The money plant or jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a succulent bush or small tree that is frequently grown as a houseplant. Money plants are easy to look after and normally thrive even when neglected. They can be grown outdoors in frost-free gardens and can grow up to 3 metres (10 feet) high.
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Place your potted money plant in a bright place inside the house. A south-facing window with direct sunshine is ideal. Plants with pale green leaves or spindly growth require more light. Money plants kept in the sun turn a pale pink colour, which is a sign of good health. Plants can be moved outdoors after the last frost.
Water your money plant once the soil is dry down to a depth of 2.5cm (1 inch). Do not overwater and make sure the soil can drain completely as waterlogged plants are susceptible to root and stem rot. If the leaves on your plant are plump and glossy, it is receiving enough water. Wrinkled leaves mean that it needs to be watered more often. Spray your money plant every week with bottled water to remove dust from the leaves.
Fertilise your plant once a month with a liquid houseplant fertiliser at half the recommended strength. Do not over fertilise as this will cause the plant to bolt and produce weak stems and may damage the roots.
Repot your money plant only if it becomes top-heavy or the pot starts to fall apart. Jade plants benefit from being pot-bound and are more likely to flower if the roots are restricted. Use a soilless compost to repot your money plant and mix in 30 per cent sand to aid drainage. Do not fertilise repotted plants for six months as new roots are vulnerable to burning.
Propagate your jade plant by using stems with at least six leaves that are 12.5cm (5 inches) or more long. The larger the stem used the faster it will grow into a large plant. Leave cut stems for a week in a sunny spot to seal and then plant in damp, soilless compost. Money plant cuttings root easily provided they are not overwatered and get plenty of light. Individual leaves half buried in damp sand or soil with the tip pointing upwards will root and send up new plants.
Monitor your money plant for signs of mealy bug or scale insect infestation. Treat any insect pests with a houseplant pesticide spray containing pyrethrin.
Tips and warnings
- Place potted money plants outdoors in the summer as direct sunshine encourages flowering.
- Do not use leaf gloss products on your money plant as the chemicals they contain clog up leaf pores and can damage or kill it.
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