Common Name: Jade Plant
Botanical Name: Crassula species
This extensive plant genus has hundreds of species, but there are only a few that have made a name for themselves in our homes. The most common crassula is the easy-care Emerald Green Jade Plant, while others like the Jade Hobbit and Red Pagoda are a close second! The one thing they all have in common is that they thrive on neglect, making them the right match for people living busy lives but still want to bring the outdoors in! Read more to learn how to care for your Crassula no matter which type you have!
Bright indirect light is mandatory for jade plants to grow healthy new leaves and stems. South and west-facing windows are ideal for their succulent leaves to absorb at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight each day. If you can only provide eastern or norther light, place your crassula as close to the window as possible, and even closer in the winter! Your jade will start developing small, sad leaves if the light is insufficient! If you bring your jade outdoors for the summer, keep it away from the intense afternoon sunlight! Morning shade for a few hours is fine, but afternoon direct light will scorch the leaves!
Let the soil dry before watering, and remember that it's always better to err on the side of caution and let the plant be too dry instead of too wet. Being succulent, jade stores water in their leaves, so they keep themselves hydrated between watering, making them a relatively self-sufficient and easy-care houseplant. Crassula needs more water during the warmer months when they are growing. It's entirely normal for your jade to require even less water when the plant becomes dormant during the colder months.
Almost all types of crassula need soil with excellent drainage. There are a variety of soil mixtures for succulents available; be sure to choose one that incorporates at least ½ drainage materials. Jade should never be planted in dense soil mixtures with moisture-retaining crystals. You can use a universal potting soil for jade, but reduce the watering frequency when using this type of soil as it will retain water longer than cactus soil blends
Anything between 65-70°F or comfortable room temperature is good for these easy-care houseplants. If your jade receives plenty of bright indirect light, it can often handle cooler temperatures. Do not let the temperature fall below 40°F. You can place your jade plant in a shady spot on a deck or patio during the summer, but make sure to bring the plant back inside well before frost.
Low humidity is ideal for crassulas as they prefer drier conditions, and they do best when the soil can mostly dry out. Placing the plant in an area with high humidity may prevent the soil from drying out as much as this plant requires and can lead to fungus and bacterial problems.
Most crassulas need not be fertilized, but it won't hurt them if you give them a top dressing of organic compost in the early spring. They usually grow in nutrient-poor soils, and overfertilizing may cause them to grow too quickly, resulting in leggy, weak growth.
Jade and other Crassula take their time to develop! They may produce stem and leaf development between 2-5" per year. They are considered slow-growing indoor plants!
Pet Friend or Foe
Crassula is considered toxic to pets! Foe!
- Jade Plants are tolerant of being root-bound. Keeping this easy-care houseplant in a small pot is an effective way to maintain the size.
- When the time comes to re-pot a crassula, make sure the soil is dry. Wait a couple of days after the plant is re-potted before watering to give the roots time to settle in.
- Jade is very easy to propagate. Remove a single leaf and let the cutting sit for a few days, so the wound or cut end scabs over. Next, place the cut end in soil. Make sure the cutting is in an area with warm temperatures that receives lots of bright indirect light and give it time to start to develop roots. Roots should develop in a couple of weeks, depending on the surrounding light and temperature. Water the new plant after roots have formed.
- Rotate your jade every time you water it. This will help keep it well-rounded and looking full and even!