Jade plants are thought to be lucky, bringing prosperity, good fortune, and friendship to a household. Originally native to South Africa and Mozambique, they need little care, thriving indoors with little sunlight. Jade plants are hard to kill, making them excellent options for seasoned caretakers and newbie plant owners alike.
Jade plants have thick branches with smooth green leaves and pink and white flowers, but there are many different varieties to choose from.
Here's all you need to know about 18 of the most common types of jade plants and how to care for them.
Types of Jade Plants
Not all jade plants are created equal, so you want to make sure to choose the right plant for you. They're part of the Crassula Arborescens, Argentea, Ovata, or Portulacaria Afra family. You can reduce the size of many jade plants if you grow them in containers. Don't let the size hold you back from getting the plant you want.
The Crassula Arborescens has blue-silver leaves with burgundy edges. Also called the Silver Dollar Jade or the Blue Buddha Bush, this plant is slow-growing and will only reach 60 centimeters (23") tall. It is a flowering jade plant that blooms during the fall and winter.
Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata
There's also a variation of the Crassula Arborescens called the bluebird Variegata or the bluebird money plant, but don't let the name fool you. The leaves will be a mixture of blue, cream, and green with red around the edges. While it's naturally found in the wild, it tends to be smaller, growing about 50 centimeters (20") tall.
Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolio
In the 1970s, the Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolia was a popular houseplant thanks to its waxy green leaves and bonsai-like appearance. It's also known as the ripple jade plant. It keeps its leaves all year long, and it needs little care to keep it looking great.
Crassula Argentea Gollum
The Crassula Argentea Gollum has a unique shape, with glossy, cylindrical-shaped green leaves that are pink or red-edged. It's also known as lady fingers because the leaves look like mini fingers. This jade plant blooms in the fall and winter with pink and white flowers.
Crassula Argentea Gollum Variegata
Similar in shape to the traditional Gollum Variegata, the leaves of this specimen are a mix of green, white, and pink, making it stand out. The leaves are longer, and the plant is less lightly wound than other types of jade plants. It blooms in the fall and the winter, making it great for seaside gardens to add extra foliage. The plant will change color based on its mood, including if exposed to low temperatures, malnutrition, and dryness.
Known as the money tree and lucky jade, the Crassula Ovata is the most common type of jade plant. It has long, thin, green leaves shaped like a miniature tree. It is a very durable plant and grows quickly – up to 2 meters (6'6") tall – bringing good fortune with it. In the winter, it will bloom with pink and white flowers. They are used indoors and outdoors.
Crassula Ovata Botany Bay
One of the newer jade plants on the market, the Botany Bay was first introduced in 2011 and has significantly impacted the plant scene. It can grow up to 1 meter (3'3") tall, with light green leaves. If the Botany Bay dries out, it will develop a red tint. It's compact and bushy, stretching when not exposed to adequate light conditions.
Crassula Ovata Harbour Lights
The Crassula Ovata Harbour Lights is a larger jade plant with a radiant look and feel that's ideal for indoor and outdoor use. It is green and red, with smaller leaves that almost look like a rose. They turn redder in the winter months, blooming with white and pink flowers in the fall and winter.
Crassula Ovata Hobbit
The Crassula Ovata Hobbit gets its name from the beloved J.R.R. Tolkien series because of its diminutive size. This jade plant will grow no larger than 30 centimeters (1'), blooming with white and pink flowers in winter. The green, waxy leaves can also have red tips, similar to other Crassula Ovata jade plants.
Crassula Ovata Hummel’s Sunset
The Crassula Ovata Hummel's Sunset jade plant first emerged in the early 1990s, with its distinctive thin, green-gold, and red-tipped leaves and thick trunk. It is like a bonsai tree, with dense foliage that can be curated, especially during the winter months. It is an excellent indoor plant.
Crassula Ovata Little Jade Tree
Another newer jade tree, the Crassula Ovata Little Jade Tree, was introduced in 2015. It can grow up to 40 centimeters tall (15.5"), making it a small and compact plant that's great for indoor use and small outdoor gardens. It is a trendy wedding gift or party favor.
Crassula Ovata Minima
The Crassula Ovata Minima is a full, busy jade plant that can fill up any small container. The leaves will huddle together and branch out, growing up to 60 centimeters (24"). It blooms in the winter with pink and white flowers and makes a great houseplant or outdoor plant.
Crassula Ovata Pink
The Crassula Ovata Pink has an incredible bloom each year, with small pink flowers that take up the entire plant. It can grow up to 1 meter (3'3") tall. The leaves will get a red tint throughout the year, especially when the conditions are dry.
The Portulacaria Afra plant will grow up to 2 meters (6'6") tall, though its growth can be controlled with care. It's also known as the Chinese Jade Plant or Pork Bush and is typically an outdoor plant. Unlike others, it does not flower. Instead, it can withstand extreme weather conditions, including droughts and heatwaves.
Portulacaria Afra Aurea
The Portulacaria Afra Aurea is also known as the Yellow Elephant's Food or Yellow Rainbow Bush. Typically, this jade plant will not flower, growing up to 1 meter (3'3"). It changes color throughout the year, depending on its growth pattern, water, fertilizer, and more. It will thrive in all conditions, including harsh sunlight and shade.
Portulacaria Afra Cascade
The Portulacaria Afra Cascade gets its name because it uses often used to cascade over walls and fences outdoors. It does not flower and can grow up to 1 meter (3'3") tall, with round, fleshy green leaves and maroon stems. It's also known as the Trailing Elephant Bush, Low Elephant Bush, or the Prostrata.
Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf
The Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf jade plant does not flower. Instead, its round, green leaves have dark red stems. It can grow up to 2 meters (6'6") tall and is also known as the Green Penny Jade plant. It can be used indoors and outdoors, even shaped into hedges with proper care.
The Portulacaria Variegata doesn't flower, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have color. This is also called the Rainbow Bush, thanks to its magenta tinge that brings life to the light green plant. It can also have faint stripes on its creamy leaves. It can grow up to 1 meter (3'3") tall.
Jade plants are succulents, so they should not be placed in direct sunlight when indoors. If you do, it can cause discoloration, making your jade plant's leaves turn pink, red, or yellow. If you start to notice discolored edges, adjust your plant's placement.
Additionally, they are very easy to overwater, so simply give a few drops of water every 2-3 weeks. You want the top 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) of soil to dry out in-between watering. Jade plants do not like moist soil, and it can cause root rot. Check your jade plant regularly to ensure it's thriving.
Jade plants thrive indoors and outdoors and make great bonsai trees.