Bonsai Crassula ovata

One day my hubby said that I should trim the fat plants along the driveway. Ha….. fat plants? I had no idea what he was talking about. Actually, he was talking about Jade plants. Why? He reckoned because it had rounded fleshy leaves and thick fat soft trunks.

Jade plant is also commonly known as lucky plant, money plant, friendship tree and the botanical nama is Crassula ovata (or Crassula arborescens, Crassula argentea, Crassula portulacea). Native to South Africa, this big succulent plant can grow higher than 1 m. It is very easy to grow and to propagate by cutting the branch/stem or leaf cutting. Most species of C. ovata will bear pinkish white small starry flowers that cover the plant twice a year during early winter and early summer. It has few different varieties: jade green colour or variegated ( double colour of green and creamy yellow, green and orange red or tri colour of green, creamy yellow and red). There is also dwarf variation which has smaller leaves. I notice that the colour of jade foliage can change according to the season. In the heat of summer they tend to be more colourful with more prominent red margin.

To flower fully, it has to be grown in full sun. If grown in shady area it tends to grow very green with less or no flowers at all, while in full sun the foliage will be slightly yellow with red margin/tinge around the edges.

Our Jade Trees

As Jade plant has attractive folliage and thick shapely trunks, it is very suitable for Bonsai. To make the jade bonsai nice and compact, it is important to pinch the new leaves during the growing season to create new branches to develop.

Growing jade plant is very easy and versatile for any garden with warmer climate. If grown on the ground and once established, they will prefer to be left alone and no need to water. Only if it is grown in containers, it will need water once the soil is becoming dry and it will need a little fertilizer to make it grow better.

Many Asian people believe that putting jade trees near the door way will bring good luck and more money. I’m not really sure about it, only if you sell plants for a living then I believe that it can be true as you can easily propagate this plant, easier than any other plants that I know. When I trim our jade trees along the drive way, I also stick them in pots and later when they have grown, I just give them away to family and friends or anyone who are interested :)

Happy Gardening!!