Crassula or Jade Plant is a resilient but rewarding houseplant for amateurs and expert gardeners, making it a preferred choice all over the world. It can survive in any environment, but to keep it beautiful and even hand it over to the next generation after years of beauty, the tips we are about to share here are quite handy.
Here are the basic requirements to grow and care for a jade plant:
- Water: Jade Plant requires sparse watering, allowing the soil to dry before watering again.
- Light: it requires bright light.
- Soil: Crassula plants enjoy neutral to slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Sandy and rocky soils will be the most ideal.
- Temperature: Jade Plants thrive in a temperature range between 65º F and 75º F (18º C and 24º C).
This succulent that is native to South Africa has spread to all parts of the world because of its distinctive spoon- or heart- like leaves that will appear like a droplet when they are small in size.
The Jade plant is one of the most resilient houseplants and can forgive a lot of negligence. However, it knows how to reward houseplant owners with beautiful foliage when it receives the necessary care.
Let us look at how you can use temperature, humidity, soil, fertilization, and other more elegant touches to get the most spectacular Crassula plant into your house.
Basic Care Guidelines for Crassula Plant or Jade Plant
The sandy and rocky soil where Jade plant grows requires a soak and drain approach. Water until the container is flooded, then allow it to drain moderately fast until it is totally dry. The roots get their water from moisture trapped in rocks and sand particles.
The best watering routine for the Jade plant is two to three times a week, but you must guarantee adequate drainage. If the soil does not drain adequately, the plant will be susceptible to root rot. However, always keep the sandy and rocky soil moist even as you avoid soggy soil.
Change your watering habits based on the season and prevailing temperatures. It requires more water in the hot summer and a reduced amount in winter. However, if the water is too little, the lower leaves will fall off as the plant tries to preserve the little water available.
Jade plant requires average to dry air conditions. This may explain why it thrives easily indoors where moisture levels are limited. However, high humidity gives you greener looking leaves that are spectacular for an indoor garden.
Misting will help you to grow a plant with beautiful, fleshy, and green leaves throughout the year. A humidifier or pebble water tray will only be necessary if the conditions are too dry. Too much humidity could result in fungal and bacterial infections on the leaves.
Crassula plants are not too specific about soil but require very porous soil that drains quickly. In the South African cape where the plant originates, the ground is rocky and sandy, ensuring quick drainage and preventing waterlogging. The soil should be fertile and able to hold substantial nutrients to support the growth of a succulent plant variety.
Soil pH is not a significant issue for the Jade plant, but it will thrive in neutral to acidic conditions. Use a commercial mix prepared specially for succulents or prepare a customized potting mixture. Native fields contain rocky quartz soil, which you should try to imitate any time you are potting a crassula plant.
Jade plant requires bright light to produce the most beautiful foliage. Allow the plant to enjoy morning and evening sunshine by the window to achieve vibrantly colored leaves. Only the noon sun can scald the plant or cause the leaves to fall off.
Place your plant by the window where it receives direct morning sun and late afternoon rays. Dark areas will cause stunted growth and dull leaves.
The plant considers a dim and cold environment to be winter season. It will activate the dormant mode and hence, fail to thrive. Excessive sunlight might not be suitable for the plant, although it will not kill it.
The ideal temperature to grow a Crassula plant is anywhere between 65º F and 75º F (18º C to 24º C). Such temperatures are easily maintained in most homes and offices throughout the year. It is the reason the plant is so easy to find indoors throughout the world.
However, the Jade plant can survive in one of the broadest temperature ranges for a plant species. Outside, it thrives in temperatures as low as 32º F or 0º C. Even a small frost will not damage the crassula plant as long as it is not prolonged.
The ability to survive extreme temperatures does not mean that you should neglect its temperature needs. Make an effort to maintain a constant temperature around your jade so that the plant can thrive by producing glorious foliage. Take the plant indoors during winter and provide shade in summer when the temperatures are too high.
Advanced Care for Crassula or Jade Plant
At first glance, the Jade plant appears to be a species that can survive in any environment and even with neglect. However, neglecting it will leave you with an ordinary colorless plant. Luckily, the Jade plant shows its appreciation of advanced care by giving you beautiful foliage.
Here is a guide on a few advanced care aspects you can tweak to get the most beautiful Jade plant.
Crassula is a slow-growing plant that does not require too much fertilization. The plant makes maximum use of the little nutrients available in the fast-draining sandy soil and still thrives. The best fertilizer is an organic compost, which decays slowly and is gradually released into the soil.
Mix organic compost with the potting mixture to spread the nutrients throughout the soil. The other best time to apply fertilizer is mid-spring and the beginning of summer when the plant is experiencing robust growth. Too much commercial fertilizer, however, will be a waste because of the fast-draining soil.
Occasional pruning will keep your Jade plant compact and healthy. This slow-growing succulent will not require much pruning if you provide the necessary conditions. A perfect growth environment ensures that the leaves are colorful, durable, and healthy, unlike when lack of water or too much light causes yellowing and the shedding of leaves.
Use pruning to eliminate the leggy or straggly branches that damage the beauty of your jade plant. Prune in spring and at the beginning of summer when your crassula is experiencing robust growth. If you miss pruning during spring or summer, you may prune after the blooming season before the plant goes into dormancy.
This species does well in the same soil and pot for years if your watering and fertilization are right. Repotting will only be necessary after two years if the roots have outgrown the current container. Repotting is meant to offer a bigger container with more soil to ensure that the tree does not topple because of grown foliage. Mature plants will require repotting after 3-5 years.
Remove the plant from the pot and run water through the roots to shed excess soil. Place the plant back into an empty but larger container. Add loose soil until you have covered the roots. You may fill the vase with mulch or organic fertilizer that will be slowly released to enrich the soil.
Jade Plants are hardy and will survive repotting without showing any signs of wilting. However, you must provide sufficient nutrients, water, and a warm environment to invigorate growth.
Crassula is commonly propagated from leaf or stem cuttings. If the plant is still young or has young shoots at the bottom, separating soil clumps may also work. The best time to propagate the Jade plant is during spring or summer when the weather is warm enough to promote the growth of roots.
Cut a leaf or young stem with a sharp and disinfected knife. Stick the cutting in a specially prepared mixture with adequate moisture. Then, ensure that the propagated shoot receives sufficient light but not direct sunshine. It will regrow in 3-4 weeks.
The common pests you are likely to encounter with Jade plant are mealy bugs, aphids, and spider mites. Luckily, these pests are easy to control by providing the right environment. Misting, adequate air circulation and pruning will help to control these pests.
The diseases that are likely to bother your Jade plant include black ring disease, powdery mildew, and bacterial soft rot. Overwatering may also cause root rot that is cured by draining the soil sufficiently. Cutting the entire stem and starting all over again is one of the ways to deal with persistent pests and diseases.
Top Crassula Plant Varieties
The crassula plant comes in numerous varieties from the standard to the green-leafed and other variegated species. However, there are a few Jade plants that will capture your attention.
Crassula Ovata: it is commonly referred to as the Money plant. Other quarters refer to it as a money plant, money tree, or lucky plant. This variety is native to Mozambique, Eastern Cape and Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. Moreover, it has succulent leaves and produces small pink or white flowers. The jade-colored leaves make it to identify this variety quickly.
Crassula Muscosa: the plant is native to South Africa and Namibia. It has small light-green leaves whose arrangement on the stem gives them a square feel. It grows in a bush to a maximum height of 15-20 cm and will produce a yellow-green flower when mature.
Crassula Tetragona: the plant has a woody stem that stands shrubless up to 1m high. It is easy to identify with its crossed leaves and brown back. The leaves range from green to dark green and will produce white flowers in the summer.
Crassula Capitella: the variety features narrow and pointed spray leaves that look like a propeller. These leaves are initially green but will turn to intense red when the sun is too hot. The succulent herb grows to a height of 15-40 cm and is either mat-forming or will end up as a shrub. Furthermore, it produces small and star-shaped flowers each summer and does not take well to freezing temperatures.
Crassula Perforata: it is identified by its long and unbranched rumbling stem. It produces a lot of tiny cream flowers that will appear between November and April.
Crassula Morgan’s Beauty: it has thick silvery-green leaves that grow close to the stem. It grows up to 4 inches or 10 cm tall and will crowd the top of a pot. It produces tiny but showy pink to red flowers in the summer.
Crassula Erosula ‘Campfire’: it presents angular hot lime leaves with a sunny border. This variety prefers a lot of sunlight and will produce almost inconspicuous white flowers. It grows 4-8 inches high and can provide ground cover when grown on a flower bed.
Crassula Pellucida: you can identify this variety because of its small ovate-rounded leaves. The stalks are barely recognizable, and the leaves come with faintly toothed margins. In autumn and later summer, you will get small white-pink star-shaped flowers.
Crassula Kerri: you identify the plant with its heart-shaped leaves that sometimes grow directly from the soil without a stalk. The leaves are thick and lush, making it resemble a cactus.
Frequently Asked Questions About Jade Plant
Do Jade plants need a big pot?
The size of the point will depend on how large the foliage has grown. Since the roots do not require a lot of space, the pot should protect your plant from toppling.
Are coffee grounds good for Jade plants?
Jade plants love coffee to keep their leaves dark green and fleshy. Coffee also promotes the growth of a thick stem.
How do I make my Jade plant bushy?
Cut the leading shoot at the leaf-scar or the brown leaf rings on the stem. The cutting will encourage new stems to sprout. You can repeat this process until the plant has achieved your desired type of bush.
Why are the leaves on my Jade plant falling off?
The soil is either too wet or too dry. The plant could also be lacking nitrogen, or you have exposed the leaves to too much sun. Mealybugs could also have attacked your plant.
How do you revive a Jade plant that is dying?
Rehydrate by watering two to three times a week. Water frequently instead of flooding the pot.