House Plants/JADE

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Question
Hello,
Will planting a jade in a pot with NO hole in the bottom for the exiting of water cause a potential problem? Could this be one reason that there is mold on the surface soil?
I'd appreciate your advice.
Sincerely,
Marjune Iooss

Answer
Hi Marjune,

That is a good question. Many folks have heard that it is best to use pots that have drain holes, but they do not understand why.

As you seem to understand, the purpose of the drain hole is to allow excess water to escape from the pot. Otherwise, that water accumulates in the bottom of the pot and out of site. The soil wicks up that excess water and eventually causes the rots to rot. By the time the plant shows symptoms of root rot, it is usually too late. In theory, if you knew exactly the right quantity of water to add with each watering, then this would not be a problem. But most of us don't know. Having a drain hole solves the problem of water accumulating in the bottom of the pot.

Mold needs a constantly damp soil surface to stay alive. Jade Plants, on the other hand, need to top quarter of the soil to become bone dry in order to prevent root rot. Thus, the presence of mold is a clear indication that the soil is not drying out properly. That may be because water has accumulated in the bottom of the pot or because you are watering too often.

I hope this clears up your confusion about pot drain holes.

I have written a detailed article on Jade Plant care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

Visit my website at: A link to HorticulturalHelp.com  

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Will Creed

Expertise

I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.

Experience

I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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