Crassula ovata, commonly referred to as Jade Plant, lucky plant, money plant, dollar plant, baby jade or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers that is native to the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape province of South Africa and Mozambique. It is common as a houseplant worldwide.
Jade plants feature thick and woody stems with oval leaves, giving them the appearance of a small tree rather than a houseplant. These plants are easy to care as they can be grown indoors in pots and planters. They can also be grown outside.
Jade plants are succulents and they grow best in dry conditions with bright, low humidity and cool temperatures. In this article finds in-depth information to the last details on everything you need to know about Jade plants.
Jade Plant Profile
|Native to South Africa and Mozambique.
|Jade Plant, Friendship tree/plant, dollar plant, lucky plant, money plant; Chinese rubber plant, baby jade.
|Any dilute succulent fertilizer
|It can grow up to 4 ft when pruned as a bonsai. If it is left to grow without pruning, it can grow into a medium bush of up to 6 ft.
|Does not require much light exposure (it only requires between 5-6 hours of indirect light).
|Requires more water during summer especially in cases where the soil is dry. Requires less water in during the water.
|Average room temperature
|Rich, well-draining soil
|Averagely (dry climate is more preferable)
|Root cutting and leaves
|Indoor jade plants are rarely attacked by pests. Common pasts that affect outdoor plants include Mealybugs, Spider mites and slugs.
Planting Jade Plant
Requirements For Planting Jade Plant
- It very easy to propagate the Jade plant. You only need to take a root cutting or stem and leaf cuttings.
- The most important factors to consider when growing jade house plants is water, light, temperature and fertilizer.
- Choose a good sturdy pot of a reasonable size with a moderate depth.
- Choose a soil with a good drainage as excess moisture is susceptible to fungal diseases like root rot. Alternatively, you can consider using a pre-made succulent or cacti potting mix.
- After planting a jade plant, avoid watering the plant immediately, it is advisable to wait for several days (at least 7 days) to give the roots ample time to recover from any cuts or damage.
How To Propagate A Jade Plant From A Leaf Or Stem Cutting
- Take a leaf or a stem cutting from a mature plant. The best stem cutting should be between 3-4 inches in length and have at least two pairs of leaves. After you have obtained your leaf or cutting, you need to allow it to sit for several days (7 days) in a warm place. During the drying period, the stem will develop a callous over the cut area; this facilitates rooting and discourages rotting.
- After a few days (7 days) of sitting in a warm place, you can now begin to prepare your pot for planting. Take your all-purpose potting mix and mix it with some perlite in the ratio of 2:1 to improve drainage.
- Depending on the part of the plant you want to propagate the planting process is very simple. If you have decided to use the stem cutting, place it upright in the soil. Make sure the stem cutting remains upright. If you are using the leaf, take the leaf and lay it on top of the soil horizontally, covering the cut end with a little soil.
- Take the pot and position it in a place with bright indirect sunlight. At this point, please avoid watering the stem cutting or the leaf. This is in order to give the roots ample time to recover from any cuts or damage.
- After a period of 14 days, you will notice the leaf or stem cutting will have started sending out roots. After another 14 days try to check if the plant has well rooted itself in the soil. You can do this by trying to give the plant a gentle poke or a tug.
- Once you are satisfied that the plant is well rooted in the soil. You can now begin to water it carefully. If the plant is not well rooted in the soil, still do not water it. While watering, make sure your watering penetrates the deep layers of the pot because wetting the surface has a potential of causing the roots to spread near the surface of the top instead of growing downwards.
- Allow the soil to dry out before you can think of watering it again and keep the plant away from exposure to intense direct sunlight until it is well established in the soil.
Caring For Jade Plant
Jade Plant grows effectively at room temperature ranges, that is, 65oF to 75oF (18o to 24oC). The cooler night and winter temperatures ( 55oF/13oC) are also effective to the plant’s growth. More importantly, you need to know that Jade plants are not frost tolerant, in such a damp weather; they lose their color and turn yellow and mushy. Therefore, if the plant has been outdoors during summer, you need to bring it indoors once air temperature begins to fall to around 8oC in autumn.
Jade plant like any other plant requires to be watered effectively especially during the periods of active growth. Therefore, watering the plant as required is very important.
Spring and summer are considered to be jade plant’s periods of active growth and indeed during this time, water requirement by the plant is at all time high than any other period of the year. In this regard, you will be required to water it at least once a week or twice a month, depending on how the soil quickly dries up. While watering, make sure you water it deeply.
During the fall and winter, the plant is known to be in the period of inactive growth, whereby the rate of growth slows down significantly or stops entirely. When the plant is in this period, the water its requirements drops drastically and therefore you will be required to water it less frequently than it is the case during the spring and summer.
Large and well matured Jade plants may not necessarily require watering at all throughout the entire dormancy period and if there is need of watering then it should only be once. For small jades and others that are not well established, you will need to water them at most three times.
Jade plants can be sensitive to salts in tap water, therefore water with filtered or distilled water if your tap is water is not ideal.
Light or sunlight plays an important role to the growth of any plant. Jade plant will achieve maximum when positioned in the areas that receives moderate to a lot of sunlight. Partially sunny and partially shady areas are also good for the growth of Jade plant.
More importantly, Outdoor Jade plants might not also grow well under areas that receives scotching sun, therefore be careful not to grow it in places that receives intense sunlight. One sign that your plant is receiving intense or scotching sunlight is if it starts to look yellowish or leggy. In this regard, you will increase your watering routine or transfer it to a partially shady place.
For indoor jade plant, avoid placing it in windowless rooms, always keep it near the window and it will still grow effectively. Try to keep the plant at least 1.5 ft from a window.
When it comes to soil, use your regular potting soil mixture as long as it does not contain too much moisture. Soil mixture with proper draining and aerating is usually a major requirement for the growth of succulent plants like jade plant. If your soil type holds more moisture, try to add coconut coir and pine bark to make the soil aerated and drainage-friendly.
Jade plant requires a small amount of fertilizer. Use a diluted mix of a standard liquid houseplant fertilizer or a fertilizer made for cacti and succulents. However, while applying the fertilizer, you need to read the manufacturer’s instructions and apply only the instructed amount.
For best care, you need to fertilize the plant at least once every month. You also need to know that the fertilizer should be applied in the evening because applying it during the day time can burn the plant roots.
More importantly, avoid fertilizing the jade plant when the soil is dry because this can damage the roots of the jade plant. Also, note that, during the period of plant dormancy (winter) fertilizing your plant is not needed, and should therefore be avoided.
Low humidity is significant for the growth of Jade plant. For indoor Jade plant, you can place it outside the balcony during the day or near the window; make sure that the window is open to keep the air around it circulating.
Repotting Jade Plants
Repotting does not necessarily mean changing a plant’s current planter but rather, changing its soil or potting mix. Fresh soil means new nutrients. Here is how to report a jade plant.
- Make sure the soil is moderately dry before reporting then gently remove the pot.
- Knock away oil soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process.
- Brush off the excess soil from the plant with your hand. Check if there is any damage.
- Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot.
- Water the plant to set the soil mixture. Make sure it drains well.
Pests And Diseases Affecting Jade Plants
- Mealybugs –Mealybugs are insects common in moist, warm habitats. They feed on plant juices of greenhouse plants, house plants and subtropical trees and also act as a vector for several plant diseases. Mealybug infestations appear on plants as tiny, soft-bodied insects surrounded by a fuzz, white mess and around the stems and leaf nodes. Over time, their damage causes the leaves to yellow and eventually drop from the plant.
- Powdery Mildew– Powdery Mildew is a fungal disease that affects a wide range of plants. They are common in warm and wet weather. Powdery mildew looks like powdery splotches of white or gray that appears on the leaves and stems of plants. When most of the plant leaf surface is affected by powdery mildew, photosynthesis is greatly affected and the infected leaves will often fall prematurely.
- Root rot: Root rot is a disease that attacks the roots of plants growing in wet or damp soil. It is common in both indoor and outdoor plants. Prolonged exposure to excess water causes waterlogging, which interferes with aeration of the roots, leading to low oxygenation and decay. Roots of plants affected by root rot may turn from firm and white to black/brown and soft.
- Aphids: Aphids are small soft-bodied insects that feed by sucking the nutrient-rich liquids out of plants. Most aphids like to suck succulent new growth. They cause curling, stunted or yellowing of leaves. Some aphid species cause galls to form on roots or leaves.
- Leaf Spot: Leaf spots are round blemishes found on the leaves of many species of plants, mostly caused by parasitic fungi or bacteria. Spotted leaves occur when fungal spores in the air find a warm, wet, plant surface to cling to. The spots will vary in size and color depending on the affected plant. The spots are most often brownish, but may be tan or black. When many spots are present, they can grow together and become a blight or a blotch.
Are Jade Plants Poisonous?
According to ASPCA, Jade plants are known to be poisonous to dogs, cats and horses. Depression, vomiting, slow heart rate, restlessness and lethargy are common symptoms that can tell you that your pet or horse has ingested the jade plant.
Symptoms of jade plant poisoning may manifest quickly. Do not attempt to treat jade plant poisoning symptoms at home, you need to consult your vet immediately as soon you notice you suspect your dog to have ingested the plant.
If you have grown the Jade plant in your compound, there are some practically measure you can take in order to prevent the pets from reaching and eating the plant. Well, consider displaying the jade plant at a height that your pets find it difficult to reach. Alternatively, you can spray the leaves with a plant-safe deterrent spray that provides a smell that your pets will hate or place it on an unpleasant surface such as tinfoil. Moreover, make sure your pet has other toys or objects around that will distract them from wanting to play with the jade.
Jade plant has also been found to be mildly poisonous or toxic to humans upon ingestion, causing minor symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
Pruning The Jade Plant
Just like other plants, some types of Jade plant have ability to grow 5 feet tall and therefore pruning becomes necessary. However, what is important to note is that pruning usually comes with some risks to the plant as the pruned or trimmed areas of the plant become susceptible or exposed to bacteria. In this regard it is necessary to consider pruning your Jade plant during periods of active growth and that is during spring and summer.
During the period of active growth, the rate of plant recovery is faster and therefore should you decide to prune your plant, you will need to only cut off 1/3 of its height and avoid cutting into the main branch.
Tips For Pruning A Jade
- Always use sharp and sterile tools to avoid damaging your plant
- Never remove more than 20%-30% of the plant.
- Avoid throwing away the pruned parts; they can be re-potted to make new jades.
- Always prune during the spring and summer.
Varieties Of Jade Plant
There are many Crassula ovata varieties from the standard, green-leafed jade to a number of variegated varieties. Here are some of common varieties that can be recommended to anyone out there who wants to give growing jade plant a try:
- ‘Hummel’s Sunset’– This variety has beautiful yellow and red-tipped leaves.
- ‘Tricolor’ – This variety has leaves variegated with white and cream.
- ‘ET’s Fingers’– This variety has tubular leaves with red tips.