Intro: Also known as the friendship tree, lucky plant or money tree is a South African native succulent that blooms with small, star-shaped pink or white flowers in the right conditions. Jade plants are one of the easiest succulents to grow, and there are many cultivars, including ET’s Finger, Hobbit, Gollum and Shrek, which have interesting leaf shapes; Bronze Beauty and Sunset, which have different-colored leaves; Compact Jade and others, which are miniatures; and other jade plant varieties. If you keep them in bright sunlight, they get a red “stress color” at the edges of their green leaves. The jade plant grows up to 3 feet tall.
Jade Plant Scientific Name: Crassula ovata
Plant Type: Succulent plant
Jade Plant Light Requirements: Full sun. If grown in bright light, your jade plant will get red around its green leaves.
Watering the Jade Plant: Keep your jade plant in well-draining potting soil and make sure to not overwater it. Because it is a succulent, it doesn’t need a lot of water, especially in the cooler winter months. Depending on how hot and dry the weather is, you may only need to water this plant every couple of weeks.
How to Fertilize the Jade Plant: Use a balanced slow-release all-purpose fertilizer to fertilize your jade plant once or twice a year. Begin fertilizing once you see new growth in spring and summer, and discontinue fertilizing your jade plant when it stops growing. If you use a liquid fertilizer, feed more often, but don’t give it the complete dose all at once.
Jade Plant Planting Zones: The jade plant does well in planting zones 10 and 11. Gardeners with the jade plant growing in any hardiness zones colder than 10 should bring these plants indoors during the cold winter months.
Jade Plant Pests and Diseases: Watch for mealybugs, spider mites, snails and aphids, which are common insect pests found on the jade plant. Diseases can include powdery mildew and oedema. Mildew is caused by overwatering, and oedema (when a plant takes up more water than it needs), stop watering it so much, move it to a sunnier spot and increase air circulation around the jade plant.
How to Propagate the Jade Plant: Propagate the jade plant by taking cuttings or clippings of leaves or stems from the mother plant. To take jade plant “cuttings,” just gently twist a healthy leaf off the mother plant and let the leaf sit out in the sun for several days to a week so it can form a callus. Gently push the pointy side down into a cactus or succulent potting mix and wait! Jade plants grow slowly, so be patient. Keep them out of full sun until the jade plant cuttings are established.
Misc. Info About the Jade Plant: You can also grow the jade plant as a bonsai by pruning it to stay small or to look like a small tree. The older growth appears more woody than new growth. For best jade plant growth, spray a mist of water over the leaves in order to clean dust from the leaves. Remember to repot this plant every year or two when it becomes root-bound.