Hey Everybody, my name is Paul, and I have a 5 year old Jade that WAS doing Very well until I went to Afghanistan for 2 months and came back home on a 3 week vacation. I had watered the plant with 500ml's before I left and my wife had not touched it at all....when I returned home it looked like it does on the below pictures. I Love the plant, and it was very well till I left it for 2 months. As one can also see from the pics, it's in a South facing window and receives sunlight constantly all day. Aphids don't appear to be a problem. I just watered it again 2 days ago with 500ml's...and no change in site, and I leave to return back to Kandahar on Tuesday....I'd REALLY like to save it, and my wife says that if it looks like this or worse when I return in five months it will have to go to the landfill! I need some advise fast guys. Thanks for any help provided.
it needs a good/deep soaking. does the bottom have drainage holes? i hope so!!
if it doesn't, you're going to need to repot it into something that does. not right now though! you need to get it back on track first.
hopefully it has drainholes in the bottom...
set the plant in the sink or in a bowl or bucket that is large enough to hold it and then fill with water up to half way up to the top of the planter. let the water soak in. if the top of the soil is still not moistish (not totally wet, just moist to the touch) when all the water is absorbed, add more water and continue to let it sit. if the top of the soil becomes moist before the initial amount of water is all soaked in, remove the pot from the water.
set the pot up on something so that excess water can drain out. once that's done, place it back where it normally is.
if the pot does not have drainage holes in it, you need to do things differently. water in one-cup increments. with each cup, let it soak into the soil completely before you pour in the next cup. the first few cups will probably roll off to the sides and go down between the soil and the side of the container (when the soil gets this dry, it pulls away from the container) and that's okay. just continue to pour the water on top and let it go where it will, it'll be okay. as the soil becomes moist through out, it'll take longer for the water to soak down, so it's pretty easy to follow and not overwater.
for both types, take a good feel of the container beforehand...lift it up in both hands...it'll be pretty light. when you are done watering, take it in hand again and get a feel of how much heavier it is now that the soil is properly wet again...have your wife do this also since she's going to need to maintain it while you are away.
at this time of year it should be watered every three weeks at least...and until it's fully back on track, it's going to need it faithfully for the next couple of months. as it recuperates, it may even need watering every two weeks.
basically, water it when the soil is dry down a couple of inches. either stick a finger in the soil or use a bamboo skewer (the type for shish-ka-bobs)...same philosophy as testing cake to see if it's done...if the skewer has soil on it, don't water, if it doesn't then water...make sure to stick the skewer all the way to the bottom. i also let it sit in the soil for a couple minutes and then feel the length of it to find the spot where it starts to feel moist and if that is below the halfway point of the container, i water.
it should revive once it's back on regular waterings.
if the container does not have drainage, you can repot it when you get back - it should be recuperated by then. it also should be in an unglazed clay pot - can't tell if that's what it's in now or if it's a plastic one.
Thank-You Joclyn for the SPEEDY and detailed reply. Very Much appreciated. As you can see, I've taken your advise, and it'll be spending the day in the set tub getting a well deserved soaking. The pot DOES have drainage. And in 5 months it will be repotted into a ceramic/drainage pot. Now that it is getting full days of sun, I'll also instruct my wife to water it about every 2 weeks with about 500ml's. Thanks again.
and i'm glad to hear it's in a pot with drainage!! that just makes the whole recovery thing that much easier!!
it should be watered from below most of the time - you can use a bowl or a dish with sides instead of the big container because subsequent waterings won't require as much water as this time did. it will just need to be deep enough to hold a couple of cups of water. have her let the pot sit in the dish with the water until it's soaked in...and keep adding more water until the top of the soil starts to feel moist. then remove the water and let any excess drain out and then put back in it's usual location.
2 times a year water from above and do so a bit heavy so that any salts that have built up in the soil will flush out.
it's a beautiful jade...even in it's sad shape at the moment. if the watering schedule is followed it'll be back to it's glory in no time. expect it to drop some of the leaves though...a perfectly normal event when a jade is stressed.