Crassula

Common name: The Money Plant or Jade Plant

Crassula arborescens or Jade plant is a shrubby flowering succulent.

Pot grown subjects tend to grow to around 600mm (24") high with a similar spread.

In its native habitat in South Africa it can reach heights of 2 metres or more.

In pots it produces a thick trunk and branch structure with thick elliptic green succulent leaves.

When given sufficient light the leaves develop red edges and clusters of star-shaped white flowers will appear in Autumn.

Pot plants tend to become bonsaied with regular pruning and the normal leaf size of 25-50mm (1"-2") may reduce in size to around 12mm (½")

The white insignificant flowers appear in May / June.

Grow on in 75-150mm (3"-6") pots (according to the size of the plant) containing a well drained compost.

Use either proprietary Cactus compost or add equal parts (by volume) of coarse sand / fine grit to any potting compost.

Apply a balanced liquid feed about once per month during the warmer months.

They require a bright location, and a minimum temperature of 7°C (45°F)

Pots can be placed outdoors for the summer, and returned indoors when the weather becomes decidedly cooler.

Cultivation

Week 17: Re-pot and renew compost every 2-3 years.

Week 18: Sow seeds on the surface of any proprietary seed compost.

Germinate the seeds at 18°C (65°F).

Prick out the seedlings into 75mm (3") pots when large enough to handle.

Week 26: Take leaf cuttings by pulling a leaf from the main stem, leave it to dry for 24 hours then place it on the surface of the growing compost.

Leave until roots form a small rosette at the base of the cutting.

When well rooted, prick out into 75mm (3") pots.

Watering

Crassula originate from arid terraine meaning that where possible these conditions should be replicated where ever possible.

Being succelents they are capable of holding large quantities of water in their leaves.

When the leaves start to develop a wrinkled texture this is a sign that they are running out of moisture.

Generally the compost should be allowed to dry in between light waterings to encourage the roots to search for moisture.

This will creating a far stronger and vigorous root system.

Over watering may cause the plant develop a poor root systems which in turn can lead to the plant becoming physically incapable of supporting the heavy foliage and become top heavy.

In severe cases the stem/trunk can break off at soil level.

In winter plants may only require watering once a month subject to the temperatures it is being kept at.

Pruning

New growth should be regularly pinched out to encourage stronger lower growth and to reduce leaf-size.

Leave pruning wounds open and allow to dry naturally, never seal the wounds, wound sealents can trap moisture within the wound site and cause rotting.





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