Is The Popular Jade Plant Poisonous or Toxic? – Plant Care Today

Here’s the deal. The jade plant (Crassula argentea) is a popular houseplant, and many people ask if the Jade is poisonous.

Known by its botanical name Crassula ovata, it is a well-liked member of the Crassulaceae family. It also goes by other names such as Money Plant, Dollar Plant, Lucky Plant, and Friendship Tree.  

Potted popular Jade plant (Crassula ovata)Pin

The jade plant is a symbol of riches and success in Feng Shui. When positioned at the southeast corner of a house or business, it is said to draw good energy and encourage financial success. 

One superstition about the jade plant is it is considered a lucky stone in Chinese culture and is said to draw prosperity and good fortune. 

Putting them nearby a cash counter may invite wealth, and also next to the entrance door, which basically means anyone with a good heart comes to work and may help the company to achieve targets. 

Related: Read more about Jade Plant Care

Native to the drylands of South Africa, this succulent houseplant is fairly easy to propagate and maintain.

Jade plants do best when they get four or more hours a day of direct sunlight. They’re actually water storage tanks for the plant that keep it going during periods of drought. But when the leaves droop and lose their glossy look, you know something is not right.  

Jade enjoys bright light, dry soil, and moderate to cool temperatures.

Named due to its resemblance to the precious gemstone, the Jade tree has brilliant green-blue, cactus-like, moisture-retaining leaves with a glossy sheen.

The 2” inches-long, fleshy, oblong leaves are attached to the woody stems.

The plant grows up to 6’ feet in size.

The beautiful, miniature, star-shaped flowers in varied hues of white, pink, orange, and purple add to the beauty of the plant during the spring season.

The plant is called by numerous common names, including:

  • Chinese/Japanese rubber plant
  • Money plant
  • Tree of happiness
  • Friendship tree
  • Dollar plant
  • Baby jade
  • Money tree
  • Penny plant

Much appreciated for its splendor as an indoor plant, the succulent is grown as an outdoor plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 through 12.

Growing and caring for this plant is relatively easier, but special care must be taken if keeping the plant in a house with pets. Plants that can improve air quality are also beneficial for anyone with allergies.  

Now to the question…

Is The Jade Plant Poisonous or Toxic?

The Jade tree has been found to be mildly poisonous to humans upon ingestion, causing minor symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

However, Jade plants are included in the list of extremely poisonous plants for dogs and cats, according to ASPCA.

If your cat or dog is lured into taking a bite of the plant, it can develop symptoms of jade plant poisoning.

Related: More on Succulents Poisonous to Dogs

What Parts Of The Jade Plant Are Poisonous or Toxic?

All parts of the Jade tree are considered poisonous.

While the substance responsible for the toxicity of the plant remains unknown, it is advised to keep the pets away from the leaves, flowers, stems, and roots of the plant.

Avoid contact with the sap or thorns.

What Are The Symptoms Of Poisoning?

Jade plant shows signs of toxicity in humans when the sap or juice of the plant comes in contact with the skin. This toxicity includes the Gollum Jade plant.

The symptoms of skin irritation include itching or burning sensation.

Ingesting the plant in a considerable quantity leads to signs of an upset stomach.

In cats and dogs, the symptoms are more severe. The digestive system of the animals reacts to the toxins present in the plant.

It causes gastric distress with excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Your pets may show signs of depression, weakness, and lethargy. You may notice your pet being aggressive or shy.

In some rare cases, the symptoms of poisoning are more severe, such as convulsions, slow heart rate, and impaired muscle movement.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the quantity of the plant ingested.

Related: More on Jade Plant Dropping Leaves and Why Jade Leaves Turn Red.

How To Protect Yourself While Handling the Jade Plant?

These toxic plants should be kept out of the reach of pets and children.

The plants must be handled with care, and the sap and thorns should be avoided.

Wear gloves while potting the plant or trimming the spent leaves.

If your pet has taken a bite of the jade plant, clear the chunks from the mouth and take them to the veterinarian or contact the poison control center.

If the animal shows severe symptoms, the doctor will perform the standard evacuation and decontamination and may keep the pet under observation.

Other common house plants to lookout for your pets include Dieffenbachia, Pothos, Sago Palm, Pencil Cactus, Euphorbias, Philodendron, and Devil’s Backbone.

Common Problems with Jade Plants

Lack of Flowers

Many people get a bit disappointed when they realize their jade plant is not flowering. Fear not: it’s not about you.  

Flowering is usually a sign of plant age. Jade plants flower when they are about 5 to 8 years old. This is why many gardeners have to wait for a long time to see it bloom.

More importantly, indoor plants never bloom, so you need to be ready for this if you keep your jade plant indoors. 

Loss of Leaves

You may notice that your jade plant is losing leaves or that its leaves are dropping off. Combined with underdeveloped leaves and leggy growth, this may be a sign of inadequate lighting. 

Plant leaves can also hold onto too much water, becoming soft and mushy. These mushy leaves often fall off the plant and attract pests and diseases, requiring immediate attention.

Mushy leaves that give way when squeezed between your fingers are a sign of overwatering or poor drainage. Make sure the pot has enough drainage holes and that the soil is loose and sandy to stop the roots from sitting in water. 

Move your jade plant to a place with better lighting. If necessary, supply it with artificial light. You need to meet the plant’s requirements for lighting so it can thrive.

Yellowing In Mass

This can happen often with overwatering. If you notice some rotting, it’s a clear sign you should reduce watering levels. 

In case the plant continues to decline even after you have cut the watering, check its root system. If case roots are healthy and white, repot the plant in fresh soil. 

However, if the roots are rotted, you can only start a new plant by propagation from leaves. Pick a strong, healthy leaf to propagate your new jade plant.

Do not use insecticidal soap since it may damage jade plants. Spider mites can cause plants to lose their green color and appear dusty or speckled. 

Dropping Older Leaves

If your jade plant drops older leaves, it might be a sign of too much heat, especially if you notice some other warning sounds, such as soft, leggy growth. 

To help your plant, move it to an area with more air movement and lower temperatures. 

When your plant becomes older and top-heavy, move it to a large, heavy pot to prevent tipping over. Allow the soil to become dry after repotting.

In winter, make sure not to place your jade plant near a heating source because the heat might cause the problem.

Like many problems on this list, the cause is usually excessive moisture and root rot. If you overwater or the soil does not drain well enough, the moisture in the soil begins to rot the roots. 

Root rot usually results from a soil mix that does not drain quickly or overly frequent watering. Leaf drops can happen if the plant is allowed to become extremely dry. 

When your plant becomes older and top-heavy, move it to a large, heavy pot to prevent tipping over. Allow the soil to become dry after repotting. You can start new plants from stem cuttings. 

A black mold coating on the leaves is a sign that there is too much humidity. You can wipe the mold away with soapy water. Don’t forget to move the plant to an area with more light and less humidity.

If the top of the soil develops a white or gray covering, it’s also a mold. This one results either from over-watering or too much fertilizer. 

Remove the mold from the surface and adjust watering and fertilizing to reach the plant’s optimal levels.

All being well, new tiny plants will start poking out of the soil around the base of the leaf cuttings from a few weeks to a few months later. 

Common Pests in Jade Plants

Generally speaking, jade plants are not prone to pests. The only relatively common pest is the mealybugs, but it can be controlled with a wide range of products and methods.

Aphids, although not particularly common on Jade Plants, secrete honeydew that leads to the growth of black sooty mold on the leaves.

Spider mites can cause plants to lose their green color and appear dusty or speckled.

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