Jade survives cold and dark
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Fraxy the cat inspects a jade branch and reports it's still healthy, ready to root, and just as unpalatable as when it went into the bag three months ago for a cold storage winter at 50°F and 50% humidity.
Update that miss: Cellaring the jade's a hit
Back at the end of fall, B.C. asked,
Can I really keep (jade plants) in a cool, dark place for the
next four or five months?
We said we'd check it out, then "cellared" a big branch from
a jade tree (Crassula ovata). Since the light's
sometimes on in that cold storage room, we bagged the branch to
keep it dark.
The cold storage conditions
Temperature in that storage room is a pretty steady 50°F. About
humidity, we guess 50%. That's moister than our desert-like
centrally heated home but drier than the air in a typical root
cellar, where 80-90% humidity is normal. The difference is in the
floor and walls. Floor and/or walls are bare earth in most root
cellars; those surfaces are covered by cement slab in the room we
At three months into the test, we looked into the bag
(above) and thought, "This jade's still fine. We'll recommend
dark, cold storage -- 50°F and 50% humidity."
We compared the stored branch (above, left) to its self of 90
days before (above, right). We found little difference, other than
that the stored branch had dropped about a dozen leaves. That's not
surprising. Jade's a model of efficiency. It probably withdrew and
used the water from its oldest foliage before dropping those
- This branch will still be good to go after having spent another
month or six weeks in storage. So we've returned it in its bag and
to cold storage. We'll let you know the outcome.
- Chances are good that a potted jade would come through cold,
dark storage with even less leaf loss than this branch.
- After a total of 3 months on "hold," the plant's leaves may
be thin and wrinkly but they'll recover quickly.