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Photos, Tips, and Care of 3 Kinds of Jade Plant

Updated on April 21, 2017
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Sherry has maintained homes and landscaped yards for 45 years in Southern California. She has collected water-wise succulents for 10 years.

3 different jade plants: The dark green on the left is the well-known type in winter bloom; the blue to the right is called silver jade, and the out-of-focus green in the front are called gollum.
3 different jade plants: The dark green on the left is the well-known type in winter bloom; the blue to the right is called silver jade, and the out-of-focus green in the front are called gollum.

Crassula Ovata: Jade Plant

The jade plant, or Crassula ovata, is known by even the beginning gardener. It is grown in pots and gardens all over the world. The jades pictured here, planted on a slope of clay soil, are hardy and get no extra watering. It is a very easy plant for Mediterranean climates and outdoor cultivation.

Jade Plant
Jade Plant

Gollum

This jade plant below is called the gollum. There are new cultivars that are crosses of the naturals of nature. The Crassula ovata 'gollum' is one of them.

The trunk on my plant is thick, but all the branches can easily be snapped off. The goal is to keep it small but try to form it in to a pleasing shape like a bonsai. I have seen one specimen that was five feet tall.

Gollum jade
Gollum jade

Four Images of Crassula Ovata Gollum

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The gollum in the foreground and the two other jade plants in the background at the top.The gollum in full afternoon sun.The trunk of the gollum is thick and gray.Close up of the Crassula ovata 'gollum'.
The gollum in the foreground and the two other jade plants in the background at the top.
The gollum in the foreground and the two other jade plants in the background at the top.
The gollum in full afternoon sun.
The gollum in full afternoon sun.
The trunk of the gollum is thick and gray.
The trunk of the gollum is thick and gray.
Close up of the Crassula ovata 'gollum'.
Close up of the Crassula ovata 'gollum'.
jade plant compacta
jade plant compacta

Jade Compacta

This is the jade plant with lots of red. Succulents with a hint of red are my favorites. The 'compacta' has smaller leaves than the green version. This potted jade gets a watering every week during the hot summer months.

Their location in the yard gets very hot summer sun and the jades are hardy enough to survive with only 5-6 waterings between June and September.

Silver Jade
Silver Jade

Silver Jade Plant

This silver jade plant also known as Blue Bird Jade and Silver Dollar plant is not a Crassula ovata. It is a Crassula arborescens. It is a light blue and in the sun all day each leaf becomes edged with red. The leaves are thick and hold lots of water. They have a very thin layer of a powder like covering that comes off when wiped or touched. We will be seeing it more often in Southern California as gardeners become aware of it. It is more striking than the jade from a distance, and a beefy beauty close up. Care for it as you would any jade plant.

Crassula Arborscens

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Closeup of the Silver JadeClose up of Silver JadeJade Plant on upper right, Silver Jade on upper leftSilver Jade in full sun
Closeup of the Silver Jade
Closeup of the Silver Jade
Close up of Silver Jade
Close up of Silver Jade
Jade Plant on upper right, Silver Jade on upper left
Jade Plant on upper right, Silver Jade on upper left
Silver Jade in full sun
Silver Jade in full sun

Start Succulent Cuttings for Everyone You Know

Succulents are sometimes called the friendship plant. It is easy to start a new plant with the smallest of clippings. Why pay $4.00 for those tiny 2 inch pots from the grocery store or hardware store?

All my neighbors that have succulents near the front walk are very friendly. They may not know it.

These are three cuttings snapped off at a junction of the three jades in the yard. Let the ends dry up before putting in soil for new root growth.
These are three cuttings snapped off at a junction of the three jades in the yard. Let the ends dry up before putting in soil for new root growth.

Care of Jade Plants for Beginners

Use a cutting of a jade plant for the kids as a first plant to grow. If you are in a freeze-free climate, it can be used as a landscape accent or put in a pot in a sunny outdoor spot. If you live in the colder snowy climes, it will happily be an indoor plant with plenty of direct sun.

The first rule to remember is not to over-water the plant. Since the plant is tolerant of stress, that is all you need to know. If the first cutting does not survive, that is a lesson too.

Believe me, any jade that is established will need to be trimmed. Lots of cuttings will be thrown in the trash after a good shaping. This is one reason to not care if someone should take a pinch of a succulent plant.

Many jades are sold as a bonsai online. Do not pay more for a plant because it is labeled bonsai. Any branch cut off from the mother jade looks like a bonsai. Just look for a nice clipping from an established plant and start your own bonsai.

Small Succulent Plant Cuttings

Do you take small cuttings when out and about the neighborhood?

See results

Jade Plant Photos

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Jade Plant close up with flowersJade Plant Flowers
Jade Plant close up with flowers
Jade Plant close up with flowers
Jade Plant Flowers
Jade Plant Flowers

Experiment with Photo Closeups

One of the most intriguing aspects of growing succulents is the visual closeup. The succulent garden is a whole new world when the visitor gets up close and sees the smallest sprout, or the brightness of color on a tip or cluster.

© 2013 Sherry Venegas

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      liny-tan 4 years ago

      i don't know about jade plants since i haven't have one in my garden. I wish to have one but i don't think they'll be happy with so much rain (which we are always blessed). maybe i have seen them during my travels but im not aware they are jade plant at all. glad to hear what they are all about!

    • Sharon Weaver profile image

      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      When I lived in NY, I though jade plants were so exotic but now in CA I have about a dozen on my property. They are the shrub line around my home. Nice information and photos.

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      Loraine Brummer 4 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      This is exactly the type of plant that I need for pots on my patio. Something that doesn't need to be watered often......and beautiful. I wish I could use them as border plants but it gets too cold here in the winter. Thanks for so much useful information.

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      I have had jade plants growing from cuttings for years but I never realized that there are so many different varieties. Great photos! Thanks so much for sharing!

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      Sherry Venegas 4 years ago from La Verne, CA

      @KonstantinaK: Your name experience is exactly how I learn the names. First an eye catching cutting is acquired, then later the name is found, usually on the internet, but a succulent grower I visit on Sunday market is another source.

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