Even if you’ve never been a plant person you’ve probably owned a Jade plant. It might have been on the balcony when you moved into your shared apartment. Maybe it’s the plant thriving in the corner of your office, even though you’ve never seen anyone pay it any attention. Once you start looking, you’ll see them everywhere and it’s because, like many other succulents, they’re immortal.
If I’m honest, that’s the number one trait I look for in a plant. I write about it a lot. Don’t get me wrong; caring for plants is part of the appeal. But fill your apartment with ferns and philodendrons and you’ll need to spend a lot of time tending to their every need.
The Jade plant goes by many names, and that’s because of its popularity as a houseplant around the world. It’s also known, as the ‘friendship tree’ or ‘lucky plant’. In some areas of the world it earned the name ‘money tree’ because of its round, flat and fleshy leaves that look a bit like coins.
It’s native to South Africa and Mozambique and will survive without water for months. If you do give your Jade plant a bit of love, and it’s in the right conditions, you’ll be rewarded with small pink or white flowers in winter. The plant also has a special trick up its sleeve to protect its foliage from harmful UV-rays. Some varieties of the plant will produce red or yellow pigments when grown in direct sunlight.
Don’t bother spending your hard earned money on a Jade plant. In my experience, the Jade plant is one of the easiest to propagate. You can try your luck propagating the plant’s leaves. Twist a few leaves off the stem and place them on a bed of soil. Keep the soil moist and a baby plant will begin to grow.
An easier option is to take a cutting (with permission from the plant’s owner of course), stick it in water and it will live for forever. Once it’s developed some roots, stick it in some soil and you’re done. It’s most suited to well draining cactus or succulent soil and will grow extremely large if you’ve got the patience.
So get yourself a Jade plant and bring some good fortune into your home. #itplantporn
Jessica Hill is a freelance journalist who is interested in the relationship between plants and people. Follow her on Instagram @plantsunknown.