Do I have 2 different types of jades?

americangolden(ZONE 5B)June 20, 2011


Are there different types of Crassula Ovata (Jade Plant)? Reason being is some of my jades are very light green with very bright red edges and the leaves go upward and some of my other jades are very dark green and their leaves go downward and some of my jades are very dark green with red undersides of the leaves and dark redish stems.

I will post some pictures below but it would be great to get specific ID's on these for my reference and knowledge. These are just 4 jades I thought would be a good comparison. If you'd like better pictures of pictures of other jades for better pictures let me know. I am just wondering if the lighter ones are crassula ovata hummels sunset jades and the dark ones are just crassula ovata jades or if they are something different.

Thanks :)!

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The red on the leaf edges is normally a sign of good lighting, which is ideal. You want to have the nice green with red edges, but if the whole leaf is red, it's getting too much sun. There are many different types of jades, but yours appear to be all the same. What are their locations in relation to light?


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 10:35PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

Is anyone able to answer any of my other questions?? They are all in a west window.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:25PM
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amanzed(10a Sunset 21)

Hi americangolden,

No, I think you have just one kind of Crassula ovata, the species type. I think Joe1980 basically did speak to all your questions. I can sorta make out what you're seeing as differences between the plants, but actually the red edge and faint up-turning versus down-turning of the edges -- these are all natural variations within the normal, everyday "Jade Plant" Crassula ovata. These differences are just natural variations between individuals in the species, either from their genes or their upbringing.

Here in California where these are extremely common landscaping plants, Crassula ovata grown in shade have larger, darker green leaves which turn downward, whereas those grown in full sun have slightly smaller leaves with a red edge and without the downward curl.

The cultivar 'Hummel's Sunset' is a much, much lighter gold color with variegation. There also exists another variegate with cream-and-green variegation and pink or red edges, sometimes called 'Tricolor'. It tends to sprawl rather than standing firmly upright like the standard, species type, and it grows more slowly. (I read once that this variegate DOES occur naturally in habitat, which is sorta cool. My favorite variegates are vigorous ones which occur in habitat.)

There also exists a dwarf type with much smaller leaves and stature. And there are purported hybrids with C arborescens (Crassula undulata), and the rounded-down leaves of Crassula ovata 'Hobbit' or the tubular, trumpet-shaped leaves of C ovata 'Gollum'. The differences between these types are much more striking and obvious than the differences between the plants pictured. Hope that's not too disappointing! Happy growing!
DC in L.A.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:17AM
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Another fantastic response, DC! I also didn't see any meaningful difference. They are all normal C. Ovata.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:50AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, American!

Indeed, they're the same C. ovata - the differences due to how they've been grown.
DC nailed it, regarding the larger, greener leaves having grown in lower light conditions.
You can compare the length of the internodes to see how stretched the older plants are.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:19PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

Alright thanks for the info everyone.

One last question about the leaves. You said the larger green leaves are from lower light conditions well if you introduced it to much brighter conditions could those leaves turn lighter and red edges & face up or will they always face down and vice versa with the other jades I have? I imagine this is set in these genes like stated above but just curious for reference. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 1:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Those older leaves won't change much as far as shape and orientation is concerned.
However, the new growth will be lighter in color, red-margined, more compact, and upright.
For a uniform look, pruning and leaf-plucking is always an option ;-)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 2:53PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)

Thanks greenman!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:09PM
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amanzed(10a Sunset 21)

Hiya again, americangolden. If you haven't seen it, here is an ongoing thread where other jade fans have posted a lot of pictures and progress reports. These include pics of all the types I know: 'Hummel's Sunset', 'Tricolor', compacta, undulata, 'Hobbit', and 'Gollum'.

Jade, jades, jades, anyone?

Here in Southern California, Jade plants are a bit too common in landscaping to be popular in the cactus & succulent hobby. You could say they are victims of their own success!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 10:46PM
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