Succulents have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with houseplants being no exception. Jade plant (Crassula ovata) has long been a favorite of houseplant enthusiasts for its round fleshy leaves, distinct tree-like form, and undemanding nature.
Also known as lucky plant, money plant or money tree, jade plant signifies luck, prosperity and friendship in many Asian cultures. It’s considered good feng shui to keep a jade plant by the front door to welcome money into the home. These revered plants are often given as housewarming or congratulatory gifts.
Jade plant care is easy and simple. Many people enjoy growing jade plants in their homes and offices, and they are considered to be symbols of good luck. But you do not need to be lucky to learn what the proper care and maintenance of jade plants is. Keep reading to learn how to care for a jade plant.
Growing The Plant
The Jade plant has rather thick branches.
It has the potential to grow up to 6’ feet tall, but it’s also known for its bonsai properties. This means the foliage looks as good as the grooming job.
It will grow as a tree, bush, or regular tiny plant. Jade plants create white or pink flowers in the fall. However, some varieties or subtypes can flower multiple times a year. What’s interesting is direct sunlight exposure may alter the color of the leaves. While they should remain jade green throughout their lifetime if grown indoors, plants kept outside may develop a yellow tint or even reddish tips.
Jade plants need plenty of light and plenty of water. As far as temperatures are concerned, anything between 50° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit (10° – 24° C) is considered acceptable.
Fertilizer is required if you plan on growing the plant inside.
Propagating Jade Plant
The jade plant is well-known for its ease of propagation, and new plants can be easily propagated from a single leaf from a mother plant. To do so, take a leaf or cutting that is at least two to three inches in length and allow it to sit for several days in a warm, dry place.
Once a scab forms over the cut area, you can plant the cutting scab-side down into a pot filled with succulent or cacti mix. Place the pot in a warm spot with bright sunlight until you notice the cutting has sent out roots. Once the piece appears to be firmly rooted in the soil, water it deeply and care for it as normal.
Soil for Jade Plants
The correct soil medium cannot be stressed enough. As stated above, a sand and perlite mix works well for cuttings. Quick drainage is key to avoid root rot and disease. Succulents, such as jade, are native to arid environments and cannot withstand constantly moist conditions. Potting soil has a high amount of organic matter that retains moisture and should be avoided. Amending potting soil with sand and perlite works, but it must contain enough sand/perlite to allow quick drainage.
Watering a Jade Plant
One of the most important things when you care for jade plants is to make sure that they are watered properly. Never let a jade plant dry out completely. But also, do not water a jade plant too often, as this can cause root rot. Don’t water your jade plant on a schedule. Rather, water your jade plant when the top of soil is just dry to the touch.
If your jade plant is losing leaves or has leaf spots, this is most commonly caused by too little water.