Crassula ovata “Money Tree”

Crassula ovata “Money Tree”

Crassula ovata “Money Tree” is a succulent plant native to Mozambique and some of the South African provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape).

Like all succulents, this plant is very sensitive to excess water, especially during the cold season, but also the lack of water can affect the plant.

To stimulate its flowering it is necessary to stop watering completely in autumn.

The combination of shorter days, cold nights and lack of water for several weeks will produce flowering around the beginning of winter.

Crassula ovata or Money Tree is characterized by having thickened and woody trunks very branched that can reach more than 1.50 meters (150 cm) in height in some years.

This plant is slow-growing, but it is attractive even being small. 

Crassula ovata can become a shrub or small tree, being ideal for creating beautiful bonsai.

The leaves of the Crassula ovata are oval and thickened, since they store water in their tissues, with continuous edges without any irregularity.

The color of the leaves varies depending on their development; the youngest is light green, which is darkening until they are finished, the oldest leaves have a color very similar to jade and hence their popular name.

The flowers appear in clusters, which house small whitish or pinkish flowers with a starry shape.

Flowering occurs mainly in the spring although it has been proven that its flowering period can cover the whole year in favorable conditions.

Although its flowering period is quite broad, it is rare to bloom if it is kept indoors. The plants that come to bloom must be at least 2 years old and have a good size.

Tips to take care of the Crassula ovata “Money Tree”

Illumination

Located outside: The Crassula ovata are grateful to be in the sun, so it is ideal to put the plant in full sun when it is planted in the extreme. 

But it can also grow without any problem.

Located inside: as mentioned above, the Crassula ovata likes direct sun, and for this reason, it is important that if the plant is inside, locate it in an area where it receives enough sunlight so that the succulent can have the best possible growth and grow very pretty

Substratum

Located outside: They prefer poor soil of nutrients and organic matter and especially Crassula ovata needs a porous substrate, that has excellent drainage and aeration. 

If you plant your Crassula ovata directly in the garden, a specific substrate is not needed, as long as it is porous, has good drainage and low in nutrients:

Located in the interior: when we plant the Crassula ovata in the interior if it is important to have a good substrate and with good drainage, since it does not receive direct sunlight the substrate takes longer to dry, and if the soil is kept very wet or With water pools, the roots of the plant can rot.

For this reason, cactus-specific substrates are the most suitable, since they also contain high doses of magnesium. 

You can also use a universal culture substrate mixed with perlite in equal parts

Irrigation

Watering them in excess is the biggest mistake usually made with succulents. 

Too much water, and above all, a caked and poorly drained substrate provide the appearance of fungi and the death of the plant. 

From October to May they should be irrigated with a small amount of water, depending on the geographical area, weather, and rainfall. 

Before watering it is essential to check that the substrate is dry.

Located outside: in summer and spring times it is important to pour enough water to the plant (especially in summer) since the substrate dries faster by heat. 

But despite this, it is important that between irrigation and irrigation, make sure that the substrate is completely dry. 

In winter and autumn times you have to be more careful when watering the plant because the substrate takes longer to dry. 

Therefore, you should not water the plant in excess, and leave the plant with the substrate completely dry before re-watering the plant, to avoid the appearance of fungi or root rot.

Located inside: if the Crassula ovata is located inside it is ideal to water it until the excess water begins to flow out of the hole at the bottom of the pot. 

Being located inside the substrate takes longer to dry, especially in winter, so it is not necessary to pour too much water when watering. 

And as if it were located inside, you should expect that between irrigation and irrigation, the substrate will dry completely, especially in winter and autumn seasons.

Fertilizer

Succulents do not show great nutritional needs. 

Only those that come in a pot can require fertilization, although always with care, and especially to stimulate the flowering of the succulent. 

It is advisable to use specific fertilizers for cacti and succulents from March to September and always apply them on the moistened substrate, respecting the dose and frequency indicated on the package.

Temperature

Located outside: Crassula rupestris can withstand cold and weak frost up to -2 ° C, but being outside they need to be protected against hail.

Located inside: as mentioned above, the crassula rupestris supports frost up to -2ºC. 

As the plant is inside, there is no need to be careful with slush and frost, just do not locate the plant in places where it receives strong winds and thus prevents it from dying.

Plantation or transplant

The best time to transplant Crassula ovata is in spring. 

If the succulent plant is in a pot, it is important to change the pot every 2-3 years for a larger pot. If the plant is planted directly in the garden, transplantation is not necessary. 

If in the garden area where I plant the succulent plant, it is left without enough space to grow or the substrate is scarce, if it is good to transplant it to an area where the crassula rupestris can grow better.

Propagation

In general, each succulent leaf is capable of forming a new plant. 

That is why the best way to spread Crassula ovata is by stem or leaf cuttings, and the best time to do so is in spring-summer.

Propagation of succulents by cuttings is extremely easy.

1. You must select the cuttings you want to plant. Cut the amount of leaf, according to the number of plants you want them to grow.

2. At the time of cutting the cuttings of the plant (the leaves of the stem) you must do it from a clean tiron or with a knife, making sure that there are no remains of the leaf on the stem.

3. Then let the rest of the cutting for 24 hours on a damp napkin before planting them.

4. After 24h, place the cuttings in a pot on top of a specific succulent substrate and then moisten the soil.

In about 10 days the cuttings will begin to emit roots. 

You should water the cuttings with an atomizer and trying not to water the cuttings too much, to prevent the cuttings from rotting and locating the plant in semi-shade, the bone where it receives sunlight, but not directly. 

After the aya grown plant, you can place it in full sun if you wish.

Propagation by Seeds:

1. The first thing to do is to prepare the seedbed.

You can use pots, milk containers, yogurt glasses, etc. (whatever they prefer). Once chosen, make sure that the container or the pot has holes for the water drain from it (if you do not have them, we will make two or three with the tip of scissors or a knife) and then fill the container with substrate of universal cultivation.

2. Next, we spread the seeds on the substrate, putting them as far apart as we can.

3. Then, we cover them with a very thin layer of substrate and water.

4. Finally, we place the seedbed outside, in semi-shade.

They will germinate in 15-30 days.

Prune

It is only necessary if any of the leaves of the Crassula ovata are battered or damaged if that is the case you should only cut those leaves. 

And if the plant does not have any damaged or battered leaves, it does not need to be pruned.

Curiosities

The plant called Crassula ovata or Jade is a lucky charm, popular in Asia, which is used to activate financial energies.

This beautiful plant has vibrant green leaves, a symbol of growth and renewal, very similar to the Chinese jade coins, a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Because it is called the plant of luck or money.