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Crassula ovata

Jade Plants: Low-Maintenance And Attractive Houseplants

The jade plant, also known as the “money tree” or “friendship tree,” is a popular houseplant cherished for its beauty and symbolism for centuries. This hardy succulent is prized for its glossy and fleshy oval leaves, which are said to bring good luck and prosperity.

jade plant

Other names for this plant...

Money tree Dollar plant Friendship tree Lucky plant Chinese rubber plant Jade tree Baby jade Dwarf rubber plant Penny plant

About The Jade Plant

The jade plant is prized for its beauty and hardiness, making it a popular choice as a houseplant. Some of its best features and uses include:

  • With its glossy, fleshy leaves and unique shape, the jade plant adds a touch of greenery and elegance to any room.

  • In many cultures, the jade plant brings good luck and prosperity, making it a popular choice for homes and offices.

  • The jade plant is low-maintenance, requiring only occasional watering and good light to thrive.

  • Like many houseplants, the jade plant can help purify the air and improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants.

  • The jade plant’s compact size and thick, woody stems make it an ideal choice for bonsai enthusiasts.

  • It is straightforward to propagate the jade plant from stem cuttings or leaf cuttings.

Botanical Name

The botanical name of the jade plant is Crassula ovata.

Plant Type

Jade plants are succulent plants that can survive in hot, dry climates. Other key characteristics include the following:

  • Succulent plants have fleshy leaves and stems to store water and reduce water loss through transpiration.

  • They can withstand prolonged droughts due to their water-storing abilities.

  • These plants have a slow growth rate, which conserves energy and water.

  • Many succulent plants have evolved structures such as spines, hair, or thick, waxy coatings to help reduce water loss and protect them from herbivores.


The jade plant is native to arid areas of South Africa, namely the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. It is also found in Mozambique.


The jade plant is a slow-growing succulent that has a distinctive appearance. Some key features of the jade plant include:

  • The plant has glossy, fleshy leaves, typically a rich green color and oval shape. It has a shrub-like appearance.

  • The jade plant has thick, woody stems that become more pronounced as the plant matures.

  • It may produce small, star-shaped white or pale pink flowers.

  • Young jade plants often form a rosette shape, with leaves radiating from their center.

Jade has thick, fleshy leaves that store water.

Types Of Jade Plants

There are several cultivars and varieties of the jade plant, each with a unique appearance and growth habit. Some of the most common types of jade plants include:

  • Variegated jade plant: This cultivar has leaves with green and yellow or cream-colored stripes or patches.

  • “Hobbit”: This cultivar is a dwarf form of the jade plant, with small, round leaves and a compact growth habit.

  • “Gollum”: This cultivar resembles “Hobbit” but has elongated, tubular leaves resembling fingers.

  • “Giant”: As its name suggests, this cultivar is larger than other types of jade plants, reaching up to four feet tall and wide.

  • “Variegata”: This cultivar has leaves with green and white stripes, giving it a distinctive appearance.

  • “Red Tips”: This cultivar has leaves with bright red tips, adding a touch of color to the jade plant’s lush green foliage.

  • “Tricolor” or “Rainbow”: These have green leaves with cream-colored edges and pink to red tips.

  • “Hummel’s Sunset”: These have glossy, rounded, fleshy leaves with red and yellow edges.

Jade Plant Styling 

Jade plants are popular for their versatility and can be styled in several ways. Some popular options include the following:

  • You can train the plants into bonsai form, with branches and leaves trimmed and shaped to create an aesthetically pleasing miniature tree.

  • They can be grouped in containers to create a dense, lush display.

  • Jade plants can be grown in a terrarium with other succulents to create a miniature desert landscape in a glass container.

  • The plants can be trained into topiary form, with branches and leaves trimmed and shaped into a specific shape, such as a sphere or cone.

  • Jade plants can be trained or staked to grow upright or cascade over the sides of a container or wall.

Jade plants look great styled in a many different types of pots.


Jade plants are native to South Africa and are used to bright, sunny conditions. Here are some guidelines:

  • Jade plants thrive in bright light and grow best in a location with bright, filtered light, such as near a window with sheer curtains.

  • They can tolerate direct sun, but it’s best to acclimate them slowly to avoid sunburn. Gradually increase the amount of direct sun exposure over several weeks until the plant gets a few hours of direct sun each day.

  • Jade plants do not do well in low-light conditions and may become leggy or lose their lush, compact appearance if they do not receive enough light.

  • If your jade plant is in a location with full sun, moving it to a shadier spot to prevent sunburn or dehydration may be necessary.

  • Regularly rotating your jade plant will ensure that all sides receive an even amount of light and help the plant maintain its compact shape.


Correct watering is crucial for the health and longevity of jade plants. Over-watering or under-watering can lead to root rot or drought stress, respectively. Here are some guidelines for watering jade plants:

  • It is essential to water jade plants thoroughly so that water reaches the roots. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

  • Soil moisture is the best way to determine if a jade plant needs water. Insert your finger into the soil; if it feels dry to a depth of about one inch, it’s time to water.

  • Jade plants prefer to be kept on the dry side, especially in winter when growth slows. Reduce watering during the winter months to prevent root rot.

  • These plants are susceptible to fungal diseases if water is allowed to sit on the leaves for an extended period. Be sure to water the soil and not the leaves.


Jade plants are native to South Africa and are used to warm, temperate conditions. They prefer temperatures between 60 to 75°F (15 to 24°C) and can tolerate brief periods of slightly higher or lower temperatures.


Jade plants are used to dry conditions. They prefer low humidity levels between 30 and 50% but can tolerate some fluctuations.

Be careful planting them in a terrarium or placing them too close to other plants. Adequate air circulation can help to reduce humidity and prevent disease.


Jade plants prefer well-draining soil that allows excess water to escape quickly, reducing the risk of root rot. Here are some more guidelines:

  • Use a high-quality cactus or succulent potting mix to prevent root rot and keep the plant healthy.

  • To improve drainage, you can add sand or perlite to a regular potting soil mix. A 50/50 mix of potting soil and sand or perlite is ideal.

  • The jade plant does not do well in heavy soils, as it retains too much moisture and causes root rot. If the soil is heavy, amend it with sand, perlite, or other drainage-improving materials.

  • Jade plants prefer to be slightly pot-bound and do not need to be repotted frequently. However, if the soil becomes compacted or the plant has outgrown its pot, repot it into a fresh, well-draining soil mix.

  • Take care to prevent your jade plant from becoming top-heavy and tipping over.


Pruning jade plants maintain their shape and encourage new growth. Here are some guidelines:

  • The best time to prune jade plants is during the growing season, typically from spring to fall.

  • Remove any leggy growth by cutting the stem back to a set of leaves or just above a node. This will encourage branching and help the plant maintain a fuller shape.

  • If your jade plant has become too large, you can cut it back severely to promote new growth. Trim the plant just above a node and remove any dead or yellow leaves.

  • Use clean, sharp tools when pruning your jade plant. This will help prevent infection and promote healthy regrowth.


Jade plants are slow-growing succulents that don’t require a lot of fertilizer to thrive. These plants prefer a balanced fertilizer with equal nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. A water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 is ideal.

The best time to fertilize jade plants is during the growing season, typically spring to fall. Fertilize once every two to four weeks during the growing season. Over-fertilizing can cause excess growth, leading to a leggy and weak plant.

Height & Growth

The jade plant can grow into a shrub-like shape, reaching up to 3 feet tall and wide.

However, they can easily be pruned and kept as small houseplants.


The jade plant is generally non-toxic to humans. If a person ingests a significant amount of jade plant leaves, it may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.


Jade plants are toxic to pets.

Common Problems 

  • Over-watering: Jade plants are succulents and don’t need a lot of water. Over-watering can cause root rot and kill the plant.

  • Pests: Jade plants can suffer from mealybug, spider mites, and scale insect infestations. These can damage the plant and spread disease. Use neem oil to treat affected leaves but not rubbing alcohol. You can apply the oil as a spray or with a cotton swab.

  • Disease: Jade plants can be susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew, which causes yellowing and wilting of the leaves.

  • Lack of light: Jade plants prefer bright but indirect sunlight and suffer if exposed to too much direct sunlight. If your jade plant isn’t getting enough light, it may become leggy and lose its compact shape.

Jade plants need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive.

How To Propagate Jade Plant

Common methods of jade plant propagation are through stem cuttings or leaves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a succulent?

A jade plant is a succulent, but not all succulents are jade plants. Succulents come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, but all share the common characteristic of storing water and surviving in arid conditions.

What is the best type of pot for a jade plant?

The best type of pot for a jade plant is well-draining and appropriately sized based on the plant size. The pot should be slightly larger than the plant’s root ball and allow room for growth. However, it should not be so large to allow the plant to become waterlogged.

Are jade plants good luck?

Jade plants signify good luck and prosperity in Chinese, Japanese, and African cultures. This may be due to their longevity, foliage resembling coins, easy care, and aesthetics.

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