By Penny Dodd
One of the most popular houseplants grown worldwide is Crassula ovata, the jade plant, a native of South Africa. Also known as money plant, friendship tree or lucky plant, it is thought of as a good luck charm in Asia. Because its thick, smooth leaves look like pieces of jade it symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and many Asian business owners place a plant near the entrance to their business to bring prosperity and success. People who practice Feng Shui believe putting a jade plant in their home can bring benefits ranging from family harmony and health to creativity, wealth and scholarly pursuits.
The jade plant is also considered a good present for a friend. Mine, however, was purchased by me in February seven years ago at the Rehoboth nursery and greenhouse in Coaldale. It was about a foot tall and potted with other succulents in a shallow basin shaped terra cotta pot. It spent the first few months near west windows in my house. Then in June, I moved it outside where its leaves promptly got sunburned. It recovered, and has spent every summer since then outside, and every winter in a greenhouse that is barely above freezing. Despite never being repotted, it is now about three feet tall. It is too heavy for me to move anymore, and this past summer it stayed full time in the greenhouse.
And, to my amazement, this winter it is in bloom.
These blossoms, small pinkish white stars, although not fragrant are pretty and long lived. It has been blooming now for about six weeks. The novelty of the blossoms prompted me to look for information about the plant. Professor Wikipedia says a mature plant blooms in the summer, but will also flower in the wintertime during a cooler, darker dry spell. Another website says a flowering jade plant reflects well on the owner and symbolizes friendship, luck and prosperity. I hope that’s true.
It must need re-potting, but I have no idea how I will accomplish that.