How to care for jade plants

And are they really lucky?

Crassula ovata, better known as “jade plant”, “lucky plant” or “money tree”, is an extremely popular, easy to care for house plant. It is believed to bring wealth and good luck to owners and is often given as housewarming gifts.

Jade plants are a succulent plant with luscious, oval-shaped, green leaves, and small pink or white flowers. They are native to the Kwa Zulu-Natal province and Eastern Cape of South Africa and Mozambique but have been cultivated in Europe and America for over 100 years.

The plant’s beautiful, vibrant green leaves symbolises growth and renewal as they resemble jade stones, which are also a symbol of wealth and prosperity. 

They are so popular because they are easy to maintain and look after – and, of course, the luck they might bring to lives.

Jade plant
(Credit: Getty)

Jade plants are not a major element of herbal or alternate medicine, but in olden days they were recommended for warts by cutting the leaf open and rubbing it over the wart for a number of days. If the treatment is successful, the wart falls off.

In some countries, the plant is also used as a treatment for nausea, and in China, a variety of jade plant with pointed leaves, called the stone lotus, is used to treat diabetic symptoms.

They only have minor levels of toxicity for humans and animals if eaten, according to experts at the University of California, causing minor health issues like diarrhea and vomiting.


In terms of placement, it’s believed for good feng shui to be lucky to keep a jade plant by the front door, to welcome money into the home. There’s even a saying –  ‘Jade by the door, poor no more’!

How to care for your jade plant:

  1. Light: Jade plants love bright, direct light for four or more hours each day. 
  2. Water: In winter, they only need to be watered every three to four weeks, but during the summer and spring, jade plants should be watered often so the soil is moist but not wet.
  3. Potting: Plant in generous-sized containers – at least 30cm diameter – to allow for their shrubby growth.
  4. Soil: Use a well-drained potting mix, or a cactus & succulent mix and fertilise plants once a year in spring, using a slow-release fertiliser suitable for succulent plants.

You can buy jade plants in any good gardening shop or Bunnings.

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