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Crassula ovata
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Josée Bouthot)
Crassula ovata



Origin and description

Crassula ovata is a three-metre tall succulent plant with oval leaves and fleshy stems that is native to South Africa. It is relatively slow growing, but can reach close to one metre when grown as a houseplant. Small star-shaped flowers may appear in late winter on adult plants.

Species, cultivars and related plants

Crassula arborescens, or silver jade plant, has large silvery leaves with red margins. Both Crassula ovata 'Gollum' and Crassula ovata 'Hobbit' have tubular leaves. Crassula ovata 'Tricolor' has white, green and pink variegated foliage. This cultivar requires somewhat more sunlight than the species. Crassula perfoliata var. falcata is a compact, bushy plant with silver grey foliage and bright red flowers.

Common name

Crassula / Jade tree / Jade plant

Latin name (genus)

Crassula ovata (syn. Crassula argentea)

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Crassulaceae

Growing conditions

Crassula requires very bright light, preferably full sun, as near a south- or west-facing window, for instance. It is best to allow it to rest in winter by giving it cooler temperatures because the combination of high temperatures and low light can cause the stems to get leggy and leaves to drop off. Temperatures must be kept above 7ºC and can even go as high as 30 ºC, but ideal temperatures are 21ºC in summer and 12 to 13ºC in winter. Crassula can be moved outside in summer into direct sunlight, after an acclimatization period. Do not place a saucer under the pot. This plant likes dry air.

Easy to grow?

Crassula is very easy to grow with proper watering.

Watering and fertilizer

Water regularly in summer, allowing the soil surface to dry out between waterings. In winter, if the plant is given cool temperatures, it is important to allow the soil to dry out thoroughly. Never leave water standing in the saucer. The aim with watering is to allow the plant to soak up water each time, while avoiding root rot. In general, the plant should be fed three or four times a year during the active growing period (March to October) with fertilizer high in potassium like 15-15-30, or a balanced plant food like 20-20-20, at half strength.

Pruning and maintenance

It can be pruned in spring after flowering to control the plant's growth.


It is important to use a rich, light, well-drained mixture when repotting this plant. You can use cactus and succulent potting mixture or indoor plant soil mixed with coarse sand and perlite. Crassula likes to be pot-bound. Repot it in spring when the roots have completely filled the pot, usually every two or three years.

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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