10 Types of Jade Plants

How Many Types of Jade Plants Are There?

There are more than 1400 varieties of jade plants on earth. While most of them are common, some are not only expensive but also hard to find. The common ones are about 200 types. These plants, also called money plants, dollar, or lucky plants, thrive in almost any indoor environment. 

The various types that now grow worldwide are all from the genus Crassula are native to the deserts of South Africa . The common varieties are in the form of a bonsai tree or a small bush.

Are All Jade Plants the Same?

Jade plant types are all different, even though they share some common features. The most common characteristics include fleshy stems, smooth leaves, green foliage, and white and pink blooms. Many jade plant varieties have been cultivated in gardens in different parts of the world, and gardeners praise each plant for its uniqueness. 

Some varieties have a low-growing habit, and their leaves are pencil-shaped or in the form of thick succulent spikes. The edges of some jade plants could have red markings, depending on the duration and amount of sunlight exposure. Some bear bluish-green leaves, while others have yellowish-green leaves. 

How Do I Identify My Jade Plants?

top 10 types of jade plants
Beautiful Crassula ovata Jade Plant

Crassula ovata are easily recognizable from their shiny, fleshy, spoon-like dark green leaves and wooden stems. Jade plants are succulents, so it would be best to learn how to tell them from other succulents. The following features will help with jade plant identification.

Leaves 

The leaves of many jade types have a tear or coin shape. They are sometimes waxy or glossy and grow up to 3 inches long. They can be ovate or wedge-like.

Stems 

The woody, thick stems give any jade pant a miniature appearance. They are highly fleshy succulents, with the stems growing up to 4 inches wide or more.

The flowers 

Jade plants can bear flowers under the right conditions, especially if the weather is dry, like during winter or summer. It produces pinkish-white star-like flowers depending on the climate and sunlight exposure. 

Here are some varieties of jade plants. 

Common name Botanical name Facts 
Crosby’s compact or Crosby’s redCrassula Ovata ‘Crosby Red’It is a succulent shrub that blooms in late winter or early spring. 
Ripple jade Crassula Arborescens UndulatifoliaIt is a dense succulent shrub that displays its flowers from late spring to early summer.
Bluebird jade Crassula ovata ‘blue bird’ It is a unique succulent that blossoms in spring. 
Hobbit jade or organ pipe jade plant. Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’It blooms in fall and winter.
Golden jade tree Crassula Ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’It is a succulent cactus that blossoms from fall to spring. 
10 types of jade plants
Types of Jade Plants

Ten types of Jade Plants

1. Crassula argentea Gollum

It is commonly known as ogre’s ears or Shrek’s ears, native to South Africa, and it has tubular leaves with slight red tinges at the end, giving it a curious appearance. The peculiar ears provide the plant the name “Shrek’s ears” due to their resemblance to the animation character. 

Botanists are yet to agree whether this plant is a crassula ovata hybrid or a crossbreed of Crassula Lactea and Crassula Argentea. 

  • It can grow up to 90 cm tall and 24 cm wide 
  • It performs best in a well-drained planting mix moderately rich in organic matter. Consider the particular substrate for succulents and combine it with gravel for better plants
  • It can withstand hot climatic conditions and short periods of frost in the coldest months
  • They love a dry environment, especially in winter. Too much humidity can easy rotting
  • It appreciates at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. placing it near a window indoors allows it to absorb as much sunlight as possible
  • It blooms in winter with flowers similar to the other jade types
10 types of jade plants
Crassula argentea Gollum

2. Crassula ovata

It is an evergreen subshrub succulent with shiny, round, fleshy dark green leaves whose edges sometimes display a red tinge. The red tint at the edges intensifies with increasing sunlight exposure. It has a grey trunk and sturdy limbs that increase as the plant ages to appear like a small tree. 

  • It is an ideal houseplant requiring minimal maintenance and water 
  • It loves dry, well-drained soil with a neutral, alkaline, or acidic pH. It tolerates poor, rocky, and sandy soils.
  • It grows 60 to 270 cm tall and spreads about 60 to 150 cm
  • It can thrive in full or partial sun
  • It flaunts clusters of tiny star-like white or pale pink blooms from fall to spring 
  • It is resistant to drought and deer
Crassula ovata

3. Crassula ovata Botany Bay  

It is a type of jade plant that was first launched in 2011. It is compact and bushy with lemon-green leaves with red tips. It is one of the simplest jade plant types to propagate and maintain, making it a favorite to many beginner growers. It produces tiny pink blossoms in winter. 

  • It grows up to 3 feet tall. Confined growing spaces control the height 
  • It appreciates well-drained soil with alkaline, acidic, or neutral pH. Cactus or succulent potting mix is ideal 
  • The pinkish flowers start appearing from autumn to early winter
  • It requires pruning t retain its beautiful shape 
  • It requires full sun exposure to bloom 
  • Only water when the soil is dry; the plant cannot survive a lot of humidity. Water needs depend on the season and the amount of sunlight the plant receives.
top types of Jade plant
Crassula ovata Botany Bay

4. Crassula ovata Harbour Lights

It is a type of jade plant with woody stems whose leaves turn red in winter. The plant displays a radiant and impressive look in autumn and early winter due to its small, star-shaped flowers in pinkish-white shades. 

  • For the best outcome, plant crassula ovata “harbour lights” between March and June 
  • It grows up to 0.6 meters in height and width
  • It prefers light and free-draining soil with acidic to neutral pH of 5.0 to 7.5
  • It performs best in full sun and cannot tolerate frost
  • It requires little water
top jade plant varieties
Crassula ovata Harbour Lights

5. Crassula ovata Minima

It is commonly known as miniature jade plant, baby jade, or small jade. Its green leaves are pointed and have a red tinge. It appears like a dwarf tree not growing above 24 inches. 

  • It bears white and pink blooms in winter 
  • It needs well-drained soil with good aeration. You can mix garden soil with cinder, vermiculite, and peat
  • It thrives in full sun exposure and temperature range between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius 
  • It is not cold-resistant, meaning you need to move it indoors during the cold winter months
10 types of jade plants
Crassula ovata Minima

6. Crassula ovata Red Coral

It is a strange-looking succulent with its long leaves curling inwards. The top side of the leaves is pink, and they grow on thick branches. The leaves can appear in shades of red, yellow, or green. The leaf shade varies throughout the year depending on the season, temperature, and sunlight intensity. 

  • It grows up to 36 inches tall and 24 inches wide
  • It produces lovely white flowers
  • It grows well outdoor as it prefers full sun exposure, but it can survive some shade
  • Plant it in a well-drained succulent planting mix
  • Be careful not to overwater as too much water kills the succulent

7. Portulacaria Afra

It is commonly known as porkbush or dwarf jade, and it has woody red stems and shiny, rounded, and small green leaves. It grows best as an outdoor plant and attains a height of 6 to 8 feet before it starts spreading. It can quickly get out of hand if you do not trim it when it starts overspreading. 

  • It tolerates drought and heavy waves 
  • Unlike other jade plants, it does not bear any flowers 
  • It is also called “elephant bush” as it is food for elephants in its natural setting
  • It is non-toxic to animals and humans, and some South African communities use it as food
10 types of jade plants
Portulacaria Afra

8. Portulacaria Afra Cascade

Its common names are low elephant bush or trailing elephant bush. It is a cascading ground cover plant with fleshy round leaves set on short dark mahogany stems. It rarely bears flowers in cultivation; therefore, not grown for flowers. 

  • It can tolerate long durations of drought and heat 
  • It grows best in well-drained soil
  • It does well in partial to full sun exposure; place it at a spot with 6 hours of sunlight in a day
  • It requires typical watering like other succulents
  • It can grow up to 3.6 meters tall
  • It is not cold hardy, and remains dormant in summer
Portulacaria species
Portulacaria Afra ‘Cascade’

9. Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf

It is commonly called ample leaf elephant food, and it is a stemmed flexible, and easy to grow succulent. It can grow into a dense shrub 4 feet tall in warm outdoor conditions. It grows on sunny rocky slopes in South Africa and Swaziland, where it is native. 

  • It thrives best in full sun outdoor and bright light indoor
  • It loves well-drained soil; select a well-draining pot if you want to plant indoors
  • Supply more water but infrequently 
  • Please protect it from heavy rains and frost
  • It produces pink blossoms
  • It is safe for pets
Jade plant cultivars
Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf

10. Portulacaria Variegata

It is also called Variegated Elephant Bush or Rainbow Bush and differs from Portulacaria Afra in that its leaves have a variegated cream hue and green stripes. It has reddish-brown stems that grow laterally, a creeping growth habit. It has oval or teardrop-shaped fleshy green leaves with cream margins. 

  • It thrives best in fertile loamy soil. It can also tolerate poor soils.
  • It appreciates partial to full sun.
  • It has an average growth rate and requires moderate maintenance and little water
  • Its foliage is smooth, glossy, and thick, and it can be cream, off-white, white, or green.
  • It is resistant to drought and dry soil.
Jade plant varieties
Portulacaria Variegata

Other resources related to Jade plants:

How to Care for a Jade Plant | The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Jade Plant Care Instructions – Gardening Know How

Jade Plant: Indoor Care & Growing Guide – The Spruce

This Jade Plant Care Routine Can Last for Generations

Clarisse Walters
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