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Tips and Care for 3 Kinds of Jade Plant (With Photos)

Sherry has maintained homes and landscaped yards for 48 years in Southern California. She has collected water-wise succulents for 12 years.

Three 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 on the front is Gollum.

Three 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 on the front is Gollum.

Crassula Ovata: The 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


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 into a pleasing shape like a bonsai. I have seen one specimen that was five feet tall.

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.

Jade plant compacta

Jade plant compacta

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 with 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 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.

Silver Jade

Silver Jade

Share Succulent Cuttings

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. You can share these succulents with people you know.

These are three cuttings snapped off at a junction.  Before planting, let the ends dry up to encourage new root growth.

These are three cuttings snapped off at a junction. Before planting, let the ends dry up to encourage new root growth.

Jade Plant Care for Beginners

If you are new to jade plant care, 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.

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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. Huge amounts 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 jade because it is labeled bonsai. Any branch cut off from the mother jade looks like a bonsai. Look for a nice clipping from an established plant and start your own bonsai.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: When do you start to prune or shape your Jade plant?

Answer: Start controlling the shape of your plant within six months. A jade plant is a happy and hardy plant and will do well in a pot or the ground.

© 2013 Sherry Venegas


liny-tan on May 12, 2013:

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 from Los Angeles, CA on April 20, 2013:

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.

Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on April 16, 2013:

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 from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada on April 15, 2013:

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!

Sherry Venegas (author) from La Verne, CA on April 10, 2013:

@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.

KonstantinaK on April 10, 2013:

I don't remember how I ended up with a cutting of such a plant not knowing what its name was. It has been growing nicely and coming across your lens I finally found out what it is. Great information, thanks.

justramblin on April 01, 2013:

what gorgeous photos you've taken. I love my jade plant and succulents are great. Very nice job.

anonymous on March 31, 2013:

I love Jade plants, I have a Crassula Ovata in my bedroom. Nice looking plants

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on March 30, 2013:

I have had many Jade Plants but never planted one outside and mine never got anywhere near this big. I had some that were very old and enjoyed sharing cuttings with friends. Right now I don't have a single one so need to do something about that. Reading about yours and seeing your great photos really make me want to get one. Thanks for sharing.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on March 18, 2013:

My mother grows Jade in her garden, and I've always admired it, especially the variegated leaves of the compacta variety.

flycatcherrr on March 18, 2013:

Jade plant is a house plant in my climate, but lovely all the same. If I lived somewhere hot and dry, I'd love to create a whole drought-tolerant alternative-to-lawn garden from different textures and colours. Gorgeous photographs!

SadSquid on March 18, 2013:

Great photos! I must admit I've never seen any of the plants other than the plain standard one, which has almost taken over my flat. About 12 years ago I bought it as a tiny plant, it is now a splendid tree, and I have repotted many bits of it, so I have about 10 plants!

Weremuffin on March 17, 2013:

Growing up we had a really large jade plant. Succulents are awesome because they're so hardy.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on March 17, 2013:

How nice to see jade plants growing outside. I never really thought of it before. I had a big beautiful indoor one a long time ago.. I loved it. (Then I acquired cats, but I digress). Beautiful photos.

Kay on March 17, 2013:

That Crassula ovata 'compacta' is stunning, isn't it? I've love to have that in our pool area.

getmoreinfo on March 17, 2013:

These Jade Plant photos are so beautiful, and they make for great Succulents for the garden.

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