C V Singh has worked as researcher in plant sciences for a long time and he has written several articles on benefits of house plants, fruits
Often while mulling over the idea of buying houseplants, particularly indoors, many names pop up in the mind such as money plant, snake plant, spider plant, jade plant, rosemary and rubber plant. Major considerations influencing listing of plants as indoors include mainly ease of growing, contribution to environmental ambience and related Vastu and Feng Shui beliefs. Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, is immensely popular as a house plant. The plant is also known as lucky plant, friendship tree and dollar plant. It is a succulent plant and bears either small pink or white flowers. Some benefits of growing jade plant as indoor houseplants are listed.
- Indoor air quality: Research has shown that jade plant may eliminate to some extent volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene and acetone emitted by paints, polishes, glues, and fire retardants. Polluted indoor air may cause allergies, headaches and dizziness and measures for improving air quality involves proper ventilation besides placing indoor plants such as pothos and jade plants.
- Prosperity and fortune: Shape of the leaves (coin-shaped) and succulent nature of plant makes jade plant a perfect housewarming, birthday, wedding and good luck Feng Shui gift. It is considered a good business gift when given at the time of opening a new business. It is considered to bring prosperity and fortune and maintain good flow of positive energy.
- Indoor environment: Maintaining ideal relative humidity is pre-requisite for keeping common ailments like cold, flu and allergies at bay. Use of air-conditioners, heaters and heat convectors reduces humidity inside the room. Indoor plants like jade and spider plant also contribute towards maintenance of ideal relative humidity as shown by the recent research studies. Jade plant may improve quality of indoors in the dark since it follows Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) and absorbs CO2 in the night.
- Ease of maintenance: Being a succulent and slow growing plant, its maintenance is easy compared to other houseplants. It doesn’t require frequent watering and thrives well with small quantities of water and fertilizers. Overwatering should be avoided and intermittent drying and wetting is the best practice for good growth of the plant. It grows well under indirect sunlight though placing it under direct sunlight for few hours may help to keep it healthy and attain natural growth.
- Medicinal properties: Jade plant finds a mention in Chinese traditional literature as a folk remedy for diabetes. In some tribal communities of Africa, it is used to treat diarrhoea, corns, epilepsy and cleansing the intestines. To treat warts, a leaf is cut in the middle and moistened flesh is pasted over the wart for 2-3 days. Extract of the leaves is also used to treat wounds and stomach upset.
Vastu, Feng Shui and Jade plant
Jade plant generates positive vibes and regulates energy flow. It is placed in the house considering the possible benefits incurring in the future due to its proximity to objects. Placing the jade plant next to entrance of the business house or office is believed to boost growth of the business. It brings wealth to the house if placed in southeast corner and keeps health of the family members in good state if placed in the eastern side. However, Feng Shui principles prohibit its placement in the bedroom and bathroom.
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Plants similar to Jade plant
Jade plant is referred to as money tree sometimes though Pachira aquatica is also given the same name. Previously, Crassula ovata has been named using different botanical nomenclature namely Crassula argentea, Crassula obliqua, and Crassula portulaca. Chinese Jade plant (Crassula arborescens), known as silver jade plant, has tinted silvery blue leaves with red edges. An ornamental variety ‘Crassula ovata var. Variegata’ has lemon-yellow colour stripped leaves.
Caring of Jade Plant
Leaves of jade plant are succulent and if grown as indoor plants, water requirement is less compared to outdoor plants. Top soil of the pot should be allowed to get dry between different waterings. Do not pour much water and do not allow water to stagnate. Watering should be done to just moisten the top 1-2 inch soil. Leaf of the plant starts falling if very less water is applied. Hence, care has to be taken while watering jade plant. Water requirement of the plant is relatively more during the summer season than winter or rainy seasons.
Keep the plants near the windows so that they receive sunlight for four or more hours since they require sunlight to keep them healthy. They may be placed in varandah but should not be exposed to direct sunlight during the hot summers. Placing them in dark places may retard their growth.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 C V Singh
C V Singh (author) from India on June 06, 2020:
Thanks Cynthia, I firmly believe that it will have similar effects as described in this article when you get a new jade plant.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 06, 2020:
Interesting that I admired a friend's gorgeous jade plant yesterday and thought about it quite a bit over the course of the day, then ran across your very informative article today. I am going to take this as a sign to get me a jade plant! Good work!
Imogen French from Southwest England on May 23, 2020:
I have a big specimen which must be about 30 years old, it's a very attractive plant, which gives a nice feel to any room it's in. It's also had lots of offspring over the years - every time a bit breaks off we pot it up and give to friends and family. I can see why it's called a friendship plant. We've always called it a money tree - but not sure if it's really resulted in any financial luck! Nice article thanks.