Crassula arborescens, also known as the Silver Dollar Plant, is a low-growing shrub with a single stem but several branches of considerable thickness. It belongs to the Stonecrop’s family. A native of the Western Cape in South Africa, it is grown both indoors and outdoors in containers. Crassula is Latin for fat and arborescens means tree-like.
Family: Stonecrops (Crassulaceae)
Scientific Name: Crassula arborescens
Other Names: Silver Jade Plant, Silver Dollar Plant, Beestebul, Money Tree, Chinese Jade, Money Plant.
Growth Season: Summer and spring.
Preferred Temperature: The best temperature for growth is between 50 and 75oF. It is not frost-hardy, and the temperature is below 30oF.
Hardiness Zone: USDA 10–11
Average Mature Height & Width: They grow to between two and four feet in maturity and the same width.
Dormancy: The plants become dormant when the temperature is considerably higher than the preferred 75oF.
Toxicity: Mildly toxic to humans, but its effects are more pronounced in cats and dogs.
The succulent’s stem is relatively thick and green-gray. On the other hand, its leaves are pretty fleshy, waxy, and blue-gray. They are mostly rounded but have a hard-to-see tip and are a little pointed at the base. Though green, the leaf margins have red rims, and the intensity of this hue increases with the intensity of the heat to which the plant is exposed.
The Chinese Money Plant blooms into showy flowers. These flowers appear like spheres and grow from stalks above the leaves. They have a star-like appearance with their color ranging from white to pink. This plant is highly prolific in its flowering, almost entirely covered with petals during its spring and summer growing seasons.
These flowers’ color usually turns brown after pollination, and eventually, they drop to make way for fruits. Its fruits are small, about 0.5 cm long. They split open when mature to release seeds.
Crassula arborescence watering is typical of succulents. It prefers to grow under whole light and isn’t averse to direct sunlight. Indoors place next to a south-facing window. Outdoors, it will tolerate some shade. It only requires the medium on which you grow it to be moist. Waterlogging is dangerous because it is predisposed it to root rot. On the other hand, the substrate needs to be pervious to allow water to pass through easily. This plant is adapted for dry, bare soils, and its growing medium should be the same. It rarely requires any additional fertilizer for its health.
This plant is quite prolific in seed production, and you can propagate it using seed. Nevertheless, seeds take time to produce an established plant, so you are better off using stem cuttings that grow faster.
Aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites are some of the pests most likely to attack this succulent. You may need to prune if the branches become too many and tangled. Repotting may become necessary if it outgrows its pot.