Crassula ovata is a succulent with beautiful evergreen, leathery and shiny green leaves. This plant that we keep in our interiors can live for many years as long as we give it some basic care. You should also think about repotting it from time to time and although it is a succulent, it still needs watering when it starts to go down. These few attentions will even make it possible to see it bloom. Here’s how to take care of this shrubby plant called the Jade Tree.
Caring for the Crassula Succulent
There are approximately 300 species belonging to the Genus Crassula. They originate, depending on the case, from Asia, South Africa or Madagascar. The best known of all is undoubtedly Crassula ovata or jade tree. But whatever the species or variety chosen, the plant brings a delicate and very decorative touch to the interior.
The Crassula is a extraordinary succulent who likes very bright places. On the other hand, it dreads direct sunlight, especially if it is located near glazing. Its ideal substrate must be light. We can therefore mix in equal parts of the river sand medium-grained and potting soil. It is also necessary to take care to plant the Jade Tree in a pot with a pierced bottom covered with a layer of expanded clay balls, ceramic shards or gravel. This makes it possible to guarantee a bon drainagecrassulas do not like to have their roots in stagnant water.
Crassula ovata outdoors
The Jade Tree can be placed outside from the end of May or – if it rains a lot or if it is still chilly in the evening and in the morning – from June. During the first days, it is better to install the Crassula in the shade so that it acclimatizes to its new living conditions, then it can be placed in partial shade in order to benefit from the rays of the sun in the morning. Be careful, however, not to leave it on the south-facing terrace because that would only cause burns on the leaves.
After a summer spent outside, this succulent must be brought inside before the arrival of the often abundant autumn rains and the appearance of the first frosts. However, if you live in one of our beautiful Mediterranean regions, and the garden is sheltered from the prevailing winds, it is possible to plant a Jade Tree in the ground, in the shade of a tree, because it can spend the whole year outside as long as it is not confronted with temperatures lower than 7°C, nor with excessive humidity. In less clement climates, it is better to choose a species of the genus Crassula more rustic than C. ovata.
Repot the Jade or Crassula Tree
It is better to wait for the arrival of the spring to repot this succulent, since it is the end of the flowering period. However, it is advisable not to abuse the potting of the Crassula which likes to be cramped in its container. We repot only when necessary, namely when the roots literally overflow the pot. At most we can repot it every 4 years.
To do this, remove all the soil carefully and then transplant the Jade Tree into a container a little larger than the previous one, but not too much all the same. Then fill it with a soil for succulents, succulents and cacti then water moderately. It is useful to take this opportunity to prune a few branches in order to aerate the heart of the plant, to balance its silhouette, even to remove the lowest branches which have aged well and are somewhat lacking in attractiveness.
Between two repottings, the substrate can possibly be scratched without hurting the roots in order to eliminate approximately 20% of it, which is replaced by new suitable compost.
Water the Crassula ovata
From April until the end of summer, it may be necessary to water it from time to time if it is very hot and dry in order to maintain sufficient irrigation. In winter, if the plant is flowering, it is given water twice a week until the end of the flowering period. It is watered a little in autumn if the plant is located in a room heated to 18°C or more. On the other hand, when it is installed in the winter garden where the temperature hardly exceeds 10 to 14°C, one is satisfied at most with a light monthly watering.
The moderation is always appropriate because, like all succulents, this plant stores water in its leaves. To water it, wait until the substrate is dry or until its leaves begin to sag.
It is not necessary to add fertilizer to the irrigation water as we tend to do for many other plant species.
Make your Jade Tree or Crassula bloom
It is mainly the Crassula a few years old that flower. It is therefore necessary to be patient and not to be discouraged because some specimens only begin to flower when they are 9 or 10 years old! It is in winter, from the beginning of January, that the Jade Tree is covered with a multitude of white flowers in the shape of stars, all the more so if it is at moderate ambient temperature, 15 °C maximum, from the month of November.