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The Ultimate Guide to the Types of Jade Plant- From Colour to Elegance

types of jade plant

Jade is known throughout many cultures as being elegant, wise and prosperous. Although, this is mainly as a semi-precious stone. However, as a succulent, the jade plant benefits continue.

Current trends in home décor are becoming greener by the day. This is because, of course, plants grow as well as the fact that coming home with a new bud in a plant pot is just too exciting. In fact, it even has a name just like minimalist design: it’s called biophilia.

And, with that, there have been a few household favourites that have cropped up. One of which is the Crassula (with variances known as the types of jade plant)

If you’re a returning fan of The Hobby Kraze, you may have noticed that our team have a soft spot for all things natural. Of course, we live for hobbies but bringing a variety of the types of jade plant as well as a fact file of knowledge to help you in your home-growing cultivations, is a hobby with a twist in nature. So, it all comes together.

With that, we couldn’t help but bring you our ultimate guide to the gorgeously green types of jade plant and everything you’ll need to know about them in order to keep them thriving in your home. 

Here’s what we’ll be covering in today’s article:

  1. What is a Jade Plant?
  2. Where do the Different Kinds of Jade Plant Come From?
  3. What are Jade Plant Benefits to be Had?
  4. What is the Difference Between the Types of Jade Plant, a Cactus and Aloe Vera?
  5. What Are the Best Ways for How to Grow Jade Plants at Home?
  6. Are the Different Kinds of Jade Plant Poisonous or Toxic?
  7. What are the 19 Different Kinds of Jade Plant?

Before we get going on our adventures into the green world of jade plant identification, there’s a fantastic story behind its energies.

So, you may have heard of a money plant, but you may not have heard that the types of jade plant and the types of money plant are one-in-the-same. In Asia, when the jade plant set its first roots, many superstitions surrounding the botanical said the jade plant benefits included the ability to activate positive financial energies that would bring good luck to the botanist.

With this, the jade plant is considered to be good feng shui in the home with positive chi energy that attracts money. While we’re still yet to receive our pot of gold, the team here at The Hobby Kraze still have our hopes held high as our little Jade Plant sits in the office. It’s a Hummel’s Sunset if you must know!

Now, back to the jade plant identification in this ultimate guide:

What is a Jade Plant?

What is a Jade Plant

A jade plant is a type of succulent much like the cactus or aloe vera plant. This means they thrive without too much water, photosynthesize like many other plants and are able to store considerable amounts of water. 

However, unlike the cactus or aloe vera plants who store their water reserves within their stems, the types of jade plant store their water within their leaves and actually have wooden stems that you’d see in a bush plant.

One of the jade plant benefits is that they’re incredibly resilient (which is characteristic of a succulent), making them the perfect household plant for those with kids, those with busy schedules and those whose green thumb hasn’t quite grown in yet.

All the different kinds of jade plant, while being a popular part of the family botany rituals throughout Asia, are likened to the Bonsai tree. This is because their wooden stems and smaller leaves can often make them look like miniature trees (you’ll notice this when we reel-off the 19 types of jade plant later on!).

One thing to know about these green succulents if you’re thinking about how to grow jade plants is that they have a growing season and a dormant season. The different kinds of jade plant (as they’re all closely related) grow throughout the Spring and Summer months because of the high sun and warmer weather. With this, the Autumn and Winter months are colder and darker, so they go dormant and won’t grow or bud again until the following Spring.

However, they do last a lifetime as sturdy herbs: in fact, they’re often passed through generations as part of Eastern-Asian family tradition.

P.S. many varieties of the jade plant bloom have even been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden Merit.

Where do the Different Kinds of Jade Plant Come From?

Where do the Different Kinds of Jade Plant Come From

So, we’ve mentioned Asia a few times when it comes to the types of jade plant. However, it might interest you to hear they’re not actually from Asia at all. In fact, they are a native species of succulent to Southern Africa!

In fact, the area of wild jade plant growth is quite small. While they can be found cultivating in homes as a popular housewarming gift around the world, they are only native to the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa as well as some areas around Mozambique.

Again, comparing the jade plant identification to its other succulent cousins, it’s strange to see them native to only the Southern African weather. Cacti, for example, are only native to the Americas with a couple of exceptions on the African continent.

To find out more about the wide variety of the types of spikey succulent you can find around the globe (and harbour on your windowsill next to your jade plant) have a look at our other article: “Choosing the Right Succulent from the Top 42 Types of Cactus”.

Moving on to how the jade plant became such a household must-have for modern interior design trends and the green-thumbed homeowner, we have to think about when the different kinds of jade plant were domesticated.

There’s no real history to how the jade plant became so well-travelled, especially as a cherished bloom throughout Eastern Asia. Although, it is possible the ancient Silk Road had something to do with it! 

Despite long-standing tradition of the jade plant in Africa and Asia, it only became a popular plant in Europe and America within the last couple of hundred years.

What are Jade Plant Benefits to be Had?

What are Jade Plant Benefits to be Had

There are many benefits to having a jade plant in your home. For one, they’re very well-kept and make no fuss at all. 

They are slow-growing plants that don’t require much attention and supposedly bring good fortune to your bank account, so we’re struggling to see any negatives. 

Of course, having any photosynthesizing plant in your home will bring an array of benefits such as cleaner air, higher oxygen levels and sweet smells (if you choose the right one with good jade plant identification, of course). But there are some pretty specific jade plant benefits to be had, too:

  • It can increase the humidity of a room
  • It improves the air quality as an air-purifier
  • It brings good luck to those who live in the house
  • It is very easy to maintain in comparison to other plants
  • It is a beautiful slow-growing ornament
  • It is often gifted as a housewarming tradition
  • It brings life and beauty into a room
  • It can be cut and propagated at any point
  • It can be left while you go on holiday
  • It absorbs CO2 levels during the night
  • It is slow-growing and rarely needs repotting
  • It is well used as a decorative feature in fairy gardens
  • It can be an indoor or outdoor plant
  • It can be made into a bonsai tree
  • It provides calming feng shui
  • It has been known to help with warts and nausea
  • It is currently in trials to help treat diabetes

What is the Difference Between the Types of Jade Plant, a Cactus and Aloe Vera?

What is the Difference Between the Types of Jade Plant a Cactus and Aloe Vera 1

As mentioned, jade plant identification is very similar to that of the cactus or the aloe vera plant. This is because they’re all from the succulent family. 

Succulents are hard-waring plants that can thrive in harsh and warm conditions such as a desert. This is because they have extremely thick leaves and stems that allow them to store water for long periods of time. 

Some examples of succulents are:

  • Cacti
  • Jade Plants
  • Aloe Vera
  • Strings of Pearls
  • Haworthia 
  • Christ Thorns
  • Portulacaria
  • Living Stone

However, there are some key differences that set them apart within the family. For example, cacti have spikes and glochids and can grow for meters while a jade plant has very smooth leaves and a smaller height with many being cultivated as a bonsai tree. 

Another difference between the types of cactus and the types of jade plant includes their body; typically speaking (while it may vary) a cactus has no leaves and its body is it’s stem. However, when it comes to a jade plant, they have thick wooden stems and thicker rubbery leaves.

When it comes to the contrasts between aloe vera and the different kinds of jade plant, they vary quite drastically. For one, we’ve mentioned the jade plant is a native to Southern Africa; the aloe vera plant is actually a native to Northern Africa. As well as this, aloe vera is a much smaller plant with a general height and width growth of 30cm (both ways). 

While all the succulents have their own blooms, you can expect to find a wide variety coming from the cacti family, just darling yellow buds on the aloe vera plant and light pink or white flowers on the jade plant. 

Despite these differences, they all have very similar cultivation and care methods with many florists recommending cactus soil to help with knowing how to grow jade plants at home. 

What Are the Best Ways for How to Grow Jade Plants at Home?

What Are the Best Ways for How to Grow Jade Plants at Home

As we know, all succulents have a pretty similar cultivation method. So, if you’ve come here from our guide to the various cacti species out there, you’ll probably know that a bit of light, warmth and very occasional water will do the trick. 

As a perennial evergreen, the jade plant will live for years showing bright green leaves throughout all seasons. However, it’ll only bud pretty white and pink flowers in the Summer months. This yearly process can repeat for up to 100 years (hence it being a plant passed down through generations). 

One thing to note would be watering: a sure way to get rid of your jade plant would be to overwater it. To know how to grow jade plants without overwatering, it’s best to keep them in plant pots with a drainage hole. If the first and second inch-long layers of soil are dry, it’s time for a light watering (this happens every 2-3 weeks). Then, just slowly water until it begins to drain from the bottom and let your beautiful jade plant do its thing for the next couple of weeks (less in the Winter as the plant is dormant!).

Some final considerations that just help your different kinds of jade plant thrive include keeping your home at around 20°C, keeping sticky fingers away, pruning drooping or overgrowing stems and looking out for yellow leaves (which means it’s had too much sunlight!).

Are the Different Kinds of Jade Plant Poisonous or Toxic?

Are the Different Kinds of Jade Plant Poisonous or Toxic

The jade plant has actually been used throughout the years as a topical and herbal remedy for top-layer skin issues such as burns, lesions, acne, warts and eczema. And they have apparently worked in the past (emphasis on the apparently). 

However, modern scientists and botanists have found the jade plant to be toxic to both us and our pets. This includes dogs, cats and horses (others, too). 

The effects of ingestion (which you shouldn’t do because the types of jade plant are not edible) are actually quite minimal. While it won’t kill you, it’ll certainly make you or your household pal uncomfortable. For example, the most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and a skin rash.

With that, if you do decide to cut and propagate when you learn how to grow jade plants, the team here at The Hobby Kraze recommend using a pair of latex gloves to avoid any sap from getting onto the skin or anywhere else it shouldn’t be!

What are the 19 Different Kinds of Jade Plant?

What are the 19 Different Kinds of Jade Plant

If you, yourself, are a ‘kraze’ fan, you may have noticed that we like to incorporate the scientific names alongside our wildlife and nature. This is just to help you out with identification in case someone else knows the plant by another name. 

However, one thing you may notice with the types of jade plant is that they all have very similar scientific and botanical names. This is because the jade plant is actually a very thin branch of the succulent tree; there aren’t that many out there and they’re very closely related. 

So, without further ado:

Blue Bird Money Plant (Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata)

Blue Bird Money Plant (Crassula Arborescens Blue Bird Variegata)

As an evergreen, the Blue Bird Money Plant brings us back to that mythology we mentioned earlier. Stand-out features for these types of jade plant identification include large coin-shaped leaves of cloudy green and tips of copper. Perfect on windowsills, they are pretty disease free, require no pruning and grow pink blooms in the Summer.

Blush Plakkie (Crassula Cultrata)

Blush Plakkie (Crassula Cultrata)

Also known as the Sharp-Leaved Crassula, the Blush Plakkie has more of a branched effect with longer leaves having tips rather than coin-shaped leaves. As well as this, they very rarely have the copper-red tips unless left to soak up too much sun. In terms of the jade plant identification, they grow to a modest 32 inches and can bloom white flowers with a tint of yellow on the stem-ends.

Bonsai Jade Tree (Crassula Ovata Hobbit)

Bonsai Jade Tree (Crassula Ovata Hobbit)

As a small succulent in the family of jade plants, the Bonsai Jade Tree is one of the most popular of the potted types of jade plant you see in people’s homes. In terms of the jade plant identification, it looks nothing like the rest: the leaves grow upwards, have the red tips (under sunlight) and are almost tubular in shape. As well as this, they grow to 36 inches and bloom white stamen flowers. 

Botany Bay (Crassula Ovata Botany Bay)

Botany Bay (Crassula Ovata Botany Bay)

With leaves of a gradient red to green and a growth pattern at the stem’s tip, the leaves of these types of jade plant look as though they are the flowers, themselves. They are round in shape and grow in a tulip-formation. With this year-round bloom-look, they’re a common choice in the home. As well as this, it can reach 39 inches in just five years, making it one of the quicker growers.

Calico Kitten (Crassula Marginata Variegata)

Calico Kitten (Crassula Marginata Variegata)

Known as the Calico Kitten, these types of jade plant have heart-shaped leaves that can be a bright green, a neutral calico-beige or even a stunning burgundy. They overlap each other for a top-down view of a rose with unstructured stems. So, if you’re wanting to know how to grow jade plants of this variation, you’ll want to place it in a hanging basket as it droops for over 12 inches.

Campfire Plant (Crassula Capitella)

Campfire Plant (Crassula Capitella)

Also going by the names Red Flame Plant and Red Pagoda Jade, there’s no surprise the leaves of this particular succulent have deep red tips. As well as this, the leaves are packed together, overlapping, long and pointed. They form a four-pointed star and strangely thrives through the night. One thing to note is that this 15-inch-tall plant is especially susceptible to fungal diseases.

Green Penny Jade (Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf)

Green Penny Jade (Portulacaria Afra Large Leaf)

Growing to around 8 inches (and sometimes more) the Green Penny Jade is a bush-like shrub with the typical woody stem and green leaves. These leaves, however, are coin-shaped, intensely green, very small and much thinner than the thick succulent leaves of the other types of jade plant. After Spring, it can bloom with white rose-like flowers, but this is actually a rare occurrence.

Harbour Lights (Crassula Ovata)

Harbour Lights (Crassula Ovata)

Almost exactly like the Botany Bay succulent shrub, Harbour Lights jade plant identification is that of bare stems with ends of leaves in the shape of a flower. However, what sets it apart from other different kinds of jade plant is the almost all-over red colour of the leaves during the Winter, the thicker stems, the dwarf tree-like appearance and the clusters of white-star flowers.

Hottentotta (Crassula Sericea)

Hottentotta (Crassula Sericea)

These short growths of glory can sometimes look more like the Living Stone variety of succulent rather than one of the types of jade plant. Growing to just 6 inches tall, the jade plant identification is more conical. They have thin woody stems that bud overlapping, short, thick and triangular leaves. In terms of Summer buds, it extends a stem before blooming small white clusters.

Hummel’s Sunset (Crassula Ovata Hummel’s Sunset)

Hummel’s Sunset (Crassula Ovata Hummel’s Sunset)

As mentioned, the Hummel’s Sunset is the variant of jade plant we have right here in the office (but we’ve not had it long!). And it’s simply because we can’t get enough of the gradient leaves going from greens to yellows to oranges to reds and to pinks. Plus, as another one of the jade plant benefits, it forms the perfect bonsai tree. Reaching 40 inches with minimal effort, it’s perfect!

Jade Necklace (Crassula Marnieriana)

Jade Necklace (Crassula Marnieriana)

The Jade Necklace looks almost exactly like the Hottentotta except longer, more windy, less structured and slightly thinner. The stems of these types of jade plant grow overlapping, thick and almost in the way of large beads on a necklace (hence the name). But, again, just like the Hottentotta, the Jade Necklace will extend a stem to allow for small clusters of starry blooms.

Kebab Bush (Crassula Rupestris)

Kebab Bush (Crassula Rupestris)

Of course, a hungry person must have named this specific jade plant simply because it only really looks like a kabab if you’re hungry. With more of the copper-red tips on the leaves than many of the other types of jade plant, they also grow long and almost square with a top-down view of a rosette. Another feature is their ability to grow a cloudy blue-green leaf rather than just green.

Lady Fingers (Crassula Argentea Gollum)

Lady Fingers (Crassula Argentea Gollum)

Just like the Bonsai Jade Tree, the jade plant identification for this succulent is very different to the rest. With green tubular leaves that grow in an upwards direction, it can reach to about 30 inches in height, making it another perfect bonsai to have in your home or office. Plus, it blooms clusters of star-like flowers with a twist: they have bright pink stamens that thrive in the Winter.

Low Elephant Bush (Portulacaria Afra Cascade)

Low Elephant Bush (Portulacaria Afra Cascade)

Also going by the name of Elephant Food, this is another of our coin-shaped leaf dwarf jade plants perfect as indoor bonsais with little effort needed. After, of course, a little sunlight, warm temperature and a bi-weekly water. Characteristically, the leaves are small and cluster on the stem tips. Interestingly, these types of jade plant are actually dormant in Summer!

Pink Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata Pink)

Pink Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata Pink)

These types of jade plant are known for their flourish of stargazer pink buds that fill the bush. Because of this, the green-thumbed community will often call this succulent the Pink Beauty. It grows to a staggering 60 inches (which is far taller than the average jade plant), loves the sun and thrives in a lower temperature of around 10°C. Although, the sap in this one can be quite strong!

Red Jade Plant (Crassula Coccinea)

Red Jade Plant (Crassula Coccinea)

Known as a dwarf succulent, the Red Jade Plant has eye-catching small buds of red. They appear in large clusters and bunches on the end of structured stems that feature small clusters of short and triangular leaves. As it’s named a dwarf, it does only grow to a height of 16 inches. However, one thing to note, is that older leaves at the bottom tend to grow a slightly browner colour.

Ripple Jade (Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolia)

Ripple Jade (Crassula Arborescens Undulatifolia)

Growing to around 36 inches, the Ripple Jade is another unique succulent in a pile of unique succulents. The stand-out jade plant identification characteristics of this shrub is the ripple-like effect and curls within the leaves, themselves. These types of jade plant thrive under the sunlight, so place it on a windowsill to bring out their white and pink star-shaped flower clusters.

Woolly Crassula (Crassula Tomentosa)

Woolly Crassula (Crassula Tomentosa)

The Woolly Crassula (yes, this name includes the scientific name, too!) is both woolly in name and looks. The different kinds of jade plant can vary with this one featuring less of a stem and more of a woolly-look. There are small white hairs growing on the face of the leaves in a rosette shape. With this, they only grow to a maximum of 24 inches tall and produce yellow buds twice yearly.

Yellow Elephant’s Food (Portulacaria Afra Aurea)

Yellow Elephant’s Food (Portulacaria Afra Aurea)

Also known by Yellow Rainbow Bush, the jade plant identification of this shrub is far more modest. The wooden stem is more visible, the leaves are a very small coin-shape and take the iconic green colour for most of the year while sharing the ability to change. Unlike others, it can thrive more under the sunlight and grows to 40 inches while blooming pink flowers.


Before we head off, it’s worth noting that the types of jade plant are very susceptible to root rot, fungal infections, bug infestations and other diseases. In fact, mealybugs are the most common pest (they look like white fluff balls and can be wiped away with an alcohol-soaked cotton bud). 

As well as this, when you know how to grow jade plants at home you won’t be able to stop, so keep an eye out for a loss of colour as this can also indicate spider mites!

Otherwise, if like us you can’t get enough of the new biophilia home décor (at this point it’s more of a personality and lifestyle), then you’ll want to check out all the other naturally growing guides to plants around the world from the team here at The Hobby Kraze. Take a look:

  • 32 Types of Mushrooms, Shrooms, Sprouts, Spores, Ground Fruits and Other Fungi
  • A Foodie Guide to the Types of Nuts
  • Choosing the Right Succulent from the Top 42 Types of Cactus
  • Sprinkle a Little Spice in Your Life with a Fact File of the Types of Spices
  • The Top 51 Native Types of Flowers to Grow in Your Great British Garden
  • The 31 Types of Melon Around the World
  • The Ultimate Guide to Aquascaping and Hydroponics for Beginners

P.S. don’t forget to share this article so everyone can enjoy knowing all the 19 types of jade plant pots dotted around your home and the jade plant benefits they bring!

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

A bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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