Crassula ovata, commonly known as Jade Plant, Friendship Tree, Lucky Plant, or Money Tree, is a succulent plant and one of the most famous and popular houseplants / indoor plants. In some countries they were frequently given as wedding presents or as house warming gifts.
Jade plant is known not only for its ease of propagation, amazing longevity and ease of care, but also for its bonsai capabilities. This plant forms a bonsai very easily when pruning is done correctly. Many who learn bonsai begin with a jade plant, since they are durable, easy to put through the bonsai process, and attractive.
Crassula ovata is a rubbery-stemmed evergreen shrub with fleshy thick, shiny, smooth, jade green (hence its name) leaves that look outstanding year round. Some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight. With age Jade plant stems become thick tree like branches, brown and woody. Crassula ovata can grow quite big over the years, but it also makes an outstanding landscape specimen in regions with mild winters.
With the right care, in late-winter or spring Jade plant may produce a wealth of tiny, starry white or pinkish flowers.
Actually there are two main “money trees”, the Jade Plant and the other is Pachira Aquatica, which is also commonly known as the Money Tree, and had long been popular as an ornamental in Japan. The name “money tree” seems to refer to a story of its origin, where a poor man prayed for money, found this “odd” plant, took it home as an omen, and made money selling plants grown from its seeds.
Jade Plant is a popular good luck charm in Asia thought to activate financial energies. Vibrant green leaves of the plant are symbols of growth and renewal, closely resembling jade coins, symbols of wealth and prosperity.
Lucky Plant is used strongly in Feng Shui, the idea of which is to harmonise human existence with the surrounding environment. Placing Jade Plants in east locations is good for family harmony, health, initiation of projects, scholarly pursuits; in southeast locations for wealth luck; in west locations for creativity or children luck; and in northwest locations for the luck of mentors, teachers and helpful people.
But the truth is, it is possible to use any healthy, vibrant plant as a money plant, because the meaning of the symbol is in its energy. The energy of the feng shui money tree is in its vibrant and well-rooted energy; a growing energy that you would like to see reflected in your own money.
photo by Emmanuelm
Common names: Jade Plant, Jade Tree, Friendship Tree, Lucky Plant, Money Tree, Chinese Rubber Plant, Baby Jade, Japanese Rubber Plant.
Synonyms: Crassula argentea, Crassula portulacea
Cultivars: ‘Monstruosa’ (syn. ‘Gollum’ (Gollum Jade), ‘Hobbit’ (Hobbit Jade, Finger Jade), ‘Cristata’), ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ (Golden Jade Tree), ‘Tricolor’
Native: South Africa and Mozambique
Plant type: evergreen Cactus or Succulent
Hardiness: USDA Hardiness Zone 9 – 13
Light: Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil: Loam, Sand, Neutral, Well-Drained
Moisture: Drought-Tolerant, Do not overwater, Water moderately when in growth, very sparingly when dormant
Flowering period: Spring, Winter. The plant also flowers in the wintertime, particularly during a cooler, darker, dry spell.
Flower Color: White, Light Pink, Ivory
Repeat Bloomer: No
Height: 60 – 270 cm (2 – 9 in)
Spread: 60 – 150 cm (2 – 5 in)
Time to plant: Spring
Propagation: By seed sown as soon as ripe; by offsets; by root, stem or leaf cuttings. When leaves get knocked off, just wait a day for the edges to dry and then they are ready to get into fresh moist compost. The part, which gets into the soil is the one that was attached to the stem. Keep warm, the soils should be barely moist and provide bright light protected from direct sunlight.
Stem cuttings need to be treated in exactly the same way as leaf cuttings. This way should work quicker than leaf cuttings. With stems you can also just go with the glass of water – stick your soft-stem cutting into the water (water should cover just a small part of teh stem) and wait when you see the roots 🙂
Uses: Houseplant, Ornamental, Container, Foundation, Border, Rock Garden, Tropical
Fertilizer: Feed established Jade Plants balanced liquid fertiliser 2 or 3 times in the growing season
Has Thorns: No
Toxicity: Toxic to dogs and cats (ASPCA). For humans, the jade plant is considered to be minor in toxicity.
• Don’t let the temperature go below 10°C / 50°F
• Crassula ovata may get a red tinge around its leaves when grown with bright sunlight. If it gets hotter and brighter, the green colour of the plant can be replaced by yellow. This is caused by the jade plant making pigments such as carotenoids to protect from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
• Leaves can be olive green to reddish color in the chill of winter or when plants are highly water deprived. If nipped by light frosts, leaves may become spotted; hard freezes will cause stem dieback.
• With good care and right conditions you can expect slow to moderate growth of the plant in the early years. Once it has reached maturity no matter what you do, growth will be slower.
• Crassula ovata doesn’t need frequent repotting.
Do you grow Crassula ovata (Jade Plant) in your garden? What is your experience with this plant? Please share with other fellow gardeners in the comments below!
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Safety notes: This website is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice, and please check with your doctor before using plants if you are pregnant, using medications or have other health conditions.