Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Holiday Flowers: Crassula ovata

Windowsill-grown Crassula ovata, December 25, 2017. 
Crassula ovata, the Jade Plant, is a familiar windowsill succulent, but it seems to be pretty unusual to have one flower as well as my plant has this winter. I'm not quite sure what I did to bring on this display, which is much better than I've ever achieved before with C. ovata as a houseplant. It spent the summer outdoors in quite a sunny spot (after adjusting to life out of the house for a week or two under a tree in dappled shade), and then stayed out late into autumn. By the time it came in, around Halloween, there had been a little light frost, and the flower buds were just starting to appear. Abundant sun and an autumn chill may have helped; it also probably got a bit more fertilizer than usual over the summer (just the usual balanced water-soluble houseplant food).

This Jade Plant is not tremendously old, about six years from a cutting from a landscape plant in southern California. It has flowered before, but nothing like this year's show. Another member of the Connecticut Cactus and Succulent Society also reported excellent flowering in his C. ovata plants this month, so it's possible that the weather this year was particularly favorable. It was a relatively mild and sunny fall.