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I love plants and come from a family of enthusiastic gardeners but for 15years the only plants that we had were two cactus that lived with us on our 46ft sailing boat. We still have them even though they have taken a few tumbles over the years. When we eventually decided to get a place on shore I was all excited to think that at last I could grow something. We decided to base ourselves in Spain as that is where we work a lot of the time and the apartment we chose had a lovely big terrace with a sea view which i proceeded to fill with pots and planters. Every spare margarine tub was filled with seedlings which I would bring out during the day and back in at night. Eventually I planted out my precious charges of pansies and busy Lizzie's and within a few weeks most of them had died. They could not cope with the harsh sea air and the wind that whistled up the cliff face. The same happened with the conifers, burnt by the air we moved them down three flights to the communal gardens. The plants I chose grew tougher and tougher, even box trees and euonymus perished until I learnt my lesson and bought three little succulents about 4 inches high a crassula, an echiveria and an aloe. That was 4years ago and I still have all of them, in fact I now have LOTS of them as they are so easy to propagate, and the most successful of these has been crassula ovata commonly known as the money plant or the jade tree. Money, money, money! Although I am fortunate to be able to grow mine outside a sunny window will do just as well inside the house. The plant can grow to about three feet in size and has glossy, fleshy green leaves which are oval in shape and about 1" to 2" in size. Some of mine have red edges to the leaves, others are a dark, shiny green. They overlap each almost like green dragon scales attached to tree like branches which join to a central woody trunk. They look like miniature trees and do a good job of imitating much more expensive Bonsai trees for a fraction of the cost. Placed in an attractive eastern designed container they can look quite stunning. Looking after your money. This is the easy part, first plant it in some free draining compost with some stones in the bottom of the pot and put it on a window sill with as much sunshine as possible. They like a contrast in temperatures between night and day as this is what happens in their natural environment, they like average warmth between spring and autumn and cool in winter. From spring to autumn water thoroughly when the compost dries out and in winter, (what joy!) water only about once every one or two months. They do not need misting but love the fresh air, take them outside for a treat in the summer. Only repot when really necessary and then only into a slightly bigger pot. I very occasionally feed mine with Baby Bio plant food but I do give them a drink of any left over tea Making more money! This is so easy that I now have lots of money plants, simply break off a little branch of the tree and let it dry for a couple of days, the bigger the branch the longer you let it dry. Then just push it into the potting compost and water very sparingly, soon you will have another little money tree! Trouble with money. Get the amount of water right, too much water in winter may cause soft brown spots and if the water is too cold it may cause leaves to fall off. Conversely make sure you water more generously in the summertime. My Opinion. This is such an easy plant to grow and look after, it can even ocassionally get some little white flowers on it if you look after it well. It can look very attractive in an elegant pot and they are very inexpensive to buy at a garden centre, better still get a cutting from a friend. It is an ideal plant for someone who does not have a lot of time to spare and will not suffer from a little neglect. One thing to watch out for, the branches can break off easily, our dog has broken a few with her big swishing tail!, so keep it in a safe place and hopefully you too will have money plants for years 5 stars from me. Thank you for reading my review which may also be posted on Ciao under splishsplash.
I have been keeping a few of these plants for some years now. They are among my favourite house plants as they are so low maintenance and very attractive. They are also pretty bombproof as well, as even if you do get broken bits they are so easy to root so they don't go to waste. == Appearance & propagation == I know them as Jade plants, but they are also commonly known as money plant, lucky plant, and friendship tree. Some of my family call them cold plants, but I think that's a general term they use for succulents since they are cold to the touch! These plants have thick green branches with smooth and glossy thick 'fleshy' feeling leaf pads. They get the name 'Jade' from their colour, which is often described as Jade green. The branches will go brown and wood-like with age (this does not mean they are dying!) though my own plants are all still green at less than 5 years old. If you want to start a new plant, it's deliciously easy! You can simply snip a piece off and push it into moist soil, and keep it moist. Alternatively, you can try starting a new plant from a single leaf in the same way. You can root in water and then plant into soil, the only thing with doing that is that water roots can be very fragile so extra care may be needed. == Care == Caring for a Jade plant is really easy. I water mine once a fortnight, give or take a few days, in the Summer, and half that at most throughout Winter. I do not use commercial food for any of my plants, as I use water from the turtle tanks to water them, so it's full of the organic matter that plants love. Letting the soil dry out between waterings is a good idea, don't be scared to leave it longer if the soil is still damp. Jade plants are typically found on dry land so you also want a soil that drains easily and doesn't retain too much water, to mimic the places these delightful plants are found in nature. I personally use a regular potting soil mixed with gravel and a few bigger pebbles too, and would say this is a simple, inexpensive way to meet these requirements. It is easy to see if you are over watering as the leaves may drop off, and will have a wrinkly appearance to them. I have found that succulents that are watered too often will also go to rot quite quickly (I lost a great one many years ago and was gutted!) As I mentioned, they can take direct sunlight but I would avoid any windowsills that have prolonged periods of direct sun each day. With direct sun comes heat, especially through glass, and this will damage your Jade plant. The best sign of this (that I know of) is that the leaves will go a slight reddy-brown colour and may look a little crinkly. == Flowering == These plants do flower, but none of mine ever have. The flowers they can produce are star shaped, delicate, in shades of pink and/or white. I believe there is a somewhat complicated dance between watering, night time temperatures and daylight periods required to encourage blooming, but it is not something I have looked into much to be honest - basically, if you water it regularly and it is not exposed to cooler temperatures, then although you will have a healthy happy plant you may never see flowers. == My experiences == My first Jade plant was bought for 99p in one of those teeny tiny pots that Homebase do (they do a fab range of mini succulents, perfect for starting a mixed planter). I had that plant while we still lived in Oxford, and for a period of around 6 weeks during Summer it was completely ignored on the living room windowsill - this was due to family emergencies that took us away from Oxford at very short notice. I guessed it would be a goner by the time we got back, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was just the same as it ever had been, albeit extremely thirsty! That same plant is still going strong and much, much bigger, sharing a large pot with various other succulents now. I have since bought another which has trebled in size within the last couple of years. Both of these plants have dropped the odd leaf, or I have broken bits off accidentally while repotting, and I have just pushed them back into the soil. Each has given me a new little plant. I really love these plants, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to seasoned houseplant keepers or complete beginners. They are easy to keep and I think really rather forgiving - you can make some mistakes and they should bounce back with a little TLC. Truly, if in doubt just neglect a little bit; they can withstand a lack of water. They will grow to extremely impressive sizes over the years, and I hope I have mine for decades to come so that they get a fair chance to reach these epic proportions!
==Money Plant (Crassula Ovata)== I have become quite the collector of plants in our flat and I am running out of space to put them. However this "money plant" is probably one of my favourites as I seem to have had it the longest and as yet haven't killed it off. It was given to me as a tiny plant in a little white pot by my mother I presume as a joke as she is always saying that money doesn't grow on trees. It is also known as the "friendship tree" so it would make a lovely gift to give to someone as it is, in my opinion quite a nice looking house plant. I know mum paid 99p for the tiny plant and pot a few years back as she had left the price tag on the pot but it has since been re-potted into various larger pots to allow it to reach the size that it has now. I have at the moment got it in a brown plastic garden pot inside a porcelain pot which is always best to allow for drainage but I have before potted it straight into the porcelain pot without an trouble. I have found that this plant is very easy to keep and need very little care but can still grow very quickly. The plant is said to flower but it seems mine is probably not getting all it needs to do this as I have never had a single shoot from it. If it does live in the right conditions it should flower a little pink or white star shaped flower around the spring time and I am hoping mine may do this year! Fingers crossed. The plant is a succulent and the leaves are a nice thick rounded shape which are a nice deep green colour and as I said if re-potted often can grow at a fairly fast rate. The plant doesn't need too much water and can last in fairly dry conditions as it is known for growing wild on rocky type earth. These house plants can eventually have a brown trunk and take on a small tree like form after a good few years. My main stem has thickened up a fair bit but as yet it is yet to take on a tree like form. It is known as a popular Bonsai type tree and this is what I hope to get mine looking like if it survives that long. It needs a nice amount of light although its best kept out of direct sunlight and my plant is positioned in the kitchen which is my brightest room although the sun is not shining straight in the room until late afternoon and my plant is doing well even if it is not flowering! All in all I have to say that this is probably one of the easiest house plants to keep. The easiest thing to do is to over water it in the winter so be careful that it dries up fully before watering in the colder months. I would say that this plant would make a great gift for someone who isn't especially a house plant expert as really anyone can look after it with ease. For that reason alone it deserves a top score of 5 stars out of 5. I do think it is a nice looking plant too and I have fond memories of one of these plants always being in our house as I was growing up. Highly recommended! I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I like house plants . They do not, however, seem to like me . Many innocent plants have entered my home, unaware of the neglect they would suffer at my hands - starvation, dehydration, abusive pruning - only to die a slow and painful death, and to end their lives unceremoniously dumped at the bottom of my garden waste bin. It's not that I'm rubbish at gardening - my garden plants thrive, because I make a point of going out and looking after them . My house plants, alas, get forgotten about in the day to day business of being a mum, buried behind piles of junk mail and left to gather dust. There is however one plant that has stubbornly refused to die - withstanding even the most brutal torture without turning a leaf - and that's my money plant, gifted to me by my mum . The money plant, Crassula Ovata (or Jade plant as it is known in China) comes from the succulent family, the same family as cactus plants . Luckily, it has no prickly bits, so is safe for little kiddy fingers and cats that like to eat everything. Luckily for the plant, this also means it it able to store water in the leaves and roots to call on when I forget to water it! It is an attractive plant with bright green, thick, succulent, rubbery leaves , which turn reddish brown on the tips if left in sunlight! Don't worry, this doesn't mean it's dying - money plants LOVE the sunlight, although they are just as happy sitting in a dark corner somewhere . They also flower, tiny white blossoms, although mine has only ever done this once , after I deprived it of water for a particularly long time . I've never had to feed my plant, and I leave mine on my kitchen windowsill in direct sunlight . I water it a little probably once every two or three weeks, only a couple of teaspoons full at a time, and it seems to be loving it - it's grown a little, although these plants are pretty slow growers. It's also survived being covered in dust , though I did take pity on it and give it a wash with a wet cloth . The money plant is believed to bring wealth and happiness to its owner, especially if it is given to someone as a gift rather than them purchasing it. I don't know if I feel any richer since having the plant (I've had it six months now) but I did win a tenner on the lottery a couple of times, perhaps the plant had a hand in this! One of the great things with money plants is that once you have one, you can easily have more . Taking a cutting is simple - cut a piece about three inches in length and leave it overnight to dry - the cut end seals itself. Remove the bottom few leaves, and plonk the stem into a pot of moist soil or sand . Don't over water it - just give it a tiny amount once a week or so, and soon you'll have a lovely little money plant to give to a friend . I would definitely recommend this as a house plant for people who perhaps don't have time to fuss and faff about with watering, feeding, and all that stuff . It's so easy to look after, and easy to get more plants from the original. I love my little green plant- although I'm still waiting for that lottery jackpot!