If you do not water jade plants frequently or provide them with insufficient water, their leaves may become wrinkled and shriveled due to a lack of moisture reserves that are stored in the leaves.
Excessive wind, high temperatures, and sunlight can also cause moisture reserves in jade plant leaves to deplete, resulting in wrinkling and shriveling.
Soil containing peat can cause a jade plant to become drought-stressed with wrinkled leaves, as it tends to repel water when dry.
If your jade leaves are mushy or soft and turning yellow or brown instead of wrinkled, it may be due to overwatering instead of underwatering. Read my article on How to Revive a Dying Jade Plant for more information.
Continue reading to discover the reasons behind your jade plant’s wrinkled and shriveled leaves and learn how to fix it.
Jade Plant Leaves Wrinkled due to Drought Stress
Jade plant leaves become wrinkled or shriveled due to drought stress caused by insufficient watering, inadequate water supply, or hardened potting soil that repels water from the roots.
Jade Plant Leaves Wrinkled due to Underwatering
Jade plants are native to South Africa, where they thrive in a hot and dry environment with gritty soils and infrequent but heavy rainfall. Jade plants can store water in their leaves, stems, and roots to deal with drought. When the plant undergoes drought stress, its leaves become wrinkled, shriveled, and thin due to the lack of moisture reserves.
The primary reason for wrinkled and shriveled leaves in your jade plant is insufficient watering or an inadequate amount of water.
If your jade plant does not receive adequate hydration, its leaves may become wrinkled and fall off. Water your jade plants every two weeks during the active growth period in spring and summer, and once every three or four weeks in winter to maintain the right moisture balance for healthy and plump leaves without risking overwatering. If you water the plant too lightly, only the top inch of soil will moisten, and the water will not penetrate correctly to reach the roots. This leads to wrinkled leaves as the plant uses up its stored moisture.
How to Revive Wrinkled Jade Plants Due to Underwatering
- If your jade plant has wrinkled leaves due to drought stress, place it in a basin of water for 10 minutes. This allows the soil to absorb water properly, allowing the roots to take up the moisture they need.
- After thorough watering, wait until the soil is completely dry. This method imitates the natural environment of jade plants, where heavy rainfall is usually followed by prolonged droughts.
- Once the soil is completely dry, water your jade plant until the water starts trickling from the base of the pot. Water the plants once every two weeks in spring and summer and once every three or four weeks in winter.
By giving your jade plant a generous soak once every two weeks, you can restore the moisture in its leaves and reverse the wrinkled appearance. With 2 or 3 cycles of watering, your plants should look healthier.
To prevent jade plant leaves from wrinkling due to drought or overwatering, determine the appropriate watering schedule based on your home’s conditions and climate.
To determine the appropriate watering frequency for jade plants based on your home’s particular conditions, water thoroughly and observe how much time it takes for the soil to become dry at the bottom of the container. If it still feels moist, wait a few days before watering until it becomes somewhat dry and then give your jade plant a thorough watering. Check out my article on how to water jade plants for the best tips on watering and when to water jade plants throughout the year.
Dry Soil Repels Water From Roots Causing Leaves to Shrivel
Jade plants need the soil to dry out between watering to mimic their natural, arid habitat. Using a potting mix that includes peat can cause issues as it tends to repel water, preventing roots from absorbing the necessary moisture. This can lead to drought stress in jade plants and wrinkled leaves.
- To counter the water-repellent effects of peat potting soil mixes, immerse the potted jade in a basin of water for about 10 minutes. This enables the soil to absorb moisture correctly and allows the roots to take up necessary water.
- If the soil has been thoroughly watered, it may become hard when it dries out between watering sessions. Soak the soil and loosen it around the root ball before replacing it to prevent this problem.
- Substitute the soil with succulent and cacti soil that is specially designed to maintain a