Crassula ovata, otherwise commonly known as the Jade Plant, or Money Tree, has become a symbol of good health and luck. You probably have seen it at Asian restaurants as it has significant cultural relevance. The traditional Jade Plant is grown as a mini-tree, when it’s really a bush or shrub in nature. Under cultivation techniques used in bonsai (frequent pruning, exposure to controlled stress), the Jade plant can develop into a beautiful specimen with many fine smaller leaves.
It’s an easy plant to grow because its leaves store nutrients like water and carbohydrates and is able to withstand hot sun as well as drought and recovers quickly once watered. In addition, it’s easy to propagate. Simply cut off a small piece (include the stem with a few leaves), let the cut heal (a day) and then replant in new moist potting soil or place into water. New roots will grow from the junction between leaf and stem as well as the bottom of the stem in a couple of week.s
You might not know that Jade plant has several interesting cousins who are quite lovely and extraordinary in their own right. Here are some of our favorites:
Fluted Jade Plant – this plant has modified leaves that look like little stubby flutes reaching out for the sky.
Jade Crosby – this plant has extra large leaves that develops lovely reddish tints that contrast nicely with its bright green color.
Jade Necklace – this plant has tightly placed leaves that almost merge into each other. It’s extra compact and is quite the collector’s item.
We want to also point out another plant that is often mistakenly identified as a Jade plant. Commonly known as Paddle Plant or Flapjacks for its very large flat leaves, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora belongs to another genus, Kalanchoe. You might be more familiar with its famous flowering cousin, which is the namesake of the genus. See below for both Kalanchoes (not Jade plants)