Crassula ovata

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Crassula ovata is an excellent container and house plant. It can also be grown as a specimen plant in rock, succulent or cactus gardens.

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Crassula ovata

  • Names and Synonyms:  
    Crassula argentea
  • Common Names:  
    Jade Plant, Success Plant, Money Plant, Friendship tree
  • Family:  
  • Origin:  
    South Africa, specifically the rocky outcroppings in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
  • Height:  
  • Width:  
  • Cold Tolerance:  
    25 to 30°F; -3.9 to -1.1°C
  • Heat Tolerance:  
    High heat tolerance
  • Light Requirement:  
    Part shade inland to full sun along the coast. In hottest climates shade leaves during extended heat waves to avoid sun burning of leaves.
  • Water needs:  
    Drought tolerant but can take irrigation in well-drained soils. Avoid watering in cool, wet winters.
  • Maintenance:  
  • Uses:  
    Crassula ovata is an excellent container plant. It can also be grown as a specimen plant in rock, succulent or cactus gardens. This crassula is both fire and deer resistant, making it both a great addition to a near frost-free landscape, and it is interesting when used in large groups. C. ovata makes an excellent, long-lived houseplant in bright light.
  • Propagation:  
    This plant can be propagated from stem and leaf cuttings, which should be allowed to callus over before planting. It does not come true from seed.
  • Problems:  
    Requires well-draining soils to avoid root and stem rot. Occasional problems with mealybugs and rarely with scale.
  • Special notes:  
    This is a many-branced succulent shrub that has glossy-green obovate leaves. It winter to spring it is covered in rounded heads of pink to white small star-shaped flowers, which have a faint sweet scent. The flowers attract bees, wasps, flies, beetles and butterflies. Crassulas have a special way of reducing water loss from their leaves without limiting their ability to photosynthesise, known as Crassulacean Acid Metabolism or CAM. All plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and most plants take it in during daylight hours through their stomata (pores in the leaves) during which time they lose water vapor. In Crassula the stomata are closed during the day but open at night when the carbon dioxite is taken in and stored in the form of organic crassulacean acids. Crassula break down these acids during the day and use the carbon dioxide in the photosynthetic process. So they lose much less water than other plants during the day yet can photosyntesise normally. Furthermore, during extremely dry periods they won't even open their stomata at night, and will re-cycle the CO2 within the cells. They won't be able to grow at all but the cells will be kept healthy - this is known as CAM-idling. Although established plants can take light frosts it is best to protect them as the attractive leaves will be damaged.