My silver dollar jade tree, crassula arborenscens, has been with me since 2005. It is one of my favorite jade trees, despite the fact that it tends to grow slower than some of the others. But that’s okay. Its common name is jade tree, but it is actually classified a succulent shrub, although it can reach ten feet in height in its native South Africa, which sounds like a small tree to me! So maybe it is a good thing it is a slow grower.


I have cut this one back once, well, twice I guess, but it is more manageable this size. With more sun, the edges of the leaves are stained with red, which is a nice contrast with the gray-green leaves. You can see a touch of it on the leaves to the bottom right in the picture. This one has lost a little of its color, having been in all winter.


It has the nice, fat trunk that older jade trees get.


Cuttings will root, and Silver dollar jade will also grow a new plant from a leaf, but it really does take a long time! This little plant formed from a leaf that was knocked off the parent plant at the beginning of last summer, and you can see it is just now taking form. But you can also see the nice red color that forms on the edges of the leaves and the slightly dappled effect in the fat part of the leaf.


Younger plants tend to be greener; older plants take on a grayish-green color, but will still have the red on the edges of the leaves.


Silver dollar jade is not cold hardy, having come from South Africa, and is recommended for zones 10-12 if you want to put it in the ground, but will do fine in pots outside during the warm weather, and then bring it in when the weather gets cold. Make sure they get as much sun as possible when inside so they will retain a compact shape and won’t reach for the sun. When they go outside after the winter, give them filtered sun until they have time to readjust to full sun. But even then, I wouldn’t put them in full, hot afternoon sun for fear of sunburn.

This is one crassula variety not often seen in the big box stores, so if you see one and like it, I would suggest you go ahead and buy it.