The botanical name for a jade ivy plant is Crassula ovate. Jade ivy plants belong in the succulent plant family known as Crassulaceae. It is commonly known as the friendship plant, jade plant, lucky plant or money plant. Jade ivy is native to South Africa, where it is a common houseplant. They are slow-growing plants and their full size depends on the size of their pot.
Jade ivy plants have smooth, thick branches with jade-green colored leaves. The leaves grow in opposing pairs along the branches. When the plant is in direct sunlight, the edge of the leaf has a red tint. Jade ivy plants produce star-shaped pink or white flowers. Younger stems are green but as they get older they turn brown with a woody look.
Jade ivy plants are desert plants that produce their own water. They tolerate dry soils and root-bound pots. As succulent plants, jade ivies retain water. They store water in their leaves, stems and roots. The leaves' waxy outer surface reduces air movement near the surface, reducing water walls.
Jade ivy requires a well-drained soil. The soil should drain quickly and dry thoroughly between watering. Jade ivy can grow in dry rocky soils and do nicely on hills. It easily roots from pruned or fallen leaves and stems. In just a few weeks the cuttings will produce roots and start a new plant.
Jade ivy requires very little care, making it a good choice for busy gardeners. A jade ivy plant needs occasional watering during summer months and very little watering in the winter. Let the soil dry completely between watering. Water about every 10 days during the summer and about once a month during the winter. If overwatered, the jade ivy's leaves will crinkle and fall off, and the stem and roots will rot. Jade ivy plants grow in full sun or shaded areas. Overexposure to cold can kill even the hardiest of jade ivy plants. Pruning a plant regularly aids in creating healthier roots and stronger stems.
Mealy bugs are common for jade ivy plants. Bug control is simple, involving removal with a cotton ball or soft paint brush dipped in alcohol. Aphids attack only the flowering part of the plant; control them by removing the flowering stem. Watch the plant for a few weeks after removing all insects in case eggs have been laid and begin to hatch. Jade ivy plants do not tolerate pesticides because they are very sensitive. Do not use chemical pesticides as these may kill the jade ivy plant.