The crassula ovata, otherwise known as the jade plant, is a succulent shrub that can grow to be quite large. It’s also one of the most popular plants in America today. The crassula ovata has many features that make it perfect for just about any setting in your home. These include:
- It grows in very few light conditions and will still produce leaves and flowers
- It doesn’t require much water or maintenance
- It produces small white flowers when grown outdoors.
With crassula ovata, you can forget the constant care and attention that other house plants require. One of the most common reasons we buy a house plant is to brighten up our home or office and make it feel more like a living space. Crassula ovata does this job well by adding color and texture to an otherwise drab room. They are also very low maintenance, requiring little water or sunlight which makes them perfect for those who lead busy lives!
Origin of crassula ovata
The origin of the crassula ovata is not entirely certain. It’s believed that it comes from South Africa, specifically in the Eastern Cape Province, where there are many areas with limestone outcroppings that provide rich soil for these plants to grow. There are some who believe that this plant originated in China, but this is not supported by much evidence.
Crasulla ovata is a popular part of the valley thicket vegetation of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
The really comparable Crassula arborescens, which has nearly round blue-gray entrusts to a unique waxy bloom, is discovered in various places, in the Little Karoo and Central Karoo. It has compact, rounded heads of pink flowers.
The Khoi and other Africans used the roots for food, grated and prepared, consumed with thick milk. They likewise used the leaves for medicinal functions.
The Crassula ovata is grown indoors and obtains itself from the bonsai in the method it grows like a mini tree, with a trunk and branches. It is likewise a succulent that will keep the water well within the leaves, much like the cactus plant.
This succulent is a sturdy fellow and has 2 primary requirements for a healthy long life, which is water and a lot of light. They are both outdoor and indoor types, although conditions outside tend to be the best for the plant (sufficient heat and sun).
The appearance of the Crassula ovata
As stated above, the Crassula ovata has a comparable appearance to a bonsai tree with a thick trunk and branches. The leaves are a thick oval-shaped type which is a glossy dark green and perhaps red colored external edge’s. They can produce pink or white flowers in the best conditions, as soon as they have grown. The most essential element of showing this shrub is lots of sunshine, so when grown indoors, they should be placed near a window.
Ease of propagation
Crassula ovata is an easy-to-grow succulent that stores water in its leaves, stems, and roots. It has actually been used as an indoor decorative throughout a landscape and the world plant in moderate environments.
It makes an excellent houseplant as it grows well in the limited root area of containers. Although it is reasonably slow-growing, it likes the warm, dry conditions found in a lot of houses, and endures neglect.
In its native environment, Crassula ovata becomes a little rounded evergreen shrub (to 6 feet) on dry, rocky hillsides. It has lots of brief, thick, succulent branches on a gnarled-looking trunk, suggesting excellent age even in young specimens. The bark peels from the trunk in horizontal brownish strips on old plants.
Crassula ovata propagation
Crassula ovata propagation is easy, and it can be done in a few different ways.
One way to propagate crassula ovata is through stem cuttings. Take an inch long cutting from the tip of your plant’s stems and place them in soil that has been watered down with hormone rooting powder or liquid for about two weeks before planting them. If you have a crassula ovata cutting that has begun to sprout roots, it can be planted in soil and should root over time.
The second way to propagate crassula ovata is by leaf propagation. Simply take a leaf that has fallen off of your plant and place it in soil with no hormone powder or liquid added to it for about two weeks before planting the crassula ovata cutting outside if you live in an area where temperatures are warmer than thirty degrees Fahrenheit, otherwise keep them inside as house plants. This means that once the Crassula ovata has formed roots, it can be planted outside in a sunny area or kept inside as a house plant.
Another way to propagate crassula ovata is through seed propagation. To do this, simply place your seeds into soil that will not get too hot and then cover them with about an inch of sand to help retain moisture.
Keep the soil moist at all times, ensuring it never dries out completely, and place your seeds in a sunny location if you want them to sprout outside or inside near an east-facing window for house plants. Once they have sprouted leaves on top of their sandy mound, uncover them so that sunlight can reach the seedlings.
Once your crassula ovata seeds have sprouted, you can plant them outside in a sunny location. They should be able to handle temperatures as low as thirty degrees Fahrenheit, so they are great for planting outdoors in most places where the temperature does not drop below freezing during the winter months.
If you’re looking for an easy way to propagate crassula ovata, this is a great method.
Steps to propagate
- Select a durable and broad pot with a moderate depth, as Crassula ovata tend to grow top-heavy and fall over.
- Use soil that will drain completely, as extreme wetness might promote fungal diseases like root rot. A versatile potting mix will work, though you will wish to blend in extra perlite to enhance drain.
A 2:1 ratio of potting mix to perlite is perfect. Use a pre-made succulent or cacti potting mix.
- After planting a Crassula ovata, do not water it immediately. Wait for a number of days to a week prior to watering, so as to allow the roots to recuperate and recover from any damage.
How to start a crassula ovata from a leaf or stem cutting
As a succulent, Crassula ovata are extremely simple to start from single leaves or cuttings. Here’s how:
1. Get rid of a leaf or take a stem cutting from a reputable plant. A perfect stem cutting would be 2 to 3 inches in length and have at least 2 sets of leaves. When you have your leaf or cutting, let it sit for some days in a warm plac, a callous will form over the cut location, assisting to avoid rot and promote rooting.
2. Collect your pot and a well-draining potting mix. Use soil that is a little damp, however not wet.
3. Take the leaf and lay it on top of the soil horizontally, covering the cut end with a few of the soil. Put it upright in the soil (prop it up with a couple of little rocks or toothpicks if it will not stand on its own) if you have a stem cutting.
4. Let the pot sit in a warm place with brilliant, indirect light. Do not water.
5. After 1 or 2 weeks, the leaf or cutting will begin sending out roots. A week or two after that, give the plant a mild poke or tug to see if it has actually rooted itself in place. If it hasn’t, wait a bit longer, checking it (carefully!) every couple of days.
6. As soon as the plant appears to be securely rooted, water it deeply and thoroughly. Use something like a turkey baster to carefully water the plant without interrupting the roots excessively. Be sure that you do not simply get the surface layer of the soil damp, as you want to motivate the roots to grow downward for water, not towards the surface.
7. Let the soil dry in between waterings and keep the plant out of extreme direct sunshine up until it is well developed.
Crassula ovata care
Water when the soil is dry to the touch. These plants are succulents, so they store water in their leaves and stems. Overwatering can cause rot or fungal diseases that will kill your plant quickly. Check every two weeks by sticking your finger about one inch into the soil of a potted crassula ovata.
The Crassula Ovata (aka Jade Plant) requires bright, indirect light to keep its leaves turgid and healthy. Place the plant in an east- or west-facing window for best results. If this isn’t possible, a south-facing window should do.
In low light conditions, the crassula ovata will become leggy and stretch for more light. The leaves may also begin to pucker or curl as well if it’s getting insufficient amounts of sunshine.
The soil should be a greener blend with lots of organic matter. This will retain moisture and provide some nutrients as well. You can use regular potting mix or make your own mixture using sedge peat, perlite, and composted manure.
Although crassulas are cold-sensitive, they can survive outside in many parts of the country during warm summer months. They tend to grow actively in spring and fall while forming their buds for wintertime right around Thanksgiving.
The ideal temperature for your plant is around 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be found in almost any home or office, even when the air conditioning is on during the summer months. If you are growing outside year-round where temperatures do not drop below freezing, then it’s best to reduce the water slightly since they are less likely to suffer from fungal diseases due to cold weather.
Crassula plants that are grown indoors and the temperature is too cold will experience growth reduction and even death of leaves, stems, or whole branches if it’s not remedied quickly. So make sure to provide a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit environment for your crassula plant when temperatures begin to drop outside.
One of the benefits of growing Crassula Ovata is that it thrives year-round in a variety of environments, including relatively dry ones. If you want to place your plant on an open windowsill, make sure the space isn’t exposed to harsh sunlight or drafts from air conditioning units or heating vents.
The normal humidity range is 40-65%.
Pruning and Maintenance
Pruning and maintenance for crassula ovata are minimal. The standard pruning method involves pinching back the shoot tips to encourage branching or removing spent flower stalks by twisting them at their base where they meet a stem node. If you want your jade plant to grow into a bonsai tree, pinch it back on a regular basis.
When to repot a Jade Plant
The best time to repot a jade plant is when it has outgrown its container. The roots will have filled up the entire pot and begun to escape through drainage holes or grow over the edge of the rim. At this point, you will want to go ahead and give your jade plant new soil by either re-potting it into a larger pot that is one size bigger or by dividing the plant.
When to repot your jade plant will also depend on what time of the year it is, as different seasons can cause certain sensitive plants to grow more slowly than other times of the year. If you are unsure when to repot your jade plant, you can check on it every couple of months by looking at the soil. If the top layer is completely dry and there are no signs that water has penetrated to lower levels of the pot, then your plant needs more soil.
When dividing a jade plant, be sure not to damage any roots as this type of stem cutting will kill the plant. Separate new shoots that are growing off of the mother stem by cutting them with a sharp knife or pruning shears, making sure to leave at least two leaves on each shoot you choose to keep. Once these shoots have established themselves in their own container for several weeks, they can be repotted into larger pots if desired.
When repotting your jade plant into a larger pot, be sure to use an acidic compost that has good drainage properties. Jade plants prefer soil with high levels of peat moss or organic material and should not be fertilized unless they are growing in poor quality soil which contains too much sand.
Crassula ovata is a houseplant that can be grown indoors throughout most of the United States during winter. The plant often decides when it’s time to rest and produce new growth based on how long the days are, which typically is in early spring when day length increases. If you try to grow Crassula ovata outside during winter, it will be very slow to start new growth.
Flowers & Fragrance
The flowers of the jade plant are not showy. However, they do produce a scent that is nice and pleasant to smell. If you are looking for a flowery plant that is also easy to care for, then this may not be the one.
The flowers of crassula ovata produce little scent but they are white in color and can grow quite large with time. The fragrance only appears at night when it starts to bloom, so if you want something fragrant to smell during the day, you may want to consider a different plant.
A very distinctive and pleasant sweet aroma that smells like honey is what the flowers of crassula ovata emit at night when they start blooming. The fragrance can be strong enough for people who are right next to it but it is not as fragrant as some other plants. If you want a strong scent, then it may be best to consider another plant instead of this one.
Crassula ovata grows slowly. At first glance, you might think it is not growing at all. But if left undisturbed for several months or years, crassula will start to grow wider and taller. And the more sun exposure it gets, the bigger its leaves get. If there are no obstacles in its way (such as other houseplants) crassula will start to grow longer and wider.
Cut Crassula stems, leaves, and flowers can cause skin irritations if you are sensitive to them. If ingested by children or pets it could be very dangerous. Even with adults ingestion of the plant should be done only in small quantities since there have been reports that this may lead to diarrhea or vomiting because of an unknown toxin.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Crassula ovata is hardy to USDA Zone 11, which means it can survive in temperatures below freezing.
This makes the plant a great choice for people who live in temperate zones and experience wintery weather throughout most of the year. It won’t die if you forget to water it over one cold season!
Pests and diseases
There are few pests of this succulent, but mealybugs and mites can be an issue if not treated. Crassula ovata is also susceptible to stem rot from overwatering or cold temperatures. If your plant looks like its dropping leaves it’s likely that you’re overwatering the plant, let the soil dry out between waterings. Although it is a succulent plant, this house plant should not be watered too frequently or you will cause root rot and kill the plant.
- Mealybugs or scales might hide under leaves and stems. To eliminate the bugs, use a spray bottle of water or clean the bugs off carefully with a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel or cotton bud.
Repetitive applications will be essential to get rid of the bugs’ offspring.
It might be much better to take a clean cutting from it and begin again if the plant is heavily infested.
1. Powdery mildew can be an issue, however, it is relatively not common indoors.
2. Root rot is triggered by extreme wetness in the soil. Let the soil dry in between waterings.
3. Shriveled or wrinkled leaves are indications of a thirsty plant that want more regular or much deeper waterings.
4. Squishy leaves and waterlogged means that the plant is overwatered.
- 5. Leaf drop is a sign of watering problems, too.
The succulent, crassula ovata, is a popular house plant for its colorful leaves and ease of care. It can tolerate neglect but will produce more color with the proper care, making it an ideal first-time or beginner houseplant.
- Crassula ovata require a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunshine every day. Young plants ought to be kept in brilliant, indirect sunshine; big, reputable Crassula ovata can manage more direct sunshine.
Kitchens and workplaces with a south-facing window are generally excellent areas with simply sufficient light, as are western-facing windows.
- Crassula ovata grow best at a room temperature level of 65° to 75 ° F or 18° to 24 ° C), however, choose somewhat cooler temperature levels during the night and in the winter season (down to 55 ° F or 13 ° C).
Jade (Crassula ovata) are not frost tolerant, so if you keep yours outdoors throughout the summertime, ensure to bring it inside as soon as temperature levels start to be up to around 50 ° F(10 ° C) in autumn.