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How To Stop And Treat Jade Plant Sunburn!

With the popularity of keeping succulent plants increasing, jade plant is seeing a solid increase in its popularity and the number of people keeping jade plant has drastically increased over the last couple of years.

As with most things, when they see a huge spike in popularity, the number of questions that we see from the community also increases too and we have seen a number of people having problems with jade plant sunburn over the last couple of months so wanted to publish this article.

Unfortunately, jade plant sunburn can be very common and it really doesn’t take much direct sunlight to cause your jade plant to get sunburn either.

Thankfully, provided you identify the sunburn on your jade plant early and start to treat the problem, your plant can and should make a full recovery within a month with proper watering, soil with optimal drainage, and less sunlight often being enough to treat cases of jade plant sunburn.

Due to jade plant being a succulent, many people overlook just how susceptible the plant is to the sun, especially direct sunlight on a hot day so jade plant sunburn is far more common than it actually needs to be.

Still, a sunburned succulent can quickly perish if steps aren’t taken to treat the sunburn on the plant as fast as possible and as with most things, the sooner you notice a problem and start to treat it, the higher the chances are for your jade plant to make a full recovery.

Can A Jade Plant Get Too Much Sun And End Up With Sunburn?

Although jade plant is a very beginner friendly succulent that usually requires minimal maintenance from its keeper, the plant can have problems with getting too much sunlight.

These problems can range from something as simple as water issues due to evaporation to issues with the leaves changing their texture slightly or losing their color to the more serious problems such as the leaves of your jade plant shriveling or the plant having full blown sunburn.

Thankfully, in most situations, there is essentially a ramp up period for your jade plant when it comes to problems with sunlight as the plant will go through the symptoms in the paragraph above pretty much in the order listed.

The issue is when you get a random day that is much hotter with lots direct sunlight than your area normally gets as this can basically take jade plant from being totally healthy all the way through to being sunburned within a couple of hours.

Due to the busy lives people lead, you may be out of the house when an unexpected heat spell occurs in your local area preventing you from taking steps to protect your jade plant from the sun.

This does not mean that you are a bad plant keeper though and it is just a fact of life so don’t let issues like this hold you back.

As we mentioned below and we will cover in more detail below, provided you take the required steps to help your jade plant heal when you notice the sunburn, your plant should end up making a full recovery with no long-term problems.

How Long Does It Take Jade Plants To Get Sunburn?

The time frame required for jade plants to get sunburnt will change depending on the situation from a couple of days to a couple of hours depending on the amount of direct, intense sunlight that the jade plant is receiving.

Keep in mind, many people keep their jade plant in a green house or other area where the light from the sun can be enhanced reducing the time required for problems with your jade plant to begin.

The majority of the people who we see having problems with jade plant sunburn will find that their jade plant ended up having problems in less than a day due to a random heat wave in their local area.

This is very common and by far the most common way that jade plant and other succulents end up getting sunburn as it is so difficult to plan for and protect against with experienced succulent keepers still having issues with heat waves.

Just because jade plant is a succulent and likes the heat and sun, it does not mean that the jade plant sunlight tolerance is high and this is a very common mistake that we see people new to succulent keeping make time and time again.

Depending on the intensity of the sunlight hitting your jade plant it may take you days or potentially weeks for the same amount of sunlight to hit your jade plant as a heat wave can deliver in a matter of hours.

What Does Jade Plant Sunburn Look Like?

It is usually very easy to identify sunburn on jade plant as the brown and red tint around the edge of the leaf of the plant is obvious and contrasts well with the green of the leaf making it very easy to see.

In the early stages of sunburn, the edge of the leaf on jade plant will usually turn yellow or light brown before the sunburn sets in and the symptoms change to a dark brown or red color.

Left – Jade Plant With Sunburn. Right – Jade Plant Without Sunburn.

The image above shows examples of what jade plant sunburn looks like in most cases but depending on the intensity of the sunlight, the sunburn can also cause brown spots to form on your jade plan in other areas of the leaf that are burned too.

During periods of intense direct sunlight, the sunburn on your jade plant may set in so quickly that it can seem that the leaf will pass the yellow or light brown stages and go directly to the red or dark brown stages.

In less serious cases of sunburn on jade plant, you may see yellow patches forming on the leaves of your plant that may slowly turn to a brown or yellow color too.

This does tend to be rare and often needs other problems with the plant to be in place for sunburn to effect the plant in this way though and the most common symptom of sunburn on a jade plant is definitely the brown and red rings around the edges of the leaf.

How To Treat Sunburned Jade Plant?

Most cases of sunburn on a jade plant can be healed naturally by the plant with time but you are able to speed up the recovery process with ease if you are trying to help your plant recover as fast as possible.

The three main things that you have to focus on when treating sunburn on a jade plant is to water it frequently, make sure the plant is in optimal soil for drainage and nutrition, and to make sure that it is not at risk of further sunburn by controlling its sunlight exposure.

Being a succulent, there is usually no need to water a jade plant frequently under normal conditions but when trying to help the plant recover from sunburn, we would usually recommend that you water the plant once per week during the recovery process.

Making sure that you have a decent soil product for your jade plant can not only help it recover from sunburn faster but also improve the general health and well being of the plant moving forward too.

When it comes to controlling the exposure to sunlight for your jade plant when recovering from sunlight, you may have to get a little creative and think outside the box.

The plant will still need access to light but any high intensity, direct sunlight can cause additional sun burn.

Some people do try to make a sun light protector with netting but simply reducing the amount of time that your jade plant is in direct sunlight until the plant has healed is probably the best option.

How To Prevent Jade Plant Sunburn In The Future!

The easiest way to prevent your jade plant from having problems with sunburn in the future is to monitor the plant and pay close attention to the edge of the leaves of the plant.

Any signs of sunburn should be an indication to you to reduce the amount of hours per day that your jade plant is sat in its current location but some people may choose to move their jade plant to a whole new area to prevent further problems.

There really are a number of different ways that you are able to control the exposure of your jade plant to the sunlight though and much of your future strategy will depend on your over all setup and the amount of direct sunlight that your local area gets.

Depending where you live, you may not even have to take any specific steps to prevent any further issues with your jade plant moving forward when it comes to sunburn if it is late in the season.

Just remember, the majority of sunburn on jade plants will occur during short heat wave rather than over a long period of time.

Many of the methods people try to implement in their gardens to reduce the chances of their jade plant getting sunburns are pointless against heat waves due to the intensity of the sun over such a short period of time anyway.

Do Sunburnt Jade Plants Recover By Themselves?

Jade plants can recover from sunburn by themselves with minimal intervention from their keepers.

The problem is, if you leave your jade plant to naturally recover from any sunburn itself, there is a high chance of the plant having long term damage to its leaves ruining your viewing experience for the plant while also leaving the plant open to being more susceptible to sunburn in the future.

This is why we would recommend that you do your best to help your jade plant recover if it does end up getting sunburn, it is usually much easier than most people think and you will usually only have to slightly increase the watering frequency of the plant.

Depending on the situation, improving the drainage where your jade plant is planted may also be required but this is rare and then try to offer your jade plant some protection from the sun while recovering if possible.

This is much easier if your jade plant is potted but if you have your jade plant in your garden then you may have to mount a temporary fixture around the plant to limit the exposure to sunlight for a few hours per day during recoverary.

Thankfully, this is easier than most people initially think and a flat surface stuck into the ground near your jade plant can be enough to block direct sunlight exposure efficiently.


That brings our article going over how to treat a jade plant with sunburn to an end and we hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers who are having problems with their jade plant burning as possible. Thankfully, unlike some of the other types of plants out there, it is generally easier to help a jade plant that has sunburn making it a very easy problem to fix for the vast majority of people.