I don't find jade plants for sale in nurseries of local big box stores. So jade plants can't handle the desert?
If you are asking if big box corporations sell only plants appropriate for their local climate, the answer is no, they don't.
If you are asking if big box corporations sell all the plants that can be grown in your local climate, the answer is the same.
Toffee I live in zone 9 also. I have a jade plant that stays outside all year.
The jade plants can't handle the heat and sun. I had one planted in the valley and it just shriveled up, kinda like the wicked witch of the west when Dorothy threw water on her.
I have to disagree with merryberry. They can handle the heat and sun, but in the desert they would appreciate some shade in afternoon. The leaves will get a reddish tint when too much sun. THey do that to protect themselves from the sun. Don't leave them outside below 40 degrees on those cold winter nights. I bring mine in when it gets below 50 at night...very recently.
MInes in a 12 inch pot and watered once a month.
Sometimes they bloom in January, and thats when I see them more in stores. Lowes and HD both have them here in the houseplants area. The flowers are tiny and not remarkable. I pinch them off since they just create a mess.
When I lived in Glendale I saw several in a yard of house and the trunk was at least 6 inches in diameter and about 6 x 6 feet.
So jade plants can't be planted in ground in Palm Springs? If the few cold nights that we have in winter don't kill them, the constant heat and dryness in the summer will?
I've seen jades survive in some pretty torturous conditions, but not sure about in PS. Here's what the Sunset Western Garden Book says:
"Provide overhead protection in Zones 8, 9, 12-15, 18-21." Not sure protection from what, maybe both heat and cold.
"Landscaping shrub in mildest climates." Just my opinion, but I wouldn't call PS a mild climate.
So, you could do an experiment and try it. Cuttings should be easy to come by. Put one in a protected area, one in an unprotected zone.
I wouldn't put them in the ground if you get 40 degrees at night during winter.
I would keep them in pots for year or 2 with shade during your hottest hours in summer around noon-4pm.
Perhaps put the pots in a spot where you would plant them and see what happens.
They store water in their leaves so a good watering once a month in large pots 8" plus should be suffice. Maybe every 3 weeks july-sept. Anything smaller than that maybe every 2-3 weeks.
My mom grew these in MI and had at least a dozen of them all in pots, outside in summer full sun and inside in winter.
They all came from 1 branch 6 inches long here in sunny socal. She would give them away as gifts and told people to ignore them and water once a monh. I wish I had pictures, but some trunks becase 4 inches in diameter. If a branch broke off, she just stuck back in soil and it rooted.
Since they store water in their leaves if frozen or very cold they turn to mush. I lost one a few years ago left it out when it got below 50.
I saw small ones at nursery today.
Jade plants are well able to take colder than 40ÃÂ°F at night, but will get damaged at 32ÃÂ°F. If your garden in PS gets regular frost, plant the Jade where it has overhead protection from trees or roof overhang. In your area, it would probably do best with a north or east exposure, and wouldn't do well in full hot sun. They can be quite showy, IMO, in full winter bloom, especially on older, really large plants that can get up to 8 feet tall here in the SF Bay Area.