Do jade plants bloom

Houseplants forum: Turning Jade Stalk into Fuller Plant

Whatever you do to the plant with pruning or re-rooting will be secondary to the light the plant receives. If you want a bushy plant with a wide trunk relative to its height, you’ll get the best results with a lot of sun. Given the light your plant is currently receiving, it will never reach those proportions. Try to get it out in the sun in the spring (assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere), but do it gradually: start it out in bright shade then over the course of weeks slowly increase the exposure step by step so that the sun does not fry your plant before it has proper defenses. It does take a while for an indoor plant to be able to take lots of outdoor sun. You’ll know you have good light when the distance between successive leaves along the stem (internode) is short and the edges of the leaves have red highlights.
My recommendation indoors would be to find the brightest spot available, ideally right by a south-facing window this time of year, with hours of daily sun. Without that daily sun, your plant will eventually grow tall and spindly, rather than short and wide. Eventually it will require pruning when the weight of all that succulence becomes too much for the stem to bear, and the sideways branches start pointing down. Plants out in full sun (here we are fortunate in having a mild climate that permits this year round) never need pruning.

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My Jade Plant Won’t Bloom – Tips On Getting A Jade Plant To Bloom

Jade plants are common houseplants that even the most novice of gardeners can grow successfully. Does a jade plant bloom? Getting a jade plant to bloom requires mimicking its native growing conditions. Lack of water, cool nights and bright days encourage the plant to form buds and finally flowers. It’s a bit of a trick, but you can fool your plant into producing pretty little starry white to pink flowers in spring. Read on to learn more.

Does a Jade Plant Bloom?

Jade plants are primarily known for their thick, glossy, succulent leaf pads. There are many types of jade but the most familiar houseplants are Crassula ovata and Crassula argentea. These succulents reproduce by vegetative means but can also flower and produce seed. We often hear, “my jade plant won’t bloom,” and strive to provide information on what may cause a jade plant not flowering and how to promote blooms in reluctant plants.

Jade plants grow for many years without blooming. Even in their native habitat, the plants need to be very mature before they form flowers. Among the many jade plant flowering requirements is an arid ambient environment. Interior conditions are

often too humid for the plant to form buds.

Getting a jade plant to bloom will require you to remove it to a dry location, withhold water, and expose it to cooler nighttime temperatures. Of course, your plant should be an older species for blooming or you will still not find a single flower. Given the right setting and environment, a jade plant not flowering may simply be that it is not old enough to reproduce yet.

Getting a Jade Plant to Bloom

All plants need the same environment they would experience naturally to promote flowering and fruiting. Some require a dormancy period, some a photoperiod and others extreme environmental conditions.

Jade plant flowering requirements are a combination of all three. The plant doesn’t exactly enter dormancy but it does require a rest period before buds form. As the days become shorter, reduce watering and do not fertilize.

Keep the plant in an area of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (12 C.) during fall but protect it from any freezing. Blossoms should start to form around the shortest days of the year and bloom in late winter to early spring. These starry little flowers are produced in clusters at the tips of branches and are short lived.

Once the flowers fade and the stalk becomes brown, you can cut off the flowering stem. Begin to increase water and temperature as the spring progresses. In summer, move the plant outdoors gradually to an area with some protection from searing sun rays, but where it is bright for most of the day.

Water when the surface of the soil is dry. Jade plants like to be crowded, so they rarely need repotting to a larger container but they do need new soil every 3 years. Repot after the flowers have bloomed and at least a month before you move the plant outdoors for summer. Use a good cactus mixture for plants left indoors but add a bit of humus-rich soil to plants that are taken outside.

In spring to late summer, fertilize with a diluted balanced liquid fertilizer monthly. Don’t expect annual blooms, however, as the plant needs time to store adequate energy for this infrequent floral spectacle.

The Different Types of Jade Plants

Dozens of jade plant varieties are available from plant nurseries and mail order suppliers. Except in very dry conditions similar to their origins, jade plants are not appropriate for planting directly into the garden but do well in containers outdoors as long as they spend the winter indoors. The most common cause of plant death is overwatering. Succulents need a lot of water but do not like to stay wet all the time. Let the soil become dry in between thorough watering. Plant jade in containers with good drainage, in a loamy potting soil. Kept as a houseplant, jade may not flower at all. Those that do usually produce clusters of small, white flowers. Some varieties of jade plant are grown for their color. Bronze Beauty is a slow grower that produces leaves with a bronze overtone. California Red Tip develops dark red to purple leaf margins when exposed to bright light. Sunset jade develops golden leaf margins in full sunlight. Tricolor jade has pointed leaves striped with white and pink. This variety produces pink and white flowers.

Can I make my Jade plant grow faster?

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Crassula Jade type Cuttings and Potted by Blaise

Jade, Jade and Jade! You can never have enough Jade! Lengths and types will vary per listings.

Giant piece of Jade Cutting similar in size to the picture! Colors will vary based on sun exposure and time of the year. The more direct sunlight, the more red the tips/edges will become. The more shade/less direct light, the greener.

We can sell larger pieces, multiple pieces etc. We have 5-6 types as well, just contact us if you would like to discuss a custom order.

**POTTED jade types can include mini, rainbow, variegated, ET Fingers, Gollum etc. These are potted in 1 Nursery Gallon plastic containers. Approx. 12-15″ in height from soil to top. Our stock is always changing. Leaves and branches can break during shipping regardless of how well packed. Simply put broken pieces into some soil and learn propagation! All of our Jade type plants started out as cuttings! And what they look like now will be entirely different in 6 months, a year etc. Trim them, give them a haircut, treat them like a bonsai or just let them grow out!

***Cuttings can change shape during shipping, they are soft stemmed plants, even thick and large ones can flatten during storage and shipping. Individual stems and leaves can break off, dont despair, just repot these as well, it happens naturally in real life so please expect a few pieces to break!! Simply allow them to root and naturally fill out to regular shape. Treat these guys like Bonsais, trim them to your desired shape, save the cuttings for additional pots! Larger cuttings may need sticks or rocks etc. to help them stay upright during the rooting process. Flowers show their bloom in January. Flowers may or may not be present, if dried, you can simply cut or pull them off. These are all grown from mature specimens in the ground, some leaves can have imperfections, spots, etc. this is normal! Leaves and branches can break during shipping, simply replant, we cannot guarantee every branch and leaf will stay intact despite our careful packing. Over-watering is the number #1 cause of rot and death. Jades can go months w/o water, their leaves will begin to wrinkle which is a great sign they are thirsty. Don’t let your jades sit in water, drainage holes are great!! Jades stressed from water and in full hot sun can bring out more red hues. Jade can also sunburn if too hot etc. Slowly introduce all succulents to full hot sun or you may risk a bad sunburn. Protect from freezing temps too!

Easy Succulents- the Jade Plants

Editor’s Note:This article was originally published on April 12, 2009. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)

In the many years I have been growing succulents, I have learned that some are very difficult to keep alive, due in part to my lack of a shade structure or greenhouse, lack of knowledge and overall laziness. So saying a plant is difficult may not mean much to someone with a lot of experience and who has the facilities, knowledge and is willing to put the effort into keeping something alive and happy. However, I have also learned in my years of growing and killing plants that some succulents are exceptionally easy. If they are easy for me, then they are undoubtedly easy for most anyone else. And the group of plants I refer to as the jade plants are just one such example of easy succulent.

Crassula ovata, referred to as Jade Plant, Jade Tree, and Money Tree, is a very common plant, available at most garden outlet centers and local nurseries, at least here in California. I know they are fairly easy to grow indoors so probably these are readily available all over the U.S. They are inexpensive, fast-growing and amazingly resilient plants. All the Jade Trees are South African species but they have been growing for so long in the warmer areas of the U.S. that I sometimes forget they are not native species.

Crassula ovata grown as a hedge in public landscaping (photo by Kell)

The true jade tree (Crassula ovata) is a fleshy, large plant for a Crassula species with succulent ovoid leaves (hence the name ‘ovata’) and thick, water-filled stems and branches. The trunks or stems can get up to 8 to 10 inches in diameter or more, but only in older plants do they become woody. Younger stems and branches are so fleshy and soft they can be cut easily with a butter knife. This makes for a relatively brittle shrub and one of the reasons this plant rarely grows much taller than 6 or 8 feet tall, as its heavy, water-logged leaves and branches weigh so much they break themselves off eventually, falling to the ground and readily rooting there. This is the way large shrubs or thickets of Crassula ovata develop. This ability to root easily makes this one of the easiest species to grow from cuttings.

Leaves and stem of Crassula ovata

Though pretty rot-resistant in most warm outdoor situations, these plants can rot if overwatered and grown in poorly draining soils or allowed to remain too cool or cold for too long. It is one of the more adaptable succulents to clayey soils, however; my plants have never had a problem rotting, despite my soils being exceptionally poorly draining. If a stem does rot, it is best to just cut it down to healthy tissue, apply a fungicide and let it dry out for weeks. Otherwise the rot tends to progress and an entire plant can eventually collapse into a mound of mush. Most plants in southern California tolerate amazing amounts of rain water, even if planted in somewhat clayey soils, and even seem to look happiest during the rainy winter season.

The leaves of Crassula ovata are about one inch or more in diameter, thick and a deep green (some say a jade green, but I have not seen jade that color too often) though they can be tinged with red in times of stress (high heat, cold, hot sun, drought). Wrinkling of leaves occurs during periods of extended dehydration (these plants like summer water) OR if overwatered. This can make interpretation of wrinkled leaves difficult unless you know something about the soil and watering scheme a plants has been exposed to. Some cultivars of this plant have smaller, nearly perfectly circular leaves, some have more oval small ones (e.g., ‘Obliqua’), some have white streaks (e.g., ‘Tricolor’ and ‘Variegata’) and some are pale or deep yellow and white variegated (e.g., ‘Sunset’).

Collapsed, wrinkled leaves from drought (Southern California late summer) in first photo; second photo shows dried plant on left and plant with normal leaves on right getting some sprinkler water. The wrinkled, dried leaves will quickly ‘re-inflate’ in winter when it rains again.

Crassula ovata ‘Compactum’ showing nice stress color (photo by Happenstance); 2 shots of variegated Crassula ovata (middle and right)

Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’

yellow Crassula ovata outdoors in southern California (in winter showing blooms)

As well as having color and size variations, some cultivars have leaf shape variations. The most notable of these are Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’ and Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’. The former was the original cultivar but it is not all that commonly seen in cultivation anymore as Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ seems to have become the more popular plant, and is almost as commonly sold now as the normal form of Crassula ovata here in California. These two are very similar in appearance with both having monstrose leaf forms. Crassula ‘Hobbit’ has leaves that curl and are elongated, paddle-shaped and look a bit like a rodent’s ears. Crassula ‘Gollum’ has more tubular leaves that end in a little cup shape and look like the ears of Shrek, the cartoon character… though many of the leaves on a typical Crassula ‘Gollum’ will have some ‘Hobbit’-like leaves as well. These cultivars are no less easy to grow or propagate from cuttings though eventual overall size seems a bit smaller than the normal Crassula ovata plants.

Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’ (photo by Squinj) (left); two photos of my own Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’ foliage

comparison of Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’ (left) and ‘Gollum’ (right)

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ in my garden showing stress coloration; two photos of foliage details (photo on right by IslandJim)

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ plants in my landscape

The flowers of this plant occur in the winter in California, but are supposed to occur in summers in South Africa. I am not sure why that would be, but that is what I have read. The flowers are a pale pink and if looked at closely are quite pleasantly colored. However it was only recently that I noticed this color while writing this article. Up until then I thought they were just white as that’s how they look unless you inspect them closely. The flowers of Crassula ovata are not terribly ornamental and quickly brown, making the plants look weedy.

Crassula ovata ‘Greybark’ flowers pure white; Crassula ovata (normal form) flowers have pale pink coloration- all these are winter flowers

large hedge of plant in winter in Los Angeles (second photo shows only part of plant getting sunlight is flowering); Flowering plant in desert landscape in winter (can hardly see foliage)

Cold hardiness is not terribly impressive with this species, though it is plenty hardy enough to survive in most warm, arid southwest climates. Temps down into the low 20s are hard on this plant, and may cause a lot of damage and subsequent rotting.

These plants prefer a lot of bright light and seem to do well in very hot arid full sun situations. They also do pretty well in rather low light situations, however, and can grow quite well in full shade situations as long as they aren’t grown in soggy soils. However they tend to get leggy and weak in this situation and the overall look of the plant will be less impressive, weak and with a tendency for sagging and broken branches.

Though this plant seems to be about 95% water and it definitely is a drought-tolerant species, it does not look good without summer water and will start to look dried out and less ornamental if grown this way. The leaves become flat and dull, sometimes wrinkling and even turning brownish-red. If grown in a small, clay pot with restricted root space, some plants will even die without water over summer.

Jade trees for the most part are fairly resistant to bugs. Crassulas are known to attract mealy bugs, aphids snails. However these seem to very resistant to the first two and the plants are large enough generally that snail damage is not always evident. Fungal problems are the most common diseases encountered and nearly always due to inappropriate watering schemes or too little light.

As mentioned earier, these are exceptionally easy plants to grow from cuttings and fallen pieces will root themselves in the yard often. To make a cutting, just cut or snap off a smaller branch and stick into very well draining soil and do not water for a few weeks. Even leaves will root easily if placed on top of semi-moist soil out of direct sun.

Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’ cutting (or ‘snapping’ since I just snapped it off main trunk); leaf on moist soil showing new leaves forming where leaf has rooted (photo by Dave)

This is commonly grown as indoor plant and it excels as one. It can survive for decades in the same pot as long as not overwatered too often. However it is recommended to change the soil every 2 to 4 years. Soil should be very well draining and can be well over 50% inorganic material (like grit, sand and/or pumice) and the rest potting soil. Bright light is still essential at least part of the year, but it will do well without any direct sunlight indoors. Indoor plants need little or no fertilizer for long periods of time (same is true for outdoor plants).

Crassula ovata indoors (photo by cacti-lover)

Jade plants are popular as bonsai species as they grow naturally into one, particularly if grown in a small, shallow pot. I personally kill most bonsai plants as I usually underwater them, but this is one I can keep alive for years (missing a watering here and there does not phase this species). It is a particularly easy plant to trim and keep looking like a miniature tree. However, forcing its branches to grow in different directions can be frustrating as they are brittle and snap off easily, so patience is a must.

wonderfully grown ‘tree’ in a pot (photo by wnstarr)

Crassula arborescens or the Silver Jade Tree (also called Chinese Jade, Money Plant, or Silver Dollar Plant), is a similar-sized plant and nearly as easy to grow in most respects as Crassula ovata, though I find it slower and less tolerant of low light situations. This is a very ornamental species with large, nearly perfectly circular 2-inch, thick, flat to slightly cup-shaped, pale blue to silvery-blue-green leaves with visible stomata (tiny holes) and sometimes reddish-pink edges. There is another form with wavy leaves called Crassula arborescens ‘Undulatifolia’ which is still not very common in cultivation. The leaves of this form are notably thinner and the stomata are not evident readily. The stems and trunk are similar to those of Crassula ovata, though I don’t see these plants ever get as large and massive as Crassula ovata, at least here in California. I read that these can grow up to 9 feet tall, but I have never seen one anywhere near that tall. Most grow to shrubs about 3 to 4 feet high, and then their heavy branches break off and root where they fall and new plants grow from these. Flowers tend to grow in warmer weather than do the Crassula ovata flowers, blooming in late spring or early summer.

Crassula arborescens shrub leaf color showing pink in drought and cold flowering in summer, southern California

Crassula arborescens stems Crassula arborescens above and Crassula ovata below for comparison

Plant in my yard and a leaf I removed from it to show size and thickness

Crassula arborescens ‘Undulatifolia’ for sale in a nursery (first two photos); third photo is of a bluer shrub in a landscape situation in southern California

Portulacaria afra is an unrelated species that is sometimes referred to as the Miniature Jade Tree or Small Leaf Jade (also called Elephant Food or Elephant Plant). I include it here as it is somewhat similar in appearance and I find it is just about as easy to grow and care is nearly identical to that of the Crassulas above. This plant has bright green succulent leaves that are ovoid about 1/2-inch in diameter. There is a popular variegated form that has pale yellowish leaves with some pale green streaking down the middle. Stems are fleshy and start out an ornamental red-brown color, though fading to grey with age.

Portulacaria afra (photo by Xenomorf) Portulacaria afra variegated

foliage of both forms (first photo Xenomorf)

Grown in warm climate these plants will eventually form large colonies many feet wide and up to about six feet tall. It does require an arid climate to be happy and it is commonly grown yard plant in Hawaii even in the fairly wet areas. The variegated form has a different growth habit and rarely grows into tall colonies. Rather it grows along the ground as a creeper and only manages one to two feet of height when grown outdoors as a shrub.

Portulacaria afra normal and variegated in landscape. The shrub on the left is about eight feet tall while the variegated one on the right, though impressive in size for this form is only about two feet tall

Both forms of Portalacaria afra are excellent as potted plants. They make easy and ornamental bonsai plants, naturally growing into interesting miniatures trees even with little pruning or care. The variegated from has a tendency to grow down and as a trailing plant, but it can be trained to grow upright as a tree.

examples of bonsaid Portulacaria afra (third photo is of a variegated plant)

Care for this plant is nearly the same as it is for Crassula ovata, including its drought- and cold-tolerance and its ability to tolerate lower light situations. However, if kept in low light conditions for an extended period of time, it tends to rot or lose leaves. I have rotted these in pots but in the ground I have yet to manage to do anything bad to any of them. This plant does not flower nearly as readily as the Crassulas and getting one to flower here in California is a feat (or luck). Flowers are a bright pink and fairly ornamental, at least compared to those of the Crassulas.

Flowering plant in southern California (photo by RWhiz)

Almost all the above plants mentioned are readily available in cultivation, inexpensive and easy to grow. So what are you waiting for?

Q: I have taken many cuttings and grown new plants to give to friends from my 30-year-old jade plant. Some of these have leaves three times the size of the mother plant. The one I gave to my daughter in Gibsons has produced white flowers. How can I get mine to bloom?

SW: Not sure about the size of leaves; this could be to do with light levels. But I do know that for a jade plant to bloom, it needs to be treated a little like a poinsettia plant and given periods of total darkness.

The jade plant is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and is nearly indestructible, making it perfect for beginning and hobbyist growers. While the plant thrives with very little care for decades, it takes a lot of care to make a jade plant flower in mid-winter. While encouraging an established jade to flower can be as simple as controlling the environment, the willingness of the jade to flower is up to the plant.

At the end of summer, you should move your plant into a spot where it gets bright daylight for at least four hours a day and complete darkness at night. If you can’t move the plant, you could place a box over it.

As well, you need to cut back on watering and stop any fertilizing. The night temperatures need to be a little cooler, too, about 50 to 60 F.

Courtesy of Carol T. Bradford THIS WITCHHAZEL, a Hamamelis cultivar growing in the Winter Garden at Cornell Plantations, will be flowering by the middle of March. Some witchhazel buds are showing color already. Learn to tell the difference between the flower buds, rounded in this photo, and the leaf buds, which are pointed. Itas important when pruning. Witchhazels often hang on to last yearas dead leaves until they are pushed off by the new growth.

Dear Carol: What conditions are necessary for jade plants to bloom? We have three large jade plants, two of which are blooming profusely and one that only has a couple of blossoms. The one not blossoming is in another room away from the two that are blossoming. Therefore we are wondering if being in proximity to another plant is necessary? I have looked around on the Internet and cannot seem to find anything about this. The jade plant in the background of the second picture is about 35 years old. The plant in the first picture is around 10 years old. They are both kept outside most of the summer on a deck facing southeast. We keep them in front of patio doors facing the same direction in the colder months. We only water them indoors about once a month using a mild fertilizer solution and keep the temperature in the low 60s. — C.S., via e-mail.
Dear C.S.: Congratulations on keeping the jade trees thriving for many years and having them bloom. The jade trees in your photos look full and healthy.
Plants flower when they are old and well established enough, and when the environmental conditions are right. The right conditions happen naturally when a plant grows outdoors, but indoors is a different story. Most houseplants (except ferns, which are not flowering plants) are capable of flowering, but never do inside because light, moisture and temperature conditions aren’t what they need. They may grow just fine without ever flowering, however.

Flowering has nothing to do with the proximity of other plants. Another plant of the same type might have to be nearby for pollination and the subsequent fruit and seed development. Some plants are self pollinating. If a plant does require cross pollination, the pollen has to be carried from one flower to the next by wind or animals, “the birds and the bees.”
Jade trees are native to South Africa. They are popular container plants and can get large, several feet tall and wide. The species is Crassula ovata. These succulents bloom in the cool months of the year.
Jade trees need bright light during the spring, summer and early fall. Plants that are getting enough light will have firm green leaves with a reddish margin. Floppy plants with weak growth may not be getting enough light.
Cut down on watering in the winter; once a month is plenty. They will rot if overwatered summer or winter. The soil should be very well drained. Jade trees grow on gravelly slopes and the plant are adapted to extreme drought.
What you are doing with the plants that are flowering is good. The plant that isn’t flowering may not be old enough, may not be getting enough light or may be in a room that is too warm.

Syracusan Carol T. Bradford writes about gardening for Stars and on Saturday in The Post-Standard. Send questions to her at [email protected] or in c/o Stars, P.O. Box 4915, Syracuse, NY 13221.

Crassula Ovata

Basic info: The Jade is grown indoors and borrows itself from the bonsai in the way it grows like a miniature tree, with a trunk and branches. It is also a succulent that will retain water well within the leaves, just like the cactus plant.

This succulent is a hardy fellow and has two main requirements for a healthy long life, which is water and plenty of light. They are both an indoor and outdoor species, although conditions outside need to be right (enough heat and sun).

How it looks and displaying: As mentioned above the Jade has a similar look to a bonsai tree with a thick trunk and branches. The leaves are a thick oval shaped type which are a shiny dark green and possibly red colored outer edge’s. They can produce white or pink flowers in the right conditions, once they have matured. The most important aspect of displaying this shrub is plenty of sunlight…..close to a window.

Easy to grow: As you will see with the care instructions below these are very easy to maintain, however, the more you see to it’s basic needs, the better and stronger it will grow.

Flowering: Some growers have just been fortunate that theirs has bloomed while others have had to make the conditions right. Many have never seen one bloom in years (like me).

The general advice is at the end of summer bring the plant into a spot that will provide it with a few hours daylight, stop giving it fertiliser, reduce watering and provide full darkness at night — then you may see them bloom, in the winter. The plant will see this as a resting period.

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