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Botanical name: Crassula arborescens
Synonmy: Crassula cotyledonifolia, Cotyledon punctata
Common names: Silver Dollar Jade, Silver Dollar Plant, Tree Crassula
Crassula arborescens commonly called Silver Dollar Jade or Silver Dollar Plant is a perennial succulent shrub which bears rounded blue-gray leaves with maroon edges and small maroon speckles on the upper surface.
The small maroon speckles are technically called 'hydathodes' whose function is to help the plant absorb moisture from the atmosphere. They are especially useful in the plant's naturally dry environment.
Silver Dollar Jade has thick, succulent, smooth, green-gray stems which become woody with age. The stem is highly branched. Due to this characteristic, the plant can easily be trained into a bonsai.
Silver Dollar Jade blooms from spring to summer though it is unlikely to flower indoors. The flowers are small, white to pink, star-shaped and form around an upright stem.
Silver Dollar Plant can grow to a height of 2-4 ft and a spread of about 3-4 ft.
Crassula arborescens also called Crassula cotyledonifolia or Cotyledon punctata is endemic to western Cape in South Africa.
Silver Dollar Jade is among the CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plants which harvest Carbon dioxide at night and use it during the day to make their food.
As they make food (photosynthesize) during the day, CAM plants store the oxygen they produce in the process and release it at night.
Therefore, having this plant in your living spaces increases the oxygen concentration which cleans (freshens) the indoor air.
Silver Dollar Plant is readily available online at Etsy. Buy Silver Dollar Jade (Crassula arborescens) online from Etsy.
Silver Dollar Jade (Crassula arborescens) thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight of about 4-6 hours, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Crassula arborescens has no need for high humidity or regular repotting as it grows best when pot-bound. Pruning is necessary to keep the plant neat, to discourage pest and disease infestations and to control growth. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to provide them.
Silver Dollar Jade grows best in very bright light with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. Keep it away from too hot direct sunshine to prevent scorching of the leaves.
You can choose to grow the Silver Dollar Plant outdoors, however, gradually acclimate it and place it in a shaded place to avoid scorching the leaves.
Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth and to prevent lopsided growth.
If the light is not adequate, Silver Dollar Plant will grow leggy with weak stems, wide spaces between the leaf nodes and small pale leaves.
Crassula arborescens can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not sufficient.
Water Silver Dollar Jade deeply during the growing season while allowing the top half of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.
Lessen watering in the cold period as growth is minimal to maintain the soil barely moist but do not let it dry out completely.
Only use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking this tropical plant as it can cause sudden leaf loss.
Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent the plant from sitting in soggy soil as it can result in rotting and death of the plant.
Take care not to wet the foliage as it can lead to fungal diseases or water from the bottom instead.
Silver Dollar Jade requires an average warmth between 15-260C during the growing season and a minimum of 100C in the cold season. Keep it away from cold drafts like windy windows and doors as they can cause brown leaf spots.
Average room humidity is ideal for Silver Dollar Jade. It has no need for high humidity. Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestations. Take care not to damage the fragile leaves.
Always make sure that there is good air circulation for Silver Dollar Plant to prevent fungal disease infestations which are prevalent in damp, poorly ventilated conditions.
Feed Silver Dollar Jade with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer monthly during the growing season for lush growth. Take care not to overfeed as the plant is a slow grower.
Stop feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can result in fertilizer burn and death of the plant.
Repot Silver Dollar Jade at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot. Use a pot that is only one size larger than the current one to avoid overpotting.
Confirm that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot and eventual loss of the plant.
Use a clay pot for Silver Dollar Plant. A clay pot is porous and therefore allows the soil to dry out faster which prevents it from staying wet for too long.
The best soil for Silver Dollar Jade should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.
Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for this plant as it allows water to drain easily and does not hold excessive amounts of water. Check out these Cactus and Succulents Mixes available at Etsy.
Pruning Silver Dollar Jade is easy as it involves removal of any dead or diseased leaves to keep it neat and also discourage pest and disease infestations. Snip the leaves at the base with a sterilized knife or pair of scissors to prevent diseases transmission.
Cut back the plant at the beginning of the growing season if it is too large to control growth. Minimize the number of cuts as much as possible to avoid unnecessary injuiries to reduce disease infestations.
Silver Dollar Jade (Crassula arborescens) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from offsets, leaf cuttings or stem cuttings.
Carefully seperate the offset from the mother Silver Dollar Jade by cutting with a clean, sharp knife while ensuring that the offset has adequate roots.
Pot the offset in its individual pot in moist, loose, free-draining soil and place in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.
Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Crassula arborescens is well established after which you can begin routine care.
Take Silver Dollar Jade leaf cuttings complete with the petiole. Allow the leaf cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days to prevent rotting.
Once calloussed, lay the leaf cutting on moist, free-draining, rooting mix while ensuring that the cut end does not come into contact with the soil to prevent rotting.
Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until a new rosette forms at the base of the leaf cuttings.
Allow substancial growth of the rosette before transplanting the new Crassula arborescens into individual pots after which routine care can begin.
Take 3-5 in. stem cuttings from a healthy Silver Dollar Jade and allow the cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days.
Once callused, insert the lower cut end of the stem cuttings in moist, well-drained, rooting soil.
Place the set up in a well-lit, warm place and maintain the soil moist until the stem cuttings are rooted. Rooting may take about 4 weeks.
Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Silver Dollar Jade after which routine care can begin.
Silver Dollar Jade (Crassula arborescens) problems indoors include leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, wilting, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to solve them.
Elongated stems or leggy growth in Silver Dollar Jade is due to two possible reasons. One possible reason is overwatering or soggy soil in the cold season.
Decrease watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist as growth is reduced at this time, therefore, the plant does not need a lot of water.
In addition, make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
The second possible reason for elongated stems or leggy growth in Silver Dollar Plant is too little light during the growing season.
Place the plant in very bright light with 4-6 hours of direct sunlight during the growing season or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is not adequate.
Sudden leaf drop in Silver Dollar Jade is due to two possible causes. One possible cause is watering the plant with very cold water which results in plant shock.
Use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking this tropical plant.
The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in Crassula arborescens is underwatering which results in too little moisture in the soil.
This means that the plant cannot obtain enough water to take up to the leaves for food making. To save energy needed for the vital functions, the plant drops the leaves.
To prevent leaf drop, water the plant thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.
Significantly reduce watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Brown dry leaf spots in Silver Dollar Jade are due to underwatering during the growing season as the plant requires that the soil be maintained moderately moist through out.
Water the Crassula arborescens liberally during the hot season while allowing the top half of soil to dry out between waterings but do not allow it to dry out completely.
Wilted and discolored leaves in Silver Dollar Jade are caused by overwatering during the cold period. Greatly decrease watering in the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is reduced at this time.
Brown soft leaf spots in Silver Dollar Jade are caused by leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation coupled with overwet (damp) conditions.
Better the ventilation and ensure that there is free air circulation at all times. In addition, water the Crassula arborescens from the bottom to avoid wetting the leaves.
Apart from leaf spot disease, Silver Dollar Jade is also attacked by powdery mildew and black leg disease which are prevalent in overwet conditions coupled with poor air circulation.
Isolate the affected plant to minimize spread to other houseplants and treat it with Neem oil. Improve ventilation and make sure that there is free air circulation for the plant.
Water the Crassula arborescens from the bottom to avoid wetting the rosette of leaves and always allow the top half of soil to dry out between waterings.
Maintain the soil moderately moist during the growing season and barely moist in the cold period.
Do not allow the Silver Dollar Plant to sit in soggy soil by making sure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
The common pests in Silver Dollar Jade are scale insects, mealy bugs and spider mites. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants.
Spray the plant with an Insecticidal soap to get rid of the pests. Make sure to cover the entire plant.
Silver Dollar Jade (Crassula arborescens) like its cousin, Jade Plant, is considered toxic to both humans and pets as indicated by ASPCA.If ingested it can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep the plant away from the reach of children and pets.