Jade plants make excellent houseplants for any plant parent thanks to their ease of care. But although the ubiquitous Crassula ovata usually gets the headlines, there are actually numerous types of jade plants to choose from.
What’s great is there are various foliage shapes as well as variegated varieties. Some jade plants stay relatively small, while others can reach heights of two meters. In this guide, we’ll explore 17 of the most popular types of jade plants to grow at home.
- About Jade Plants
- 17 Popular Types of Jade Plants
- 1) Crassula arborescens
- 2) Crassula argentea ‘Gollum’
- 3) Crassula ovata
- 4) Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’
- 5) Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’
- 6) Crassula ovata’ Pink Beauty’
- 7) Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’
- 8) Crassula multicava
- 9) Crassula capitella ‘Tom Thumb’
- 10) Crassula rupestris
- 11) Crassula falcata
- 12) Crassula tetragona
- 13) Crassula Ovata’ Crosby’s Red’
- 14) Portulacaria afra
- 15) Crassula marnieriana
- 16) Crassula tomentosa
- 17) Crassula coccinea
- Wrapping Up
About Jade Plants
Jade plants come under the umbrella of the Crassula genus, with Crassula ovata being the most common variety. This makes them part of the Crassulaceae or stonecrop family. These succulents survive in dry, rocky areas of Mozambique and the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal areas of South Africa.
Most of us can recognize the fleshy deep green leaves of jade plants. The woody stems of these evergreens create the appearance of a small tree. Horticulturalists have raised jade plants as houseplants for over a century because of their robust nature and easy maintenance.
How Many Types of Jade Plant Are There?
Although most people may have only encountered one or two types of jade plants, there are actually around 200 varieties. This includes cultivars that have been reared for sale as houseplants. One cultivar, Crassula ovata’ Hummel’s Sunset’, has even received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
Which Type of Jade Plant Is Lucky?
Jade plants are usually associated with good luck and prosperity, developing nicknames like the “money plant” or “lucky plant.” For most people, this instantly brings to mind the classic Crassula ovata. This well-known variety has beautifully green coin-shaped leaves and is a great plant for feng shui. Jade plants also offer a host of additional benefits.
Do Jade Plants Come In a Range of Colors?
When thinking of jade plants, green comes to most people’s minds. But jade plants can actually display a range of other colors. The foliage can range from light green to darker shades, but there are also variegated varieties with cream or white edging on the leaves. Some jade plants, like Crassula arborescens, have a silver or bluish-gray tinge to their leaves.
What Is the Rarest Type of Jade Plant?
Because there are so many types of jade plants, some cultivars are rarer than others. Two of the rarest are Crassula ovata’ Hummel’s Ghost’ and Crassula ovata’ Lancaster Variegated’.
The former is descended from the celebrated Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ and has orange, red, and yellow variegation. The latter was discovered in the 1990s in Massachusetts’s Lancaster Gardens and has bright yellow variegated patterns.
Can You Grow Jade Plants Indoors and Outdoors?
Although they make excellent houseplants, jade plants can also be grown outside in certain conditions. These evergreen succulents need lots of sunlight and dry, warm conditions – think USDA Zone 10 or higher. Even though jade plants are very hardy, they can’t handle frost or temperatures that fall below 50ºF (10ºC). Fertilizing your jade plant can also help support growth in spring and summer each year.
Jade plants do best in a rich, well-draining soil mix, and only need watering when the soil base is virtually completely dry.
What’s more, jade plants are relatively slow growers and won’t take over a specific location in your home, and generally don’t have too many issues with pests and diseases. They are considered mildly toxic to pets though so it’s best to keep them out of reach of any eager cats or dogs in your home.
17 Popular Types of Jade Plants
With lots of plant species in the jade plant family, green thumbs have many plants to choose from. So, you should have no trouble finding one that’s perfect for your lifestyle. The following jade plants are some of the most popular varieties for growing and gifting:
1) Crassula arborescens
Crassula arborescens, commonly known as the “silver dollar plant” or “silver jade plant”, looks drastically different from its cousin Crassula ovata. The silver jade plant is a native shrub of South Africa’s Western Cape and can reach up to 4 feet in height.
Crassula arborescens has silver-gray foliage that almost grows quite close together. Each leaf has an almost fan-like shape, and there may also be a bluish tinge to the leaves. This variety has small pink or white flowers that emerge in the fall and winter. Silver jade plants perform well as houseplants if given warm enough conditions.
2) Crassula argentea ‘Gollum’
If you want a jade plant that looks nothing like the well-known Crassula ovata, then Crassula argentea ‘Gollum’ is for you. This variety has strange tube-shaped leaves – almost like a coral reef. The foliage is predominantly green with a reddish tinge around each leaf’s sucker-shaped “mouth”.
Crassula argentea ‘Gollum’ is quite popular as a houseplant due to its unusual appearance. In their native regions of Mozambique and South Africa, this variety produces tiny white or pink blooms in the winter. You can successfully grow this species as a houseplant just like you would with a Crassula ovata.
3) Crassula ovata
The dependable, drop-dead gorgeous Crassula ovata is the most common jade plant variety. This evergreen succulent originated on the loose, arid slopes of Mozambique and South Africa. Over the past century, it has been the most widely-cultivated jade plant for use as a houseplant.
The dark green, oval-shaped foliage of this variety will be familiar to many plant parents. This species can also produce small star-shaped white flowers during the winter. Crassula ovata can reach heights of 3 to 6 feet as a houseplant with the right care. However, it needs a warm, dry atmosphere when grown outside.
For optimal growth, consider repotting this jade plant every 18 months to 2 years and prune in early spring. They’re also relatively easy to propagate if you’re keen on expanding your collection.
4) Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’
Any Tolkien fan will love this jade plant variety. Crassula ovata’ Hobbit’ looks a lot like the other LOTR-inspired jade plant variety – Crassula argentea ‘Gollum’. Both cultivars have tall, cylindrical green leaves with red rims around the sucker-like tips.
Crassula ovata’ Hobbit’ was initially cultivated in a nursery in Victoria, Australia. It is a small cultivar, usually growing to around 30 cm. Like many other jade plant varieties, this plant can also produce pink or white star-shaped winter flowers.
5) Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’
This prominent jade plant variety is actually an award winner. It’s been awarded an Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK. This makes Crassula ovata’ Hummel’s Sunset’ a great variety to grow inside or outdoors in temperate conditions.
The glossy oval-shaped foliage of a Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ changes through the year. It starts as a gorgeous green, then becomes a glamorous gold before finally turning a ravishing red. This makes this cultivar one of the most stunning and coveted jade plant varieties.
6) Crassula ovata’ Pink Beauty’
Also known simply as the Crassula ovata’ Pink’, this variety wows with its stunning pink star-like blooms. ‘Pink Beauty’ jade plants can grow between 1 and 1.5 meters tall after several years. This variety provides a larger bounty of flowers than many other jade plant cultivars.
These fantastically fragrant flowers emerge in the fall and winter in the right conditions. The dark green leaves of Crassula ovata’ Pink Beauty’ are similar to those on the standard Crassula ovata. The ‘Pink Beauty’ stems also have a slightly pink shade to them, rather than green or brown.
7) Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’
Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ is one of the most unique and enthralling jade plant varieties. It’s named primarily for its colors, which flicker from green to orange and even red. This makes this stunning succulent look like a roaring campfire.
This jade plant is a cultivar of the Crassula capitella type, all of which have leaves that splay out like a rosette. This species can be on the smaller side, usually only reaching about 6 inches tall. This makes the Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ ideal as a houseplant.
8) Crassula multicava
Crassula multicava is more commonly known, but its charming nickname – the Fairy Crassula. This variety produces fleshy green leaves that grow in an opposite pattern. Some cultivars can have purple undersides, but most are green with pink or red accents.
This succulent grows at a moderate pace and doesn’t typically get larger than 6 to 12 inches in height. It’s native to the Eastern and Southern Cape of South Africa and the Natal province. Crassula multicava can produce pink flowers with four petals in the fall and winter.
9) Crassula capitella ‘Tom Thumb’
This cultivar of the Crassula capitella is another unique-looking jade plant variety. ‘Tom Thumb’ has vertical spires of foliage. Each little bright green leaf is clustered together, creating stems that almost resemble a head of wheat. There may also be some red coloration on these leaves.
Crassula capitella ‘Tom Thumb’ is another relatively small jade plant variety. It typically reaches up to 6 inches in height. It grows pretty quickly but doesn’t spread too far, usually spanning 6 inches wide.
10) Crassula rupestris
Crassula rupestris is better known by names such as “Buttons on a string,” the “rosary vine,” or “baby’s necklace.” It grows long chains of green leaves that are bunched close together. There may also be hints of red on the foliage.
Crassula rupestris can reach heights of up to 1 ½ feet tall, taking between five and ten years to reach full size. It can develop little white or pink flowers during the summer in good conditions.
11) Crassula falcata
Crassula falcata has a striking appearance compared to other jade plants. Its gray-green leaves are long and wide, earning this variety nicknames like the airplane or propeller plant. Another unique feature of the Crassula falcata is its tiny flowers. These are red rather than the typical pink or white of other jade plants.
Crassula falcata can reach heights of 2 feet. This variety is indigenous to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
12) Crassula tetragona
Crassula tetragona jade plants are some of the most famous varieties for bonsai. This is due to their pine-like appearance, which has given rise to their common alter-ego – the “miniature pine tree.”
Crassula tetragona has needle-like green leaves that grow as vertical stems. This variety is indigenous to a region spanning the Eastern Cape and Namaqualand areas in South Africa. The woody stems can be topped with small white flowers in the summer months.
13) Crassula Ovata’ Crosby’s Red’
The Crassula Ovata’ Crosby’s Red’ is a compact cultivar of the jade plant. It’s frequently known as the “red dwarf jade plant” or “Crosby’s compact” and can grow up to 3 feet tall. As a cultivar of the Crassula ovata, this variety shares the coin-shaped leaves of its relative.
Crassula Ovata’ Crosby’s Red’ has light green leaves with red coloration on the edges. The inner section of each leaf can almost look yellow in some lights. As it befits its name of “dwarf jade plant,” this cultivar has smaller leaves than the normal Crassula ovata.
14) Portulacaria afra
Portulacaria afra is not technically a jade plant because it’s not a member of the Crassulaceae family. However, this semi-evergreen succulent shrub is also known as the “dwarf jade plant.” It’s actually part of the Didiereaceae family and has other nicknames like the “elephant bush.”
The fleshy, round green succulent leaves of the portulacaria afra are what make this species easily confused for a jade plant. Like true jade plants, the elephant bush is native to South Africa. With its softer wood, portulacaria afra is highly suitable for bonsai.
15) Crassula marnieriana
Crassula marnieriana is a characterful jade plant variety that’s also known as “jade necklace” or the “worm plant.” Its thick green leaves grow in clusters that look like a worm or a string of jade beads. Many cultivars also have red edging on the foliage.
This jade plant variety grows pretty slowly, eventually reaching almost 8 inches in height. Some Crassula marnieriana varieties are hybridized with Crassula rupestris to create types like the Crassula x rupestris f. marnieriana ‘Hottentot.’
16) Crassula tomentosa
Crassula tomentosa is a strange-looking jade plant variety. It forms a dense cluster of foliage that extends from the center of each leaf like a rosette. These plants also have fine hairs along the edges of the gray-green leaves. These hairs have earnt the Crassula tomentosa its “woolly crassula” nickname.
In the summer, Crassula tomentosa can produce yellow-white flowers that can grow quite tall. During the flowering season, the entire plant can reach up to 2 feet. Variegated varieties can also be encountered.
17) Crassula coccinea
Crassula coccinea, known as the “garden coral” or “red crassula”, is another standout jade plant variety. Its green foliage rises up like a tower with sets of four flat, overlapping leaves. Crassula coccinea can also grow red trumpet-like flowers during the summer.
This variety can grow between 8 and 11 inches tall with a similar spread. This succulent grows in a shrub-like fashion and is native to parts of South Africa.
Do you want to add a jade plant to your houseplant collection, but don’t want a run-of-the-mill Crassula ovata? Well, you’re in luck because there are several weird and wonderful jade plant types. These range from the furry rosettes of the Crassula tomentosa to the stunning colors of the Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset.’
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.
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