Crassula ovata (Crassulaceae) is the most popular specie of Crassula genus. It is a small shrub, native to Southern Africa and occur naturally in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It is mostly located in Nothern Hemisphere usually in dry and cold areas where water is scarce. It is also known as jade plant, lucky plant, friendship plant or money plant.
It is evergreen, succulent, long-lived and decorative indoor houseplant. The stem is green initially but become thick and woody after. The flowers are scented pink or white in color and star-shaped that grows in clusters at the tips of branches and bloom during winter-spring. Flowers attract butterflies, bees, beetles and wasps. The leaves are grey-green, glossy, oval-shaped to elliptic, 30-90 mm long and 18-40 mm wide that grows in opposite pairs along the branches. It grows up to 1-3 m tall and 20 cm in diameter.
Besides its beauty, in Khoi of South Africa and in Chinese ritual practice of Feng Shui they are the symbolic of renewal, growth and wealth. These plants are known to emit positive vibrations that will bring luck and prosperity to the owner of a house or business.
Landscaping ideas for Crassula ovata
Crassula plants can be grown as landscape plants (outdoor) in areas with dry and mild climate throughout the year. The plant has ability to survive in droughts due to its water-storing succulent leaves, stem and roots. The plants can be easily grown as a houseplant (indoor) in well-drained loamy soil mixture. It makes a good addition to a rockery, containers, patio planters, atriums, entryways and corridors.
How to propagate Crassula ovata.
These plants are usually propagated by leaf or stem cuttings. Leaf cuttings are set aside until it dries out, after it is placed in soil and watered once, roots will grow out from leaf in about four weeks under proper conditions. If stem or leaves break off and fall to the soil, it will grow roots after a few weeks.Seeds are also used to grow seedlings.
How to take care of Crassula ovata
- The plants grow well in sandy loam soil in part sun and part shade.
- They are well adapted to dry warm condition, better to water only during growing season (summer and spring) while kept drier in dormant season (winter and fall).
- Too much water can cause root rot.
- Ideal to grow on average room temperature of 65-75°F (18-24˚C).
- Low humidity is preferable.
- Use a balanced water soluble fertilizer once in 6 months. Never fertilize when the soil is completely dry, as this will damage the roots.
- Slightly toxic to cats, dogs and other pets, if ingested directly.