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My brother has a tree on his balcony and he forgot what kind it is. Its leaves turned brown pretty quickly when it got there which I assume is caused by a too fast exposure to too much sunlight.

I would like to know what the problem here is. It's on the southside of the balcony and he usually waters it in the evening. The tree stayed like this the whole time it has been there, which is now a few months.

  • The red coloration only appears on these plants (Crassula ovata) when they're in full sunlight a lot of the day - this one is clearly receiving a lot of direct sun. If your brother wants green leaves, I'm afraid he needs to move it to a much shadier spot, or somewhere with dappled sunlight instead. The red should fade slowly if the plant is moved out of direct sunlight, as the leaves return to green. – Bamboo Jul 18 '18 at 20:39
  • The leaves make it seem like it's getting a lot of sun, but the open growth habit belies that. I would expect a plant with that level of sun exposure would be a lot more compact and less "leggy" than this one. – Tim Nevins Jul 19 '18 at 13:42
  • @Tim Nevins The plant is in the sun pretty much the whole day. But it wasn't outside all the time before it got there I guess. – Sebau-nu-mu Jul 19 '18 at 13:57
  • This is a great point, Tim Nevins. This has not been the normal environment for this Jade Plant. Sebau-nu-mu when was this plant taken to the out of doors? I am assuming you weren't able to acclimate before placing in the direct sunlight. Plants are SO tough. Have you ever fertilized this plant? All plants need some fertilizer ADDED. "Less is Best, More is Death and None is Dumb" considering fertilizer. – stormy Jul 20 '18 at 1:15
  • The red could also be deficiency in some of the chemistry necessary for plants to do photosynthesis. When plants are in the sun they had better have perfect chemistry with which to do photosynthesis...those shops of chlorophyll are in high operation and thus will NEED a bit of added chemistry. Not 'NUTRIENTS'...a balanced fertilizer applied at least 1/2 the directions is critical. Otherwise the coloring is an effort to protect the fragile cells beneath the epidermis that wasn't thick enough to protect, so the epidermis changed the color to 'shade' the fragile leaves of this Jade. – stormy Jul 20 '18 at 1:15
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It is a Jade plant or Crassula ovata, or money tree. It is a succulent which means it can handle periods of less water (daily watering is not necessary).

The red coloring is probably because of the sudden sun light exposure. If plants are not used to full sunlight yet, they need to adjust slowly. This is done by putting the plant only a few hours first in the full light and increase that period bit by bit, day by day until after a week (or 2) the plant is adjusted to full light for the whole day.

I don't think the red color will disappear, only when new leaves are formed.

| improve this answer | |
  • Nice description of acclimation... – stormy Jul 20 '18 at 1:17
  • Haha, thanks @stormy. That's a description of acclimation you get from non-native English speaker... – benn Jul 20 '18 at 15:03

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