Jade plant (Crassula ovata)



Jade plant (Crassula ovata syn. Crassula argentea, Crassula portulacea and Crassula obliqua) is a evergreen, succulent plant in the family Crassulaceae, native to South Africa. It is also known as friendship tree, lucky plant, money tree and money plant. Jade plant grows and forms easily like bonsai, and is a popular indoor bonsai.

Jade plant has thick swollen stem, and crowned with glossy green, rounded, smooth, and fleshy leaves which grow in opposite pairs. It grows up to 4 m tall, with a spread of 2 m. The leaves are usually in a rich jade green color, thus the common name jade plant. There are also some varieties which have leaves with red tinge on the edges when prolong-exposed in the sun. Initially the stems are of the same color and texture like the leaves, but turn woody and brown as they age. The five-petaled white or pink flowers are produced in autumn-winter.

Jade plant grows well in full sun or partial shade, but cannot tolerate extreme heat or over-exposure to direct sun which can lead to scorched leaves and loss of foliage. Jade plant do best in well-drained soil. Do not over-water the plant as over-watering can lead to loss of foliage and rotten stem.

Pruning of jade plant should be done periodically to maintain the shape so that the trunk can support the overall weight of the plant, and also to encourage the growth of root and size of trunk.

Propagation of jade plant is by seed, stem or leaf cuttings in spring or autumn. Pests like mealy bugs, red spider mites, and aphids can cause deformation to new growth and infests the flower stalks.

Jade plant (Crassula ovata)Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
Author: Frank Vincentz (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

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