The jade plant, scientifically known as Crassula ovata, is a native of South Africa. It is a succulent plant that produces white or pink flowers, and is commonly grown indoors. It known by different names such as money plant, lucky plant, and friendship tree. It is very easy to take care of this evergreen plant. A fully-grown jade can grow up to be almost 4 feet tall, and grow width-wise too.
Taking Care of Jade Plant
Following are the important points to remember when caring for a jade plant:
This plant should be watered every 10-20 days during summer, and a gap of a month or more should be maintained in winters. It is necessary that the soil remains dry between two waterings. It should not be watered excessively, as it may result in crinkling of the leaves and rotting of the stem.
- Light Requirement:
It is advisable to provide a jade plant with 4-5 hours of sunlight everyday. Over exposure to heat or sunlight should be avoided though. It is an important thing to remember while taking care of this plant.
Spring is the best season for pruning a jade. The pruning process continues for a few weeks, and it requires the stems to be cut back to lateral branches. There are two main reasons for pruning: the first one being to encourage growth of the trunk, while the second is to promote new growth. Leaves of the money plant are succulent, and if not pruned timely, the trunk cannot support their weight.
- Pest Control:
The common pests that affect this plant are the mites and mealy bugs. Mealy bugs deform the new growth of the plant, whereas red spider mites and aphids damage the flower stalks. Spraying the plant with a soap and water mixture is an easy way to control these pests. Another method of eliminating the mealy bugs is to kill them with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol. The jade plant being sensitive to pesticides, it is advisable to avoid their usage.
To allow or encourage blooming, watering should be withheld in winter when the days become shorter. The first frost is approximately the time during which watering should be stopped. The dry phase, if allowed to continue for several weeks and then followed by watering, helps the plant to produce blooms. If the nights are warm and the plant is watered regularly, it will not be able to produce flowers. However, the overall health of the plant would be in a good condition.
- Soil Requirements:
The soil to be used should be drained well, and its pH needs to be around 6.1 to 6.5. Coarse and sandy soil is required for the jade plant to grow properly. One could also make a mixture of clay, silt, sand, and crushed bricks in order to prepare soil that is suitable for this plant.
The pot which is used for transplanting the jade should be larger than the original one. Even the soil to be used should be new. The plant should be watered and placed in a corner where it receives sufficient sunlight.
- Fertilizer Requirements:
Fertilizers should be added every 2-3 months during the spring and summer seasons. A weaker-than-recommended dose of liquid fertilizer should be used. It is advisable not to fertilize the plant during the dormant phase in winter.
Baby Jade Plant Care
Nowadays, growing bonsais of baby jades at home is becoming quite popular, as it is perfectly suited for the indoor environment. However, it requires sufficient light for a healthy growth. Although the plant does not grow well with over watering, the dry phases should not be too long either.
It is easy to cultivate a jade plant at home, as caring for it is easier than other flowering or non-flowering plants. So have this plant at your house and enjoy its beauty!