How are jade plants grown and propagated?
The most commonly grown jade plant is Crassula argentea (also known as C. ovata). It has several common names including jade tree, money plant and dollar plant. It is a succulent plant native to the arid, warm regions of South Africa. It adapts well to the warm, dry conditions found in most homes.
Jade plants should be grown in very bright light and low humidity. However, they will suffer sun burn if they are suddenly moved from low light to full sun, so move gradually. Ideal temperatures are 65-75°F during the day and 50-55°F at night. Cooler temperatures (about 50°F) are preferred during winter months--no bottom heat from the radiator, please. Jade plants should be grown in a well-draining soil mix such as a cactus mix with a little soil added.
Correct watering is important. During the spring and summer months keep the soil slightly moist. Water liberally and then allow the soil to dry out almost completely before the next watering. During the winter months, water jade plant less frequently. Fertilize with a weak solution of fertilizer (5:10:5 ratio) during the growing season. Fertilizer is not needed during the winter.
Plant diseases are rarely a problem with jade plants, although mealybugs can sometimes be a problem. Using a cotton swab, wipe them off with rubbing alcohol. Do not use insecticidal soaps--they may damage the plant.
Jade plants are easily propagated from leaf or stem cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in spring. For stem cuttings, take a 2-3-inch piece of the stem, plant in a 2-3-inch pot, and use a potting mix of equal parts peat moss and sand or perlite. Water moderately to keep the soil moist, but allow the top inch of the soil to dry out between watering. The cuttings will root in about 3 months and can then be moved to a larger pot.
Remember that the jade plant is a tropical species and so will not survive temperatures below about 40°F. When grown under suitable conditions it will flower during the winter (usually around Christmastime). With time the plants can be grown quite large in the home (to 5 feet).
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service