How to Care for a Jade Plant: Crassula Ovata

A houseplant that is low maintenance sounds like a dream come true. One such plant is the Crassula ovata.

After all, the prettiness of its tree-like features: deep green leaves tipped with star-shaped flowers that come in red and white or pink flowers.

When the plant is in bloom, it complements any home decor. 

An evergreen and perennial succulent, the Crassula ovata, is from the Crassula genus and the Crassulaceae family.

There are many types of jade plants, but the popular species include the dwarf jade plant, silver jade, Gollum jade, and the hobbit jade plants.

Its scientific name is the Crassula ovata. It is also called a jade plant because of the jade color of its tubular leaves.

Other names this plant goes by are lucky plant, money tree, or friendship tree.

care for a crassula ovata

Jade plants’ native habitat is in Mozambique and South Africa; however, these days, it is a common and popular houseplant because of its resilience and easy care.

Most of the time, jade plants are normally grown indoors, and if they are taken well care of, they can live 100 years or longer. 

Don’t think the Crassula ovata can’t be an outdoor plant – remember they are found in nature outdoors!

They make pretty landscape plants and are well-suited if your climate is dry and mild.

These plants don’t like the cold, so if you live in an area where the temperatures fall to 50℉ or lower, it’s best to keep your jade plants indoors. 

Its woody stems will remind you of a bonsai tree. If you trim and prune it correctly, you can actually make a bonsai jade tree.

Anyway, in this post, we will be discussing what you need to do to take care of your Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant) so that it’ll thrive.

How to Care for a Crassula Ovata

Your Jade plants don’t require heavy maintenance. So let’s learn how to care for your plant so it can have a long and healthy life.

Temperature

The best temperature for Jade plants is between 60℉ and 75℉. In winter, Jade plants don’t do well if your temperature drops below 50℉.

Light

To get your Jade plants to flourish will depend on how much light they get. Ensure they get an average of 5 to 6 hours of direct sun.

The bright morning, indirect light is ideal. The afternoon sun tends to be too hot and can burn your Jade plant’s leaves.

If your plant does get a few hours of the afternoon sun, introduce some shade. These plants cannot take full sun for a long time as they may get leaf burn.

Watering

watering for a crassula ovata

Together with well-draining soil, you need to water your Jade plant correctly. When and how to water your Jade plant is simple – use the soak-and-dry watering method. Give your plant water only when the soil is dry.

It’s better to underwater your money plant than to overwater it. If the leaves flatten or the jade plant leaves start dropping, it’s a sign that you can give it a bit of extra water.

And if they are yellow-green, it’s a sign of too much moisture. Another downside to too much water is that the roots may develop root rot.

Once root rot has set in, there is a high chance that your plant will die.

Related post: How To Save Your Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant) From Dying

Looking for an easy solution to watering your plants? We recommend these self-watering pots. They are easy to set up and are attractive pots to add to your home decor. We have a couple of these for our houseplants as well.

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Soil

Plant your Jade plant in a potting medium that drains well. These plants should not be left in soil that retains water.

Root rot, disease, or fungi are common problems plaguing these plants when left in water.

A succulent potting mix or cactus soil is best to ensure your Jade plant thrives.

You can DIY your own mix by combining three cups of coarse sand, three cups of gardening soil, and one-and-a-half cups of perlite or pumice.

Alternatively, you can buy pre-mixed succulent soil. We suggest this succulent soil has all the right ingredients, and our succulents do very well in it.

Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 4 Quarts, Brown/A
  • Organic cactus and succulent soil mix
  • Professionally formulated for use with both jungle and desert cacti
  • Provides the drainage cacti need to flourish; ready to use; pH balanced

Fertilizer

crassula-ovata-fertilizer

Fertilizer isn’t needed for a fresh potting mixture. However, if you haven’t repotted your plant in a few years, you should freshen up the nutrients with fertilizer.

A balanced fertilizer or one specifically for cacti and succulents is best. Only use half or a quarter of the recommended dose since you don’t want to overfeed your Jade plant.

It is best to add fertilizer when watering during the active growing season (fall, summer, or spring).

However, reduce the amount of fertilizer toward mid-fall when the season comes to an end.

Looking for the right fertilizer for your jade plant? Look no further as we use this plant fertilizer for all of our house plants.

Why? It’s easy to stick in and let it do its magic. It’s a slow-release type of fertilizer, so you never have to worry about the amount to put in.

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Repotting

If your Jade plant is young, you’ll need to repot it every 2 to 3 years to ensure it continues to grow.

Older plants need repotting every 4 to 5 years or when required (essentially, when it has become root bound).

When you need to repot, do so in early spring before the growing season starts—only water your Jade plant after a week from the day of repotting.

Propagation

Whether you have a Crassula ovata or any other Crassula family, you can propagate your jade plant by using leaf or stem cuttings.

Whether you used leaf cuttings or stem cuttings, let them dry for a day. Once the cut has healed, place the stem or leaf cuttings into a potting mix that drains well. 

Keep your pot away from direct sunlight and spray them with water every few days.

New growth-like roots will start to appear in a few weeks.

Pruning

crassula-ovata-pruning

Spring or summer is the ideal time to prune your jade plant. Prune stems with brown rings, which will increase the foliage.

Use clean pruning shears to prune your jade plant. 

For every pruning session, prune less than 20 stems. If you prune one stem, 2 new stems will grow, meaning that the more you prune, the bushier your plant will be. 

FAQ

How do you care for a Crassula ovata? 

Jade plants are low-maintenance plants. All they really need is bright sunlight, some water, and high-quality loam or silt soil with good drainage.

Ensure you water your jade plant using the soak-and-dry method whereby you only water the plant once the soil is completely dry. 

Does a jade plant like sun or shade? 

Like most other succulents and to grow properly, jade plants need enough light for at least 5 or 6 hours a day.

The morning sun is preferred as it is less intense, and there’s less chance of sunburn spots scarring the plant’s green leaves.

If your plant is located in the afternoon sun, then it’s best to provide some shade. 

How tall does the Crassula ovata grow? 

Jade plants come in various sizes that are based on the type of Jade species and where it is planted.

For example, the Dwarf Jade can grow up to 15 feet in height in its natural habitat, with foliage spreading out to four feet.

Conversely, the miniature Jade plant will grow up to 2 1/2 feet with its branches spreading up to 20 inches.

To ensure your plant grows to its maximum height and spread, you need to give it space in both the pot size and spread space.

Conclusion

Like any popular houseplant, a Jade plant doesn’t need a lot of maintenance besides a well-draining pot, well-draining potting mix, and careful watering.

Remember, it’s better to under-water your crassula ovata plant than over-water it.

Ensure it gets enough sunlight and has enough space to grow, and your Crassula ovata Jade will be with you for a long time.

Related post: What Are the Benefits of Growing a Jade Plant?

References

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