Growing Jade Vines: Care Of Jade Vines Indoors And Out
By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Also known as emerald creeper, jade vine plants (Strongylodon macrobotrys) are so extravagant that you have to see to believe. Jade vine is known for its spectacular blooms consisting of dangling clusters of shimmering greenish-blue, claw-shaped flowers. The huge, pendant-like clusters are suspended from twisting, wisteria-like stems with waxy green leaves. Read on for more information about growing jade vines and jade vine care.
Growing Jade Vines
This tropical climber is rambunctious in its natural environment, although the plant is in danger of extinction due to deforestation. If you’re interested in growing jade vines, you may have success growing the vine in the ground if you live in USDA plant hardiness zone 10 through 11.
Jade vine plants are also well suited for growing in greenhouses. You may be able to grow jade vine as a houseplant, too, if you can provide the proper growing conditions. Keep in mind that you may not see blooms until the second year; the vine won’t bloom until the base of the stem is at least ¾-inch (1.9 cm.) in diameter.
Care of Jade Vines
Since most of us may not reside in a suitable area, growing jade vine as a houseplant is the best option. Jade vine care requires giving the plant plenty of direct sunlight and temperatures above 60 degrees F. (15 C.), as lower temperatures may damage the roots.
Your plant will be happiest in a clay pot that allows the roots to breathe. Use a peat-based potting mix that drains easily. Provide a sturdy trellis for the vine to climb, or place your plant in a hanging basket (until it becomes too heavy).
Water jade vine only when the top of the soil is visibly dry, then water slowly until excess moisture drips through the drainage hole. Although the plant thrives in high humidity, it tolerates normal room humidity. However, if your room is very dry, you can increase the humidity around the plant by setting the pot on a tray with a layer of damp pebbles.
Jade vine plants aren’t heavy feeders and a mixture of ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml.) of water-soluble fertilizer per gallon of water is plenty. Feed the plant twice a month during spring and summer, and withhold fertilizer during fall and winter. Any type of balanced fertilizer is suitable, or you can use a fertilizer formulated for blooming plants.
Trim your jade vine plant after blooming, but be careful of hard pruning because the plant blooms on both old and new growth; hard pruning will delay blooming.
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How to Grow Jade Vine
The jade vine (Strongylodon Macroboytrys) is among the most beautiful and unusual of tropical vine flowers. Native to the Philippines, this perennial evergreen plant sports highly unusual flowers that can be almost turquoise in color, and which are sometimes used in attractive leis. The blossoms are two inches long with long pointed upturned keels, which hang in small clusters from the main stalk. If you live in a tropical climate and want a stunning plant to cover the side of an old shed, this one will stop traffic!
Jade Plant Care
Jade plants are generally undemanding and easy to grow, but they are susceptible to too much moisture and a selection of diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of keeping the soil too dry rather than too wet. Jade plants also need plenty of light to develop to their full potential. However, if the proper conditions are met, you'll be gifted with a stunning succulent that can be easily propagated, giving you plenty of extra plants to spread around your home.
Jade plants love light, and young plants especially should be exposed to bright, indirect sun in order to thrive. Jade plants young and old should receive at least four to six hours of sunlight daily, but keep the plant safe from direct rays of sunlight. Harsh light can scorch young, immature plants or cause the leaves on older ones to turn red.
When choosing a mixture to house your jade plant in, a succulent-specific blend is your best bet. Ideally, the soil should have a neutral to slightly acidic pH level, and drain well in order to prevent excessive moisture from accumulating and leading to fungal growth. If you end up using an all-purpose potting mix instead, add some perlite to help assist with drainage. Additionally, you can house your jade plant in a terracotta or clay vessel to help wick extra moisture from the soil.
During the summer and spring, jade plants should be watered often so that their soil is moist but not wet, making sure drainage is immaculate. Reduce your watering to monthly in the winter. If you water from beneath by letting the plant sit in a saucer of water, pour off any excess water after a few minutes—never let your jade plant sit in water.
Temperature and Humidity
Jade plants prefer average temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. At night and in the winter, jade plants can handle a cooler environment, down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind, jade plants are not frost tolerant, so if they're kept outside, bring them in when the temperature dips to 50 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Many people underfeed their succulents during their growing season. For the most successful jade plant, feed it with a controlled-release fertilizer at the beginning of the season or weekly with a weak liquid solution. Use a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer at one-quarter strength on mature plants, and a fertilizer with less nitrogen on young plants.
How fast do jade plants grow?
Okay, so I have taken you through the most popular types of jade plants and answered the ever-important question ‘how big do jade plants get?’. But how fast do jade plants grow?
I briefly touched upon this above, but jade plants, as the case with most succulents, are slow growers. For the most common jade plant (money plant), it will only grow about 2 inches per year, so you could be waiting a long time for a fully mature jade tree.
Flowering often only occurs when you own a mature jade plant, so again, if your plant is in the early stages of its life, you could be waiting years to see those wonderful blooms.
A guide to caring for jade vine
Jade vine ( Strongylodon macrobotrys ) or emerald creeper is a species native to the Philippine forests. This woody vine is locally called tayabak and is recognized for its remarkable jade flowers that look like claws. This plant is now endangered and must be protected from deforestation.
Photo by David Clode on Unsplash.
If you happen to have a permit to grow this protected species, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Jade vines can thrive best in greenhouses, but growing them as an ornamental plant is possible, too, given that it is allowed to raise them in your locality or is covered by a permit issued by the relevant authority.
Jade vines demand sufficient direct sunlight for them to thrive. Otherwise, lack of sun exposure may cause damage to their roots. If grown as a houseplant, plant them in clay pots to allow their roots to breathe. Use soilless potting mix for easy drainage and provide a trellis where they can climb.
In terms of maintenance, water them when the topsoil is already dry. Jade vine grows best in a humid environment. Apply fertilizer twice a month or when necessary.
Common Pests and Diseases
Like many other houseplants and succulents, jade plants must contend with a variety of pests and diseases. The most commonly-seen issue when it comes to pests is mealybugs, which can leave white patches on the plant, specifically where the leaves attach to the steams. Because jade plants (and succulents in general) are particularly sensitive to insecticides and oils, you should plant to treat mealybugs by wiping them off with a cotton ball or tissue soaked with rubbing alcohol. Other issues may include an infestation of spider mites or scale, both of which can be treated the same way.