Discover the Alluring Trailing ‘Jade Succulent’ – Weeping Jade Plant: Senecio jacobsenii

If you’re an avid succulent lover, you can’t miss the captivating beauty of Senecio jacobsenii, also known as ‘Trailing Jade’ or “Weeping Jade Plant”. This unique and attractive succulent is native to the highlands of Tanzania and Kenya.

Its thick stems can gracefully drape up to 4 feet long, while its green, oval-shaped fleshy leaves turn a fascinating purple color when stressed in the winter.

Whether as a groundcover or a hanging basket specimen, this plant adds a touch of elegance to any space. In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about caring for and propagating Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’.

What is Trailing Jade or Weeping Jade Plant?

The scientific name of Trailing jade is Kleinia petraea or Senecio jacobsenii. This awesome plant, also called vining jade or weeping jade, is originally from Tanzania and Kenya. It loves warm temperatures and does best in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11.

weeping jade plant,
Kleinia petraea or Senecio Jacobsenii – Trailing Jade plant in in Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo. Photo: Kenraiz, CC BY-SA 4.0

You can spot it by its thick stems and cool-looking leaves that stick out like teardrops from the stem. The leaves grow in an overlapping pattern, kind of like shingles on a roof. Oh, and don’t forget about its eye-catching bright orange flowers!

Weeping Jade Plant, Trailing Jade, Kleinia petraea, Senecio Jacobsenii
Trailing Jade or Weeping Jade Plant in Bloom – Kleinia petraea or Senecio Jacobsenii on the Nairobi-Mombassa road. Photo by Dwergenpaartje, CC BY-SA 4.0

It’s important to clarify what trailing jade is not, to prevent any confusion with other plants. Although it may resemble Crassula jade and share succulent characteristics, trailing jade (Senecio Jacobsenii) is not closely related to Crassula jade (Crassula ovata).

Weeping Jade Plant, Trailing Jade, Kleinia petraea, Senecio Jacobsenii, Crassula ovata, Jade plant,

Additionally, the term “trailing jade” can also refer to round-leaf peperomia, which is a distinct plant native to South America. Round leaf peperomia features thinner stems and leaves with a rounded shape, further distinguishing it from trailing jade.

Peperomia rotundifolia var. rotundifolia in the Botanical Garden, Berlin. Photo by James Steakley, CC BY – SA 3.0

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How to Care for ‘Trailing Jade’ (Weeping Jade Plant)

One of the best things about ‘Trailing Jade’ is its versatility and adaptability. It’s a low-maintenance succulent that can thrive in a wide range of conditions, making it suitable for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Weeping Jade Plant, Trailing Jade, Kleinia petraea, Senecio Jacobsenii
Weeping Jade Plant (Senecio Jacobsenii)

It prefers full sun but can tolerate temperatures as low as 32°F. When planted next to a wall or in a container, its stems elegantly cascade downwards, creating a breathtaking visual display. The upright leaves and flowers add even more charm to this already enchanting plant.

Because of its spreading habit and exceptional resistance to drought, Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is also an excellent choice for preventing soil erosion on steep banks. However, it doesn’t tolerate excessively shady or cold, moist conditions.

Ideal Soil for ‘Trailing Jade’ (Weeping Jade)

To ensure the optimal growth of Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’, it’s important to provide it with well-draining pots and gritty soil. A mix that includes at least 50% inorganic material, such as coarse sand, perlite, or pumice, is ideal. This type of soil prevents water from sitting around the roots and causing root rot. ‘Trailing Jade’ can tolerate a wide range of pH levels, from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. However, like most other succulents, it doesn’t tolerate poorly-draining soils.


Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is a tough plant that can thrive even in rocky and desolate conditions. As a result, fertilizer is not usually necessary. However, if you choose to fertilize your succulent, use a balanced water-soluble fertilizer at half strength, only during the growth period.

What are some signs that my Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is not receiving enough nutrients?

If your ‘Trailing Jade’ isn’t getting enough nutrients, it may exhibit signs of deficiency. Keep an eye out for the following common indications:

  • Yellowing or browning leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Leaf drop

If you suspect nutrient deficiency, consider fertilizing your plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength and apply it to moist soil. Take care to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package and avoid over-fertilizing, which can cause its own set of problems.

With proper care and attention, your ‘Trailing Jade’ will continue to thrive, producing beautiful cascading stems and vibrant green leaves.

How to Water Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’

As a drought-tolerant plant, Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ doesn’t require frequent watering.

Allow the soil to completely dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot and other issues.

A useful guideline is to water deeply enough for water to run out of the drainage hole, but refrain from watering until the soil has completely dried.

Ideal Light Conditions

Senecio jacobsenii thrives in full sun to light shade. While it can tolerate some shade, too much of it can cause the leaves to turn pale green and inhibit flowering. On the other hand, excessive direct sunlight can result in yellowing and drying of the leaves.

Cold Hardiness

Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ can withstand temperatures as low as 20-25°F, making it suitable for gardens in USDA hardiness zones 10 and above.

While it can tolerate some frost, prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can damage or kill the plant. If affected by frost, the leaves may turn translucent yellow and eventually dry up and fall off.

Trailing Jade or Weeping Jade Plant in Bloom
Trailing Jade or Weeping Jade Plant in Bloom – Kleinia petraea on the Nairobi-Mombassa road. Photo by Dwergenpaartje, CC BY-SA 4.0

Maintenance and Pruning

To maintain a tidy appearance, you can remove the flower stems once they bloom and dry out.

Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ can become leggy, especially when grown in pots, and may require pruning to prevent them from becoming too heavy and trailing overhanging containers.

Propagating ‘Trailing Jade’ (Weeping Jade Plant)

Propagating Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ is a breeze and can be done by taking stem cuttings. Simply cut a stem with a few leaves and allow it to dry for a few days.

Once the cutting has calloused over, plant it in a well-draining pot with gritty soil and wait for new roots to form. This plant tolerates pruning well, and the cuttings can be re-rooted and transplanted successfully.

Ensuring the Health of Your Trailing Jade

Regular monitoring is key to keeping your Senecio jacobsenii ‘Trailing Jade’ healthy and thriving. By addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your plant remains vibrant and beautiful for years to come.