Jade Plant

Crassula ovata

Friendship Tree, Jade Tree, Money Tree, Japanese Rubberplant, Japanese-Laurel, Kerky-Bush, Baby Jade, Cauliflower-Ears, Dollarplant, Umxhalagube

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Crassula ovata
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Crassula ovata are known commonly as Jade Plants. They are one of the most common houseplants due to their ease of care, thriving in both full sun and partial shade, and their tolerance of neglect. You can forget about watering this plant for a good while it'll cope just fine! This species is a succulent, evergreen shrub with branches and stems that develop a gnarled, woody, aged look with time, making this species a popular bonsai specimen. The jade plant flowers abundantly, given the correct conditions: cool nights, bright days and a lack of water. The white to light pink flowers have a faint scent of soap and they attract a variety of insects. The plant is believed to bring you luck. Historically, the roots were used as food and the rest of the plant, medicinally. Please note that Crassula species are toxic to cats and dogs.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Autumn

Fruiting time

Winter

Harvesting

Collect the seeds once the flowers have dried up.​

Propagation

Seed

The fine seeds are distributed by the wind. Mix the fine seeds with well draining soil, spread out in a thin layer, moisten the soil, create humidity with a plastic cover until germination.

Cuttings

The genus Crassula can be easily propagated from leaves. Simply remove cleanly from the mother plant, leave callus for a few days until the wound has closed and place on soil or in water and wait for roots to develop. Roots usually grow first to seek out water, followed by new leaves. This may take anywhere from a week to a few months and there is no need to water propagating succulents as they will glean all the nutrition and moisture they require from their mother leaf, which will shrivel up over time. The original leaf may be gently removed once it has dried up and become crispy in texture, only remove if it comes away easily otherwise you risk damaging the baby plant.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

The abundant flowers will attract bees, beetles, butterflies, wasps and flies.

Drought resistant

This plant is like a succulent able to store water in its leaves, branches and stems and therefore does not require much water. Let the soil dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.

Pot plant

The jade plant grows very well in a pot given that it has enough light and is not exposed to frost and has good drainage.

Attractive leaves

Attractive flowers

Indoor plant

Usually grown indoors in good light, therefore close to a window.

Special features

Origin

South Africa, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam, Sand, Clay

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

The Khoi and other Africa tribes uses the jade plant medicinally by boiling the leaves in milk for the treatment of diarrhea.

Edible

The Khoi used to eat the roots by grating it as preparation before cooking and served it with thick milk.

Notes

Crassula ovata is a wonderful sculptural plant for pots, tubs, rockeries, retaining walls and gravel gardens and is the ideal plant for a water-wise garden. It can also be grown in pots indoors.

Personality

Family

Crassulaceae

Flower colour

Pink, White

Scent

Mild

Problems

Crassula are susceptible to Mealybugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, overwatering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. Regularly monitor plants for pest-related symptoms such as sudden loss of vigour or leaf discolouration.

Credits

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Crassula ovata by Christien Malan & Alice Notten, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, May 2005 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)

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