How to Grow and Care for Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) Indoors


Jade Plant, Crassula ovata, Crassula argentea

Photo Credit: Amazon.in

Botanical name: Crassula ovata
Synonym: Crassula argentea
Family: Crassulaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae

Description

Crassula ovata commonly called Jade Plant is a popular succulent plant that can withstand a great deal of neglect and mismanagement and is easy to grow even for a beginner.

Jade Plant can survive a considerable period of time without water due to the fleshy leaves and stems which store water and allow the plant to go for a considerably long period without being watered.

Crassula argentea is an evergreen herbaceous plant with thick branches and thick, shiny and smooth leaves which grow in opposite pairs along the branch.

The leaves are usually yellowish-green but may develop red edges in some varieties when exposed to very bright light.

If grown under intense hot sun, the green leaf color will be lost and replaced by yellow color. The yellow color is due to the plant making pigments such as carotenoids to protect itself from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays.

Size

Jade Plant grows upright and rounded, and can reach a height of 8 ft.

Numerous varieties of Jade Plant have been developed like Hummel's Sunset among others.

Origin

Crassula ovata also called Crassula argentea is native to KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa and Mozambique.

Air Cleaning

Crassula argentea produces high levels of oxygen at night. Jade plant is a CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plant. CAM plants are plants that harvest Carbon dioxide at night and use it during the day to make their food.

As they make their food, CAM plants store the oxygen they produce in the process and release it at night.

This is an adaptation of CAM plants to their drought-prone climate which enables then to survive the harsh climate.

Where to Buy

Numerous pretty Crassula argentea are available online for sale at Etsy. Purchase Jade Plants (Crassula ovata) online from Etsy.

Jade Plant, Crassula ovata, Crassula argentea

Photo Credit: Amazon.in

Crassula ovata Care Indoors

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) care indoors is easy when the right growing conditions are provided. It thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding.

Crassula argentea has no need for high humidity or regular repotting as it grows best when pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to provide them.

Light Requirements

Jade Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. It can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is not adequate.

Protect Crassula argentea from too hot sunshine to prevent sun scorch. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Jade Plant

Water Jade Plant moderately during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.


Temperature

Average warmth between 15-260C during the growing season is ideal for Jade Plant. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Average room humidity is ideal for Jade Plant. It has no need for high humidity. Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Ensure that there is good air circulation to prevent fungal disease infestations which are promoted by damp still air.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Jade Plant monthly during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer. Do not feed during the dormancy stage (cold season) as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Jade Plant 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.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.

Soil

The best soil for Jade Plant should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal. Purchase quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for Crassula argentea from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Jade Plant involves removal of any dead or diseased leaves. Cut back the bare stems at the beginning of the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from offsets, leaf cuttings or stem cuttings.

How to propagate Jade Plant from offsets

Carefully seperate the offset from the mother Jade Plant by cutting with a sharp knife while ensuring that the offset has adequate roots.

Pot the offset in its individual pot in moist, cactus and succulents soil and place in a well-lit, shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Crassula argentea is well established after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Jade Plant from leaf cuttings

Take Jade Plant leaf cuttings complete with the petiole. Allow the Jade Plant leaf cutting to dry out (callus) for a few days to prevent rotting.

Insert the petiole in moist, cactus and succulents soil while ensuring that the leaf leaf surface comes into contact with the soil.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until there is new growth from the base of the leaf cuttings.

Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new Crassula argentea after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Jade Plant from stem cuttings

Take 3-5 in. of Jade Plant stem cuttings 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, cactus and succulents 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 Crassula ovata after which routine care can begin.

Jade Plant, Crassula ovata, Crassula argentea

Photo Credit: Amazon.in

Crassula ovata Problems Indoors

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) problems indoors are caused by improper care. They include leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, wilting, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Sudden leaf loss

Watering Jade Plant with very cold water is one cause of sudden leaf loss. Use water that is at room temperature to water the plant to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

The second cause of sudden leaf loss in Crassula ovata is underwatering. Water it moderately and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Elongated stems or leggy growth

Too much water during the cold season or too little light during growing season are the causes of elongated stems or leggy growth in Jade Plant.

Water less during the cold season and ensure that the plant receives bright light during the growing season to prevent it from growing towards the light source.

Brown soft leaf spots

Brown soft spots in Jade Plant are caused by Leaf spot disease which is enhanced by poor air circulation and wetting of the leaves during watering.

Ensure there is free air circulation at all times and water from the bottom to avoid wetting the leaves. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Brown dry spots

Brown dry spots in Jade Plant are due to underwatering during the growing season. Water the plant thoroughly during the hot period as soon as the soil begins to dry out.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Overwatering during the cold period is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in Jade Plant. Reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist.

Diseases

The common diseases in Jade Plant are Powdery Mildew, Leaf Spot and Black Leg. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it approprately for the diseases.

Pests

The common pests in Jade Plant are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to reduce spread to other houseplants and treat it approprately for the pests.

Is Jade Plant toxic?

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) aka (Crassula argentea) is 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.

Other related Crassula Species for Growing Indoors

  1. Crassula perforata (String of Buttons Plant)
  2. Crassula coccinea (Sunglow Plant or Red Crassula)

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