Botanical Name — Crassula ovata
Common Name — jade plant, finger jade
Plant Family — Crassulaceae
Crassula ovata is a shrub-like, succulent plant native to South Africa and Mozambique. It likes full sun, warm temperatures, and low humidity. In its native habitat it can be found growing on rocky hills and cliff sides.
- Crassula prefer bright light, ideally four to six hours of full sun. They will grow in light shade but may become leggy without enough light.
- These plants will thrive in late afternoon sun. If possible give them a spot in a sill with southern or western exposure.
- This arid plant likes high temperatures and low humidity. It will thrive in temperatures above 75°F, but avoid consistent temperatures below 45°F. Keep it indoors on a sunny windowsill during cooler months.
- This plant is super low-maintenance from a watering standpoint. Succulent leaves retain plenty of moisture so be sure to let the soil dry out completely in between waterings then water thoroughly, fully saturating the soil.
- In the winter, when these plants are not actively growing, ease up on watering even more. You can reduce the frequency of watering to about half of what you would provide in the summer.
- In their native environment, jade plants grow on rocky cliffs in South Africa. At home they’ll prefer gritty, well drained soil. A good cacti or succulent mix would suffice.
- Coco coir up to 25% is a great amendment to improve moisture retention. Sand or fine pumice up to 25% is another great addition to improve grittiness and aeration.
- Jade plant flowers are small and inconspicuous. The plant sends out short stems with small, white or pink, star-shaped flowers at the tips.
- These plants typically flower from late winter to early spring, though they rarely bloom indoors.
- Fertilization is not necessary, but if you are going to use one, be sure to use one specifically made for cacti and succulents.
- Fertilize once every two weeks during the active growing season. This is limited to spring and summer in temperate climates.
- These plants can be easily propagated by stem or leaf cuttings.
- Jade is not particularly prone to pests or diseases. Root rot can be a concern if it is overwatered.
- Scale, mealybugs, and aphids can be common pests. Remove pests with a cotton ball or q-tip soaked in rubbing alcohol or treat plant with diluted neem oil. Prune away unhealthy leaves or stems.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- These plants prefer to be root bound, so you’ll only need to repot once every two years.
- They can become leggy if they are not receiving enough sunlight. Place the plant closer to the window if you notice your branches are starting to stretch or if internode spaces are becoming longer (legginess).
- These plants are known to be toxic if ingested by animals and humans. Keep out of reach of children and pets.