Money plant (Crassula ovate): Introduction, Classification, Distribution, Characteristics, Propagation, Cultural Importance, Uses, Toxicity, and, Care
The roughly 200 species in the genus Crassula are primarily found in southern Africa, where it is also known as its centre of distribution. However, certain species are also found in other regions of Africa and the rest of the world (Jaarsveld, 2003). The jade plant, Crassula ovata (Mill.) Druce, which is grown all over the world as a decorative plant, is probably the most well-known species in the genus. Crassula ovata is indigenous to South Africa, according to Jaarsveld (2003). (Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces).
The Crassulaceae or Orpine family includes Crassula ovata, also known as the Jade Plant or the Money Tree. These succulent, dicotyledonous plants have little white or pink flowers. Their succulent leaves serve as their primary water storage system. The common houseplant Crassula ovata is also known as the Jade Plant, the Friendship Plant, the Money Plant, and the Silver Dollar Plant.
To attract the flow of money, the jade plant is employed in Chinese Feng Shui rituals. Feng Shui brings harmony and balance to the energy present in an area. Practitioners think that the money tree restores equilibrium to a home’s southeast corner. One plant that is utilized in this ritual activity is the jade plant. According to Chinese tradition, a jade plant is frequently positioned close to a cash register at many enterprises to draw fortune. The Penny Plant, Money Tree, Dollar Plant, and Tree of Happiness are some of the more well-known names for the jade plant that have gained popularity in the Far East, the United States, and Germany. For overall success and good luck in business, the plant is usually cultivated in square porcelain tubs with lion feet. Mostly for ornamental purposes, the Crassula ovata plant is cultivated in Kenyan homesteads. But other individuals also keep this plant because of its potential health benefits. According to the Kamba community, the juice from this plant can help in the healing of skin burns. It’s used as a stomach distress remedy by other groups, including the Maasai.
Species: C. ovata
Scientific Name: Crassula ovate
Common Name(s): Money plant, Jade Plant, Lucky Plant, Money Tree, Silver Dollar Plant.
South Africa is home to the native plant Crassula ovate. It is also a widespread houseplant throughout the world, however, it is primarily found in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in arid and/or cold regions with limited access to water. Along with a variety of euphorbias, aloes, Portulacaria afra, and other succulent plants, Crassula ovate is a vital component of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal valley thicket vegetation. From Willowmore, it travels to East London before heading north to Queenstown and KwaZulu-Natal, where it thrives on rocky hillside habitats.
1. The Jade plant is an evergreen that can grow to be between one and three meters tall. It has sturdy branches, short, stubby, and well-proportioned branches, and smooth, rounded, fleshy leaves that grow on opposite sides of each branch.
2. The leaves are egg-shaped to elliptic, deep jade green in colour, 30–90 mm long, and 18–40 mm wide. They frequently have a crimson edge and a somewhat pointed end. They are grouped near the ends of the branches in opposite pairs, each pair positioned at a right angle to the next.
3. When a stem first grows, it is the same color and texture as the leaves; but, as it ages, it turns brown and woody.
4. They may bloom in the early spring with tiny white or pink stars if the appropriate circumstances are present. Later, the blossoms mature into tiny capsules that contain numerous tiny seeds in each.
5. It is a well-liked, 6′ tall succulent shrub with branches. When it reaches maturity, its succulent shoots that resemble a trunk frequently resemble a little tree. (Up to 2″ long) Oblong, meaty, lustrous, evergreen leaves. When cultivated in direct sunlight, leaves may take on a reddish color. During April, little blooms could develop. White to pink flowers are infrequently seen on indoor plants.
6. A simple-to-grow succulent called a jade plant holds water in its leaves, stems, and roots.
7. It has been utilized as a landscape plant in moderate regions and as an indoor decorative around the world.
8. It grows well in the constrained root space of pots, is somewhat slow-growing, prefers the warm, dry conditions common in most houses, and tolerates neglect, making it a good houseplant.
9. On a trunk that has a twisted appearance, it has numerous small, thick, succulent branches that, even in young specimens, suggest considerable age.
10. On older plants, the bark flakes from the trunk in horizontal brownish stripes. The smooth, rounded, glossy, egg-shaped leaves are borne in opposite pairs, with each pair being at a right angle to the following pair. They range in size from 1 to 312 inches long and 34 to 112 inches wide.
11. Instead of being evenly distributed along the branches, they frequently gather towards the tips.
12. When grown in sufficient light, the green, succulent leaves should have a crimson edge or tint (the plant truly ought to have been given the popular name ruby plant).
13. Like the leaves, young stems are similarly green and extremely succulent, but as they age, they turn brown and woody. Naturally, the lowest leaves will gradually fall off. The injured leaves will die and fall off if the leaves are burned, whether it be from frost, pesticide damage, or sunburn. However, new leaves will grow in their place.
Mode of Propagation
From stem or leaf cuttings, Crassula ovata is extremely simple to grow. In the wild or when planted outdoors in temperate areas, leaves or plant fragments that fall to the ground and break off will root in a few weeks. For the cut surface to mend over and be less likely to rot after taking cuttings, it is best to let the pieces dry for a few days. The cut end can be inserted into relatively dry, well-drained soil to accelerate rooting, though they can also form roots without soil. Jade plants can be propagated at any time of the year, but cuttings root most readily in the summer. Seeds sown in the spring or summer can also be used to grow this plant.
The Crassula ovata plant utilizes Crassulacean Acid Metabolism to efficiently photosynthesize with minimal water loss (CAM). During the day, its stomata are closed; but, at night, they open, allowing CO2 to be absorbed in and stored as organic crassulacean acids. During the day, these acids are decomposed, and the Co2 that is liberated is reused in the photosynthetic process. In this method, the plants lose substantially less water while still being able to photosynthesize normally during the day. Although they will recycle CO2 within their cells when conditions are excessively dry, they won’t even open their stomata at night. Slow metabolism results in limited growth, but at the same time, this maintains the health of the cells. This is known as CAM-idling.
Due to its ability to root from any part of its stem, even a single leaf, and its succulent water-storing leaves, stems, and roots, the plant can withstand being grazed on, trampled on, or knocked over in addition to droughts. Any fallen leaves surrounding the plant’s base shoot out roots and develop into new plants. Crassula ovata’s blossoms are a magnet for wasps, flies, bees, butterflies, and beetles. The tiny seeds, which resemble dust, are spread by wind. Wasps can also construct their nests on the stems, which serve as a suitable foundation.
Succulent houseplants, like jade plants, are hardy and simple to grow inside. They also have a lengthy lifespan. Jade plants have a tiny, tree-like appearance with their thick, woody stems and oval-shaped leaves that makes them highly tempting for use as a decorative houseplant. When planted indoors, they can grow to a height of three feet or more and survive a very long period, frequently being passed down from generation to generation. Jade plants enjoy the warm, dry environments that are typical in houses, although they are not as drought resistant as other succulent species. It’s crucial to maintain moist but not damp soil. In regions with a mild, dry climate all year round, jade plants can be planted outdoors as landscape plants (typically Zone 9 and warmer). Some people consider jade plants to be a symbol of luck and wealth; they are one of the numerous plants known as “money plants.”
The Jade plant is a well-liked feature in Asian cultures, especially in China (700AD). Diabetes symptoms were treated with a jade plant drink, according to traditional healers.
Jade leaves are ingested in Africa after being boiled in milk to treat diarrhoea. The roots and stems of the jade plant were consumed by the Khoi and other African tribes. After being boiled and grated, the plant was consumed with thick milk. In addition to being used as a purgative, the leaves were also boiled in milk to cure epilepsy, corns, and diarrhoea.
Parasites and diseases
The frequent pest of Crassula ovata, scale insects, can distort the plant as it grows. A cotton bud or brush dipped in rubbing alcohol can be used to kill each insect and get rid of an infestation. Until all mealybugs and any new insects that might still hatch after the mealybugs on the plant have been eliminated, this procedure is carried out every day. Aphids are another frequent pest, however, they usually attack flower stems. Problems can also arise from spider mites. Dermatitis in people can be brought on by contact with sap or leaves.
The jade plant is toxic to horses, dogs, and cats, as well as occasionally mildly toxic to humans, like many other species in the Crassulaceae family. It differs significantly from Portulacaria, which is edible to humans and other animals, in this regard, perhaps in a deadly way.
How to Care for a Jade Plant
The care of jade plants is easy. Jade plants are popular indoor plants that many people grow in their homes and workplaces because they are thought to be lucky symbols. You don’t have to be lucky to figure out how to take care of and maintain jade plants.
When cultivating jade houseplants, water, light, temperature, and fertilizer are the most crucial considerations.
Making sure that jade plants are adequately watered is one of the most crucial aspects of their maintenance. A jade plant should never be allowed to dry up. Additionally, avoid overwatering jade plants since this might result in root rot. Don’t water your jade plant on a regular timetable. Instead, water your jade plant when the soil’s surface feels just dry to the touch. It’s most likely due to a lack of water that your jade plant is losing leaves or developing leaf spots.
Although they may survive in bright, indirect light, jade plants thrive in four or more hours of direct sunlight. Jade plant temperature requirements The recommended daytime temperature for jade plants is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 24 degrees Celsius), and the recommended nighttime temperature is 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 13 degrees Celsius). Insufficient light will result in a plant with dark green leaves and drooping stems; otherwise, the plant is healthy and would have regular compact growth and reddish coloring. This plant can survive in a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, and it can even withstand mild frost, although freezing temperatures will cause it to die. Houseplants can be transferred outdoors for the summer, but to avoid sunburn, they must be gradually acclimated to the stronger light intensity outside. Before the first frost, they must be taken indoors.
Fertilize your jade plant once every six months or to ensure optimal upkeep. Make use of a well-balanced water-soluble fertilizer. The fact that you should first water your jade plant normally and then again with fertilizer water is crucial to remember. When the soil is dry, never fertilize your jade plant because this will harm the roots.
These plants prefer potting mixes without peat or other moisture-retentive ingredients and require well-drained soil. To make a planting mix that will drain quickly, combine topsoil with perlite, sharp sand, pea gravel, and/or chicken grit. Although rootbound plants can be grown for many years, it is advisable to repot them every two to three years or whenever a plant starts to get top-heavy and prone to toppling over. Repotting should be done as soon as fresh growth appears. When repotting into the same size pot, prune the roots and trim the stems to preserve the shape and promote the growth of a thick main trunk. Till the plant is established in the new container, water sparingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What does it mean when money plant flowers?
Ans: Great friendship, Luck, and Prosperity.
Question: How often does a money plant flower?
Ans: About once every three years
Question: Which money plant is lucky for money?
Ans: Jade Plant
Question: What is the luckiest flower?
Ans: Peonies, symbolize luck, prosperity, love, and good fortune.
Question: Which plant brings good luck at home?
Ans: Lucky Bamboo
Question: Which tree is lucky in front of the house?
Ans: Pachira Money Tree
Question: Which plant is lucky for the entrance door?
Ans: Basil plant
Question: Can we keep the money plant at the entrance?
Question: Can I buy a money plant for myself?
Question: Can we keep the money plant on the balcony?
Question: Which direction should the money plant be kept?
Ans: The North direction
Question: What color is good luck for money?
Ans: Red, Purple, or Green
Question: What color means rich?