Crassula Ovata Plant (Jade plant)
Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree, is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers. It is native to South Africa and is common as a houseplant worldwide. Pachira Aquatica also receives this nickname.
Crassula ovata Description
The jade plant is an evergreen with thick branches. It has thick, shiny, smooth, leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are rich jade green, although some may appear to be more of a yellow-green. Some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight. New stem growth is the same color and texture as the leaves but becomes brown and woody with age. Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink star-like flowers in early spring.
Crassula ovata Cultivation
As a succulent, Crassula ovata requires little water in the summer, and even less in the winter. The jade plant is a little susceptible to overwatering. C. ovata is famous for garnishing a red tinge around its leaves when grown with bright sunlight. In more extreme cases, the green color of the plant is lost and 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. The jade plant also does best in rich, well-draining soil. The plant also flowers in the wintertime, particularly during a cooler, darker, dry spell. C. ovata is sometimes attacked by mealybugs, a common nuisance of succulents.
Crassula ovata Propagation
Jade plants propagate readily from both with success rates higher with cuttings. In the wild, propagation is the jade plant’s main method of reproduction. Branches regularly fall off wild jade plants and these branches may root and form new plants.
While propagation methods may vary, most will follow similar steps. Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity affect the speed at which the roots and new plants develop. Foliage usually appears soon after new roots have formed.
Crassula ovata Bonsai
The jade plant is well known for its bonsai capabilities since it 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.