Jade Tree Information

Overview

Growing houseplants can be frustrating for people who travel or forget to water their plants regularly, but even those people can successfully grow jade trees. This is because they are succulents, meaning their leaves and stems store water so they're able to go for extended periods without watering. Although many gardeners know about jade plants, few people are familiar with the jade tree (Crassula argentea), which is a study, although delicate, bonsai or dwarf-sized tree that makes an ideal houseplant.

Size and Geography

When grown in the wild a typical jade tree grows from four to six feet, according to The Jade Tree Bonsai website. If grown indoors, this tree is much smaller, reaching only seven inches tall and seven inches wide in a container. The jade tree originally came from South Africa and has continued to be cultivated as a houseplant in Europe and the United States for more than 100 years, according to the Growers Exchange website. In the United States wild jades are mostly found in dry, arid locations such as deserts.

Types

The Copper jade tree, also called "Bronze Beauty" is a plant with small copper-green leaves that grow on exceptionally slow-growing stems. The Red Jade tree or "California Red Tip" has leaves that are edged in a purplish-red color. The Golden Jade tree, also known as "Sunset", is distinguishable by its golden-edged leaves and is a large specimen that's considerably striking. Tricolor Jade or "Tricolor" produces white and pink flowers and has creamy pointed leaves that have white and rose-colored stripes.

Common Pests

Red spiders and mealybugs are common pests. Red spiders can cause leaves to lose their green color and look dusty or speckled. One method of removing them is blasting them off using a spray of water. Fluffy white deposits on stems or roots generally are a sign of a mealy bug infestation. Mealybugs can be killed by wiping them with a cotton swab soaked with alcohol. They can also be picked, scraped or brushed off.

Considerations

Re-pot jade trees about every two to three years and need an inorganic compost that drains quickly. According to the Bonsaisite.com website, an ideal combination is one that includes a mix of 75 percent inorganic matter and 25 percent organic material such as peat compost. New growth needs regular pruning to reduce the size of leaves.

Warning

Temperature regulation is a crucial concern for jade trees as they are cactus-type plants. Although they should be grown indoors during cold months, during the summer it can benefit these plants to be outdoors so they can receive more sunlight. To prevent a jade tree from having stunted growth indoors, position it near a sunny windowsill or other natural light source. .

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About this Author

Venice Kichura has written on a variety of topics for various websites, such as Suite 101 and Associated Content since 2005. She's written articles published in print publications and stories for books such as "God Allows U-Turns." She's a graduate of the University of Texas and has worked in both Florida and Connecticut schools.