How to Care for Jade Plants indors

How to Grow a Crassula ovata or Jade Plant indoors

The Jade Plant, the scientific name Crassula ovata, is one of the most common indoor plants. Taking care of the succulent is not difficult, but there are a few key things to know and consider. We will share with you all the secrets you need to know when growing Crassula ovata at home, and introduce you to the amazing varieties of this Crassula species.

Description and classification of the Jade plant or Crassula ovata

Plant сlassification
Scientific name: Crassula ovata
Synonyms: Cotyledon ovata, Crassula argentea, Crassula articulata, Crassula lucens, Crassula nitida, Crassula obliqua, Crassula portulacea, Toelkenia ovata
Common name: Jade Plant, Coin or Money Tree
Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
genus: Crassula

This succulent plant only grows in parts of Mozambique and South Africa. In nature, this species of Crassula can be found in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Crassula grows among shrubs in light forests, on sandy clay gray soil, on rocky slopes, hills and fields, often in sheltered ravines, together with various species of Aloe, Euphorbia, Portulacaria afra and other desert crops. Nowadays it can be found all over the world, and many varieties with amazing shapes and coloring of the leaves have also been bred.

Photo of a Jade plant in nature
Photo of a Jade plant in nature

The jade plant was first described in England in 1768. The name Crassula is a diminutive of the Latin crassus, which means “thick.” The specific name ovata means “ovate,” referring to the leaves of the plant. In different countries this succulent is called differently – Coin or Money Tree, Tree of Friendship or Good Luck, Jade Plant (by analogy of the color of the leaves with a bright green mineral) or Jadeite Tree.

Crassula ovata is a slow growing, evergreen and well branched succulent that is one of the longest growing indoor plants, living up to 100 years or more with proper care. Under natural conditions, the jade plant reaches 3 feet (1.8 m), but as an indoor plant it usually does not exceed one meter, as many owners often prune the shoots to form a bonsai crown.

The stems of Crassula ovata are green and fleshy at first, but as the plant grows, they thicken, turn brown and become woody. The mature Crassula has the appearance of a miniature tree, making it very attractive as a decorative indoor plant.

Money Tree Flower
Money Tree Flower

The lustrous, fleshy leaves of the jade plant are another notable feature that makes this flower so popular. Natural species of Crassula have green leaves. But if the plant is in a location with plenty of light, its fleshy leaves often turn red around the edges.

In late winter or early spring, multi- or single-flowered inflorescences with small star-shaped flowers of a delicate white-pink hue open. The fragrance of the flowers is incredibly deep and pleasant.

How to Grow a Crassula or Jade Plant indoors

This succulent has a specific life cycle during the growing season. Although the plant is not demanding in care, it still needs some attention. Let’s take a closer look at the planting conditions and further care of Crassula ovata.


Since Crassula ovata is a desert plant, a loose soil mixture is best for it. Mix equal proportions of fertile garden soil with coarse sand and perlite (pumice or a brick root will do) to create a well-drained soil. Soil that is too wet will damage the roots of the succulent and make them susceptible to pests and diseases (root rot).

What kind of pot does the Jade plant need

Before choosing a container for your succulent, you need to pay attention to the size of its root system, which is much smaller than the ground part of the plant. The root grows most in breadth, not in depth. For a young Crassula, the container should not be deep and wide. Also, don’t forget the drainage layer.

What kind of pot does the Jade plant need

For a large adult tree, you will need to choose a wider and deeper pot. What is it for? Many people know that the Jade plant has a small root system, but its crown can grow to an impressive size. A pot with such a tree is often unstable and easily overturned if the plant is accidentally bumped.

To increase the stability of the pot with a crassula, before planting it is worth putting a few small stones, be it gravel, pebbles or other material at the bottom of the container. This will help shift the center of mass to the bottom of the pot and greatly increase its stability. Stacked stones will take up considerable space in the pot, so you should choose deeper containers for adult Crassulas.

Another important condition to remember: for optimal growth of the root system of the Money tree, it is necessary to comply with the ratio of 1 to 3, where the first value is the thickness of the drainage layer, and the second – the soil mixture.

Succulent care information

Light requirements

The fat woman will feel good both in direct sunlight and in bright diffused light. The recommended dose of light for the Money Tree is a minimum of four hours per day. Lack of light will result in drooping stems. Place your succulent pot next to an east, south, or west facing window.

Planting a jade plant in a pot

Try not to keep Jade Plant indoors for long periods of time in the bright midday sun, as this will scorch the leaves.

Temperature and Humidity

Crassula ovate prefers an ambient temperature of 60-75 °F (20-25 °C) in summer and 50 °F / 10 °C in winter. For a short time, the plant can survive a temperature drop to zero degrees Celsius.

The Jade plant is a desert plant and tolerates minimal amounts of moisture in the air well. But placing a pot of Crassula on a window sill under the radiator in winter often causes the Money Tree’s leaves to begin to fall off.

Watering Jade plant

The most common mistake, especially with beginners, is to water the jade plant too often at home. Remember that Crassula ovata is native to South Africa and has adapted well to arid climates. During the warm season, the optimal watering schedule would be once a week, and during the dormant season, reduce watering to 1 to 2 times a month at most. Before moistening, it is advisable to check the presence of moisture in the upper part of the soil.

Excessive watering is detrimental to the root system, which can quickly rot. The money tree will better tolerate a lack of moisture than an excess of it. It should be understood that the flower, located on different windows or on the balcony and receiving different amounts of light and heat, will require watering in different ways. If the temperature drops, the frequency of watering should be reduced.

Once every few months it is useful to wipe the leaves to remove dust with a soft sponge slightly dampened with water. It is also important to ventilate the room.

How to fertilize a Jade plant

Any indoor flower needs nutrients to be healthy and beautiful. And Crassula ovata is no exception. To achieve this, you need to fertilize the soil regularly during the growing season. The fertilization scheme is as follows: pre-watering and applying diluted liquid fertilizer every other day after wetting. During warm weather, fertilising once a month is sufficient. Refrain from fertilising during dormancy.

It is preferable to dilute liquid fertiliser to half the strength suggested by the fertiliser manufacturer. The money tree can be fertilized with a long-acting complex fertilizer in the form of nitrogen-reduced pellets (mixed into the soil in spring).

Crassula ovata overwintering

From October to March the Crassula ovata goes into its dormancy period, during which time you should pay close attention to a few things:

  • During this time, the Crassula ovata needs a relatively dry and cool room; a temperature of at least 50°f (10°c) will be optimal for the succulent during this time;
  • During the winter months, minimal watering (once a month) and cool temperatures are very important for the egg crassula since these conditions activate the flower formation;
  • During the winter try to keep it away from cold windows and draughts; the cold can cause it to lose its leaves;
  • It is also important not to feed the jade plant during this period.

After the winter (from mid-March onwards), water more frequently. As spring arrives and the shoots and leaves begin to grow, start fertilizing.

In this video you can learn how to care for the Jade plant indoors – аast growth, watering, sunlight, transplanting and other tips.

Repotting Jade Plants

This succulent grows slowly and prefers to do without frequent transplants. They will only need occasional transplanting, every 2-3 years for young plants and 4-5 years for adults. Repot the plant in the spring when new growth begins and use a new pot that is slightly larger than the previous pot. If possible, choose a clay or ceramic vessel that will remove excess moisture from the soil and prevent it from becoming waterlogged.

Crassula ovata transplant

Before transplanting, carefully remove the remains of old soil from the rhizome so that existing parasites and diseases do not get into the new soil.

How to prune a Money Tree

The Crassula ovoid plant can be allowed to retain its natural shape or trim it into a bonsai shape. Because the succulent stores moisture in its leaves, the branches of mature plants can become heavy and can’t support the extra weight, so pruning will benefit them.

The best time to prune is from spring to early summer, when the jade plant begins its growing season. Make sure your pruning tools are sterile and sharp to avoid infecting various diseases of Crassula ovata and damaging its tissues.

Do not trim the main trunk unnecessarily. Cut back any dangling shoots to encourage new branching. You can also remove weak, thin branches as needed to improve light and air circulation. To form a money tree, cut off any unwanted shoots just above the leaf node. The cut branches can be used later for propagation.

The way the Crassula is shaped depends largely on the owner’s wishes. Crassula ovata can become a fluffy clump, a tall tree or a more original shape with curved branches. Keep in mind that the ovate crassula gradually sheds its leaves from below, exposing its brown stem.

How to propagate a jade plant at home

Crassula ovata is easily propagated by stem or leaf cuttings and seeds. Stem cuttings take root faster and have a better chance of success.

Jade plant cuttings or "Money Tree"
Jade plant cuttings or Money Tree

Propagation by cuttings is best done during the warm season.

Cuttings of Crassula ovata or jade plant

Propagation by stem cuttings:

  • With a clean, sharp knife, cut a stem about 10 cm long just above the leaf node;
  • Remove the lower leaves, allow the cut end to dry and seal the wound;
  • For a more guaranteed result, dip the dried end in rooting hormone and place the cuttings in a small pot or container with a mixture of equal parts perlite and fertile soil;
  • Water the soil moderately;
  • When the cuttings have taken root, care for them as you would for a regular crassula.

How to propagate with leaves

  • With a sharp knife, cut the leaves flush with the stem. Cuttings with leaves should be given more time to dry out and put out roots (within a few weeks).
  • When little white roots appear and the leaves start to shrivel and turn brown, it’s time to put them in the ground. Place the cuttings in a mixture of equal parts perlite and regular soil.
  • Water sparingly until tiny new stems and leaves emerge.
  • When the young succulents reach a few centimeters in height, care for them as you would for a regular crassula.

It will take 6 to 8 weeks for stem cuttings to fully root. Leaf cuttings need more time to develop, from 8 weeks to several months.

Diseases and pests of the jade plant

Although Crassula does not require constant care, mistakes of untimely care of Crassula ovata often result in mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites.

  • Mealybugs damage the plant by deforming the shoots and leaves. If a pest is found, use absorbent cotton soaked in alcohol to remove them from the surface of the plant. This procedure should be done for several weeks until you have eliminated all the worms.
  • Aphids can form huge colonies if not acted on in a timely manner. Remember to check the leaves for aphids and remove the pest under running water or wipe the crassula with absorbent cotton and alcohol.
  • Spider mites are less common than other insects and usually cover the underside of crassula leaves with fine spider webs. You may also notice brown or black spots on the leaves. Use alcohol wipes or a cotton swab soaked in alcohol to remove the mites by hand.

There are many chemicals or folk remedies available to help deal with the pests. However, the first thing to do is to eliminate the cause of the disease – adjust the frequency of watering and feeding, make sure the humidity and temperature in the room are optimal. It is also not unreasonable to replace the soil if we are talking about spider mite or root rot.

Diseases and other problems include the following:

  • Soft leaves that shrivel and fall off. This problem can arise from inadequate watering, although over-watering can also cause the same symptoms. Take the crassula out of the ground and inspect its roots. If they look healthy, then you are not watering the jade plant enough. Adjust the frequency of watering.
  • Yellow leaves that start to dry from the tip inward. Overwatering is more likely here, which is most likely what caused the root rot. Remove the flower from the pot, look for black or rotten roots and cut them off, then change the substrate and adjust the watering frequency.
  • Money Tree leaves are falling off. In addition to watering problems, Krassula leaf fall can occur when the temperature is low or the humidity is high. Keep the plant in a warmer place and control watering.

How to use the jade plant in the home interior

Crassula ovata is widely associated with good luck, wealth and prosperity in Asian communities. In China, a pot of money tree is often found at the entrance to stores, restaurants and offices to attract customers and good luck. This flower is believed to attract wealth because of its small rounded leaves that resemble jade coins, symbolizing wealth and success. Feng shui philosophy states that the jade plant attracts money and good luck to your home or office by emitting “positive energy”.

Using the jade plant in home decor

This tree, as a symbol of well-being, can be easily grown at home, taking it out on a balcony or loggia in summer to improve light and humidity. Often in homes, it is used to decorate terraces and porches. However, windy sides of the building are better excluded.

How else you can decorate the room with this succulent:

  • Plant the crassula in mini compositions with other succulents and cacti;
  • A bonsai-shaped bonsai will be an exquisite accent in the living room or bedroom;
  • Combine the jade plant with other indoor plants that have contrasting shapes, foliage and coloring to create a spectacular display;
  • Plant several small Thistles in miniature ceramic pots of different bright colors and place side by side on a shelf for a chic, modern look.

The healing properties of Crassula ovata

Some African tribes ate the roots of the crassula, which were ground and boiled with milk. The leaves were also used medicinally, boiled in milk as a remedy for diarrhea, used to treat epilepsy, blisters, and as a laxative. The money tree is used in folk medicine to treat a number of ailments. Among them: migraines, blisters. However, it should be noted that the treatment of the jade plant does not cancel a visit to a specialist and is used only as an auxiliary remedy. And recommendations on its use in the detection of inflammatory processes in the body, cancer problems or dysentery, not to mention epilepsy, require additional consultation with a specialist.

Popular varieties of Crassula ovata or Jade Plant

The most interesting and popular varieties of Crassula ovoid among home succulent lovers are several varieties.

Crassula ovata Hobbit

This is a small branchy shrub up to 3 ft (90 cm) high and up to 2 ft (60 cm) wide. The succulent has unusually shaped leaves which are up to 2 in (5cm) long. Unlike other crassulas with flat, heart-shaped leaves, this variety has palmately tubular leaves with concave tips.

Crassula Ovata Gollum
Crassula Ovata Hobbit (

The tubular leaves of the Hobbit plant range in color from light green to dark green with reddish tips. The reddish tinge of the tips is enhanced by exposure to the sun and cooler temperatures.

Crassula Ovata or Jade Plant Gollum

This variety is very similar to the Hobbit variety described above. The difference is in the shape and color of the leaves, which have a reddish hue at the tips.

Толстянка яйцевиднаяили Денежное дерево сорта Голлум (Crassula Ovata Gollum)
Crassula ovata Gollum

Gollum’s have a richer, redder color.

Crassula ovata Crosby’s Compact

This is a slow-growing, branched succulent shrub with thick stems and the smallest leaves and branches among crassulas. The bush grows up to 2 ft (60 cm). The leaves are green with a red border.

Crassula ovata Crosby's Compact.

New leaves can be a rich red hue.

The availability of a large number of varieties and the possibility to grow different forms of the plant allows you to get the most extravagant flower that meets the expectations of the owner.

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