Jade Varieties | Types of Jade

There are about 200 species of Jade plants and over 1400 Crassula varieties. The Jade plant is a very popular houseplant because it is super easy to care for. Perfect for beginners or the forgetful gardener. They thrive in most indoor environments, making their lush green leaves a great addition to any home or office. Jade plants are a species of succulent plants in the genus Crassula (pronounced KRASS-oo-luh or KRASS-uh-luh) and family Crassulaceae (pronounced krass-yoo-LAY-see-ee). 
Jade plants are native to South Africa. They do not require much care, but if you treat it right, it can last a lifetime. You can train Jade plants into a Bonsai, and it can also grow into a large, beautiful bush. Many public and private places are decorated with Jade plants.
Jade Varieties
Crassula Ovata Jade Plant

Water

Water thoroughly and then wait until plant is completely dry before watering again.

Light

Jade plants do well in full sun to bright indirect light, but will survive in reduced lighting conditions.

Humidity

30-50% humidity is best

Temp

Performs best at room temperature (65° to 75°F / 18° to 24°C), but prefer slightly cooler temperatures at night and in the winter (down to 55°F / 13°C).

Soil

Well-draining succulent soil or potting soil mixed with perlite/pumice and sand. 

Fertilizer

For the best care, use a liquid fertilizer at half strength once every six weeks. Do not fertilize your plant when the soil is dry. Doing so will damage the roots of the Jade plant.

Pests

Susceptible to mealybugs, thrips, spider mites and aphids.

Pronunciation

KRASS-yoo-luh or KRASS-uh-luh

Common Name

Jade Plant, Money Plant, Money Tree, Friendship Tree, Lucky Plant, Beestebul, Chinese Jade Plant

Scientific Name

Crassula

Toxicity

Slightly toxic for humans and pets. It will not cause death or serious illness, but can cause nausea. Best to keep children and pets.
Crassula ovata jade plant
Crassula Ovata Jade Plant
The Crassula Ovata is the most common type of Jade Plant. Also known as The Money Tree, The Friendship Plant or The Lucky Jade. It was the original variety of the Jade Plant that was first discovered. One of the most popular varieties in circulation today and also the fastest growing of all the Ovata cultivars. They get their name from their meaty jade-green colored leaves that are usually tear-shaped, oval-shaped, or wedge-shaped. 
Incredibly hardy and said to bring good fortune and luck according to Feng Shui. When stressed the Jade plant leaf tips can turn a pretty reddish pink. In winter look for cute pinkish white flowers. People consider it ideal for planting near coastal areas. It is also used as a divider or display in gardens when trimmed and shaped properly. Learn more about the Crassula Ovata Jade plant here.
Crassula ovata jade plant flowers
Crassula ovata Jade plant flowers
Crassula 'Arborescens'
Crassula 'Arborescens'
Crassula Arborescens (pronounced KRASS-yoo-luh ar-bore-ESS-enz) is commonly known as the Silver Dollar Jade, Blue Bird, or the Blue Buddha Bush. Known for its silvery light blue leaves. Blue bird Jade plants have more circular leaves than other common jade plants. It is a slow-growing plant, much slower than its cousin the Crassula ovata. When exposed to more sun the edges leaves produce bright red to burgundy tips. The flowers that grow from its tips are long lasting and appear during the autumn-winter period. Grows well outdoors as a large bush or it can be kept more small and compact in a container. Learn more detailed care instruction for your Crassula Arborescens here.
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Crassula arborescens undulatifolia Ripple Jade
Crassula 'Arborescens undulatifolia'
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. Learn more about Ripple Jade Plants here.
Crassula 'Arborescens undulatifolia'
Crassula 'Arborescens undulatifolia'
Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata
Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata
The Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata is also commonly known as the Blue Bird, money plant, or Jade Plant. It’s a slow-growing clump forming succulent. Stunning leaf coloration sets it apart from other varieties. Mixtures of aqua, cream, green, and red are surely a sight to see. Maximum height hovers around 20 inches tall, but its size can be reduced in a container. An interesting and rewarding succulent grown for its year round foliage color.
Crassula Ovata ‘Variegata’
Crassula Ovata ‘Variegata’
Crassula Ovata Variegata, also known as ‘Lemon & Lime’ are distinguished for their light green, pale yellow and ivory colored striped leaves. Like many jade varieties, Variegated Jade plants’ leaves can turn pinkish red at the tips when exposed to plenty of sunlight. These are much slower growers than the non-variegated version. Variegated jade is a fresh, fun take on a tried-and-true favorite. It’s just as easy to grow as jade plant, but features silvery-cream colored streaks in the leaves. Like its non-variegated cousin, its flowers are pinkish-white. While slow growing, it can reach 5 feet tall or so over time. You may also see it sold as Crassula argentea ‘Variegata’. As an outdoor plant it does best in Zones 10-11. Learn more about the Variegated Jade here.

Crassula ovata ‘Crosby’s Compact’

Crassula ovata ‘Crosby’s Compact’
Crassula ovata ‘Crosby’s Compact’
Crassula ovata ‘Crosby’s Compact’ is also called Crassula ovata ‘Crosby’s Dwarf’, Red Dwarf Jade Plant, Mini Leaf Jade Plant or Dwarf Baby Jade. A much slower grower than the traditional Crassula Ovata. Grows about 2 to 3 feet tall with thick stems that hold 1/2 to 1 inch long obovate leaves. Leaves are green with red margins and new leaves that can be flushed with red tones. Look for white star-like flowers in late fall through winter. Flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the foliage. Plant in part to full sun. Produces its best and brightest colors in bright light. 
Prefers well drained soil and loves to dry out completely in between watering. Not cold hardy for prolonged periods below 30° F but can survive short durations of temperatures to 25°F. Makes a good container plant for areas with cold winters as plants can be brought inside in colder months. An excellent small shrub that requires very little water to look its best. Foliage takes on several shades of red from deep maroon to warm red in bright light.
Crosby's Compact Mini Leave Jade Plant Baby Jade Succulent
Crassula Ovata 'Crosby's Compact' - Baby Jade Succulent

Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' - Golden Jade

Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' (golden jade)
Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' (golden jade)

Golden Jade or ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ has stunning sunset colored leaves. Glossy yellow-green foliage sports red margins when exposed to full sun. It can be grown outside (zone 9+) as a dense, mounding shrub, inside in a container, or as a bonsai with pruning. Its egg-shaped leaves sprout from thick, woody branches and lighten when grown in full sun. ‘’Hummel’s Sunset’ is named after plant hybridizer Ed Hummel. Look for white flowers in fall and winter, along with more brilliant foliage colors. The Sunset Jade succulent grows best in full sun to part shade and is not cold hardy. Low maintenance and drought hardy.

Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' (golden jade)
Crassula ovata 'Hummel's Sunset' (golden jade)
Crassula ovata 'Minima'
Crassula ovata 'Minima'

Crassula ovata ‘Minima’ is a hardy dwarf succulent with a thick trunk and branches. Commonly referred to as Dwarf Jade or Miniature Jade. Its foliage is rounded and fleshy and glossy green with reddish edges. It grows up to 2.5 feet tall and up to 20 inches wide. Great as a landscaping plant or commonly used as a feature plant in arrangements. Low maintenance and drought tolerant. Prefers well-draining soil in full sun to partial shade. Be sure to allow ‘Minima’ to dry completely before watering and fertilize as needed. Look for small, star-shaped, coral-pink flowers in late winter to early spring.

Crassula Ovata Hobbit Jade
Crassula Ovata Hobbit Jade
Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’ is a much-loved Jade Plant. In warm climates it can grow outdoors as a small shrub, but it also really shines as a low maintenance indoor plant. It also tolerates low-light conditions. When grown indoors, this plant stays small. Woody branches make this a favorite among bonsai growers. ‘Hobbit’ leaves are shaped more like a spoon, with the edges curled in upon themselves. Instead of fully rounded leaves, they are more of a half circle, really tight and tall.  
Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’ and Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ Jade are often confused in literature, by nurseries, and are often used interchangeably. Both have some similar features and both names taken from JRR Tolkien’s writings. They both share many common names: Spoon jade, Gollum jade, Hobbit Jade, Ogres Ears, Shrek’s Ears, ET’s fingers, Finger jade, Hobbit’s Pipe Jade, and Trumpet jade.  Learn more about the Hobbit Jade here.
Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ Jade
Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ Jade
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ Jade Care
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ Jade
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ Jade has elongated, tubular, concave leaves with puckered ends  that appear like suction cups or trumpet tips. The finger-like leaves range in color from light to deep green and the tips are tinged with red. The reddish hue on the tips intensify with sun exposure and cooler temperatures. 
You can distinguish the Crassula Gollum and Hobbit Jade Plants by looking at their leaves. Hobbits have curled leaves while Gollum’s leaves are almost tubular with their reddish tint. Crassula ovata Hobbit has much larger leaves (nearly the size of normal Crassula ovata) and they are folded in on themselves, not completely tubular and flat-topped as is Gollum. Both ‘Gollum’ and ‘Hobbit’, have trunks that become thick with age and develop interesting stem patterns. This makes them great container plants and they can also be cultivated as a bonsai.
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ Jade
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ Jade

Crassula ovata 'Obliqua'

Crassula ovata 'Obliqua'
Crassula ovata 'Obliqua'
Crassula ovata ‘Obliqua’ can be grown indoors as a potted plant or grown outside as a dense, mounding shrub. Its shiny leaves have pointed tips and sprout from thick branches and can flush royal purple at the edges when exposed to direct sun. Native to South Africa and Mozambique where it grows en masse on rocky slopes, reaching up to 8″ tall. Indoor growing, small pots, and pruning, will keep ‘Obliqua’ in a small, bonsai size.
Crassula picturata ‘Tiger Jade’
Crassula picturata ‘Tiger Jade’ is a small annual or perennial succulent herb with numerous stems forming tufts. A vertical woody rootstock shows green to plum tones and its leaves are speckled with small dots. It has spirally arranged rosettes and rather narrow, acute leaves. This easy grower tolerates indoor growing conditions well. It blooms with tiny, pale pink flowers and the flowering erect stem is hairy.

Succulents that look like Jade Plants

Portulacaria Afra - Dwarf Jade
Portulacaria Afra - Dwarf Jade
Portulacaria Afra (pronounced Portch-two-lah-carry-a AFF-ruh) is also known as Elephant Bush, also called Dwarf Jade, Elephant food.
This South African native serves as food for elephants in their native habitat. They have reddish brown stems with glossy green leaves. Dwarf Jade plants start out as a small bush and eventually grow tall and tree-like. These plants are very easy to grow and propagate and are popular among bonsai tree growers. Portulacaria Afra is also referred to as ‘Mini Jade’ and is often mistaken for Jade Plants, because they resemble each other in a lot of ways. Although Elephant Bush closely resembles Jade Plants in appearance, they are not at all related. Learn more about the Dwarf Jade here.
Portulacaria afra variegata
Portulacaria afra variegata
The variegated version is Portulacaria afra variegata and has stunning leaves with mixes of cream and ivory. Like most variegated versions it does tend to grow slower than the non-variegated version.
Senecio jacobsenii Trailing Jade
Senecio jacobsenii -Trailing Jade
Trailing Jade is actually not technically a Jade plant at all. Its botanical name is Senecio jacobsenii (Sen-NEE-see-oh jay-kob-sen-ee-eye) and is sometimes called Weeping Jade or Kleinia petraea. This variety is native to the highlands of Tanzania and Kenya where it creeps along as a ground cover. In cultivation it also shines in a hanging pots, which allows its thick stems to form a dense cascade up to 4.0′ long.
The smooth, spoon-shaped leaves of Trailing Jade stand upright on their stems. Moderate stress from bright sun or cool temperatures (40F-50F) can induce vibrant flushing from lilac to magenta.
This variety is a shy, unreliable bloomer. When they do appear, its showy flowers are bright orange and shaped like a paintbrush, but few find their smell appealing. It is, however, simple to cut the blooms off without harming the plant.
Trailing Jade thrives in well-draining pots and gritty soil with at least 50% inorganic material, e.g. coarse sand, perlite, or pumice. Water deeply enough for water to run out the drainage hole, but do not re-water until the soil has completely dried. This plant tolerates pruning well and the cuttings can re-root and be transplanted.
Senecio
Senecio jacobsenii -Trailing Jade
Cotyledon orbiculata PIG’S EAR
Cotyledon orbiculata - Pig Ears
Plants in the genus Cotyledon (koh-teh-LEE-don) often are confused with jades (Crassula), but the flowers are very different. Jades have clusters of small star-shaped flowers, usually in midwinter; cotyledons send up panicles of orange, bell-shaped blooms in early summer. These serve as a counterpoint to upright foliage that may be cylindrical or pancakelike and edged with a thin line of red. Leaf colors include green, blue, powdery mauve, and gray. Blooms attract ants that colonize them with aphids; spray or dab the pests with diluted isopropyl alcohol.

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