How to repot a jade plant – 4 easy steps for healthy houseplants

Q: I have a jade plant in my conservatory. It's a couple of years old now and has filled its pot. Is it a good idea to repot it, and if so, can you give me any tips?

A: Most healthy houseplants will need repotting now and again to accommodate their growth and prevent congestion of the roots, which can affect nutrient uptake. Jade trees or plants, also known as Crassula ovata, are among these, and are usually repotted every two or three years – or every four years if they are more mature. This is best done in the spring, when the plant is actively growing, advises Tony O'Neill, a gardening expert.


Before you get started, you'll need to choose the right container to move your jade plant into. Note that larger jade plants will need a heavier pot to prevent them from toppling over.

'Be sure your new pot has drainage holes – this will help prevent waterlogging,' says Autumn Hilliard-Knapp of Perfect Plants Nursery. 'You will also want your pot to be slightly larger than the current one your jade plant is in.' Avoid picking one that's too big, she adds, otherwise it will retain excess moisture and contribute to root rot. You will also need to prepare your potting mix. Tony advises combining a standard potting soil with sand or perlite for better drainage. You can buy Organic Perlite from Perfect Plants Nursery.

Then, follow Tony's simple steps below.

1. Gently tap the sides of the current pot to loosen the soil and root ball. Grasp the jade plant at its base and ease it out. 2. Look for damaged or overly long roots and trim them. If the roots are circling the bottom, gently untangle and spread them out. 3. Place some soil at the bottom of the new pot. Position the jade plant so it sits at the same depth as before. Fill in around the plant with the soil mixture, gently tamping down to eliminate air pockets. 4. After repotting, water sparingly and place the jade plant in its usual location.

Top tip: Water the jade plant a few days before repotting, recommends Autumn. This helps the plant to tolerate the stress of the event better.


Root-bound plants can be tricky to remove from their container. It's easier if you water the plant first. One trick I like to use is to take a chopstick and gently poke it through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, which can help to loosen it. Carefully running a knife around the edges of the soil can also help.

If it's in a plastic pot, you may need to cut this away, Autumn adds.

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