Crassula arborescens - "Silver Jade Plant / Silver Dollar Jade / Blue Bird" Care

You can choose to grow the “Silver Dollar Jade” either as a houseplant or outdoors depending on your local climate. With this guide we will show you all the information that you will need to know about for your Crassula arborescens “Silver Jade”.

Silver Jade. Source

Table of Contents

Crassula Arborescens – (Silver Jade Plant / Blue Bird) Overview

 
  • Common Name: Silver Jade Plant, Chinese Jade, Silver Dollar Jade
  • Scientific Name: Crassula Arborescens
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Origin: South Africa and Mozambique
  • Flower Colour: White or Light Pink
  • Ultimate Height: 1.20 – 1.50 metres / 4 – 5 ft
  • Ultimate Spread: 1.20 – 1.50 metres / 4 – 5 ft
  • Time To Ultimate Height: 10-15 years
  • Leaf: Evergreen
  • Plant Hardiness: UK = H2 / USA = 10a
  • Temperature: Will not survive being frozen (5°C = 41°F Lowest Temp) If growing outdoors.
  • Light: Full Sun
  • Water: Low
  • Soil: Well Drained Sandy / Loamy Soil – Or a good Succulent potting mix
  • Fertiliser: Only needed during growing season.
  • Propagation: Leaf or Stem Cuttings, by Seed, or by Offsets
  • Pests: Mealybugs, Spider Mites (Usually disease free when grown as a houseplant)
  • Poisonous for pets: Toxic to cats and dogs.

How to Care for Your Crassula arborescens

Crassula Arborescens (Silver Jade / Chinese Jade / Silver Dollar Jade has a unique mini tree-like aesthetic, with large blue to greyish oval-shaped leaves with maroon tips attached to woody stems. Its leaves can grow up to 7cm (3 inches) long. Lets not forget to mention that this succulent plant is another variety of Jade Plant. It’s quite easy to care for once you know how, and what they need. They can grow to five feet if given sufficient root space, or you can even bonsai them.

Your Silver Jade plant / Silver Dollar Jade can be grown outdoors, but most of the time they’re grown indoors. Outside, they can be grown as landscape plants in regions with a dry, mild climate all year-round. They’re susceptible to the cold, so if you live in a region where it gets to freezing temperatures, it’s best to grow them indoors. If it gets to 5°C / 41°F or lower where you live, grow them inside.

Crassula arborescens in a cement pot

How much light does it need?

 Jade plants require quite a bit of light in order to grow big and healthy. If they aren’t given enough light, they can start to become weak and frail. They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight or filtered sunlight every day.
 

You can move your jade plant outside during the summer if you want to give it more light. Just keep in mind that they are sensitive to “plant sunburn” and can become damaged if given too much light too quick. You should gradually acclimatise them to sunlight exposure over the course of a few weeks.

You can tell your plant is getting too much light or if it has been scorched, if the leaves begin turning brown, like in the image below. The leaves can also begin to fall off. If overexposure to light continues, your jade plant will die.

Crassula Ovata, Jade Plant, Money Plant sunburnt

Crassula Ovata / Jade Plant / Money Plant – Sunburned by the sun

How much water does it need?

 They require less watering than other common household plants. Crassula arborescens ( Silver Jade  / Chinese Jade) is a succulent, a member of the Crassula family. It’s important to note that excessive watering can lead to root rot and the death of your plant.

So how often should you water your plant ? Jade plants don’t like to be overwatered. Always check your jade plant’s soil before watering it. Only water it when you notice the soil is completely dry. You can check the dryness of the soil by sticking your finger an inch into the soil. Is the soil damp? If so, don’t water it. Is it dry? Then it’s okay to water.

When in doubt, it’s always best to lean on the side of under watering your beloved plant. During the spring and summer, they require a bit more watering than in autumn and winter. In winter, you can usually get by with only watering your jade plant once a month. Just remember to always check the moisture of the soil before watering.

Another tell tell sign that your plant requires watering is that the leaves will wrinkle up and start to wither. Just like when your hands look prune like after sitting in a bath for ages.

Do not mist your plant, they don’t like being over watered and secondly they just don’t need misting and will be totally fine without it.

Ideal Soil for Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade)

Due to fact that it’s a succulent you should use a well-draining soil which is porous as well. Normal soil tends to retain too much moisture.

You can buy succulent soil from most garden centres or just make your own by mixing normal potting soil, sand and perlite together.

  • 1 ½ bucket of soil
  • 1 bucket of sand
  • ½ bucket of perlite

This is the mixture I use to make my own succulent soil; it stops the soil from losing all the moisture whilst still allowing it to compact, keeping the roots in place.

Fertilising Your Plant

A Silver Jade (Silver Dollar Jade) Plant doesn’t need fertilising that often, every 2 months during spring and summer is fine. This is the plants growing season. In the winter months you don’t need to fertilise it as the plant goes dormant during this period.

When fertilising you should be using a well-balanced liquid fertiliser diluted with water.

Getting your plant to flower?

It’s no easy task getting your Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade) to flower while growing it indoors. The trick to getting it to flower is to make sure that the plant enters its resting period as it would outdoors over Winter. Place the plant in the coldest part of your home (but not freezing) where it will still get its minimum 4hrs light. 

Try and make sure that you give it complete darkness at night, stop giving it fertiliser and make sure the soil dries out before watering. 

The reason that these plants are so hard to flower when grown indoors is the fact that most homes are the same temperature all year round, this isn’t the plants natural conditions.

If you have been successful then your will be rewarded with White to Pink 5-petal flowers when it flowers.

Close up of a Jade Plant / Money Plant Flower Source

Crassula Ovata, Jade Plant / Money Plant Flowering Source

Repotting Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade)

Several plants from the Crassula genus, like the jade plant, are happy to grow in the same pot and soil for years on end. You don’t need to keep re-potting them throughout the year, which can make it much easier to take care of them (especially when they get bigger and heavier).

You should re pot younger jade plants every 2-3 years to allow it grow stronger and fuller. For older jade plants, make sure you re pot every 4-5 years. When replanting, make sure you do it at the beginning of spring, right before the growing season starts.

Once you re-pot or replant your jade plant, wait at least a week to water it and a few weeks before you fertilise it as the roots need time to settle in.

How To Prune Your Plant

How to prune your plant, If you think that your plant requires pruning, you can prune it anytime of the year, however pruning is best done in Spring or Summer. If you have any dead or dying leaves, feel free to pick them off.

  • Look for the brown rings on the stem
  • Ensure that you use a clean, sharp pair of pruning shears
  • Be aware that 2 new steams will grow from the area that you have just pruned, this can lead you to having a bushier plant. If this is not what you want just prune the new growth.
  • When pruning, do not take more than 20 cuts.

How to Propagate Your Plant

Are you wondering how to propagate a jade plant? It’s a wonderful way to grow more beautiful jade plants in your home without having to purchase another plant. There are a few steps to follow in order to make sure your cuttings turn into a healthy new jade plant.

When trying to figure out how to plant jade cuttings, the first thing you need to remember is that it’s best until you have a well-grown jade plant before attempting to propagate it.

Here’s how to propagate a jade plant from either a Leaf Cutting or Stem Cuttings:

  1. Take a stem cutting (or remove a leaf) from a healthy jade plant. You want a stem that’s 2-3 inches long with at least two pairs of leaves on it. Once you have your stem cutting, place it in a warm area of your home for a few days. You will notice a callous forming on the cut area which helps encourage rooting (while preventing rot).
  2. Grab a container with succulent potting mix. Remember to use soil that isn’t completely wet, but just a bit moist.
  3. Next, take your stem cutting and stick it upright in the soil like a tree. You can use a few rocks or weights to keep it in place if it can’t stand on its own. If you have a leaf, simply lay it horizontally on top of the soil. Cover the cut end with a bit of soil.
  4. Take your pot and place it in a warm area with indirect light. Don’t water it yet.
  5. After 1-2 weeks, you’ll notice the cutting or leaf will begin growing roots. Another 1-2 weeks later, gently touch the cutting or leaf to see if the roots are established. If they aren’t yet rooted, wait another few days, and test it again.
  6. When you notice your new jade plant is firmly rooted, you can water it gently. Don’t pour water all over it. Be very light with your watering so you don’t displace or damage the roots. Make sure it waters all the way down to encourage the roots to grow deep.
  7. From here on, treat your new jade plant with much care, allowing the soil to completely dry out between each watering. Test to check that the soil is dry before watering again. Once the plant is more established, you can move it to a window with direct sunlight.

If when propagating your jade plant, you notice the stem is rotting or slightly mushy from over watering, simply cut the stem off a few inches above the rotting and try to propagate it again.

You may notice your jade plant will propagate naturally. This can often happen in the summer, as more leaf’s break off naturally, growing roots in the soil of your jade plant pot.

Propergating Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade)

Videos

The videos below are for the Crassula Ovata / Jade Plant. You Propagate a Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade) the exact same way

Bonsai Tree Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade)

The Jade plant is  one of the most popular plants to bonsai for beginners due to the fact that it’s easy to care for as mentioned above. This variety of Jade is no different.

Also considered by many as one of the few bonsai that’s actually a true indoor tree. It’s easily trained to many forms, good choices would be upright formal and clumps.

The Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade) bonsai is easy to work with when wiring and has been known to adjust to its new formed shape within a few weeks

If you are trying to encourage the growth of new branches at the bottom of its Stem (Trunk) then you should pinch out any new shoots.

Any forming or pruning on this bonsai should be done during its growth period in Spring and Summer, you should also let the plant rest after re-potting it.

When pruning be aware that usually 2 new stems (trunks) will grow from the pruned area.

Pests

Growing Crassula arborescens (Silver Jade/ Silver Dollar Jade) indoors is usually pest free however saying that, it’s still susceptible to common houseplant pests:

Mealybugs

Spider Mites

Different Types of Jade Plant

There are many different types available here are just a few of my favourites for you

This type is similar to “Hobbit” type and gets it name from the “Lord of the Rings” it has long finger like leaves which are tubular and tipped with a suction cup.

“Hobbit”

This type is similar to “Gollum” type and also gets it name from the “Lord of the Rings” has small tiny curled yellow-green leaves.

“Jade Plant / Money Plant / Friendship Tree”

“Ripple Leaf”

A unique looking Jade with you guessed it rippled leaves.

“Variegata” Known as “Lemon and Lime Jade”

 

Here are a few questions you may have when caring for your jade plant 

Q – Why is my jade plant dropping leaves?

A – There are several reasons your jade plant could be dropping leaves prematurely. Jade leaves can fall off if your plant is too wet, too dry, or if it’s not getting enough sunlight. Make sure you check your soil by placing your finger one inch below the surface before watering to ensure you are not over or under watering.

Q – Wondering how to make a jade plant bushy?

A – You can make your jade plant bushy by pruning the plant. Trim longer stems where you want your plant to thicken. Use sharp pruning shears to cut the jade stem. The jade plant will grow two branches off the place where you pruned it, allowing it to grow back thicker.

Q – My Jade Plant Has Collapsed and Feels mushy.

A – Sounds like Root Rot, caused by either over watering or poor draining soil. Try using a succulent soil mix and take a cutting from the plant that feels firm and start over.

Q – The leaves and stems on my plant look shrivelled like a prune.

A – This is a sign that your “Jade Plant” “Money Plant” needs watering.

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