Why Is My Jade Plant Dropping Leaves? 5 Possible Explanations

jade plant dropping leaves

If you have noticed recently that your jade plant is dropping leaves, you might be worried! And it can be for good reason, a jade plant that’s losing leaves is (usually) not a good sign.

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This could be happening for a few reasons including trauma, aging, improper watering, temperature fluctuations, light problems, and a few other possible causes. It’s important to look at your leaves and soil while trying to determine why your jade plant leaves are falling off! Once you determine the cause, you can take the proper steps to revive your jade and keep it healthy.

Jade Plant Losing Leaves Because of Trauma

Having a jade plant losing leaves because of trauma is definitely the most common reason why I lose leaves on my jade plant. It’s in a spot where it can get knocked over if the curtains aren’t opened or closed correctly. This can also happen if your jade plant is top heavy and just topples itself over.

The easy way to determine if this is the cause of your jade plant losing leaves is to look for other signs – spilled dirt, or you can see where the leaf was forcefully dragged off the plant by something.

These leaves, if seen shortly after coming off the plant, will be the color and texture of the leaves still on the plant.

Tip: You can try and propagate another jade plant off of these fallen leaves.

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Jade Plant Leaves Falling Off Due To Natural Reasons

Another reason your jade plant is losing leaves is because it can be natural in some situations! For example, when the jade plant is older, it’s natural for a few of the oldest leaves to fall off.

The best way to tell if this is why your jade plant is losing leaves is to look at the leaf itself. The old leaves will be yellow, brown, or red in color and you can easily spot them on your plant. These leaves will often be near the base of the plant, where they’re also less likely to get as much light as the leaves on top.

Jade Plant Dropping Leaves Because Of Improper Watering

Improper watering can also cause issues for your jade plant dropping leaves. Overwatering and underwatering will both look slightly different on the plant. How to tell if one of these is the case – feel the soil. If it’s extremely dry, water it! If it’s extremely wet, change the soil to dry and don’t water it for a few weeks.


Overwatering a jade plant can be tricky, as these plants need ample water to survive, yet too much can cause the roots to rot and the leaves to drop. If you believe your jade plant is experiencing overwatering, it’s important to take action quickly.

These leaves will be really soft to the touch and almost soggy, just fully saturated with water. They may turn yellow or black.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue for jade plants that have been overwatered, and can be identified by the leaves turning yellow or black, as well as the roots becoming soft and mushy. This can be fixed by removing the jade from the soil, cutting off any rotten leaves, and replanting in dry soil.


Underwatering can also cause your jade plant to drop leaves. This will look different than overwatering, as the edges of the leaves may start to brown, curl inwards, and eventually fall off.

Jade Plant Losing Leaves Because of Temperature Fluctuations

Jade plants are very sensitive to temperature changes, which can especially be a problem if they are next to a window or outside. If your jade plant is suddenly dropping leaves, it could be due to temperature fluctuation.

If you’ve had a cold snap recently, or it’s extremely hot outside, these may cause the leaves to fall off, and either turn brown or red and wilt.

Jade Plant Leaves Falling Off Because of Lack of Light

Another cause of jade plant dropping leaves is lack of light. Too much shade can make it difficult for the plant to get enough sun energy, which then causes the leaves to fall off. Jade plants love sun, so try to give it a spot where it at least gets 4+ hours of direct sunlight a day.

If you think this is the problem, try moving your jade plant to a spot where it will get more sunlight and see if that resolves your problem.

If subject to a quick change of light, it can also get sunburned.

Other Reasons Why Your Jade Plant Might Be Dropping Leaves

While those are the most common reasons your jade plant might be dropping leaves, there are a few more causes that are less likely but could occur and be your problem.


Jade plants do not need to be fertilized very often at all, but like all plants, they need some nutrients. If your jade plant is not getting fertilized or new soil at least once a year, it could wilt and the leaves fall off.

If you’ve over fertilized, it could cause the plant to be burned, and the plant goes into shock and loses the leaves that the excess nutrients have gone into.


Another cause that your jade plant leaves are falling off could be due to pests, like scale. Pests will kill the leaves either by eating them or while munching injecting something that kills the plant into the leaves (read more on Insect Plant Injury Here).

Jade Plant Losing Leaves: In Summary

There are a variety of reasons why your jade plant may be dropping or losing leaves. These can range from trauma and age to improper watering, temperature fluctuations, lack of light, fertilizer issues and pests. It is important to figure out the issue as soon as possible in order to take steps towards restoring your jade plant!

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