Plants

Money plant

Crassula ovata

Eva Monning Eva Monning

Interested in a luck and money attracting houseplant for your home? Here’s what you need to look out for when planting and caring for the South African money plant.

Growth type
  • Succulent
Growth height (from)
from 50.00cm to 100.00cm
Growth characteristics
  • bizarre
  • upright
Flower color
  • pink
  • white
Flowering time (month)
  • February to April
Flower shape
  • small
  • panicles
Flower characteristics
  • lightly fragrant
Leaf color
  • green
page format
  • oval
Sheet properties
  • evergreen
Light
  • sunny
  • semi-shade
Soil type
  • stony to gravelly
Soil Moisture
  • fresh
ph value
  • neutral to weakly acidic
Nutrient requirements
  • nutrient-rich
Decorative or utility value
  • Leaf ornaments
  • picturesque growth
Toxicity
  • non-toxic
Winter Hardness
  • frost-sensitive
Use
  • Interior greening
  • Planters
  • Winter garden
Garden style
  • Pot garden

Origin

The money plant (Crassula ovata) belongs to the Crassulaceae family that consists of more than 300 species. It originates from South Africa. The plant is not only known as the “money plant", but also the “lucky plant", or “jade plant". The money plant is very popular as a houseplant here in Germany. At a first glance, the money plant resembles the pork, but it is not anymore closely related to this than in appearance.

Growth

You can buy this as a 2.36 inch tall mini plant, which will then grow over the years into a small tree. The money plant grows to around 19.69 to 39.37 inches tall. Larger examples can also be found in some living rooms. The annual growth rate is very rapid in the early years, but decreases with age. Then the trunk and branches begin to grow thicker and thicker - as it is only with this thickness that they are strong enough to carry the heavy leaves.

Leaves

Money plant leaves have a slightly oval shape and are convex on the top side. They are flat on the bottom. The thick, dark green leaves sit directly on the money plant branches, without any stems. As is typical for the Crassulaceae family, the leaves are fleshy and the shoots of the money plant are initially green and later turn a brown-gray color.

Flowers

The money plant only forms its fine, white or pink colored flowers after ten years. It is a very special sight as the star-shaped flowers are very small and the stamens protrude out, long and delicate. It generally flowers in later winter or spring - but only if it tangibly feels the temperature difference from summer to winter. You can stimulate the flowering capability of the money plant by placing it on the patio or balcony in the summer. They should be brought back in the house at the start of fall.

Money plant flowers

You’ll need a lot of patience if you want to see the money plant’s flowers

Location

The money plant is not at all fussy when it comes to location. It is recommended to position it in a sunny or semi-shady place outside in the summer. If it is cultivated in a room, a place on the window sill in the first half of the year is the correct spot. But it doesn’t like warm heated air very much. In winter it should be placed in a cool but bright spot. The perfect temperatures are around fifty degrees Fahrenheit.

Substrate

Loose, low-nutrient soil mixed with a quarter sand is a suitable substrate. A Seramis granulate, lapilli or pumice are also just as suitable. The pH value of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral. A half cactus soil, half mineral substrate is also suitable for money plants.

Watering

Waterlogging should be avoided, so money plants should be watered carefully. On hot days when the water evaporates more quickly, the plant can absorb larger amounts of water readily and it also needs these for its growth. On cooler days, however, the money plant should only be watered rarely. The same applies in the winter when it is in a bright but cool location. The soil can happily dry out for several days under these conditions.

Fertilizing

From April to September, i.e. during the money plant’s growth period, the plant should be given some cactus fertilizer once a month. This can be increased to every two weeks if required

Repotting

Money plants need to be regularly repotted, particularly in the early years, as that is when they grow very quickly and its roots need space. It is advisable to repot the money plant every two to three years, and later every five years. The spring and summer months are best suited for this. The money plant should never be repotted in the winter. It rests during this time and hardly grows at all. So it wouldn’t be able to regenerate well if parts of its roots were damaged and it also can’t grow in well at all.

Pruning

Due to its natural growth shape, a money plant does not take on a certain shape grows crooked and lopsided. Its branches also break off. Therefore, it can and should be pruned once or twice a year. After pruning, the money plant grows back again stronger and thicker. Take care not to leave any “stubs". Always make clean cuts and only prune the fine furrows, for example where a leaf has fallen off.

The money plant can also be grown and pruned as a Bonsai. Regular and clean pruning is required from the start for this.

Varieties

There are countless varieties of this popular and easy-care houseplant. Here is a small selection of well-known varieties with unusual leaf growth or particular coloring:

The Hobbit Jade plant (Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit) has bright green leaves that look like little spoons. With a little luck it will show delicately fragranced, white flowers in the summer. However, these only appear rarely. Also originating from J.R. R. Tolkien’s universe is the name of the variety Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’. This turns a red color in the sunshine.

Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit’

Crassula ovata ‘Hobbit'

The variegated money plant (Crassula ovata ‘Variegata) is similar to the wild type, but it has striking yellow-green variegated leaves. This makes it particularly eye-catching.

The variety Crassula ovata ‘Tricolor
is tri-colored: Its leaves are yellow-green on the inside. The leaf margin is red. The sunnier the location, the more intensive the colors appear.

Propagation

The money plant can be very easily propagated with head cuttings. For this, cut off the fresh green roots at the end of a branch after flowering in the spring. These can be easily rooted in a glass of water or directly planted in a new container. However, then you must keep them permanently moist. Or you can gently cut off one of the leaves, that is, create a leaf cutting, and place it in a suitable plant substrate. With this method it takes a little longer until the roots form and the plant starts to grow. However, both variants give promising results.

Diseases and Pests

Root lice can be a problem for money plants. They generally take up residence in dry, more compact soil. Infested plants whither and then die. You can easily recognize these lice from their droppings; these are white and look like powder. If you notice an infestation in good time, you can drive out the lice with regular watering. Otherwise you will need to use an insecticide on the root lice. Mealy bugs and aphids also like to infest money plants. However, the money plant is barely susceptible at all to diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

How tall does a money plant grow?

The money plant grows between 19.69 to 39.37 inches tall on average.

What kind of soil is suitable for money trees?

Money trees prefer a slightly acidic to neutral, low-nutrient soil, mixed with sand. However, you can also use a mixture of half cactus soil mixed with half mineral substrate.

How often does a money plant need watering?

The money plant needs significantly more water in the summer than in the winter. Take care to ensure that excess water can always flow off easily.

What is the correct way to prune money plants?

A money plant can be pruned once to twice a year. Only prune along the fine furrows to remove a branch. Take care to always make clean cuts and don’t leave any “stubs”. By the way: The money plant can also be grown as a Bonsai.

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