The Crassula Ovata, also known as the jade plant, is a small succulent that grows up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. You don’t need luck in caring for the jade plant; they just require a little work and attention to keep them alive and attractive.
A Crassula Ovata that is well taken care of is more attractive, especially if you place it in the garden or inside your home in a beautiful container. Let’s dive into how to grow, care and finally identify various types of crassula plants.
Planting Crassula Ovata
Are you looking to plant Crassula Ovata for the first time? Well, here are some things to note to ensure a healthy jade plant.
Choose a wide and sturdy pot with a moderate depth since jade plants may grow top-heavy and fall over.
Use soil that drains appropriately; excessive dampness might cause soft leaves and fungal diseases like root rot. However, if you want to grow succulents in a plastic pot, ensure it has adequate drainage. A 2:1 ratio of potting mix to perlite is ideal. Alternatively, use pre-made cacti or succulent planting mix.
Watering a jade plant too soon may lead to root rot. It’s critical to wait at least one week before watering after planting, allowing the roots to settle and heal from any damage.
ProTip: Keep the jade plant root-bound in a small container and restrict water to encourage it to blossom. In the winter, cooler temperatures promote bloom.
Growing Jade Plant From Stem or Leaf
Crassula Ovata is very easy to grow from a stem or its leaf. When grown outside and a leaf falls, the chances a new plant will grow from it are high.
Here is how you can grow a jade plant from leaf or stem:
- Take a stem cutting or remove a leaf from a well-established plant. A good stem cut should be 2–3 inches long and have at least two pairs of leaves.
Allow a stem cutting or leaf to sit in a warm location for several days, about four days. The cut area will form a callus, helping to prevent rot and promote rooting.
- Get your pot and a good-draining potting mix. Ensure the soil is not wet but slightly moist to prevent leaf or stem cutting rot.
- Take the leaf and set it on top of the soil. Cover the cut end with some soil. Make sure you don’t apply too much soil to it. For stem cutting, place it upright in the soil. If it does not stand by itself, prop it up with a few rocks or toothpicks.
- Set the pot in a warm, bright location with indirect light. Don’t water it.
- After a few days, the leaf or cutting will start to develop roots. You can give the plant a slight poke or tug a week after to see if it has rooted itself in place. Suppose it hasn’t; wait a little longer before testing it gently every two days.
- When the plant appears to be firmly rooted, water it thoroughly and gently. You may use a turkey baster to apply a fine water spray without disturbing the roots too much.
Ensure that the top layer of soil is not only wet, as you want to promote the new jade plant roots to grow downward for water rather than up toward the surface.
- Allow the soil to dry between waterings and keep the plant out of direct sunshine until at least eight weeks.
How to Care Crassula Ovata
Now let’s learn about how you can care for your jade plant and pass it down through generations. Some of the common factors to consider are light, type of soil, and watering.
Read on as we discuss each and every factor in detail.
Jade plants require at least 6 hours of direct sunshine per day. Young plants should be exposed to bright, indirect sunlight; adult jade plants can withstand more direct sun exposure.
If jade plants are grown in low-light conditions, they may become leggy and top-heavy. This condition makes them vulnerable to damage if they fall over or can no longer support their own branches!
It’s critical to water jade plants correctly! The most common problem that people have with their jades is improper watering.
- In the spring and summer: When the plant grows, it will need more water than at other times of the year. Wait until the soil has dried out before watering it again. This ensures the soil is sufficiently wet throughout—not just at the surface. Because of this, you may end up watering it once a week or once a month—it all depends on how quickly its soil dries out.
- In the fall and winter: The plant may pause or experience slow growth during this period; it may go dormant. At this time, it will require less water. Water it less frequently than in the summer and spring. Fully grown jade plants might require watering only once or twice during this period.
When watering, try to avoid splashing water on the leaves, as this might cause them to decay in a humid atmosphere.
Water that contains too much salt can burn or kill jade plants. If your tap water isn’t ideal, use filtered or distilled water instead.
If the plant’s leaves begin to fall, become shriveled, or develop brown spots, it is an indication that it requires more water. Alternatively, if the plant is receiving too much water, the leaves may get squishy and waterlogged.
Crassula plants thrive in sandy, rocky blends created especially for succulents, and they require well-draining soil. They prefer neutral to slightly acidic soil, but even highly high pH levels seldom harm the plant. The roots of Crassula plants can rot easily in boggy, wet soils because of their sensitivity.
Jade plants thrive at room temperature 65° to 75°F, but they like it a bit cooler at night and during the winter down to 55°F.
Keep in mind that jade is not frost tolerant, so if you keep it outside during the summer, bring it inside as soon as temperatures drop below 50°F in late fall.
When caring for Jade plants during winter, move jade plants away from chilly windows and out of drafty rooms. Jade plants’ leaves may fall as a result of cold temperatures.
Pruning is quite bearable, and you should do it in the early spring. Start by cutting off any deformed or sick branches. Then imagine the look you want for your tree and go until you’re 1/3 of the way through its development, taking thin, clean cuts just above a branching point or node.
When you cut back a node, two new branches will grow from that point, so cut where you want to see more fullness.
Add Some Fertilizer
Jade plants don’t need high levels of nutrients, so feed them sparingly. A diluted combination of a regular liquid houseplant fertilizer or a fertilizer designed for succulents and cacti should suffice. Also, make sure you read how to apply the fertilizer on the package.
In a tiny pot, jade plants don’t mind being root-bound. Keeping them root bound will make a Crassula Ovata smaller and easier to handle.
Repot young jade succulents every 2 to 3 years to stimulate growth if they have overgrown the current pot. For older jade plants, 4 to 5 years repotting is okay or as needed for overly grown jade plants.
The ideal time to transplant is in the early spring, just as the growing season begins. Wait a week or two after repotting before watering the plant.
Diseases and Pests
Although pests and diseases may vary between species, most Crassula plants are plagued by aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and other typical insect pests—mainly when cultivated indoors.
Pest problems are best addressed with non-chemical techniques that may not kill the plant, such as neem oil or other horticultural oils.
Looking for Different Types of Crassula Plants?
Jade plants come in a variety of hues, shapes, and sizes. Many different types of jade plants are available, ranging from the common green-leafed jade to several variegated types. Here are some interesting crassula plants you might plant:
- Crassula pellucida variegata: This plant’s leaves are heart-shaped and variegated in pink, greens, and ivory white.
- Crassula erosula ‘Campfire’: In winter, the distinctive red-leaved variety of this plant has lime leaves that grow long and branched. It’s a clumping plant that grows to be about 4 to 8 inches tall and 2 feet broad when mature.
- Crassula ‘Morgan’s beauty’: The pretty pink late spring flowers of this half-hybrid cultivar are dusted in white. It reaches a height of about 4 inches.
- Crassula perforata: The common name for this plant, also known as the stacked Crassula, comes from its unique leaves around its central stem.
Overall, Crassula is a great plant to have in your garden or home! It adds a unique texture and color to any environment. They’re also an excellent choice for a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plant.
In addition to their resilience and low maintenance, they’re ideal for both novices and experts alike since they are easy to grow from leaf or start from cuttings.