Crassula ovata foliage

Crassula ovata foliage

Crassula ovata or jade plant is a beautiful arborescent succulent.

It is one of those typical plants that your grandmother grew on the windowsill and is almost indestructible.

It is a very easy houseplant: lots of light, little water and may be placed outdoors in full sun in the summer.

Growth is quite slow but putting several plants together in a pot gives it a fuller shape.

It can also be trained as a bonsai.

Description:

Crassula ovata is a large, strongly branched and rich flowering shrub of 0.6-3 m high.

The trunk is up to 20 cm in diameter at the base, round, succulent, grayish. The branches are bare, with scars of fallen leaves.

The leaves are 2-5 cm long and 1-3 cm wide, obovate or broadly elliptical, short pointed or almost round at the top, with red or green sharp edges, green and shiny.

The flowers are 5-lobed, arranged in terminal inflorescences. The flowers are white or pale pink, peduncle 1-4 cm long, calyx about 5 mm in diameter, the corolla is white or light pink, petals 5-10 mm long.

Crassula ovata flowers

Crassula ovata flowers

Usage:

  • Culinary: the roots were eaten in Africa.
  • Medicinally: the leaves were used for treatment of diarrhea, epilepsy, corns and as a purgative.
  • Good luck charm: in some countries the plant is grown in a porcelain pot with lion paws as a lucky charm.

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Friendship tree, jade plant, jade tree, lucky plant, money tree

Synonyms:

Cotyledon lutea, Cotyledon ovata, Crassula arborescens, Crassula argentea, Crassula articulata, Crassula nitida, Crassula obliqua, Crassula portulacea

Etymology:

Crassula: from the Latin crassus (fat,thick)
Ovata: from the Latin ovatus (oval)

Origin:

South Africa

Habitat:

Rocky slopes and sheltered ravines



Hardiness:

USDA zone 10-11

Crassula ovata plant

Crassula ovata plant

Care:

Soil:

Any soil as long as it is well drained

Exposure:

Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade

Water:

Water regularly, no standing water, tolerates drought

Fertilizer:

Fertilize regularly during the growth period

Temperature:

Is extremely heat resistant but in winter it is better to keep it in a cool place because there is less light, as long as it is frost-free.

Propagation:

Cuttings from leaves or stem

Cuttings:

  • remove a leaf or stem piece from the mother plant
  • you may also cut the leaf up in a few pieces
  • place on top of the potting soil. The easiest way is to place the cuttings together with a larger plant on top of the soil
  • after a few weeks, when the roots have sprouted and new growth appears, it may be potted up
  • room temperature

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