Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are popular indoor plants. Growing jade plants outdoors is possible in areas with a dry, mild year-round climate.
In the United States, Jade plants grow outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12.
These plants suffer in cold weather and experience a great deal of damage or even death.
Suppose you live in an area where the temperatures drop below 50° degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods. It’s best to grow your Jade plants in a clay pot with drainage holes. Keep them outdoors during the warm months of the year.
Where Can You Grow Jade Plants Outdoors?
Jade plants are native to South Africa where they grow outdoors.
Jade plants are drought and pest resistant. They make excellent landscape plants in hot, dry locations.
In warm states, such as Arizona and Southern California, Jade plants grow outdoors as small trees.
Growing as small trees, they can reach a height of 6′ to 10′ feet tall. But, they are slow-growing.
What Are Some Good Uses of Jade Plants Outdoors?
In hot, dry locations, these attractive succulents are used to create stunning hedges. It is also possible to keep them pruned for use as border plants.
Individual plants grown in a bonsai tree-like appearance form create interesting specimen plants.
In a less formal, wilder setting, leave Jade plants to their own devices to form small groves and colonies.
Remember that any leaf cuttings or branch that falls or touches the ground is likely to take root and grow into a new tree. [source]
How Do You Prepare Your Garden To Grow Jade As Outdoor Plants?
Choose a Sheltered, Sunny Location
These rugged plants can tolerate deep shade or full direct sun. The best light conditions for Jade outdoors is the bright light of the morning sun. Later in the day, give plants some protection from the harsh afternoon sun.
Provide Proper Watering and Drainage
Be sure to provide your Jade plants a well-draining soil mix. Use the soak and dry method of watering. Water deeply and thoroughly. Let the soil dry before watering.
Check the soil. Do not water until the top 4″-6″ inches of soil feels dry. Overwatering can lead to wet soil, root rot and/or mealy bugs.
Prepare the Potting Soil
As with all succulent plants, Jade plants like loose, loamy, sandy, sharply drained potting mix. If the soil is heavy or too much clay, you’ll need to amend it to lighten it.
Watch the Weather
If too much sun stresses your Jade plants or too little water, the leaves begin to shrivel. They may also take on a reddish hue. Review your care practices and make corrections as needed.
NOTE: Jade plant leaves may also begin to turn reddish if plants are chilled for an extended period.
Related: Why Is My Jade Plant Turning Red?
Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Cover plants when temperatures fall below 40° degrees Fahrenheit.
Extended periods of 50° degree Fahrenheit temps can also cause the leaves to redden. The red color isn’t harmful and many consider it attractive.
Happy Outdoor Jade Plants May Bloom
When kept indoors, Jade plants rarely bloom. Outdoor jade plants are another matter altogether.
If you can get the conditions right, plants may produce clusters of tiny, blushing, sweet-smelling, pollinator-attracting flowers in the springtime. You can extend bloom time by deadheading spent blossoms.