Crassula arborescens undulatifolia Ripple Jade

Crassula arborescens undulatifolia Ripple Jade Care

Crassula arborescens undulatifolia is commonly known as Ripple Jade, Curly Jade, Jitters Jade, or Silver Jade. It is one of the waviest of all the Jade Plants. Ripple Jade or Curly Jade is an attractive Jade with twisting, undulating blue-green leaves. 
With a tight compact growth habit and thin waxy leaves it makes for the perfect contrast plant. When given room to grow, Ripple Jade will form a dense, mounding shrub up to 3 feet tall. Works well outdoors as a landscaping shrub in frost-free climates (Zones 10-11) as it is not cold hardy. Makes a great indoor plant in containers, just be sure it has access to indirect light.
Ripple Jade is very drought-tolerant, but it does need bright sunshine, well-draining soil and good drainage. Water deeply only when the soil is thoroughly dry and fertilized regularly for best results. 

Water

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Light

Partial to full sun

USDA Zone

10-11

Temperature

Hardy to around 25° F or -3.8° C

Soil

Well-draining soil, use a container with good drainage

Fertilizer

May benefit from a balanced fertilizer in summer

Size

Up to 3 feet tall

Scientific Name

Crassula arborescens undulatifolia

Common Name

Ripple Jade, Curly Jade, Jitters Jade, Silver Jade

Pronunciation

KRASS-yoo-luh ar-bore-ESS-enz un-dew-lay-tih-FOH-lee-uh

Pests

Mealybugs, aphids

Flower

White Bloom

Toxicity

Generally toxic to dogs and cats

Reaching up to 3 feet tall (91 cm), this hard to kill succulent is a great variety for beginner plant parents. Ripple Jade plants make a charming addition to any home or office or outdoors in a flowerbed or pot. 

Succulents, including Crassula, store water in the plump leaves to survive drought. This plant does not have very high watering needs. Replicate its natural habitat by giving your Crassula a deep watering. Then, let the soil dry out completely before watering again.

Ripple Jade only needs minimal water during the winter. Remember, as with most succulents, less is more! If in doubt, be sure to use a moisture meter. Very inexpensive and it really helped me when I was new to succulents. 

Crassula Arborescens undulatifolia has moderate light needs and does well in filtered light, partial sun, bright indoor light or full sun once acclimated. While ‘Ripple Jade’ can tolerate partially shaded conditions, it will put on the best growth and coloration in bright sun.

Ripple Jade Plants are not cold hardy. They do well in the ground or in a pot outside in warm or hot climates. Be sure to move your Crassula Arborescens undulatifolia inside when temperatures fall below 20° F (-6.6° C). Allow indoor Ripple Jade Plants to get 4-5 hours of indirect sunlight in order to flourish.

Crassula arborescens undulatifolia “Ripple Jade” Care
Crassula arborescens undulatifolia “Ripple Jade”

Well-draining soil is essential for keeping Crassulas happy. If your succulent is left sitting in water, it’s susceptible to rot and fungal diseases. Add pumice or perlite to the soil to help increase extra drainage and be sure to pick a pot with a drainage hole. I also like adding coarse sand with perlite to commercial potting soil for 2:1:1 ratio. Even when I use a commercial cactus soil mix I still add perlite for increased drainage.

Crassulas need to be repotted every few years to avoid compacted soil. Repot during the summer when the soil is dry. Start by gently brushing the soil off the roots. Inspect the roots for rot or other problems that are usually underground. Place in fresh well-draining soil and hold off on watering for a few days. This will allow the roots to get comfortable and heal from any damage during transfer.

Fertilizer isn’t a priority with this plant. If you want to give it a try though, do so during the summer with succulent or cactus fertilizer. It should be liquid and balanced or low-nitrogen.

All Crassulas are generally toxic to dogs and cats. Keep away from small children jut to be sure.

The Crassula Arborescens undulatifolia naturally propagate via offsets. If you want to speed up the propagation process, this can be done by leaf and stem cuttings. Once you have the process down, you can easily multiply your Crassula collection.

Leaf cuttings are taken by carefully removing the leaf off of the stem. Gently twist the leaf to ensure that you remove the entire leaf and don’t leave any parts behind. This will increase the chances of successful propagation. That section in between the leaf and stem is what enables the cutting to grow roots.

After removing the leaf, let it dry out for a few days so that the ends can callous over. Once dry, set it on top of well-draining soil and mist it with water. Keep the soil damp until new roots have grown in. As the leaves begin to take root, return to a regular watering schedule.

Stem cuttings follow almost the exact same process as leaf cuttings. Take a sharp pair of clean shears or scissors and cut 2-3 inch long stem cuttings. This may be a frightening experience at first, but eventually you will be happy with the results. When removing offsets or stem cuttings, allow them to dry for three to five days (depending on your climate) before planting in soil or propagating in water. 

Water propagation is one of my favorite methods and you can read more here. When placing in soil make sure the stenstem cutting is upright, and in well-draining soil. You can test if it has roots by gently pulling on it. If there is resistance, it has established some roots. The base should eventually produce new babies. Follow the above watering suggested watering instructions for leaf cuttings.

Flowers can be a rare sight on this Jade, but it can produce clusters of white, star-shaped blossoms in late winter.

Crassula arborescens undulatifolia | Ripple Jade Care
Crassula arborescens undulatifolia | Ripple Jade Blooms

Be wary of overwatering your Crassula, which is the number one killer of succulents. Overwatering kills succulents much faster than underwatering. Symptoms of overwatering include yellow, mushy leaves that easily fall off. Remedy this issue by removing your succulent from the overwatered soil and place it in fresh well-draining soil. Hold off on watering for a week or so. If you still aren’t sure of when to water, a moisture meter will take out the guesswork. 

Underwatering is harmful to Crassulas, but much easier to fix. Give your succulent a good drink and it will usually perk up. When underwatered, the succulent leaves will shrivel up and the plant will wilt. They can also send out air roots. Read more about air roots here.

Etiolation is a common, but easily preventable problem with succulents. When the plant isn’t getting enough sunlight, it stretches toward the sun. If you don’t keep your crassula in a bright location, it will grow stretched and less attractive.

Once stretched out, it will not return to its tight rosette. Propagate the stem as mentioned above to give it a second chance and increase your collection size.

Genus name comes from the Latin word crassus meaning thick for the thick leaves. The Latin word arborescens means tree-forming or tree-like. Undulatifolia means wavy-leaf.

Crassula arborescens undulatifolia Ripple Jade Care
Crassula arborescens undulatifolia - Ripple Jade

They generally do not require a lot of maintenance. The bottom leaves will brown and die off as the Crassula grows, and this is normal. Be sure to remove these to keep the plant healthy and so that it does not attract pests like the evil mealy bug! 

Mealybugs are the biggest pest threat to your succulents. They love to hide in crevices on your Crassula so be sure to inspect your plants regularly. If signs of mealy bugs appear in the form of a white cottony web or disfigured leaves, be sure to eradicate them immediately. These small white scale insects drink the sap out of plants and secrete honeydew that attracts ants. A Q-tip dipped in alcohol or a spray from an organic pest killing soap will do the trick. Read my complete post on mealybugs eradication here

Aphids are less common but still a potential threat to Crassulas. Like mealybugs, they suck out the sap. If left untreated, they will eventually kill your succulent. Protect your echeveria by applying diatomaceous earth to the soil and neem oil to the succulent. Use insecticidal soap to control existing infestations.

Learn more about Mealybug and pest eradication here.

Crassula Diseases 

Make sure you never let your Crassula stand in water or else the chances of root rot and other fungal diseases will increase. Root rot is caused by consistent moisture and can lead to bacterial infections. The good news is that it is easy to prevent. Avoid overwatering and use a well-draining soil.

Root rot is best caught early, so routinely check for rot on your Crassula. Rotted sections will be brown or black and mushy. The rot usually starts in the roots and spreads up the stem. If you find an infected part, you’ll have to remove it or else it will spread. After cutting away the rotted section, leave your succulent out of the soil for a few days so it can dry out and callous over. Repot in fresh well-draining soil and keep an eye on watering.

Crassula Sunburn

Brown spots may appear on your Crassula. These are most likely from sunburn. Move your plant out of direct heat to prevent further damage. Learn how to save your sunburned succulents here.

Compliment your Crassula with these varieties:

SEE MORE HOUSEPLANT TIPS:

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