One of the ultimate symbols of prosperity as per Feng Shui, the jade plant (Crassula ovata) is commonly known as money tree plant. Very popular as houseplants, they flaunt fleshy leaves and small flowers. This plant is a popular choice for container gardening and bonsai or rock gardens, worldwide. The evergreen jade plants have thick and smooth leaves with branches that grow in opposing pairs. While the young leaves are a rich jade green, the older ones flaunt a fawn or brown color.
Tips to Take Care of a Money Tree Plant
Planting the Money Tree Plant
To pot this money plant, take a plastic pot and fill the same with potting soil with half the quantity of sand. To retain the potting soil in the pot, place pebbles at the bottom of the pot. Position the plant at the center of the pot and add potting soil around the plant for better hold. Do not fill the pot with soil to the brim. Leave an inch of space from the pot's rim while adding the potting mix. Knead the soil surface with your fingers but do not make the soil too tight. Clean the sides of the pot to have it looking clean, with a towel or washrag.
Water Requirements for the Money Tree Plant
It is essential to monitor weekly watering through the monsoon and winter months and every alternate day during the dry summer. It is important to remember that the succulents shed their leaves, if over-watered. Excess watering, without adequate draining, also results in the rotting of the stem and roots. The soil should be allowed to dry in-between.
Sunlight needed for the Money Tree Plant
The money tree plant thrives in alternate exposure to sunlight and shade, for at least 3-4 hours everyday. These succulents are intolerant to extreme heat. Scorched leaves and/or loss of foliage are characteristics of overexposure to direct sunlight over prolonged period of time. They do tolerate frost, but only to a limited degree and need to be essentially moved to warmer environs, during the cold winter months.
Soil Type needed for the Money Tree Plant
These money plants grow best in well-drained soil. The soil needs to be free from the presence of peat moss or any other additive, that can retain a large amount of water. A rocky hillside of the rock garden and/or arid soil is ideal for their growth. The plant thrives in synthetic soil mixes comprising organic topsoil, grit, perlite, turface, haydite and small gravel. The soil could also be mixed with pine bark, coir and river stones. The main aim is to ensure that the soil drains quickly.
Pruning the Money Tree Plant
These perennials benefit from pruning. Ideally, pruning should be completed in spring. The activity should target cutting the stems back, to a more lateral branch. Pruning of the plant helps to strengthen and encourage new growth of the main stem. Regular pruning not only helps the trunk to support the weight of the leaves, but also increase in its size, due to induced root growth. Calluses should be monitored and pruned along with older foliage.
Pest Control for the Money Tree Plant
The Money tree is known to succumb to attacks by mealybugs, aphids and red spider mites. These pests cause growth deformation. They can be easily kept away by rubbing the affected areas with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. The process needs to essentially be repeated every day. Careful consideration over the use of pesticides helps a lot, since the Money tree plant is known to be very sensitive to them.
The Money tree plant can grow up to 18 m in height, in the wild. The tree is usually cultivated for the esthetic appeal it adds to indoor and outdoor gardens. Though the tree thrives in tropical, frost-free areas, it is known to adapt to different weather conditions with careful monitoring.