The jade plant is an evergreen with thick branches. It has thick, shiny, smooth leaves that grow in opposing pairs along the branches. Leaves are a rich jade green, although some may appear to be more of a yellow-green. Some varieties may develop a red tinge on the edges of leaves when exposed to high levels of sunlight. New stem growth is the same color and texture as the leaves. Although becoming brown and appearing woody with age, stems never become true lignified tissue, remaining succulent and fleshy throughout the plant’s life. Under the right conditions, they may produce small white or pink, star-like shaped flowers in the fall.
Crassula ovata requires little water in the summer, and even less in the winter. It is susceptible to overwatering.
Crassula ovata may display a red tinge around its leaves when grown with bright sunlight. In more extreme cases, the green colour of the plant is lost and can be replaced by yellow. This is caused by the jade plant making pigments such as carotenoids to protect from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays.
The jade plant is also known for its ease of propagation, which can be carried out with clippings or even stray leaves which fall from the plant. Jade plants may readily be propagated from both with success rates higher than with cuttings. In the wild, propagation is the jade plant’s main method of reproduction. Branches regularly fall off wild jade plants and these branches may root and form new plants.