrive.



Whether you place it in hanging baskets, on a coffee table, or let it dazzle from a bookshelf, trailing jade adapts. Its cascading stems and teardrop-shaped leaves make it a visual treat. This adds a touch of green elegance wherever it goes.


Unique Appearance

Let’s face it: the trailing jade is a showstopper. This one’s draping nature combined with its green leaves is a conversation starter. It’s a breath of fresh air in the world of indoor jade plants.


Compact Size

Living in a small space? No problem! The trailing jade doesn’t grow into a massive jade tree. Its compact size makes it suitable for small rooms or crowded plant shelves.


Rich History

As we discovered, this plant hails from South America. Owning a trailing jade means you’re a part of a global story. You’re connecting with a distant land every time you admire its beauty.


Unique Features

Now, Let’s chat about what makes trailing jade such a star among houseplants. Here are the standout features, broken down simply:


Teardrop Leaves

This jade has cute teardrop-shaped leaves. They’re green, fleshy, and store water. Perfect for when you’re a bit late on the watering schedule!


Thinner Stems

Unlike other jades, the trailing jade has thin stems. Think of them like delicate green streams flowing from a pot, especially in hanging baskets.


Doesn’t Grow Too Tall

Some jades can get quite tall. Not this one! It likes to spread out more like a green curtain than a tree.


Perfect for Many Spots

Because it drapes down, you can place it in so many places! On shelves, in windows, or even hanging above your desk.


Handles Less Water

Did you forget to water it? No worries. Coming from warm South America, it’s used to waiting a bit for a drink.


Red Tips

If your plant gets a lot of light, the ends of the leaves might turn red. It’s like a little bonus color!

Caring for The Trailing Jade


Here’s the fun part: taking care of it. Let’s dive into the simple steps:


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Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Water Wisely

Watering is like giving your jade a hug. Wait until the soil dries out a little, then water deeply. If the jade plant starts dropping leaves, it might be a sign of over-watering. Keep an eye on that!

Prune to Perfection

Sometimes, a little trim helps. Pruning helps your jade look its best and encourages thicker growth. Just snip off any leggy stems or shriveled leaves. And hey, you can use those cuttings to grow new plants!

Pot Matters

Re-potting can give your trailing jade a fresh start. If roots start to crowd the pot, it’s time for a new home. Select a pot with ideal drainage holes and fresh potting mix.

Keep Pests Away

Sometimes, bugs might visit your jade. If you spot any, a simple solution is wiping the leaves with a mix of water and a bit of rubbing alcohol.

Feed It Right

Your jade loves a little treat during its growing season. Use a diluted fertilizer once in spring and once in summer. Remember, less is more!

Proper Lighting

Place it in a spot with indirect sunlight. If you notice the jade’s green leaves getting red tips, it means it’s enjoying the light. But too much direct sunlight? It might protest with yellow leaves.

Love and Attention

This might sound cheesy, but plants do sense love. Talk to your trailing jade, play some music, or simply spend some time around it.

Trailing Jade Troubles and How to Solve Them


Sometimes, even with all the love and care, our trailing jade might show signs of distress. Don’t fret! We’ve got the common concerns and easy-peasy solutions:


Droopy or Yellow Leaves


Is your jade plant dropping leaves? This might be a sign of too much water. Solution? Let the soil dry out totally before the next watering. Also, ensure your pot has proper drainage holes to avoid root rot.


Leaves Turning Red


Red tips on your jade’s green leaves can mean it’s getting a lot of light. While a little red is okay, too much can stress the plant. Solution? Move it to a spot with more indirect sunlight.


Leggy Stems


If your jade is stretching out with thinner stems and fewer leaves, it might want more light. Solution? Find a brighter spot with indirect sunlight for it to thrive.


Little Bugs


Pests, like mealybugs, might occasionally visit. Solution? Wipe the leaves gently with a mix of water and a touch of rubbing alcohol. Keeping the plant clean helps keep these critters away.


Not Growing Much


Is your jade taking its sweet time to grow? Remember, it’s a slow-growing plant. But if it’s too slow, it might need a nutrient boost. Solution? Offer it a diluted fertilizer during its growing season, like spring and summer.


Leaf Drop


If a lot of leaves are falling, it might be due to cold drafts or sudden temperature changes. Solution? Ensure your jade stays in a spot with stable, warm temperatures.


Wrinkled or Shriveled Leaves


This could be a sign it’s thirsty. Solution? Give it a good drink. But remember the golden rule: let the soil dry out a bit between watering sessions.


Growing Trailing Jade From Cuttings


Have you ever thought of having more of that beautiful trailing jade without a trip to the store? The good news: you can! Here’s your simple guide on how to grow jade from cuttings.


1. Choose the Right Cutting

Look for healthy jade plants and pick a stem that’s vibrant and strong. Around 3-4 inches long is just perfect. Ensure it has a couple of leaves, but snip off a few from the bottom.


2. Let It Rest

Once you have your cutting, don’t rush. Put it on a paper towel and let it dry out for a day or two. We want the end to form a callus. This reduces the risk of root rot.


3. Prep the Pot

Get a small pot ready. It should have drainage holes. Fill it with a succulent potting mix – the dreamy bed for your cutting!


4. Planting Time

Now, gently push the dried end of your cutting into the soil. About an inch deep will do. There’s no need to bury it too deep.


5. Light and Water

Place the pot in indirect sunlight. Watering? Hold off for a week. Then, water sparingly. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Remember, our jade loves it when the soil dries a little between drinks.


6. Patience is Key

Roots will begin to grow in a couple of weeks. And soon, you’ll see new green leaves sprouting! It’s a slow but rewarding process.


7. Grow

Once your new jade plant looks happy and has a good root system, you can give it a bigger pot if you like. And just like that, you’ve made a new plant!


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When Jade Meets Money Tree and Bonsai


Have you ever heard whispers linking the trailing jade to the money tree and bonsai? Let’s unravel this green mystery together!


Trailing Jade & Money Tree


trailing jade
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Now, it’s easy to get mixed up. Both the trailing jade and the money tree have lush green leaves. They are often associated with good fortune. But here’s a little secret: they aren’t the same. The money tree is more about bringing prosperity and good luck, according to folklore.


Jade and Bonsai

Here’s where things get exciting. The jade plant (especially common jade and dwarf jade) can be turned into a bonsai! Yep, you read that right. With the right pruning and shaping techniques, your jade can be transformed into a mini tree. This mimicks the ancient art of bonsai.


Why the Bonsai Love for Jade

Jade plants have woody stems and a tree-like growth pattern. They’re slow-growing, making them an ideal candidate for bonsai culture. Plus, their fleshy green leaves scale down beautifully in smaller pots. This captures that bonsai essence perfectly.


Fun Fact

In many cultures, gifting a jade plant is like giving a wish for wealth and good fortune. Pair that with the symbolism of the bonsai – harmony and balance. Now, you’ve got a plant oozing positive vibes!

Wrapping It Up


Well, we’ve sure had a wonderful dive into the world of the trailing jade, haven’t we? This plant never ceases to amaze me.


Our trailing jade is more than just another house plant. It has teardrop-shaped leaves and a beautiful cascading form. It’s a sight to behold in hanging baskets or just on your window sill. And remember. With the right amount of bright light and a splash of water now and then, your jade will thrive for years to come.


Thank you for joining me on this green journey. I hope the magic of the trailing jade inspires you. Let’s keep our indoor gardens growing and our hearts full of plant love! Until next time, plant buddies. Keep those green fingers waving!


Why is my jade plant dropping leaves?
Don’t fret! Leaf drop can happen for a few reasons. Maybe your jade isn’t getting enough light, or it’s being watered too much. Check its light conditions and soil moisture. Remember, they like their soil to dry a bit between watering sessions.
Can I grow trailing jade in direct sunlight?

These green gems prefer bright light but not direct sunlight all day. A few hours of morning sun is great but shield them from harsh afternoon rays.

How often should I water my trailing jade?

Watering is a bit of an art. Wait until the soil dries out, then give it a good drink. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so less is more!

My jade plant's leaves have red tips. Is that normal?

Absolutely! Red tips on the leaves can be a sign that your jade is getting just the right amount of sunlight. It’s like its way of blushing and saying, “I’m happy!”

Can I keep my trailing jade outdoors?

Sure, but remember, they thrive in warm temperatures. If it gets too chilly, better to bring them inside.

Learn More About Jade Plants!

Discover the most fascinating jade plants and houseplants, including the Trailing Jade houseplant! Join us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for beautiful photos, plant care tips, and a community that celebrates the joy of indoor gardening.






Let’s nurture our green spaces together!

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Great gift idea!

Bonsai Trees

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