Ripple Jade Plant Info: Caring For Ripple Jade Plants
By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Compact, rounded heads atop sturdy branches give a bonsai type appeal to the ripple jade plant (Crassula arborescens ssp. undulatifolia). It can grow into a rounded shrub, with mature plants capable of reaching 3 to 4 feet (around 1 m.) in height, according to ripple jade plant info. Bluish leaves are twisted and erect, sometimes with purple edging when this plant is growing in the right place. Growing ripple jade, also called curly jade, is a joy when it’s located in a happy spot.
Growing a Ripple Jade Plant
Place your ripple jade outside, if possible, when temperatures allow. If you live in an area that doesn’t have freezing temperatures, grow ripple jade plants in the ground. These plants make an attractive border or background plant for shorter succulents. Happy, healthy plants produce white blooms in spring to summer.
When planted inland, morning sun is preferable. Locate ripple jade plants in full morning sun to keep them vigorous. When planted in coastal areas, ripple jade may take afternoon sun as well. While this specimen can take some shade, too little sun creates stretching, disturbing the appearance of this plant.
Jade plants growing indoors need a sunny window or exposure to a grow light. If your plant is stretching, ripple jade plant info advises pruning for shape and acclimating to a full-sun location. Increase sunlight every few days by a half hour to an hour until you’ve reached six hours of sun. Use cuttings left from pruning to start more plants. Let the cut end callous for a few days before planting.
Ripple Jade Care
Caring for ripple jade begins with planting in amended, fast-draining soil. As with most jade plants, limited water is needed for ripple jade care. Wrinkled leaves indicate when your jade needs a drink.
Well-established ripple jade plants that are settled into a container or a planting bed need little attention. Succulents, overall, need little to no fertilization, but if your plant looks pale or unhealthy, sometimes a springtime feeding of succulent fertilizer is just the pick me up your plant needs.
Bottom leaves may yellow and fall off before the plant enters winter dormancy. This is normal for the plant and usually does not indicate a need for feeding. Find the happy spot for your ripple jade and watch it develop.
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Read more about Jade Plants
When doing jade plant propagation, the stem cutting method is often the easiest and most successful way to go about it. This especially applies if you use larger, healthier stem cuttings.
- Take a sterilized knife or scissors and make a clean cut of the stem, making sure to choose a section with at least two nodes (bumps on the stem that leaves and roots can grow from). Also include a few healthy leaves. Any stem cutting size will do, but people usually have more success with larger cuttings.
- Carefully pluck away the leaves from the bottom of the cutting, leaving only a few healthy leaves at the very top. If you want even more jade plants, keep any leaves you pluck. We’ll tell you what to do with them below!
- Let the stem cutting (and any plucked leaves) sit out in a warm, dry area for about three days. This is so that the damaged edge from the cut has a chance to heal and callus, which will make it less susceptible to rot.
Now that your stem cutting is ready to go, what’s next? Well, you have two different methods to choose from, which we’ll discuss below.
Psst! Want to learn more about multiplying other types of succulents? Check out the article on how to propagate a succulent.
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The soil method
You can root your jade plant stem cutting directly in soil. Succulents are very resilient, so this almost always works. The only downside is that you can’t really keep an eye on your cutting’s progress, at least not until new leaf growth starts to appear.
- Get a pot or tray with drainage holes. A standard plastic nursery planter works perfectly well.
- Fill the pot with well-draining, loose soil. Jade plants aren’t too picky, so you can just mix some standard potting soil with a good handful of perlite for added drainage.
- Moisten the soil with water. Just enough to be moist to the touch but not soggy.
- BONUS STEP: If you have some on hand, you can dip the cutting in rooting hormone powder to stimulate root production.
- Use your finger or stick to poke a hole in the soil. It only needs to be deep enough that the stem cutting can stand up.
- Move the stem cutting into bright, indirect light and water every few days.
Tip: Stem cuttings that haven’t grown roots yet can start to droop a bit. This is normal, but if yours looks like it’s about to fall over, you can use a stick or something similar to prop it up. Once it roots, it’ll start growing upright again.
The water method
The water method for propagating a jade plant is a favorite for many, since it’s often quicker and easier. And perhaps even more importantly, you get to see the roots growing in real time!
With the water method, once your stem cutting has healed, just pop it into a glass or vase of water. Then move the whole thing into bright, indirect sunlight.
The only thing you need to do from that point is change out the water once or twice a week. Once the roots have grown about two inches, you can repot your new little jade plant! Or not: you can leave it in water as long as you want for something a little different.
16 Types of Jade Plants
You'll be quite surprised to know that there are over 1,400 jade plant varieties and some are quite rare and expensive too.
There are a range of jade varieties with varying features and have names like true jade, sunset jade, Gollum, Hobbit, etc. Let’s take a closer look at the various types of jade plants.
1) Crassula Ovata
This is the most common type of jade, which is also known as the lucky jade, money tree, and friendship plant.
This hardy and fast-growing plant is considered the original variety. It has jade green-colored, tear-shaped or obovate succulent leaves that grow to around 1.1 inch to 3.5 inches in length.
These types of jade plants can grow plenty of leaves that make it look like a lush shrub. Typically, the money plant thrives best in a bright location, but away from direct sunlight.
These feature dainty, whitish-pink, star-shaped flowers that usually bloom during the winter months.
2) Hummel’s Sunset
Also simply called “Sunset”, this is one of the most popular types of jade plants. It was awarded the Garden Merit award by the Royal Horticultural Society in the year 1993.
This stunning plant has a thick bonsai-style trunk and spectacular colored foliage of golden yellow leaves with red tips, which is why it is also called the “golden jade tree”.
The colors of the foliage become more intense during the winter months and the golden-yellow leaves of the plant turn to mustard yellow. The sunset jade makes a beautiful centerpiece on your dining table or a living room shelf.
The monstruosa jade plant comprises two varieties, the monstruosa Gollum and monstruosa Hobbit, named after the character from the movie Lord of the Rings. These two varieties of plants can be distinguished by their leaves.
The monstruosa Gollum variety has tubular shaped leaves with a reddish tint, while the monstruosa Hobbit has curled leaves. Even at their maximum height, Hobbits are smaller and shrubbier compared to Gollums.
4) Blue Bird
The Crassula arborescens ‘Blue Bird’ Variegata, commonly called "Blue Bird", Silver jade, or Chinese jade is among the most gorgeous succulents and is popular as a balcony plant.
This slow-growing shrub is characterized by its stunning bluish or gray foliage with pink or purple tips, which sets it apart from the other types of jade plants. If you know how to propagate succulents, you'll love these.
The maximum height of the Blue Bird is around 20 inches. It's also drought tolerant, making it easier to manage. The Blue Bird grows very well outdoors in succulent and rock gardens and flourishes indoors as well.
5) Crassula Campfire
Also called the red pagoda, the Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ is a stunning plant with propeller-like leaves that can brighten up the room instantly.
The plant looks like a pinkish rosette when it's small however, as it grows bigger it's shaped like a pagoda and the colors turn into red. The Campfire has a beautiful white flower that blooms in the summer.
6) Crassula Rupestris
Also called "Baby’s Necklace" or "Kebab Bush", the Crassula rupestris is among the most beautiful crassula hybrids. The plant is characterized by its beautiful greenish-gray and reddish colored triangular-shaped leaves.
The plant looks like a beautiful beaded necklace and is an excellent choice for the décor of your home.
7) Ripple Jade
Preferred for its decorative uses, the ripple jade has twisted greenish-bluish-gray leaves. The dwarf variety has a bonsai-like look and it grows to only around 3 feet in height.
The plant has waxy leaves and dense foliage that makes it look dense and bushy. With pruning and trimming, you can easily mistake the ripple jade for a bonsai plant, which perhaps is a bonus.
8) Harbour Lights
Characterized by its distinct jade green and red coloring, the Crassula ovata ‘Harbour Lights’ is a popular houseplant. The plant has long woody stems and small leaves that turn red during the winter.
In the autumn and early winter, the plant produces star-shaped, pinkish-white colored flowers that give it a radiant, delightful look.
9) Botany Bay
This is a fairly recent variety of the Crassula ovata, which was introduced in 2011. These types of jade plants have characteristic coin-shaped leaves and so it's commonly associated with bringing wealth.
The botany bay is a slow-growing, compact, and bushy shrub that can be grown into different shapes. The plant has jade green foliage and red margins.
The red color of the foliage becomes more pronounced in the winter months and dry conditions. Under ideal conditions, the plant can grow up to 3 feet in height over 5 years.
10) Crassula Ovata Minima
Also known as the miniature jade or baby jade, the Crassula ovata ‘Minima’ is a mini jade with green and red colored pointed leaves.
As a dwarf jade plant, the Minima does not grow over 24 inches. The foliage of the miniature jade is not very dense and has a tree-like appearance.
The plant grows white and pink colored flowers during the winter months. This jade can enhance any home balcony or courtyard and equally, and looks great as a tabletop decoration. It's also popular as a party favor or gift.
11) Crassula Ovata Pink
Also known as the ‘Pink Beauty’ plant, it gets its name from its bushy appearance and due to being more pink than green.
Unlike the other types of jade plants having brown-colored stems, the Pink Beauty has pink-colored stems. The plant has obovate leaves, which are quite sparse on the pink-colored stems.
This is among the larger jade species and can grow up to 5 feet in height. The Pink Beauty is characterized by its profuse number of small pink-colored flowers that bloom in the late autumn and early winter months that appear on the tips of the plants and fill its exterior.
12) Portulacaria Afra
Also called the dwarf jade or porkbush, this decorative plant has woody, red-colored stems with glossy, round, and small green leaves.
A popular outdoor houseplant, the porkbush can grow up to 6 to 8 feet in height after which it starts spreading and so it's advisable to keep it trimmed and shaped so it doesn't get out of hand.
The plant can withstand heatwaves and drought conditions and doesn't flower at all, unlike the other jade plant varieties. In its native habitat, the porkbush is usually eaten by elephants and so it is also called the "elephant bush".
13) Crassula Sericea “Hottentotta”
The ‘Hottentotta’ or the dwarf variety of Crassula are an unusual species of jade. This is a small succulent with plump and fuzzy leaves that grow around thin stems that usually grow in columns.
This dwarf jade typically doesn't grow more than 6 inches in height. The plant produces tiny flowers that appear on an inflorescence (elongated flowerhead). They add character to an herb spiral garden, for sure.
14) Crassula Pubescens
Also called the "bear paw jade", this is a low-growing plant, which is used mainly as a ground cover but grows well in containers too. Initially, the foliage of the bear paw jade is green in color but slowly turns in burgundy when in the sun.
The leaves of the plant are slender and fuzzy and it gets yellow-colored flowers. The bear paw plant grows very compact and spreads very slowly.
15) Crassula Picturata “Tiger Jade”
The tiger jade is a compact and neat succulent jade. This short-growing variety has beautiful leaves that form a compressed, pagoda-like structure.
It features pointed, green leaves that are dotted with purple, and the leaves also have a purple-colored underside. The leaves are margined by small fine hairs.
The tiger jade plant feels powdery to the touch, but you can wash this off while watering the plant. When the tiger jade is stressed, it turns a reddish color overall.
However, when happy, the plant grows lovely flowers. The plant’s short height is compensated by its spread that ranges from 6 to 8 inches.
16) Crassula Falcata
Popularly known as the "airplane plant" or "propeller plant", this jade is characterized by the extraordinary foliage that is twisted and angled in opposite pairs giving it the look of a propeller.
It has grayish-green leaves that overlap and very rarely does it flower. However, when it does, red flowers bloom in clusters at the center of the propellers. Easy to cultivate, it needs bright light and grows well at room temperature.
A well-draining soil is a must for all succulents, so when growing a Gollum Jade, you need to provide it with the appropriate potting mix. Consider adding perlite to a cactus mix to provide additional drainage for your succulent. You can also use a ready-to-use succulent soil mix that is specially formulated for succulents and cacti. You can find one here .