Crassula arborescens, an absolutely adorable species of succulents, is a plant that you must add to your collection! This succulent is a popular ornamental plant around the world and treasured by gardeners for its glamorous appearance and easy-going personality.
As with most succulents, you will see that Crassula arborescens is more than a delight to have around and you can even forget about it from time to time without worries.
In cultivation, Crassula arborescens goes by several common names. You will find this beauty under various labels including silver jade plant, silver dollar plant, money plant, money tree, or Chinese jade.
Some of these names also describe other species of plants or succulents, but thanks to its unique appearance, C. arborescens is easy to identify. The most common name for this plant, however, is ‘silver jade plant’.
The silver jade plant belongs to the well-known Crassulaceae a.k.a. Stonecrop family of flowering succulents. This drought-tolerant plant is an endemic species of the Western Cape region of South Africa.
Worldwide, the largest family of succulent plants is Sedum with 428 different species, but in southern Africa, the title goes to Crassula which encompassed 150 different species, and C. arborescens is an important member of this family.
Crassula arborescens plants usually thrive in shale-derived soils and sandstone, and in gravel-like to rocky habitats. This allows this succulent to tolerate inhospitable environments. In indoor settings, it will grow at its best if you provide it with an environment that mimics its natural habitat.
Keep reading to find out more about the low-demanding nature of the silver jade plant and how you can grow it in your home!
About Silver Jade Plant
- The Silver jade plant is an excellent addition to different landscape decorations, such as succulent gardens, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, and container gardens, but you can also grow it in pots for indoor ornamental usage.
- Because it is a very spectacular plant, you can use the silver jade plant to create a statement spot in your garden. If this sounds like a good idea, we suggest you plant this succulent near other cool-looking succulent species like Agave, Blue Chalksticks, Kalanchoe, Sedums, and of course, other types of Crassulas.
- Thanks to its succulent leaves, the silver jade plant can store generous quantities of water. This particular feature makes the succulent very tolerant of drought for prolonged periods. You will have to water yours only once in a while.
- There are two types of C. Arborescens – namely Crassula arborescens subsp. arborescens and subsp. undulatifolia. The latter has twisted bluish-grey leaves that feature purple edges and dark green dots and is commonly known as ‘ripple jade plant’.
- In Swaziland, the roots of silver jade crassulas are sometimes used as treatments for different affections and as referred to as ‘umchobozovithi’
- Crassula arborescens can be pretty dangerous to both humans and animals. Its leaves and stems contain a sap that can irritate human skin. Likewise, the sap is mildly toxic to cats and dogs if ingested or touched. It’s best to use gloves when handling the plant, to avoid any unpleasant skin reactions.
- If you are concerned about the safety of your kids or pets, make sure you keep this plant in a location where they cannot get in contact with it.
Silver Jade Plant Features: An Overview
- The silver jade plant belongs to the Crassula genus which contains about 200 species of lovely succulents. It shares this genus with the popular Jade plant ornamental.
- This fellow is a perennial evergreen succulent that can grow from 2 to 4 feet (0.6-1.2 m) in height. The plant classifies as a heavily-branched succulent shrub or a small succulent tree.
- Its foliage consists of many fleshy, oval or disc-shaped, and greenish to silver-grey leaves that feature small, reddish spots and pink-reddish margins. The succulent leaves appear on thick, stout grey branches.
- The intense red edges typically show up when the silver jade plant receives lots of full sunlight. As the plant grows older, its trunk and sturdy limbs become thick and massive, taking the overall look of a miniature tree.
- The silver jade plant may bloom in spring or summer. During these seasons, the succulent produces beautiful clusters of small, white flowers that turn somewhat pink with time. The flowering habit is quite rare in cultivation.
- The silver jade plant can be evergreen to deciduous (depending on the environment) and it’s mostly the old leaves that fall off.
- It has a shallow root system that allows it to utilize light rain showers and grow in inhospitable environments such as slopes and cliffs.
Growing Silver Jade Plant
The exotic and unique appearance of the silver jade might make you think that it’s a picky plant, but we have good news! All species of succulents tend to do just fine with little to no effort on your part, and this buddy is no different.
Although it needs particular environmental conditions and a suitable caring routine, these are not as hard to achieve as you might expect.
The silver jade plant is a type of succulent that requires about six hours of full sunlight a day. However, if the sun is very hot during the summer months in your area, it would be wise to keep yours in a place where it can receive some shade, especially in the afternoon.
In outdoor settings, the ideal location for your silver jade plant would be somewhere with lots of morning sun and afternoon shade. Indoors, make sure you find a spot where it can experience bright, indirect light throughout the day, such as near a south-facing window.
With regret, we must tell you that the Silver jade plant is not cold-hardy. The hardiness zones of this succulent range from USDA 9 through 12.
In general, the plant will grow happy as long as it does not receive temperatures below 30 °F (-1.1 °C). If you live in a region that gets colder than this, you will have to plant your silver jade plant in a pot to bring it inside your house in autumn. In this way, you will protect it from harsh winter conditions like frost.
The silver jade plant might encounter some pest visits with time. The most common intruders that will visit your Crassula succulents include spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids.
When you are dealing with one of these pests, you can save your succulent by washing the insects off. This strategy works best for aphids, but if the infestation is not severe, it might work for the others as well. For severe infestations, you can treat your silver jade plant by using non-chemical substances, such as neem oil or other horticultural treatments.
Planting Silver Jade Plant
To grow healthy and happy, the silver jade plant needs substrates that feature very sharp drainage. This succulent prefers neutral to slightly acidic soils, but extreme pH levels will rarely kill it, so you do not need to worry too much about this aspect.
As a rule of thumb, the silver jade plant will thrive in sandy or rocky growing mediums designed specifically for cacti and succulents. If you want to keep this plant in a container, look for one that has drainage holes at the bottom.
The silver jade plant will benefit from fertilizers only once every year in its lifetime. You can provide yours with a little organic fertilizer. Make sure the label of the product mentions that is good for succulents, as this plant does not handle very well any type of fertilizer.
Feed your silver jade plant once it starts its active growing period in mid-spring.
This succulent tends to become a bit large with time, so it will not feel very comfortable in its first container. When the plant seems to outgrow its pot, you will need to transplant it into a new one that is one size bigger than the current it has.
The frequency of repotting may vary, but it generally is around once every one or two years.
- Common names include: Jade Plant, riendship plant | Scientific name: Crassula Ovata|Shipped well-rooted & potted in a 4 inch plastic pot with soil and ready for a size up!
- The jade plant is an evergreen with thick branches. It has thick, shiny, smooth leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are a rich jade green, although some may appear to be more of a yellow-green.
- This succulent thrives under bright shade, meaning it can receive lots of light, but it does not have to be direct sunlight. In fact, watch out for sun burn marks and move the plant accordingly. It also only needs to be watered when the soil is completely dry. You can feel the dirt for moisture or feel the weight of the pot. Super low maintenenace plants.
- New stem growth is the same colour and texture as the leaves, becoming woody and brown with age. It grows as an upright, rounded, thick-stemmed, strongly branched shrub and reaches stature heights of up to 2.5 metres. The base is usually sparsely branched.
- Easy to care for, low maintenance, healthy well-rooted starter plant, Rare Live Succulent, air-purifying, stress-decreasing. . Grows well indoors and outdoors. Ready for a size up of its pot! Perfect for arrangements, hanging baskets, planters, containers. The ideal gift for mothers day, gift for dad, wedding present, birthday surprise, group events, and zoom team meetings.
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Watering Silver Jade Plant
The silver jade plant is one of those companions that will not wither if you forget to water it for a few days. In fact, this drought-tolerant succulent will have the time of its life if you water it as rarely as possible. Still, this does not mean that you can forget about it for months and everything will be alright.
Watering succulents can seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you get used to a good, well-fit watering routine, your succulents will do just fine!
The perfect way to avoid providing your Silver jade plant with too much water is to use the popular “soak & dry” technique.
This method consists of spoiling your succulent with a generous touch of water, and then waiting for its growing medium to dry out completely before repeating the process.
There is no rule of frequency when it comes to how often you should water your silver jade plant. In general, it will depend directly on the environment.
If you are growing this plant indoors, you will have to minimize watering from late autumn to winter because it goes dormant. During its active growing period, in spring, you must expect a slight increase in your succulent watering needs.
Propagating Silver Jade Plant
If you want more to fill your home with silver jade plants, all you have to do is propagate them through stem or leaf cuttings. The process for both methods is super simple, requiring no prior experience with plants at all. Let’s see how it’s done!
To propagate your silver jade plant from leaf cuttings, you will first need to remove as many healthy leaves as you want from your plant.
Secondly, place the cuttings in a warm spot on a paper towel and allow them to form a callus at the cut ends for several days.
Once the callus has formed, you must dip the cut ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone, then plant them in a container filled with a slightly damp potting mix. Move the pot to a warm, bright, and direct-lit location. Water the leaf cuttings gently whenever the soil seems completely dry.
Lastly, when the roots are strong and established, you can plant the tiny succulents in their permanent spots in spring.
If you use stems, the process is not very different from leaf propagation. You will have to follow the same steps as above, except that you need to take stem cuttings of about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. Each cutting must contain at least two pairs of leaves. With proper care, the stem cuttings will produce roots in a week or two after planting.
Crassula arborescens a.k.a. the silver jade plant is, without a doubt, a must-have for every respectable grower that loves succulents. Due to its easy-going style, this succulent is a great companion for beginner gardeners and for gardeners that tend to forget about their plants occasionally. If you can relate to one of these cases, add a Crassula arborescens to your collection!
Are you growing silver jade plants? Let us know in the comments section!