Foliage Friday: Crassula

This week’s Foliage Friday is not a new plant to me, but I discovered something new about a plant I’m already somewhat familiar with. I came across this in my neighborhood:

This is a jade plant, and it blooms! I had no idea jade plants bloom!

Apparently, they bloom in the winter….who knew? I learned a bit more about jade plants in the process:

Jade plant is the common name for Crassula ovata or Crassula argentea (and others). “Crassus” is latin for thick or fat, which refers to the thick/fat leaves of the jade plant. They’re pretty common outdoor plants here in Palo Alto, despite the internet telling me that they are hardy to USDA zones 11 and 12 (we’re zone 9).

In order to bloom, they need to be mature and they need lots of sunlight. Most jade plants kept indoors as houseplants won’t get enough sunlight to bloom. One hint that the plant is getting enough sunlight is the reddish edges on the leaves, which happens when plants are left in direct sunlight in the summer (although not all varieties will do this). Farmer’s Almanac also recommends keeping the plant root bound, backing off on watering, and putting the plant slightly cool area in the winter in order to encourage blooming.

No blooms on this Crassula yet

I don’t think I’ll bother trying to get my jade plant to bloom. It’s nice to know they can, but I think the blooms look a little weird, and jade plants are aesthetically interesting enough without the blooms.

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