How To Fix Wrinkled Leaves On Jade Plants?

The jade plant is a succulent that is kept as an indoor houseplant or as an outdoor plant. It is collected, not for any wonderful blooms that it produces, but for its thick, round, and fleshy leaves. These leaves are dark green, the leaves are firm and it has a thick trunk. But, how do you fix Wrinkled Leaves On Jade Plants?

There are several reasons why your jade plant leaves become wrinkled and many ways to fix them, they are:

  1. Underwatering- change the potting mix, or increase watering
  2. Temperature- shelter from the sun and provide shade
  3. Repotting- care for jade plants well after transplanting or repotting 
  4. Overwatering- reduce watering, and amend the soil with porous materials 
  5. Inadequate Light- increase sun exposure or use artificial light 
  6. Air Currents- place away from air currents 

The best way to keep your jade plant leaves healthy is to know what are the optimal conditions to grow them and stick to them! But, if they do become wrinkled, you can read this guide to know how to fix wrinkled leaves on jade plants.

Also read: How To Prevent Cucumber Leaves From Turning Yellow?

1. Underwatering

Originating in a country where rainfall is heavy but not so frequent, jade plants have adapted to limited water. However, indoor-grown jade plants may not be as tolerant to drought as plants growing out in the wild! 

Wrinkled Leaves on Jade Plants is a sign of a water deficiency. It means that your plant is not getting water and it is using moisture stored in its leaves.

The soil for jade plants is not the regular potting mix that you buy from your plant nursery or garden store. But rather the media you would use for cacti and succulents. 

Some nurseries will sell you jade plants that are potted in peat. This causes more harm than good. Peat is hydrophobic, which means that instead of absorbing water, it repels it. Thus, the water ends up spilling over the sides of the flower pot.

So, you may think that your plant is getting a measured amount of water when actually it is getting nothing! The water may even run over the sides of the pot and get out at the bottom without damping all the soil and being absorbed. 

The moral of the story, use the right potting mix. 

Do This

Place your whole jade potted plant (with pot) in a wide and deep dish filled with water. Note the pot must be big enough for you to be able to immerse the container in it. But, it should not drown the plant container either! 

Soaking the plant like this allows the media to draw up water and saturate the soil. You must immerse the plant for 10 minutes. Then remove and allow the excess water to drain out. 

Remember that although you have satisfied the plant, once it dries again, you will be back at square one. 

So in light of this, it is best that you replace peat material with a specially formulated cacti and succulent mix. This will be as close to the media that the plant will have in its natural environment. 

NOTE- Avoid potting mixes with too many organic materials or water-retaining materials as this may lead to overwatering of your jade plants. 

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2. Temperature

The optimal temperature for jade is 65℉ to 75℉ (18℃ – 24℃) when you grow them indoors. Extreme heat or cold can harm your jade plant. They cannot tolerate too much heat as it will cause the plant to lose too much moisture (dehydration) and the leaves could become wrinkled. 

If the weather is cold you will have to cut back on the watering as your jade plant will not need that much water. Also, if the temperatures are high, you must compensate with more water. 

Do This

What you can do here is move your jade plant to a position where it is shaded and cooler. If your jade plant looks like it needs more water, provide it with more water. But, ensure that it is not soggy and overly saturated.

If your jade plant is located outdoors, provide it with shade cloth or perhaps position it under a tree or onto the porch. Perhaps your jade plant will even be happier indoors! 

3. Repotting

Repotting causes the plant to stress and when it comes to jade plants, wrinkling after repotting or transplanting can be a worrying sign. The reason for this physical change is the stress of being put in a new environment comes with. 

Do This

When planning to transplant your jade plant, ensure that it does not stay out of the soil for too long. Also, to accomplish this you should be sure to prepare the new site or pot well in advance.

Make sure the new site/pot has all the right conditions; sunlight, soil, and space. 

4. Overwatering

Jade plant watering habits are very important to take care of. Just as underwatering can cause the leaves to wrinkle, so can overwatering. Plus, overwatering is worse because there may not be enough time to save your plants! Overwatered and rotting plants are unsavable. 

The leaves need water and moisture to remain firm and thick. But with excessive water, roots will rot and the plant cannot draw the water or nutrients into the plant. Due to this, the plant cannot carry out photosynthesis and the whole plant suffers.

Do This

Stop watering the jade plant immediately if you suspect it is overwatered! Allow the plant to dry out. You can take the plant out of the pot, to observe the damage done. Cut out the rotten parts. If the potting mix is holding too much moisture, change it out with a well-draining mix. 

Jade plants are succulents. So, you would probably be better off only watering them when the soil dries out. When watering, ensure that the water actually runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom. 

NOTE- Seeing as jade can be water sensitive, you should always Insert your finger in the soil before watering. 

5. Inadequate Light

The jade plant originates from South Africa, where they receive full sun all day. So, naturally, these plants thrive under the sun! Your jade plant could be exhibiting wrinkled leaves due to insufficient sunlight.

This is relatively simple to correct, just provide them with more sun. However, most people get it wrong and end up providing too much sunlight. 

Jade plants need a minimum of 4 to 6 hours of sunlight to synthesize food that acts as energy for all growth. 

Also, what needs to be noted is that indirect light is not the same as direct light, leading to a slower generation of food and energy. So, inadequate light results in the plant growing taller but no new leaves are grown. Also, existing leaves start to wrinkle. 

Do This 

This is what you should do immediately after noticing that poor sunlight exposure could be the reason behind your jade leaves wrinkling:

  • Change the location of your jade plants to a location that gets direct sunlight for a minimum of 4 hours a day. Observe your garden or home to see which spot gets the best light for your jade plant
  • In case you don’t have good sunlight, substitute it with an efficiently powered artificial source such as a grow light
  • Want to know how to fix wrinkled leaves on jade plants that appear on just one side? Keep turning the plant to ensure the whole plant gets enough sunlight.

Do this and your jade leaves will bounce back if sunlight was the actual reason why the leaves were wrinkling in the first place. 

6. Air Currents

Excessive circulation of air, be it hot or cold can include transpiration from your jade plants. So, you have to strategically plan where you will be placing your jade plants. Putting it on a windowsill where the window is forever open is not an advisable step! 

Also, keep them away from heaters and air conditioners that release hot air and can induce wrinkled leaves on jade plants. This odd appearance in the leaves is due to the loss of moisture from the plant. 

Do This

Keeping your jade plant away from air drafts, hot or cold will be essential to help jade plants retain moisture and not wrinkle. 

Also, do not place them near windows that are opened as this can influence the transpiration rates of the plant. Refer to the optimal indoor temperature range to grow jade plants which are between 65℉ and 75℉ (day-time), and between 50℉ and 55℉ (night-time). 


A number of factors could be to blame for wrinkled leaves on jade plants. However, you can find solace in the fact that there are several ways to fix them. But, it all starts by correctly identifying the reason. 

Reasons for wrinkled leaves on jade plants are under-watering, temperature, repotting, overwatering, inadequate light, and air currents. 

Depending on the reason, here is how to fix wrinkled leaves on jade plants:

  • Increase or decrease watering
  • Amend the soil by making it more porous
  • Increase shade or sun exposure (alternatively, use a grow light)
  • Change the jade plants’ location to ensure equal sunlight
  • Keep these plants away from vents, air conditioners, heaters, and open windows

Also interested in purple plants for your home? Pick from these Purple Indoor Plants You Can Grow In USA | 20 Options 


Why are my jade plant leaves soft? 

Soft jade plant leaves are never a good sign. This softness is a sign of overwatering. The roots and leaves begin to rot when excessive amounts of water are available to the jade plants, hence, they lose their firm structure. 

What does an overwatered jade plant look like? 

An overwatered jade plant looks droopy with evident signs of foliage changing colors. However, the most evident sign is that of soft leaves that have lost their firm nature.