A branched, succulent shrub commonly grown indoors, jade plant features thick, woody stems and glossy green, fleshy, oblong leaves up to two inches long. Happily, this low-maintenance plant lives a long time, taking on the appearance of a miniature tree as it ages. And it’s very easy to propagate. Just stick its leaves (stem end down) into the soil, where new roots will grow.
This popular indoor plant is primarily grown for its lustrous green leaves. Expect to see those leaves tinted red if the plant is cultivated in direct sun. But don't hold your breath for flowers; jade plant's clusters of white or pink star-shape blossoms rarely appear on indoor specimens.
Jade Plant Care Must-Knows
Jade plant tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. But for the best-looking plant possible, make sure it gets full sun to encourage a dense display of thick, succulent leaves. Growing in part sun will result in narrow leaves that take on a grayish cast. Jade plant also prefers well-drained gritty soil; saturated soil will cause root rot. Water jade plant when the soil is almost completely dry to the touch, but not so dry it pulls away from the pot's edge, which makes it hard to rewet. Leaf drop indicates the plant is not getting enough water. During the growing season, give jade plant an occasional low dose of fertilizer to keep it green.
Feel free to take your jade plant outside during the summer. The added sunlight and warmer temperatures will likely pay off with a growth spurt. While your plant is outside, spray it down to clean off any accumulated dust. Inspect the plant (including the undersides of leaves) for aphids, scale, spider mites, and mealybugs, which can be removed by wiping the plant with a paper towel sprayed with rubbing alcohol.
More Varieties of Jade Plant
Common jade plant
Crassula ovata develops into a durable shrubby tree that makes a great companion for cactuses and other succulents. It is also sold as Crassula argentea and Crassula portulacea.
Crassula atropurpurea arborescens has flattened silvery blue leaves with a red margin. It can grow to 6 feet tall and needs the same type of care as common jade plant.