Money Plant (Jade Plant or Jade Tree): Care, Types, and Tips For Growing Crassula Ovata

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The money plant is the common name for a species of jade plant called Crassula ovata. This type of jade plant is named money plant because according to the Chinese Feng Shui it brings good luck, wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. This miniature tree like jade plant is a popular houseplant because it is very easy to care for.

Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant is a type of woody succulent plant that belongs to the family Crassulaceae. The name “jade plant” comes from the jade-green color of the leaves. When exposed to bright sun, these jade-colored leaves can develop red blushing around their edges. Jade plants are also called dollar-plants.

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Jade plants are also known for their longevity and may even live for up to 100 years or longer. As the jade plant ages, it develops a thick woody stem and branches giving it a tree-like appearance, and as such some people call it money tree plant. The coin or ovate-shaped fleshy leaves create lush succulent foliage on this tree-like money plant.

The beauty of this “lucky plant” is that it thrives in most indoor environments. Jade plants can survive little watering and can grow well under artificial light. It is easy to grow jade plants and with a little care, your money plant can assume a bonsai-like appearance.

Being a Feng Shui money plant means it is a popular gift at weddings, housewarming parties, or for new business owners. The vibrant growth of jade plants is said to create positive energy and evoke feelings of balance, harmony, and well-being.

Types of Money Plants

There are two main types of money plants according to the Chinese Feng Shui: the jade plant Crassula ovata which is commonly known as the money plant and Pachira Aquatica which is known as the money tree or the lucky tree. The money tree is an ornamental houseplant that is often sold with a braided trunk. It has long stems and lanceolate-shaped leaves growing from the top of them.

Although the jade plant Crassula ovata is often referred to as money tree, it is not the ‘true’ good luck tree.

There are over 300 types of jade plants, but it is the Crassula ovata species that is said to attract money according to the Feng Shui. Jade Crassula ovata plant is one of the good luck plants popular in Chinese Feng Shui.

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jade plants

Left: Crassula ovata (jade plant or money plant) has tree like appearance. Right: Pachira Aquatica (money tree plant). Both plants are said to bring good fortune according to the Feng Shui

How to Take Care of a Money Plant

With proper care and attention, your money plant will thrive for many years. This ensures that your “good luck plant” creates a positive environment wherever it is placed.

Rather than leaving caring for your money plant to luck, read on to find out how to take proper care of your jade plant.

How to water a jade tree plant

Jade plants are a species of succulent and they require the correct watering to promote healthy growth. Even though they can withstand infrequent watering, jade tree plants shouldn’t be left to go completely dry for long periods.

To keep your jade plant healthy, it is also important not to over-water it. Too much water can result in root rot and you may see leaves start to fall off. The first sign of over-watering is when the leaves start to go soft and mushy. So, if you notice this, hold back from watering until the soil dries off.

The best way to know how often to water your jade plant is by the soil. You should allow the soil to become almost dry out before watering it. This means that the frequency to water your money plant depends on the season – in hot weather you may have to water it weekly and in winter, only very occasionally.

To water your jade plant, pour water directly into the soil until it drains out the bottom. Let the soil dry out before repeating watering.

Light requirements of jade tree

jade tree or lucky plant

A lot of light turns the edges of the jade tree leaves slightly reddish

Your money plant needs plenty of light to thrive and grow well. Although jade plants can grow under artificial light, direct sunlight and partial shade will result in a bushier shrub. For best results, aim to have your money plant in direct sunlight for an average of 5 hours a day.

You may also notice that getting plenty of sunshine turns the edges of the jade-colored leaves slightly reddish. If you notice that the leaves turn a yellow or deep purple color, it could be a sign that the sunlight is too harsh. So, move the plant into the shade and gradually increase the time it gets in the sun to acclimatize it.

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One sign that your jade plant is suffering because of too little light is when it becomes leggy. If this happens, try cutting the jade plant back and find a brighter place for it to sit and energize the room.

Feeding your jade plant

To care well for your Chinese lucky plant, you need to use some all-purpose fertilizer occasionally. All you need is a general feed for houseplants and use it every 3 – 4 months during the growing season.

The best way to keep your succulent jade plants well-nourished is to water them first and then apply the all-purpose houseplant feed. This will prevent damaging the roots and help promote good growth.

Proper growing environment for money plants

jade lucky plant

Jade tree is a succulent that can grow both indoors and outdoors

Plants from the genus Crassula such as jade plants are some of the easiest to care for types of houseplants. The succulent money trees seem to thrive in indoor environments. The ideal room temperatures during the day are between 65 and 75°F (18 – 24°C).

Although jade plants can withstand the occasional frost, make sure that the temperatures don’t regularly dip below 50°F (10°C).

Repotting jade tree

jade succulent - Jade Plant bonsai tree

Large jade plant has a tree like appearance and it can be repotted in spring

Your lucky money plant can grow for years in the same pot as they don’t require frequent repotting. If you feel that your “money maker plant” has outgrown its container, repot it in spring. Your money plant will reward you with new growth if you use free-draining soil and only water it when it starts growing again.

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Cutting and pruning a jade plant

jade money plant - Jade trees take to bonsai readily

Prune your jade tree plant to give it the shape you want

Jade money plants usually grow to between 3.2 and 5 ft. (1 – 1.5m) tall. However, some reports indicate that Crassula ovata plants can grow as tall as 16 ft. (5 m) tall. So, cutting and pruning is a must if you want to care for it indoors to have a healthy money shrub. You should also remove any dead leaves from the plant.

The best time to prune your money tree is in spring when it starts to grow again. Cut off overgrown stems or remove stems to form the shape you are looking for. This way, your jade plant can grow to resemble a small succulent bush or indoor tree.

You can also cut off up to one-third of its height if you want to control how tall your jade plant grows.

Another way to prevent your jade plant from growing too tall is to prune the roots. To do this, carefully remove the money plant from its container and cut off no more than one-third of the roots. Root pruning is also a way to grow a jade bonsai tree for your Feng Shui environment.

Dusting

Another essential way to take care of a jade plant is to dust it occasionally. Use a slightly damp cloth to remove dust from the shiny green leaves. Try to avoid getting the leaves too wet as this can cause them to rot.

Jade plant leaf rot is also a reason to avoid getting the leaves too wet when you water your money plant.

How to Propagate a Jade Plant

crassula ovata plant

You can propagate jade plant from leaf and from stem

It is extremely easy to propagate jade plants using leaves of the stems. Because jade plants are vigorous growers, you will soon have baby jade plants growing in small pots.

The easiest way to propagate a money plant is to cut off a couple of healthy-looking leaves. Allow the ends of the cuttings to dry. All you have to do after that is place the jade cuttings in some soil. Roots should begin to form about 4 weeks after planting and your baby jade should then start growing into a small money plant.

You can also successfully propagate a jade plant using one of the stems. Similar to the jade leaf propagation method, allow the end of the stem to dry out completely. Place the stem cutting in soil, making sure that the soil supports the stem.

Common Problems When Growing Money Plants (Jade Tree)

One of the most common issues with jade plants is an infestation of aphids, spider mites, or mealybugs.

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The problem of scale insects on plants in the genus Crassula is that they affect growth and can lead to deformation. The best way to get rid of pests from your money plants is to dip a cotton bud in rubbing alcohol. Apply directly to the insects to kill them off. Keep checking daily and reapply to kill off new bugs or their eggs.

Usually, soft leaves are a sign that you are over-watering your jade plant. To resolve this issue, water less frequently.

If you notice wrinkled leaves, that could mean you need to water more frequently.

Common Questions Related to Growing Jade Tree (Money Plant)

What else do you need to know about caring for a jade money plant tree? Here are the answers to questions many people ask:

How do you save a dying jade plant?

If your succulent jade plant is starting to die, it is important to find the root cause of the problem. If under or over-watering is the cause, then you should adjust your watering schedule appropriately. Signs of watering issues are leaf drop, poor growth, or leaf spotting.

If you notice mealybugs or other insects on your jade plant, take some rubbing alcohol to wipe them off.

How do I make my jade plant thicker?

jade succulent

Prune jade plant to give it a dense bushy look that resembles a miniature tree

With proper pruning, you can encourage your jade plant to grow thicker and bushier.

Choose the stem where you want thicker foliage to grow. Prune the woody stem just above one of the brown rings. This will cause 2 new stems to grow and help your jade plant to look thicker.

Pruning in this way is also an excellent method to get a leggy jade plant to have a fuller, healthier appearance.

To help your jade plant grow fuller, better, and faster, make sure it is kept out of drafts and gets between 4 and 6 hours of sunlight daily.

How do I get my jade plant to bloom?

crassula ovata flowers

Jade plant flowers

Jade plants are a flowering succulent and under the right conditions, they can produce dainty star-shaped pinkish-white blooms.

Luck doesn’t have to be involved to get your money plant to produce flowers. However, your jade plant needs to grow for a few years until it matures before it blooms.

The trick to encourage flowering is to stop watering your plant and move it to a dry environment. Then, you have to make sure that nighttime temperatures are cool – around 60°F (12°C). This helps to mimic the natural environmental conditions when jade plants flower.

If you have tried this and you don’t get any luck with your jade plant, then it may be that you have to leave it to grow for a few more years.

Do jade plants grow fast?

Jade plants are not the fastest-growing type of plant. They grow slowly over many years and it is not uncommon for large jade plants to be over 50 or 60 years old.

The best way to get your indoor jade plant to grow faster is to make sure you have the right growing conditions. This involves getting enough sunlight, being in a warm humid room, and watering your plant when the soil dries out.

Where should you place a jade plant in your house?

Jade plants can grow in any room of your house that is draft free, gets plenty of light, and is kept at an even room temperature.

Feng Shui says that lucky money plants should be placed in the southeast part of your home. This is said to be the best way to invite luck, good fortune, and wealth.

To attract more prosperity to your business, Feng Shui recommends putting a jade money plant on a desk or at an entrance door to bring the most fortune and prosperity.

Does my jade plant like to be misted?

You can mist your jade plant leaves to increase humidity. However, if you live in a humid environment, then misting is not necessary. You only have to water your money plant appropriately to prevent leaves falling off or root rot.

How long to jade plants live?

Jade plants are native to South Africa and, according to botanists, jade plants can live for up to 100 years.

Where do jade plants grow?

Jade plants grow outdoors in warm climates such as California, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.

Jade plants are also beautiful indoor ornamental houseplants that are said to bring wealth and good fortune to their owners.

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