How To Grow & Care For Trailing Jade

Trailing Jade, scientifically known as Senecio jacobsenii, is an alluring and unique succulent that has found its way into many gardens and indoor spaces. Its name comes from the trailing growth habit, similar to jade plants, though it is not part of the jade plant family. Its overlapping, waxy leaves are often tinted with shades of purple or pink, and it produces vibrant orange or pinkish flowers that add an extra dimension to its appeal.

As a member of the Asteraceae family, Trailing Jade is native to East Africa, particularly in the regions of Kenya and Tanzania. It is a perennial evergreen that requires minimal maintenance and can be grown both indoors and outdoors. Its trailing growth makes it perfect for hanging baskets, creating a cascading effect that’s visually stunning.

Known for its resilience and ease of care, the Trailing Jade is a favorite among both beginners and experienced gardeners. Here’s a comprehensive guide to cultivating and maintaining this striking plant.

Common NamesTrailing Jade, Weeping Jade, Trailing Kleinia
Botanical NameSenecio jacobsenii
Plant TypePerennial Succulent
Mature SizeUp to 2 feet in length
Sun ExposureFull sun to partial shade
Soil TypeWell-draining soil, succulent or cactus mix
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaKenya, Tanzania

Trailing Jade Care

Trailing Jade, with its thick, waxy leaves and cascading growth habit, requires specific but simple care. It is a highly adaptable plant that thrives with minimal fuss, which makes it ideal for both beginners and those who have been gardening for years.

A key to the care of Trailing Jade is understanding its native environment in East Africa, where conditions are often dry and sunny. Emulating these conditions will ensure a thriving and healthy plant. Regular pruning can help maintain a beautiful trailing appearance, and because of its succulent nature, it requires less frequent watering than many other houseplants.

Light Requirement for Trailing Jade

Trailing Jade thrives in bright light, but it can also tolerate partial shade. If indoors, place it near a south-facing window, if possible. Lack of sufficient light can cause the plant to become leggy, so ensuring proper light exposure is essential.

Soil Requirements for Trailing Jade

A well-draining soil mixture is vital for Trailing Jade to prevent root rot. A cactus or succulent mix works well, or you can create your mixture with potting soil, sand, and perlite.

Water Requirements for Trailing Jade

Watering should be done sparingly. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, as overwatering can lead to root rot. During winter, when the plant is not actively growing, reduce watering further.

Temperature and Humidity

Trailing Jade prefers temperatures between 65°F and 75°F but can tolerate a wider range. It does not have specific humidity requirements but generally prefers a drier environment consistent with its native habitat.


Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength during the growing season. Fertilize once a month, but avoid over-fertilizing as it can cause weak, leggy growth.

Pruning Trailing Jade

Regular pruning can help maintain the trailing appearance of the plant. Trim any overgrown or leggy stems, and remove dead or damaged leaves as needed.

Propagating Trailing Jade

Propagation is typically done through stem cuttings. Cut a healthy stem and allow it to dry for a day or two. Then plant it in well-draining soil. Rooting should occur within a few weeks.

How To Grow Trailing Jade From Seed

Growing Trailing Jade from seed is less common but feasible. Plant the seeds in a well-draining soil mix, keep moist, and provide bright, indirect light. Germination can take several weeks.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Mealybugs can infest the plant, leaving a cotton-like residue. Treat with insecticidal soap.

Root Rot

Overwatering can cause root rot. Monitor watering practices and ensure proper drainage.

Common Problems With Trailing Jade

Leggy Growth

Leggy growth often indicates insufficient light. Move the plant to a brighter location and consider pruning.

Leaf Drop

Sudden leaf drop may be a sign of overwatering. Adjust your watering schedule and check the soil drainage.

Fading Color

If the vibrant leaf color fades, it might be due to lack of light or nutrients. Adjust light exposure and consider fertilizing.

Pro Tips

  1. Rotate the plant occasionally to ensure even growth.
  2. Keep an eye on watering; succulents are more prone to problems from overwatering than underwatering.
  3. Prune regularly to maintain a desired shape.
  4. Use a pot with good drainage to prevent water accumulation.
  5. Trailing Jade can be grown outdoors in hanging baskets in appropriate climates.