Cactus and succulents

Crassula Arborescens, the Silver Dollar Plant

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.

Crassula arborescens

Family: Stonecrops (Crassulaceae)

Genus: Crassula

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.

Crassula arborescens
Photo: Sabina Bajracharya.

Physical Characteristics

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 arborescens

Plant Care

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.

A proper care guide for every succulent >>

Crassula arborescens
Photo: Outramps-tanniedi.

Plant Growth

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.

7 comments on “Crassula Arborescens, the Silver Dollar Plant

  1. The juvenile forms of succulents can often, confusingly, resemble other species or cultivars… so, while I’m no certified expert & I’m not 1000% sure, I am reasonably sure the first pic is actually Crassula ovata ‘Crosby’s Compact’—a smaller-leaved variety of “typical” green jade (C. ovata). It’s just different for its smaller leaves, and it can take on an almost prostrate-hanging look over time, if you don’t prune it. But then again, I have a silver dollar jade outside, and many of the leaf babies that grow on the ground will start their lives looking like C. ovata… so who knows. I’m just going by the leaf shape and color. The second pic does appear to also be regular jade, as well. But again… these things change looks throughout their lives. So idk!

  2. Lynn Davenport

    I own several Crassulas, but this one has never worked well for me. I’m not sure why, given I’ve heeded your previous recommendations regarding its cultural requirements geometry dash world. I’ll simply have to savor it virtually.

  3. This article really impressed me, especially the information is very interesting and detailed. Besides, I also want to introduce to you rocket bot royale, a top entertainment game. This is the link game:

  4. Vinnie Schabacker

    The top two pictures show Crassula ovata, I think, rather than C. arborescens.

  5. I have a number of Crassula’s but have never had much luck with this one. Not sure why as I have followed your above advice on it’s cultural needs. Will just have to enjoy this one from afar.

  6. I know that plant as Jade plant.
    the silver dollar or money plant I grew up with is: Species: Money Plant, Annua Lunaria
    So I learned something new today.

    • Well, there are at least 5-10 different types of plants nicknamed “money plant”, and maybe more, or that feature some iteration of “money” in their common name.

      For example, the common golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum)—which is in the genus Epipremnum, and technically not ‘true’ Pothos, a different but related genus—is commonly known as the “money vine”. The common green jade (Crassula ovata) is often called “money plant”, or “money tree”, as it matures and develops a larger base; the gray species, Crassula arborescens (in the article), is widely known as “silver dollar plant”, or “silver dollar jade”. It’s also called “cookie plant” cause of the leaves apparently. Lol. Then there’s the succulent Cucurbit (squash+cucumber) relative, the “silver dollar vine”, or Xerosicyos danguyi, which is pretty popular as a houseplant.

      And of course there are the “money trees” (Pachira aquatica), usually with their braided & twisted trunks, for sale in every Asian store, big box store, supermarket or nursery.

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