The Different Types of Jade Plants

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: klenova/iStock/GettyImages
See More Photos

Jade (​Crassula​ spp.) is a succulent plant native to the desert region of South Africa with different types of jade plants to add a little variety to your indoor plant collection. Also known as dollar plant or money plant, jade plants are easily identified by their fleshy, bright green leaves and thick main stem.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Usually grown as a houseplant due to its cold intolerance, jade can grow as tall as 6 feet and takes on a treelike appearance not unlike bonsai. Jade needs plenty of light, but the leaves may burn if planted during summers outdoors in direct sunlight. Jade is easily propagated with leaf or stem cuttings. The plant is highly toxic to dogs.

Advertisement

Common Types of Jade Plants

Dozens of jade plant species and cultivars are available from plant nurseries and mail order suppliers. Except in very dry conditions similar to their origins, jade plants aren't appropriate for planting directly into the garden but do well in containers outdoors as long as they spend the winter indoors in all but the warmest subtropical climates.

Advertisement

The most common cause of plant death is overwatering. Succulents need water, of course, but they don't like to stay wet all the time. Let the soil become dry in between thorough waterings. Plant jade in containers with good drainage, in fast-draining growing medium such as a succulent potting mix. Kept as a houseplant, jade may not flower at all. Those that do usually produce clusters of small, white flowers.

Advertisement

Some types of ​Crassula ovata​ (USDA zones 11-12) jade plants are grown for their color. Bronze Beauty is a slow grower that produces leaves with a bronze overtone. California Red Tip develops dark red to purple leaf margins when exposed to bright light. Sunset jade develops golden leaf margins in full sunlight. Tricolor jade has pointed leaves striped with white and pink, and this variety produces pink and white flowers.

Advertisement

Miniature Jade Plants

Some types of ​Crassula ovata​ jade plants are smaller than other selections. Crosby's Compact jade is a dwarf selection with tiny leaves on 3-inch stems. Compacta jade is another miniature jade plant with leaves that turn yellow with contrasting red margins when conditions are hot and dry. Both these cultivars are easily trained as bonsai. Mini jade plants grow slowly, keeping the plants small and compact, which makes them ideal as houseplants when you don't have a lot of room.

Advertisement

Unusual Jade Plants

Although several dozen types of jade plant are readily available, new cultivars are developed by succulent enthusiasts and scientists all the time. These new cultivars are bred for color, texture, trunk shape and leaf form, creating unique looks.

ET's Finger has spoon-like, tubular leaves with red tips instead of the flat, fat leaves of other jade varieties, and the plant is sometimes called Shrek. Lemon and Lime is a variegated variety of jade plant with yellow stripes on its green leaves. Place Hummel's Sunset in full sun and watch its leaves turn bright red, yellow and green. Gollum jade plant grows 1 to 2 feet tall, and the plant has fleshy, tubular leaves indented at the tips and a very thick, gnarled, squat trunk, while Coral jade has long, thick, tube-like leaves that grow in a coral-like shape up to 12 inches tall.

Advertisement

references