Originating in South Africa, jade plants are native to the desert and can grow up to 10 feet tall and with large trunks. However, in most cases jade plants are kept in small pots and grown indoors. Purple jade is a type of jade plant known as the Crassula ovata or red jade.
Purple jade plant leaves are thick and fleshy, about the size of a quarter or silver dollar. The purple or red jade's leaves are green but lined in a reddish purple, and only change color when the plant is grown in full sun. The jade plant is a succulent plant and the thick leaves helps it retain moisture in drought situations.
Since jade plants are desert plants they need well-drained soil in which to thrive. If the soil is too wet the purple jade plant could get root rot and die. Purple jade plants can survive in dried-out soil, but it may cause dwarfing in size.
Purple jade plants have small white or pink flowers. The flowers are shaped like stars and only appear on mature plants.
Purple jade plants, like other types of jade plants, look like miniature trees. They have fat trunks with the leaves coming off of little branches.