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

Updated on November 26, 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 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 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

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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 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.

Crassula Arborscens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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.  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.

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. 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.

Small Succulent Plant Cuttings

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

See results

Jade Plant Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Sherry Venegas

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      • profile image

        liny-tan 

        5 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 

        5 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.

      • lbrummer profile image

        Loraine Brummer 

        5 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 

        5 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!

      • paperfacets profile imageAUTHOR

        Sherry Venegas 

        5 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.

      • KonstantinaK profile image

        KonstantinaK 

        5 years ago

        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 profile image

        justramblin 

        5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        5 years ago

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

      • OhMe profile image

        Nancy Tate Hellams 

        5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        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 profile image

        Rob Hemphill 

        5 years ago from Ireland

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

      • flycatcherrr profile image

        flycatcherrr 

        5 years ago

        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 profile image

        SadSquid 

        5 years ago

        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 profile image

        Weremuffin 

        5 years ago

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

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 

        5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        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.

      • Cari Kay 11 profile image

        Kay 

        5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        getmoreinfo 

        5 years ago

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

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