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Jade plant

Crassula ovata

Friendship tree, Jade tree, Money tree

Jade plants are one of the most common houseplants due to their ease of care, thriving in both full sun and partial shade and their tolerance of neglect. This species is a succulent, evergreen shrub with branches and stems that develop a gnarled, aged look with age, making this species a popular bonsai specimen. The jade plant flowers abundantly and has a faint scent of soap, these flowers attract a variety of insects to your garden. The plant is believed to bring you luck and the Khoi used the roots as food and the rest of the plant for some medicinal purposes. However,​ please note Crassula species are toxic to cats and dogs.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Fruiting time
Winter

Harvesting

Collect the seeds once the flowers have dried up.​

Propagation

Seed
The fine seeds are distributed by the wind. Mix the fine seeds with well draining soil, spread out in a thin layer, moisten the soil, create humidity with a plastic cover until germination.
Cuttings
Pick a healthy leaf, let the cut end touch the soil. Don't water until you see the roots forming. Stems should be dried off for a couple of weeks, plant in lightly watered well draining soil.
Notes
The genus Crassula are generally started by division, offsets or leaf cuttings. They can be easily propagated from leaves, simply remove cleanly from the mother plant, let callus for a few days until the wound has closed and place on soil or in water and wait for roots to develop. Roots usually grow first to seek out water, followed by new leaves. This may take anywhere from a week to a few months and there is no need to water propagating succulents as they will glean all the nutrition and moisture they require from their mother leaf, which will shrivel up over time. The original leaf may be gently removed once it has dried up and become crispy in texture, only remove if it comes away easily otherwise you risk damaging the baby plant.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
The abundant flowers will attract bees, beetles, butterflies, wasps and flies.
Indoor plant
Can be grown indoors in good light, therefore close to a window.
Drought resistant
This plant is like a succulent able to store water in its leaves, branches and stems and therefore does not require much water. Let the soil dry out between waterings to prevent root rot.
Pot plant
The jade plant grows very well in a pot given that it has enough light and is not exposed to frost and has good drainage.

Geography

Origin
South Africa, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
The Khoi and other Africa tribes uses the jade plant medicinally by boiling the leaves in milk for the treatment of diarrhea.
Edible
The Khoi used to eat the roots by grating it as preparation before cooking and served it with thick milk.
Notes
Crassula ovata is a wonderful sculptural plant for pots, tubs, rockeries, retaining walls and gravel gardens and is the ideal plant for a water-wise garden. It can also be grown in pots indoors.

Personality

Family
Crassulaceae
Flower colour
White to light pink, White, Pink
Scent
Mild

Problems

Crassula are susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. As with all succulents, over-watering is sure to be fatal, so err on the side of too dry rather than too wet. If you find pests, you could use a systemic insecticide. If you do its a good idea not to spray houseplants inside, so rather take it outside to spray it and follow all safety precautions as instructed on the insecticide.

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