Quicklist: Types of Jade Plants
- Crassula Arborescens
- Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata
- Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolia
- Crassula Argentea Gollum
- Crassula Argentea Gollum Variegata
- Crassula Ovata Botany Bay
- Crassula Ovata Harbour Lights
- Crassula Ovata Hobbit
- Crassula Ovata Hummel’s Sunset
- Crassula Ovata Little Jade Tree
- Crassula Ovata Minima
- Crassula Ovata Pink
- Portulacaria Afra
- Portulacaria Afra Aurea
- Portulacaria Afra Cascade
- Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf
- Portulacaria Variegata
What are Jade Plants?
Known for its thick branches, green color, smooth leaves, and pink and white flowers that bloom, the Jade Plant has many different varieties. They popular houseplant is native to eastern South Africa and Mozambique.
Botanically named Crassula Ovata, and colloquially referred to as the money tree, its popularity as an indoor plant initially rose due to the fact that it needs very little care to survive and can endure most conditions.
The succulent evergreen requires little water to survive in the summer, and even less in winter. The plant is susceptible to overwatering and if placed in the sun can garnish a pink or bright red tinge around the leaves.
In extreme cases, the green color of the plant is completely lost and is replaced by a faded yellow. This is a direct response by the plant to protect itself from sunlight by producing carotenoid pigments.
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Types of Jade Plants
Commonly known as the Silver Dollar Jade, the Crassula Arborescens features silvery-blue leaves and succulent shrub. It is a slow-growing plant with burgundy edges. The flowers that grow from its tips are long-lasting and appear during the autumn-winter period.
The plant’s height can be restricted through containerization, but its total height will not rise above the 60-centimeter mark.
Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata
The Crassula Arbosescens Blue Bird Variegata is a slow-growing shrub, like most jade plants, but its leaf coloration sets it apart from other varieties with a blend of aqua, cream, green and red.
Its maximum height hovers around 50 centimeters, which can be reduced through containerization.
Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolia
The Undulatifolia variety of Crassula Arborescens was first observed in 1974. It’s commonly known as the Ripple Jade Plant and is preferred for its decorative purposes. It has a bonsai-like feel to it, and the evergreen, waxy leaves make it stand out from other plants.
Crassula Argentea Gollum
The Crassula Agentea Gollum is commonly known as Lady Fingers because of its curiously protruding, finger-like glossy, green leaves. They are cylindrical in shape with red at the edges. The plant blooms during the autumn-winter months with pinkish, white flowers.
Crassula Argentea Gollum Variegata
The Variegata variety of the Crassula Argentea Gollum stands out because of its foliage with a combination of green, white and pink hues.
It is considered as an ideal addition to seaside gardens and flourishes during autumn and winter months. The foliage changes color if subjected to low temperatures, dryness or low nutrition.
Crassula Ovata Types
Crassula Ovata was the original variety of Jade Plant marketed as a houseplant and is still one of the most popular varieties in circulation today. It is very hardy and the fastest growing of all Ovata cultivars.
Pinkish, white flowers appear on its tips during winter, and its height can extend to just over six feet. The cultivar is considered ideal for planting in coastal areas, and can serve as a divider when trimmed and shaped.
Crassula Ovata Botany Bay
The Botany Bay variety of the Crassula Ovata was only recently introduced in 2011. It is a compact and bushy plant which can be shaped if confined to a pot.
The foliage develops a red blush during dry conditions, usually prevalent during the winter months. It can grow to a height of two feet over five years in ideal conditions.
Crassula Ovata Harbour Lights
The Harbour Lights variety of the Crassula Ovata is instantly recognizable due to its characteristic red color. It has smaller leaves than the Crassula Ovata which turn red during the winter months.
Pinkish, white flowers appear during the autumn and early winter months, giving it an overall radiant appearance. It is considered ideal for seaside gardens.
Crassula Ovata Hobbit
This variety is known for its small height, no larger than 30 centimeters. The species was developed in the Paradisia Nurseries in Melbourne, Australia. Crassula Ovata Hobbit features red tips and pinkish, white flowers in early winter.
As its name suggests, it can be exceptionally receptive to containerization and restriction of growth. It can be mixed in with several other succulents in a combination bowl or planted on its own.
Crassula Ovata Hummel’s Sunset
This variety was recognized by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993 for its spectacular foliage color, and its thick bonsai-styled trunk. Hummel’s sunset was awarded the prestigious Garden Merit award by the society that year.
The plant is characterized by foliage that turns from green to gold and red during winter. As the season progresses the colors continue to deepen.
Crassula Ovata Little Jade Tree
Little Jade Tree was introduced in 2015 by Jan Morgan of Glenfield Wholesale Nursery in New South Wales, Australia. The small, compact plant can grow to a maximum height of 40 centimeters.
Glenfield considers the dwarf plant as “best grown in containers on balconies and patios, or in and around courtyards. Excellent for Bonsai.”
Crassula Ovata Minima
Known as the Baby Jade or the Miniature Jade, this is quite different from the Little Jade Tree variety of the Crassula Ovata species. Its growing tips tend to huddle together and branch out as well, creating a bushy, full appearance in small containers.
Pink and white flowers appear during the winter months. The plant can grow to a height of two feet and looks great when placed on house balconies, as well as in courtyards.
Crassula Ovata Pink
The Pink variety of the Crassula Ovata is named so because of its bushy exterior and the exceptional number of flowers that bloom every year.
The foliage develops a red blush under very dry conditions. The late autumn and early winter months feature small pink flowers on the tips. It can grow to a height of three feet over a period of five years.
This is called the Chinese Jade Plant or Pork Bush. Portulacaria Afra grows up to six feet in height and can be controlled with proper trimming and shaping. It can withstand long drought and heat waves but doesn’t flower.
Portulacaria Afra Aurea
The Afra Aurea is beautifully nicknamed the Yellow Rainbow Bush. The plant changes colors throughout its growth, influenced by the time of year and the amount of water it receives.
Afra Aurea thrives in both full sunlight and light shade, but rarely displays the pinkish, white flowers that are characteristic of jade plants. It can grow to a height of three feet when mature.
Portulacaria Afra Cascade
The Cascade is known as the Prostrata, or the Trailing Elephant Bush. It is covered with rounded, fleshy leaves that grow from maroon/mahogany stems. The plant displays well cascading over dry retaining walls.
Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf
The Large Leaf variety is known as the Green Penny Jade. Its rounded, fleshy leaves grow on dark red stems but don’t sprout any flowers.
Although the plant is known to grow to about six feet in length, it can be controlled by trimming. It is a popular houseplant used to decorate balconies and patios and can also be shaped into hedges and fences, as well as screens.
The Variegata is known as the rainbow bush. The succulent shrub has creamy leaves with a light green center stripe. It has a tinge of magenta on the edge of leaves which persists all year round. The plant doesn’t flower in cultivation and can grow to a height of three feet.
Best Types of Jade Plants
The best Jade Plants to grow as a Bonsai
The Dwarf Jade is a popular plant to grow as a bonsai. It has a thick stem to support the tree. The branches are fine and compact.
They form a lovely oval canopy. The leaves are attractive and cover the branches. The bonsai Dwarf Jade should be grown inside and must not be over-watered.
California Red Tip
The California Red Tip Jade plant is a good bet for bonsai. The trunk is quite thick and the leaves form full clumps of flowers quite close together. This will give the bonsai a strong, full canopy.
The Red Tip can be trained to form an attractive miniature tree. It is perfect to grow in the sun, where the tips of the leaves will turn a red-purple color.
If you are just beginning to work with bonsai, then the Tricolor Jade plant is the perfect plant. It is very attractive, with clumps of leaves in three colors. The compact branches and dense foliage form a great canopy. The bonsai will do well outside and inside.
The Bronze Beauty Jade plant is slow growing, which makes it a good candidate for bonsai. It is a very attractive plant, with its small, bronze-colored leaves. They translate well into a miniature tree.
The leaves are small. This makes rounded Bronze Beauty an attractive option for training the plant to have a full, rounded canopy. Conversely, the many small leaves are also suited to thinning out the plant.
The branches can be trained to stand out. They won’t look bare, because of the number of coppery leaves on each one.
The best Jade plants to grow from cuttings
Variegated Jade Plant
When a Jade plant is propagated from a cutting, it’s effective if the new plant can look like the parent from the beginning. The Variegated Jade plant is a great choice to be grown from a leaf cutting.
When they are planted in the ground, or put in water to develop roots, they will resemble the parent plant almost immediately.
The Golden Jade is a good choice when it comes to growing the plant from a stem cutting. The stems are typically quite strong.
They grow fairly long, with individual clumps of leaves growing from thinner, but strong branches. A cutting can be taken from a stem that bears a number of leaf clumps. The plant will grow well from the cutting.
When it comes to propagating the Gollum Jade plant, either stem cuttings or leaves are suitable. The individual leaves are quite long and tubular. They can be planted individually, or kept in water until roots develop.
The Gollum is a hardy variety of Jade plant, which prefers to grow in the sun. This means planting the leaf or stem cuttings in the sun to form roots and grow a new plant.
The best Jade plants to grow indoors
Lemon and Lime
A perfect Jade plant for growing indoors is the Lemon and Lime. It can grow up to 120 – 180 cm, but is slow growing and can be trained to be more manageable. The leaves are particularly attractive, with shiny cream stripes on the green. They are shaped like spoons.
The Skinny Fingers Jade plant has leaves that are fairly long and thin. It makes a good plant to grow semi-indoors, possibly on the verandah. The plant can grow up to 3 feet high.
The growth can also be contained by the size of pot. If the plant is kept smaller, it can grow well indoors, as long as it gets enough light.
The Ripple Jade plant is characterised by its dark green foliage. Because of the unusual color, it is often preferred as an indoor plant.
The pink-white clusters of flowers produced in summer add to its attractiveness. It is quite a squat plant that resembles a bonsai, which also makes it perfect as an indoor plant.
Silver Dollar Jade
There are two things that make the Silver Dollar Jade a great plant to grow indoors. One is the silvery gray rounded leaves that make it such an attractive plant.
The other is that it will not grow bigger than about 60cm. If the Silver Dollar is planted in a small container, it won’t even grow that high. The plants tend to grow to be accommodated by their pot size.
Where to Buy
Mountain Crest Gardens
With a massive selection of succulents grown in the heart of a Northern California valley, Mountain Crest Gardens should be the first stop for both new succulent owners and experienced aficionados.
The prices for the rarer varieties are less expensive than traditional jade plants from other vendors. Ordering a few plants will get you free shipping to anywhere within the United States and its territories, but the company doesn’t provide international shipping.
Their other succulents are just as beautiful and easy to maintain, so snagging a few extra is worth the cost. A subscription service supplies new succulents every month for a fairly low cost if your crassula inspires a love of beautiful and unfussy plants.
Succulents Box is another succulent-focused garden from California that has more available crassula types than there are on this list. Compared to Mountain Crest, the selection and prices are similar, but it won’t make a major difference to most shoppers.
The subscription service starts at a lower cost, although the two are about the same for the largest subscriptions. The gardens don’t share the exact same product list, either, so it’s worth the time to check out both shops. Shipping is similarly restricted to the United States.
Yet another small succulent farm in California, Planet Desert’s selection of common and rare jade plants is roughly on par with the first two sites.
The overall pricing on the site is also close enough to the others, and the subscription service lets you pick between a mix of cacti and succulents to fine-tune your collection.
There are few products that the retail giant, Amazon, doesn’t have on its list. Amazon’s selection of crassulas varies depending on their retail partners, but enough companies are competing for Amazon shoppers’ money to nearly guarantee a wide selection at any given moment.
For Amazon Prime members, the money saved from shipping may help bring down the cost of small orders. If you’re not a Prime member, check the seller’s information to see if the company website has better deals.
While definitely losing the e-commerce war to Amazon, Ebay is not yet out of the fight. Ebay’s jade plant supply has the same dependency on retail partners as Amazon, but the environment is not exactly the same.
The site’s auction format was a driving force in its rise to prominence, but flat-rate shopping is now a much more common sight.
There are more independent sellers offering items in small volumes, though, so you also might find someone getting rid of an older and larger jade plant for auction with a current bid that’s lower than a newer plant from a garden store.
Corporate sellers dominate Amazon, and they still have a firm hold on Ebay. Comparatively, Etsy has a higher concentration of independent sellers and small businesses for a more personable feel.
Truly unique and odd items will occasionally cross your search. International shipping is easier to find from many sellers, and direct contact with the seller may provide some room for negotiation if they don’t already offer it.
The major downside will be the lack of corporate resources typically translating to higher shipping and handling costs. Product supply may also be more temperamental, since smaller sellers won’t have the volume and production to handle sudden shifts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are jade plants toxic to humans?
Jade plants are toxic, especially to animals. The exact cause of toxicity is unknown, but many believe that it is due to the presence of oxalic acid in the leaves. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, breathing problems and difficulty swallowing.
Can jade plants grow in water?
The Jade plant is a succulent, meaning it can store water in its leaves. It’s important to water your Jade plant regularly, but you shouldn’t allow it to sit in water as this can cause root rot. They should only be watered when the soil dries out.
Why do jade plants drop leaves?
If your jade plant is dropping leaves, it could be due to one of two issues:
Too much sunlight — jade plants like bright light but not direct sunlight. If they get too much light, they’ll start dropping their leaves. Move your plant to a shadier spot or provide artificial light if needed.
The soil is too dry — jade plants like moist soil but not soggy soil. If they don’t get enough water, they may drop their leaves to conserve energy until conditions improve again. You should check your jade’s soil every day for signs of moisture (such as dark spots on top) and water accordingly, if necessary.
Do jade plants have flowers?
It takes three to four years for them to flower for the first time. The flowers of jade plants are white and star-shaped. They bloom in the summer and can reach up to half-inch wide.
The plant produces male and female flowers on separate plants. Female flowers have longer stems than male ones, which makes them easier to spot.
Where do jade plants come from?
Jade plants are succulent plants that are native to South Africa and Mozambique. There are several species of jade plant, but the most popular and common is Crassula Ovata.
Jade plants have thick, fleshy leaves that grow in clusters along their stems. The leaves are generally oval or rounded in shape with a waxy texture and a smooth surface.
Are jade plants edible?
No, jade plants are beautiful to look at, but no part of them is edible. They are mildly toxic to humans and very dangerous for animals who might chew on their leaves.
Why are jade plants called money trees?
The plant has been used for hundreds of years in Chinese medicine, where it is known as a “money tree” because of its ability to bring good fortune and prosperity. The plant is also called “jade tree” or “money plant.”
Can I put two jade plants together?
In general, it is recommended that you keep only one jade plant per pot. The reason is that if you have more than one in the same pot, they will compete for light and nutrients. This can cause the plants to become weak and unhealthy, or even die.
If you are starting jade plants from cuttings, you can keep them in the same pot until they begin to have established root systems.
Can jade plants be misted?
Yes! Jade plants can be misted, especially in the wintertime. Misting is a great way to add water to your plant without having to water it too much.
The jade plant is a type of succulent, meaning its leaves and stems store water. This makes it perfect for misting, as you don’t need to worry about overwatering your plant.
Can you compost jade plants?
While many succulents can be composted, it’s best to avoid composting jade plants because they contain toxins that can irritate skin and cause vomiting if consumed. The leaves of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are sharp and can cause painful injuries if touched by bare hands or broken skin.
What are jade plants?
Jade plants (Crassula Ovata) are succulent, drought-tolerant plants that grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. They are fast-growing and easy to care for, making them a popular choice among gardeners and indoor houseplants alike.