Why Your Jade Plant is Turning Black

Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by Stephanie

The reason that jade plant leaves and stems become black is due to root rot, which is caused by moist soil around roots or by high humidity. The black spots on Jade leaves are known as edemas, and result from over-watering as well as slow drainage of soils.

Find out more about the circumstances can cause the Jade plant to become black, and what you can do to stop it. the plant…

Over Watering Promotes Rot That Turns Jade Black

The Jade plant is native to South Africa where they grow on hillsides that are rocky in dry soil , in full sunshine and with frequent rain.

Jade plants are specially designed (with their large leaves) to grow in desert-like conditions with very low water as well as soils that drain very quickly.

So Jade is extremely sensitive to excessive watering when it is cultivated by gardeners, which could cause symptoms of stress, such as:

  • The leaves are covered with black spots (edema).
  • The leaves are black (root root).
  • Stems that are black (root decay).

Small black or brown spots on Jade plants are edemas that are caused by excessive water intake at the roots which is faster then the rate of transpiration (water loss) through the leaves.

The stems and leaves that are black are the result of the fungal disease known as root rot.

The leaves, black spots and stems are all the result of excessive moisture around the root system. excessive watering is often the most significant cause.

Since Jade plants are drought-tolerant plants, it is essential to mimic the conditions of the natural environment by giving them more frequent watering.

jade plant close up

How can you save it.

Reduce the amount of water you give the Jade plant to ensure that the soil is dry between watering sessions.

For determining this, a great test is using the cocktail stick to push it into the soil. When the ground on your stick appears slightly moist, then you can leave it to water for a few more days. If the stick is dry, provide the plant with jade a thorough soak.

Jade plants like a regular routine of thorough watering, so that the water drips out of the base of the pot, followed by a time when it is allowed for the root zone are left to dry because this mimics natures conditions for a downpour of rain and then dryness.

(Read my article on on how you can water your jade plant to find out the frequency and much you should water jade plants for the climate you live in).

Jade plants are tough and are able to be able to recover from black spots that have appeared on leaves after youve established a proper irrigation schedule.

The leaves could recover on their own , but when there are other reasons for excess soil moisture (such as soil that drains slowly) the plant could be affected and possibly develop rot.

If the stems and leaves have turned black, it is most likely that the root has rot.

Cut back any leaves that are black and stems to stop the rot from spreading throughout the plant to protect the Jade plant.

It isnt easy to bring back Jade plants after theyve developed rot, but one method to ensure that they recover is to cut off healthy green leaves or portions of the plant that are free of black marks to allow propagation.

Jade is easily propagated and propagation is very simple. Check out this YouTube video to learn the best ways to grow Jade…

Top Tips for Watering Jade Plants

  • Water Jade plants at the bottom of the plant, instead of over the head, as when the leaves are damp due to watering, this could hinder transpiration and increase the chance of the leaves becoming black.
  • The water Jade (when it is the time that soil is dry) at the beginning of morning, as this provides this Jade plant the chance to shed excess water through its leaves throughout the day, to manage its moisture levels to a suitable level.
  • The night time watering when the plant is not in use could result in moist soil, increasing the chance of black and rotting leaves.
  • Reduce the amount of water you use in winter months because Jade plants enter an inactive state and require only watering every month.

Slow draining soils promote rot that can lead to Black Leaves and Stems

Even if you reduce on watering, its crucial to make sure you are ensuring that your Jade grows in the proper soil that drains well to avoid the leaves becoming black.

If the soil in the potting pot holds excessive moisture, this is similar to excessive watering and a lot of water around the roots, causing it to turn black.

Jade plants like pots that mimic the drainage characteristics of the native rock South African habitat.

If youre Jade plant is growing in compost that has not been amended, it is most likely to be the cause of black spots or rot in your leaf.

Jade plants need a special mix of potting soil that has been designed specifically for succulents and Cacti (which are readily available at retailers and on Amazon).

The specialized potting mixes possess specific drainage characteristics and the exact size of the particles which allow the water to flow away swiftly from the root in your Jade and reduce the risk of the possibility of.

This decreases the risk of the leaves turning black, and helps keep the plant well-nourished.

Like an over-watered Jade plants, they could require careful pruning using the use of a sterilized pair of pruners to remove any areas of the Jade that have become black in order to stop the decay from spreading to other healthy areas in the plants.

The removal of healthy leaves and sections of stems for propagation could be the only option to save your jade plant in the event that its been in moist dirt for too long.

(For more details, read my article on on how you can revive the Jade Plant that is dying).

If you have the proper drainage of your soil and watering regimen, The Jade plant will remain healthy and last for 100 years or more..

High Humidity Can Contribute to Leaves Turning Black

Jade plants are indigenous to dry conditions within South Africa with breezy mountain side temperatures, so they are used to humid conditions.

If the humidity of your area or in your home is very high, this could cause the leaves to turn into black.

The higher humidity levels lower the amount of transpiration (water loss) through leaf leaves on your Jade plant, which can cause stress on the plant and may make your plant appear black.

There are several elements that could lead to greater levels of humidity for Jade plants within a home:

  • Watering overhead. As stated previously in this article, but it is worth reiterating that you should always make sure to water Jade plants near the base instead of over the top. The water on the leaves decreases the transpiration rate and helps create a moist microclimate.
  • Jade plants in humid areas in the house. Bathrooms or kitchens can be very hot due to cooking or showering, that can increase the amount of humidity.
  • In humid climates, the presence of moisture (such such as Florida) could cause Jade plant species to become at greater risk of becoming black, which increases the importance of having full sun and putting Jade in a sunny spot.

To reduce humidity, place the Jade plant in full sunlight and, ideally, in the direction of a breeze coming from an open window so that you can avoid stagnant air. Be sure to avoid placing your Jade in a hot room.

The high levels of humidity arent the sole reason for Jade plants turning black , but they can be a major contributor. With proper irrigation practices, well-drained soil, pots that have good drainage and a less humid environment, the Jade plant will grow well.

Pots Without Drainage Cause Jade Plants to Turn Black

Jade plants become black when they are placed in pots that do not have drain holes at the bottom, or when drainage holes are blocked, so that water is unable to be able to escape easily.

Pots with no drainage holes can cause water to accumulate around the roots, which can cause root rot. This transforms the stems and leaves from your Jade plant to black.

It is therefore essential to change the pot of your Jade plant in an area with drainage holes as quickly as you can in order to avoid any further damage or leaves becoming black.

It is important to note that drainage issues in pots arent the sole pot-related cause of Jade leaves turning black.

  • Roots that block drainage holes. Jade plants can last for quite a long time so when youre Jade plant is living in the same container for some time it is possible of the roots getting pot-bound, causing the congested roots will stop the drainage holes which hinders the escape of water and encourages excessive humidity, which causes the plant to rot.
  • Jade plants are usually planted indoors using an under-layer of a tray or saucer underneath the pot to stop water from spilling into the house after watering. If the tray or saucer is not regularly cleaned, the water will pool beneath the pot, causing it to keep the soil muddy, which causes the leaves to rot and turn black.
  • There are times when Jade plant species are set in ordinary plastic pots, and then put in decorative pots to display at home. The water can accumulate in the base of an outer decorative pot (which usually dont have drain holes) and cause rot.

Jade plant require moist soil to prevent the conditions that can turn stems and leaves black, so it is essential that they are planted in a posts with drainage holes at the base to ensure that excess water drains easily from the base after the watering.

Similar to Jade plants that suffer from over irrigation or slow drainage. cutting back the black areas of the plant to allow healthy growth could be the only way to ensure that the Jade plant can survive. You can, of course, propagate Jade by cuttings and leaves quickly to keep your plant alive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Jade plant stems and leaves become black due to excessive watering around the roots, which results in rotting. If your Jade plant has spots of black on its leaves, it is because of excessive irrigation and slow drainage of soils.
  • Slow draining and overwatering soils are the main causes of Jade plants becoming black. Pots with no drainage holes can also be the cause of root rot and high humidity.
  • Try to recreate the conditions that grow in Jade plants home in South Africa with full sun frequent watering, a breezy site and well-drained soil to keep Jade from becoming black.
  • The Jade plant can be preserved by cutting off the stems and leaves that are black to stop the decay from spreading. If there is a significant amount of decay, you can use the healthy cuttings or leaves to propagate.



decrative pots



Desert plant that grows and is specially adapted to the harsh environment it is found in.

Leaves are designed to store water, which triggers the need for regular watering, in opposition to the conditions under which they are designed.

The water is placed at the bottom of the plant to keep the leaves from getting wet, which could reduce transpiration and cause root decay.

drinking water in the early morning

Make sure the soil is completely dry up to 2 inches.

Firm leaves indicate a well-hydrated plant, soft leaves signal the udner to water.

soak the soil in water and then wait for it to dry out

Reduce the amount of water that is absorbed in Winter, state of dormancy because of less light levels and temperatures

Slow draining soils

that is adapted to grow in sandy desert

Gritty soil mix

Grit has a greater particlar size, which permits more efficient drainage and also more oxygen to allow for the repiration of roots

excessive humidity

Not enoghhh sun

The adaptation to full sun increases evpaouration, enhances the health of plants and reduces the humidity

Cut them off with a 2 pronged strategy to repot the jade

gradually expose jad to more sunlight as a gradual change could cause the leaves to burn

The red edges that arent drooping on the leaves indicate that the Jad has the proper amount of sunlight



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)