All over the internet, people are questioning whether or not jade plants are succulents. This post will explore what a succulent is and why many people believe that Jade plants should be considered one.
Jade plant (Crassula ovata) is an evergreen plant with fleshy leaves that have thickened stems. They can grow up to 6 feet tall when mature but typically stay smaller than 1 foot in height. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil, which makes them popular houseplants for many homeowners who want to keep their green thumb alive during the winter months!
Jade plants are some of the most famous plants that are known to be grown as indoor or outdoor plants. As an indoor plant, jade plants are prized for their decorative value.
In the great outdoors, Jade plants can live under moderate to hot climates. Since jade plants have similar characteristics to succulents, most of us tend to confuse whether they are succulents or not.
Are jade plants succulents too?
Jade plants are a species of succulent plants, and they belong to the genus Crassula and Crassulaceae family. This is mainly because, like succulent plants, the jade plants have thick and fleshy leaves which play a big part in storing water. This enables them to thrive in the hottest climates.
Normally, when most people think of succulents, the first plants that come into their minds are Echeverias and Sempervivums, among many others, but jade plants are succulents too.
In this article, I break down everything you need to know about Jade plants. From their characteristics, types, how to care for them, and how to report them.
What are succulents?
Succulents are a class of various species of plants that store water and nutrients in their leaves. Because of this trait, the leaves tend to be thick and very fleshy.
However, some species have thicker leaves than others. Due to their ability to store water, succulents tend to thrive in dry climates, and they are not very fond of moisture.
They have to be watered to ensure the best growth and flowering, just like in any other plant. Unlike other plants though, succulents don’t need water to survive as they can endure extended periods of drought, relying on the stored water and nutrients in their leaves.
If they are overwatered, succulents will start to rot, and eventually die.
On the other hand, most succulents are not able to withstand intense freezing conditions. Since they store water, freezing them can often result in the plant dying or developing mushy leaves.
Still, some species are able to endure temperatures below freezing, although they are better off in warmer temperatures.
When they are under-watered or when they experience a lack of water or sunlight, succulent plants can change color. Largely, when succulents are not receiving enough sunlight, they will turn into a dull or green color.
Alternatively, succulents that are given the right amount of sunlight and water will turn into a wide range of colors such as orange, purple to red. The exact color will depend on the species.
One of the amazing facts of succulents is that they are very easy to propagate. While some species of this plant propagate more easily than others, many other species can grow new plants from a simple leaf that has fallen off the plant.
About Jade Plants
There are about 200 species of jade plants (Crassula) out there, all of which are native to South Africa. They get their name from the jade-colored leaves. These leaves commonly take on a tear-shaped appearance.
However, leaves of other jade plants are known to have an oval-shaped or wedge-shaped structure. Every now and then, the leaves can have red blushing, especially around the edges.
Under sweltering tropical climates, jade trees have thick woody stems as well as smooth green or yellowish leaves, which appear very shiny and attractive. Like most succulents, jade plants can have a tree-like appearance, and they can grow up to 8 ft. (2.5 m) tall.
When they are grown indoors, jade plants can be the center of attraction and elegance. Small jade plants grow well in containers. These plants are very easy to look after since they can even grow in poor light conditions. Also, they only need occasional watering, light pruning, as well as keeping them away from direct sunlight.
The succulent leaves of jades can have red markings around the edges, which others may have yellowish-green leaves. Overall, the color largely depends on the species and how much sunlight they receive.
Jade plants also flower, but only when they grow under the perfect conditions. If you want flowers to bloom on your jade plants, the nights should be cool and the days should be bright.
Types of Jade Plant
As we mentioned before, there are quite a lot of types of jade plants. Let’s talk about some of the common ones.
Crassula ovata, or money plant.
Of all types, the Crassula ovata is the most popular. Some people also refer to this jade plant as the money plant because of its tree-like appearance.
The money plant has tear-shaped succulent leaves that are known to grow to somewhere between 1.1” and 3.5” (3 – 9 cm) long. Since the plant develops so many leaves, the money plant may bear a resemblance to a lush indoor shrub.
Unlike most jade plants, the best place to put a money plant is in a location that is away from direct sunlight.
Crassula Ovata ‘Lemon & Lime’
If you are looking to bright you’re your living room or office with multicolored jade plant, then you will be fond of the Crassula ovata cultivar ‘Lemon & Lime’.
The Crassula Ovata ‘Lemon & Lime’ is a bushy species of succulent that is known for its elongated oval leaves that have lime green and yellowish stripes.
The beautiful leaves can have a length ranging from 1.50” to about 2.5 inches long, and they develop light reddish edges when they are growing in the sun.
Other types of Jade plants
- Gollum Jade (Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’)
- Crassula Ovata ‘Skinny Fingers’
- Crassula ovata botany bay
- Silver Jade Plant (Crassula Arborescens)
- Ripple Jade (Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolia)
- Crassula Rupestris and hundreds more.
How do you care for Jade Plants
As said earlier, Jade plants and other succulents are some of the easiest plants to care for. Here are some important tips you have to know.
Sunlight and Temperature
Jade plants need to be exposed to sunlight every day. An average of 4 hours of direct sunlight will be fine, but this is only for the old and well-developed jade plants.
Young plants should be kept in bright, indirect sunlight. The most suitable place to put your jade plants are your Kitchens and offices, especially the rooms with a south-facing or western-facing window
On the temperature, Jade plants grow best at room temperature (65° to 75°F / 18° to 24°C). However, they prefer slightly cooler temperatures, especially during night hours.
One important fact you have to know is that Jade is not frost tolerant. In other words, they don’t do well under intense freezing conditions.
Because of this, if you keep your plant outside during the summer, you should bring it inside once temperatures begin to drop to around 50°F (10°C) in autumn season. That said, it is recommended that you should move the plants away from cold windows and keep them out of any other drafty areas during such seasons.
Watering jade plants
- Spring and summer
Jade plants, similar to other succulent plants, actively grow in the spring and summer. As such, it will require more water during these seasons than at other times of the year.
When you water them, make sure you water deeply. After watering, wait until the soil has mostly dried out before you water it again. Ultimately, this means the watering intervals depend entirely on how quickly the soil around the plant dries out.
Fall and winter
During the fall and winter seasons, on the other hand, the plant may go dormant. This results to a much slower growth. In most cases, the plant may even pause growth altogether.
Around this time, your plants won’t need much water. In fact, the soil will tend to take longer before it dries out, which means you will be watering your plants less frequently. Large, well-developed jades will not need more than one or two waterings throughout the entire period of dormancy.
- When you are watering your plants, avoid splashing water on the leaves. This is because doing so can expose your plants to rot, especially if you are in a moist environment.
- Studies have shown that Jade plants are very sensitive to salts, particularly the salts that are found in tap water. As such, consider using filtered or distilled water.
- While jade plants don’t need to be watered much regularly, they can certainly suffer if they aren’t watered. If the leaves start to drop and shrivel, it is clear that the plant needs more water. Another sign is the development of brown spots on the leaves.
- If leaves become very spongy and waterlogged, this is an indication that you are overdoing it with the watering. Always lookout for the signs.
- It is recommended that you use a diluted mix of a standard liquid houseplant fertilizer on the fertilizer. Also, fertilizers that are made for cacti and succulents will work on jade plants. Either way, you should fertilize your jade plants cautiously.
How to repot Jade plants
Just as they are easy to care for, jade plants are also very easy to report. Unlike other plants, Jade plants don’t mind being kept in a small pot. In reality, the jade will remain smaller and easy to manage when it is bound to a small pot.
To encourage the growth of your jade plants, consider repotting the younger plants once every 2 to 3 years. The older jade plants, however, should be repotted once every 4 to 5 years.
Early spring is the most suitable time to transplant the jade, because this is just before the growing season begins.
After repotting the jade plants, they should be watered on a weekly basis. Also, wait for at least a month before you apply any fertilizer. Fresh roots are very vulnerable to root burn as a result of early fertilization.
In conclusion, Jade plants are indeed a species of succulent plants. They are some of the most suitable plants for growing indoors, mostly because they are so easy to care for.
On the other hand, they have an attractive appearance that will brighten up every room they have been placed in. Just ensure that they are properly watered, and that you place them where they can enjoy the sun during the daytime.