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Jade Plant

One of my favorite houseplants is the jade plant (Crassula ovata). The thick, glossy leaves are beautiful imitations of real jade.

You can learn a lot about the conditions houseplants prefer if you know where they come from. Jade plant comes from sunny, arid regions in South Africa, therefore, it likes hot and dry conditions. Perfect for our homes in winter.

When it comes to care keep the soil on the dry side and place the plant in an area that receives plenty of bright, indirect light. Fertilize every 2 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) with an all-purpose, water soluble fertilizer such as Jobe's Organics All-Purpose.

Jade PlantJade plants can live for a long time. In fact, I have a friend who has one that's over 20 years old. They are very slow growing, so you don't have to repot them very often. I repot mine about every other year. I like to use 2/3 well-draining soil mixed with 1/3 sharp sand or grit.

Propagating jade plants is a snap. All you have to do is take cuttings from the end of the stem, put them in a moist soil mix. In 2 to 3 weeks, they'll be rooted.

Another thing interesting about jade plants is that they produce blooms. Usually the flowers appear on more mature specimens, and they have a soft fragrance.

So, the next time you're looking for a plant that can take hot, dry conditions, give one of these little gems a try.