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What is a Trailing Jade Plant?

pot display image by Tom Curtis from Fotolia.com

Trailing jade plants are also known scientifically as Senecio jacobsenii and Kleinia petraea. They are also known as weeping jade plants. The plants are succulents from Africa and have pale green, shiny leaves that are shaped like ovals. Trailing jade plants are easy to cultivate, and they grow very rapidly. They grow with trailing patterns (as the name indicates), and as a result, are useful as ground covers or in hanging pots.

Characteristics

Trailing jade plants bear bright, yellow-to-orange pincushion, vining flowers (which bloom during the winter). The plants are known for an unusual growth habit that is generally prostrate. The plant has big leaves that are flat and Jade-like (with a purple/burgundy color), and thick stems. They grow to be between 4 and 6 inches in length.

Cultivation

Trailing jade plants, like all other succulents, are hardy to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) zones of nine, 10 and 11. Trailing jade plants cannot tolerate hard frosts, and they need to be handled as container plants. They must be brought inside for the winter months. The plants prefer sandy soil types. Trailing jade plants prefer full or partial sun, and they do not require a lot of watering.

Geography

Although most jade plants originate in South Africa, trailing jade plants are also native to northeastern parts of Africa, specifically the nation of Tanzania.

Scientific Information

The trailing jade plant is part of the Astereceae family within the Senecio genus. The plants are part of the Magnoliophyta phylum, the Asterales order, and the Magniolopsida class.

Uses

Trailing jade plants are popularly used as container plants in gardens. They are also commonly used in rock gardens. The plants are resistant to rabbits, deer and also to fire.

Jade Plant

Place jade plants indoors in a spot that receives bright but indirect all-day sun, such as near a south-facing window. Water the pot from the top until the excess drains freely from the bottom, completely soaking the soil. Apply a soluble liquid fertilizer formulated for indoor foliage plants every three months. Move jade plants outdoors, if desired, when daytime temperatures are above 65 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures are above 50 F. Place the plant in a area that receives bright sunlight and some afternoon shade. Bring the plants back indoors in fall before temperatures drop below 50 F. Repot jade plants in late winter or early spring when the roots outgrow the pot and the soil begins drying quickly or the roots begin lifting the plant out of the pot. Transplant into a pot 2 inches larger in diameter than the old pot.

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