How to Grow Crassula ovata, the Jade Tree
Crassula ovata goes by several common names. It is called Money Tree, Jade Tree or Jade Plant, but in all cases, it means the same plant.
The fleshy bright green leaves emerge from each side of the stem opposite to each other, then the next pair emerges rotated between them, etc etc.
The leaves, if they drop off, will root and make new plants, perfect for making a whole grove or to give away to friends. Looking for information on propagating succulents from leaves? Look no further!
Look carefully at the surface of the leaves – they are covered with tiny pores, a typical characteristic of most Crassula.
The trunk or stem of the Money Tree tends to be rubbery, which can cause a problem if they get too long and then have a lot of leaves on them. They’ll droop over!
The best way to deal with this is to pinch off the top of each stem before the leaves get to full size.
If you miss this stage, don’t worry, you can trim off the tops (and use them as cuttings) and the plant will bush out below the cut, and make a compact and strong plant.
Find out more about pruning succulents here.
When you water Crassula ovata, it’s important that the pot you grow it in has drainage holes.
They can’t stand being water logged, or sit in water too long.
The recommended regimen is what I call ‘drench and dry’ which is exactly how it sounds. Drench the plant with tepid water, then let it drain out, and let the soil dry out almost completely before watering it again.
This encourages the growth of lots of roots, which hold the top heavy growth on top in place, preventing it from tipping over.
Money Trees need bright light, either from a grow light, or in a window that receives several hours of sun.
This is hard to achieve in winter in the Northern Hemisphere, but they are quite forgiving as long as they get lots of light to make up for it in the summer months.
They like to grow outdoors as long as it’s well above freezing. This has another benefit – it can trigger blooming, a rare occurrence and not to be missed.
Money trees will only flower when they get quite big, and a little bit root bound.
Light requirements vary a lot between species, and Crassula are one of the few plants that don’t mind slightly lower levels for short periods of time.
This makes it a perfect Christmas succulent.
Their long life also makes it an ideal legacy plant that gets handed down for generations.
Growing more plants from cuttings won’t be a problem, and it won’t be a problem to get rid of them either.