Crassula is a large genus of succulents that are often seen at garden centers in many different shapes, ranging from small compact plants to large tree-like shrubs.This spectrum of features makes them excellent plants for use in container gardening, the rockery, as stand alone plants or in dish gardens of mixed succulents.
Native to South Africa, jade plants were once thought to bring good luck to their owners, so are often given as housewarming gifts. Because they’re typically only grown indoors, they can be brought home or started at any time, either from a professional nursery or through propagation.
Succulent plants can be fun and easy-to-grow plants for a home gardener, especially when given the correct conditions. Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are among the many good choices and are available in several cultivars with different forms and growth habits.
Jade Plant also referred to as Lucky Plant or Pink Joy produce fleshy oval leaves on thick stalks and can quickly grow into a shrub-like plant that reaches heights of 5 feet when grown indoors.The leaves may be edged in red depending on the species and cultivar.These tough succulents require little care, making them a smart choice if you’re a novice, but they are attractive enough to capture your attention if you’re a houseplant expert.
Crassula ovata flowers appear on mature plants in late winter or early spring. These small, star-shaped white or pink flowers grow in clusters. The flowers start as buds covered with pink sepals, which then open. Two or three clusters of flowers will open when the plant blooms. Jade plants grown indoors rarely bloom, however, due to lack of sunlight.
Jade plants grown outdoors with enough sunlight may bloom. If your jade plant blooms, you’ve found its happy place. Leave the plant in that spot and if conditions force you to move the plant into shelter for the winter, return the plant to that same happy spot when conditions allow. Jade plants do require special attention to avoid becoming top-heavy and tipping the plant pot over. Different varieties of jade (crassula ovata) include:
- Hobbit Jade
- Hummel’s Sunset
- Botany Bay
- Baby’s Necklace
- Propeller Plant
- Gandalf Jade
- Harbour Lights
- Blue Bird
- Red pagoda
- Ripple Jade
- Miniature jade
- Pink Beauty
- Tricolor Jade
- Bear paw jade
- Tiger jade
- Silver Dollar Jade
- Weeping Jade
- Gandalf Jade
- Crosby Red
- Campfire Jade
- Undulata Jade
- Sienna Jade
- Ruby Jade
Hobbit Jade plant grows up to three feet tall. The stubby, 2-inch green leaves are tubular with curled edges and bright red tips, leading some people to compare the plant to sea coral. As with other succulents, the leaves are fleshy and filled with water, and larger plants have woody stems. The small, star-shaped flowers are white or pale pink, but they only bloom under ideal conditions.
Hummel’s Sunset Jade
‘Hummel’s Sunset’ (Golden Jade Tree) grows slowly to 2 to 3 feet tall with leaves about the same size as the common jade plant, Crassula ovata. Unlike the green leaves of the species, the leaves of this cultivar take on spectacular hues with the upper portion of the leaves having a golden yellow color and the edges ochre, especially during the cooler months of the year. The late fall to winter flowers are white with a hint of lavender.
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Botany Bay Jade
This is a fairly recent variety of the Crassula ovata, which first appeared in the market in 2011.These types of jade plants have characteristic coin-shaped leaves and so it’s commonly associated with class. One of the attractive features of this jade species is the light jade-green foliage with red margins. The red color of the foliage becomes more pronounced in the winter months and dry conditions. Under ideal conditions, the plant can grow up to 3 feet in height over 5 years.
Baby’s Necklace is a vibrant grower with flat, button-like leaves that encase the stems like beads on a string. Its minty green foliage has contrasting pink to red edges that intensify in direct sun. This variety can grow as a ground cover in frost-free areas, but it also looks fantastic trailing from a hanging basket. This variety produces small white flowers in terminal racemes.
The Red Pagoda is a variable, branching perennial succulent. At first, it appears as pink tinged rosettes and, later, leaves become pagoda-shaped and turn red. The thick, spirally-arranged leaves are bordered with bright pink, red or sometimes orange. Each new rosette grows above an older rosette. New leaves are mostly green and small but increase in size and colour as they descend the plant’s stem. The plant is also called shark’s tooth due to the triangular serrated pads. White, star-shaped flowers are produced in autumn, making this a popular choice as a houseplant (in frost-prone areas) or in a cool or temparate greenhouse.
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Propeller Plant Jade
Crassula falcata commonly known as airplane or propeller plant because the gray-green leaves are shaped like airplane propellers and radiate out horizontally, in pairs. The overall look is reminiscent of the propellers on a plane. The flowers are tiny and scarlet red, that rise in dense clusters above the foliage and bloom for nearly a month in summer.The propeller plant can grow up to two feet tall.This bold flowering succulent grows well in pots, hanging baskets, banks and rock gardens. It is adapted to full sun, good drainage and low amounts of supplemental water.
Gandalf jade is a newer, compact hybrid Jade Plant featuring bright green, tubular succulent foliage with spoon-shaped suction like cups. The gorgeous, scarlet red margins are most pronounced with full sun exposure. This variety was developed by hybridizing gollum jade and baby jade. This is a small, slow-growing, low maintenance plant that is perfect for novice gardeners.
Crassula Ovata’ Harbour Lights’ is a Jade Plant variety that grows green but turns sunset red when cooler months approach.The trunk is stubby, with small flowers growing on the tips in ideal conditions. The plant is suitable for seaside planting since it can tolerate sandy soil. The leaves are relatively small, but the plant grows dense enough to spread like a bonsai.
The monstruosa jade plant comprises two varieties, the monstruosa Gollum and monstruosa Hobbit, named after the character from the movie Lord of the Rings. These two varieties of plants can be distinguished by their leaves. The monstruosa Gollum variety has tubular shaped leaves with a reddish tint, while the monstruosa Hobbit has curled leaves. Even at their maximum height, Hobbits are smaller and shrubbier compared to Gollums.
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Blue Bird Jade
Crassula ‘Blue Bird’ is an attractive succulent shrub that grows up to 2-3 feet tall with opposite pairs of erect bluish-gray elongated and twisted leaves on a much-branched pseudo-tree. It produces whitish star flowers whose glossy petals are wider than most Crassula cultivars. Crassula ‘Blue Bird’ was introduced and described by Dr. B.K Boom in the Dutch journal Succulenta in 1963 as Crassula portulacea ‘Blauwe Vogel’ (which translates to “blue bird”)
Crassula Blue Waves resembles a small, dense shrubby jade plant with very attractive greenish-blue glaucus undulating leaves. It is moderately slow growing and with age will become a dense 2’-4’ mound of undulating leaves. As it matures, leaves can be laced out to reveal the stems creating a beautiful bonsai type effect. When the weather cools, the leaves can take on a reddish tint around their edges. Like other Jade plants, Crassula Blue waves is a tough, easy-to-grow plant. In late-winter to early spring, when few other plants bloom, older plants will flower and are covered by pretty pinkish-white star-shaped blooms (typical of Crassulaceae). The petals on this cultivar are wider than most giving the flowers more presence. Bees and other helpful insects are attracted to the flowers.
Ripple jade, also called curly jade is the waviest of the Jade Plants. Its waxy, blue-green leaves can flush fuchsia at the edges when stressed with full sun, drought, or cold temperatures. In the wild, it grows en masse on rocky slopes in South Africa, but it also works well as a landscaping shrub in frost-free climates and as a potted house plant everywhere else. When given room to grow, Ripple Jade will form a dense, mounding shrub up to 3.0′ tall. It responds well to pruning, however, which reveals its thick, succulent branches for a tree-like, bonsai appearance. Flowers are a rare sight on this Jade, but it can produce clusters of white, star-shaped blossoms in late winter.
Sometimes called elephant bush, the mini or miniature jade plant is a dwarf jade plant, that does not grow over 35 inches. It is characterized with small, fleshy, teardrop-shaped leaves and reddish-brown stems.The foliage of the miniature jade is not very dense and has a tree-like appearance. The plant grows white and pink colored flowers during the winter months. This jade can enhance any home balcony or courtyard and equally, and looks great as a tabletop decoration. It’s also popular as a party favor or gift.
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Pink beauty is a multi-stemmed jade variety holding glossy-green obovate leaves with red margins. It grows to 3-5 feet tall by nearly as wide with pale pink star-like flowers in clusters within the foliage in late fall through winter. The fragrant flowers are unusually profuse, giving the plant a frothy pink look.Pink Beauty’ is perfect for residential gardens and containers.
Tiger jade is a small, mat-forming variety of jade. This dwarf variety can show green to plum tones and its leaves are speckled with small dots. It forms a neat rosette and over time it can mound up into a formidable colony. This easy grower tolerates indoor growing conditions well. It blooms with tiny, pale pink flowers.
Silver Dollar Jade
Silver dollar jade is an attractive small shrub with multiple thick stems that can grow to 4 feet tall. It is vibrant grower whether kept indoors as a potted plant or grown outside as a dense, mounding shrub in frost-free climates. Its silvery leaves are outlined in pink and dotted with hydathodes for drought tolerance. They can even flush purple in response to drought and sun exposure. Indoor growing, small pots, and pruning will keep Silver Dollar Jade in a small, manageable size.
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Variegated jade plant also referred to as Tricolor jade will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It features showy clusters of white star-shaped flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches from late winter to early spring. The flowers are excellent for cutting. It has attractive green foliage with white stripes and tinges of buttery yellow. The succulent round leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. The smooth khaki (brownish-green) bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.
Crassula Ovata ‘Crosby’s Dwarf’, also known as ‘Crosby’s Compact, Crosby’s Red, and Red Dwarf Jade Plant’ is a compact, branched slow growing variety of jade, growing to 2 to 3 feet tall with thick stems that hold obovate leaves that are green with red margins and new leaves that can be suffused entirely with red tones. The white star-like flowers appear in clusters within at the tips of the foliage in late fall through winter.
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Campfire jade has bright, lime green leaves with flaming orange red tips. Sometimes the entire plant turns red. This crassula gets tiny white flowers on upright, 6 to 8 inch stalks in early spring. When grown in shade, the leaves are bright apple green most of the year. These crassula succulent plants can take full sun to light shade, love heat and are easy to root and grow. They will change color depending on the amount of sunlight they get. The leaves on this succulent can either appear as bright apple green or flaming red.
Lemon and Lime Jade
Lemon and lime jade is a variegated, slow growing, elegantly branched succulent shrub can grow up to 4 feet tall, with attractive green foliage striped in ivory and pale yellow. The succulent leaves are up to 2 inches long and are often tipped with a pink margin on the new growth and when grown in the sun. The segmented branches may be brown or grey-green in color. The white, star-shaped flowers with pink overtones grow in showy clusters at the ends of the branches from late winter to early spring.
Trailing or Weeping Jade
The trailing jade has thick, spoon-shaped leaves in a bright shade of green but they grow to larger sizes than the regular jade plant leaves and overlap like shingles. Trailing jade leaves also tend to stand upright from their stems which gives them a lush and elegant look, especially when the branches trail down a wall or from a hanging basket. Branches can grow to 4 feet long in the right conditions. Flowers are bright orange and appear in late fall or early winter.