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Wishing you all a very happy & green Earth Day.

And that's why I thought to post a gardening instructable. :)

Do you know about Jade Plant? I am sure most of us do :), if not, no problem. Jade plant are one of the easiest succulents to grow and are super hardy. They are mostly popular for their bonsai like development resembling a small tree like structure.

Google a bit and you will find out what Jade plant usually looks like.

Jade is mostly grown in small pots so that it can grow like a bonsai looking plant and to shape it like a tree it requires lots of regular careful pruning and monitoring. Now that may look like a lot of care requirement. So if you are a lazy gardener like me who likes to plant jade but don't want to do much, this ible is for you.

I have a terrace garden in my home with lots of plants in hanging baskets which saves a lot of space. If you live in an apartment with balcony, this approach for planting jades will suit you best.

Jade plant in hanging baskets looks magnificent and requires almost no pruning or special care.

The two pictures above showing my 2 Jade plants in hanging baskets, both plants were planted around 15 months back. Look at the beauty and its growth.

Let's plant some Jade :)

UPDATE APRIL 24, 2014: It seems like this plant is Elephant Bush or Mini Jade, I have known this plant as Jade all my life  probably because of regional common naming misconceptions. I like to thank instructable members Angryredhead and mretuck for the clarification and details.  Please use the pictures if you are buying it from your local garden store.

Step 1: What All You Need

The entire process is so simple that you don't need lot of stuff. You only need

  1. A small jade plant. It is ok if you get a bigger one too :). But try to pick a plant that has branches on all sides. As a bonus step I will tell you how to propagate jade plants later. The plant shown in the picture is propagated by me and it has grown 4" tall in a 2" plastic tea cup.
  2. A plastic hanging basket with hanging mechanism. I have a 8" wide and 6" deep basket. Sorry about the dirty image, I used the basket in which I had planted some seasonal plants.
  3. Gardening soil and some gravel. If you are buying ready-made soil, make sure it is organic and coarse fast-draining soil. REMEMBER : We are planting a succulent and they don't like lots of water. For some reason you don't find a well coarse soil, then make it coarse by mixing one-part sand.
  4. Water :)

Yup that's all.

Step 2: Planting Your Jade

To plant your jade in hanging basket, do as follows:

  1. Cover the basket base with gravel. The kind of basket I used does not require gravel but I choose to put it.
  2. Fill the basket with soil, leaving about 1/2" of space from top.
  3. Dig a small hole in the middle of the basket.
  4. Remove the plant from propagation pot and plant it in the hole.
  5. Cover the gap with soil , gently press the soil around the plant.
  6. Attach the hangers.
  7. Hang the basket where the plant gets plenty of direct sunlight.

And you are done here :) . Seriously , now all you need to do wait and see your jade grow to a magnificent looking beauty.

Step 3: Simple Care for Your Jade Hanging Basket.

Jades in hanging do not require lots of special care, however there are things about jade which I recommend you to know :

  1. Where to place your hanging: Full sun is recommended, but partial works too.
  2. Watering: Being a succulent, jade does not needs lot of water, that's why we used well drained soil. Water your jade when the soil on top of basket is almost dry. If you live in a place with hot climate like mine, then you might have to water it daily or alternate days.
  3. Nutrition & fertilizer: Based on my experience, general purpose fertilizer for ornamental plants works well. Check your garden store if they can suggest a specific fertilizer for succulent like Jade.
  4. Cold climate: In my city there is never cold like snow etc, so I keep my jade hangings as it is, but experts suggest that you may want to bring them indoor if its too cold.
  5. Jade Plant Pests and Diseases: Watch for mealybugs, spider mites, snails and aphids, which are common insect pests found on the jade plant. I suggest watering using a spray all over this can help you get rid of mealybugs if there are any.

  6. Pruning: In hanging baskets you never need to do pruning, but in case you jade plant is only growing taller, just prune the head. This will promote growth of new branches from sides.

  7. Turn the basket: Every 2-3 weeks, I rotate my hanging basket to let other sides of the plant face sun. This is a standard process for almost every plant that you grow in hanging basket to ensure that basket gets covered evenly.

Step 4: Bonus Step: Propagate Jade From Cuttings

Once you have a jade plant growing, you would never need to buy a jade plant again :). Here is how you can propagate a jade plant using cuttings :

  1. From a healthy and grown mother plant, cut a soft branch of about 6" long (Honestly smaller branches works too)
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom to leave about 3" of stem.
  3. Put the stem in water, may be in small cup or a bottle.
  4. After a few weeks, the cutting will have roots, let the roots grow for about 1/2" to 1" and then transplant.

You may ask that you are propagating a succulent in water? I will say that I have tried other methods too like this one here but I ran out of patience before the roots appear, but somehow for me this method worked always.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

I am not an expert gardener but I do love to have lots of plants around. That's why I prefer plants that are easy to grow and last all seasons. Jade has been my all time favorite. I have propagated a lot of them (See picture above). I am attempting to make these little plants grow in the form of trees.

Thank you for your time to read this ible. Should you have any questions or feedback, please share in the comments below.

Please vote if you like.

You are awesome.

Stay Tuned :)

<p>I know nothing about gardening and I'm not good at it, but this looks really nice!! :D</p>
<p>Oh Linda Thank you so much :). Try gardening sometime, it is very rewarding in itself :) </p>
<p>I sometimes get the feeling of trying it, but everytime I do the plants die...I don't have what is known as &quot;green thumb&quot; :D</p>
<p>Linda: I am sure you could succeed with succulents, which, in general, tend to flourish given a bit of what hobbyists call &quot;benign neglect.&quot; That is especially true about watering, because they already contain extra water in their stems or leaves.</p><p>With succulents that are used to dry environments, the main rule to remember is: Wet + cold = rot. </p><p>Sorry: the rest of this comment is mainly about an experience I had with over-watering a succulent plant, so people who are not interested in that, please skip it.</p><p>More are killed by over-watering than by under-watering. I had some Streptocarpella plants (which have somewhat succulent leaves and pretty flowers a lot like violets, but on very long thin stems) that I originally grew from a cutting from a bush over a foot tall, but they always got sick and died when they reached several inches in height. For years, I kept the plant going by rooting healthy bits in water when the parent plants began to sicken. Recently, I got some detailed advice about their care and found that they should be watered ONLY from the bottom, ONLY using distilled water (but giving a weak liquid fertilizer every time), and ONLY watered at all when the soil was so dry that &quot;if left dry any longer, the leaves would droop.&quot; Now I have two that are doing nicely, though I have yet to figure out how you can know when a plant's leaves are &quot;about to droop,&quot; but not yet actually drooping! I use a moisture meter and wait a few days beyond getting a 'bone dry' reading.</p><p>And the big original cutting donor? It died shortly after I got the cuttings, because although it had been happy in the shade outside my friend's front door, she (knowing as little as I) decided to be kind to it and give it sun, which killed it. A little bit of early morning sun or in well-dappled shade might have been OK, but hours of direct sun did it in. </p>
<p>I know how it feels , I have been there. Did you ever try growing pothos? I think any one can plant them, I can help you with that.</p>
<p>No, I have never tried but I'll think about it! :)</p>
<p>I agree with the name correction, having grown both regular jade (Crassula ovata) and Portulacaria afra and think that the latter is probably a better choice for a hanging basket, as it has smaller leaves and finer branches. Here in So. California, I often see both plants in people's gardens, where they do very well year-round. My C. ovatas, which have turned into small trees with some of their leaves well over 1&quot; in length, bloom very attractively around November. By the way, the pretty reddish-brown stems of P. afra are a dead giveaway as to its I.D. In contrast, C. ovata has a greyish-brown stem. Growing elephant bush in a hanging basket is a really nice idea I hadn't thought of, and I think I'll try it. Thanks.</p><p>Here is a good URL for suggestions as to its likes and dislikes: <a href="http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/portulacaria/growing-elephant-bush.htm"> http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/cacti-...</a></p>
<p>Wow.. that was quite insightful. Thank you so much for sharing this.</p>
You're welcome, Tarun. <br>I started growing succulents over 15 years ago with the idea that one day I would have a garden full of them when the water situation here reached a crisis, and now a long-lasting drought and water regulations with higher prices are here. <br><br>If anyone is interested, there is a helpful Garden Web forum for cacti and succulents (cacti being a kind of succulent that stores water in its stem, as opposed to the leaves): http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/cacti/ <br><br>A new company called Houzz seems to be running the GardenWeb sites now, so I am not sure about their present policy, but years ago, this forum allowed people to have plant swaps--no money involved, except for paying the postage--and I got a great many interesting plants and plant cuttings that way, not to mention a lot of good advice. A lot of plants I had never even heard of, but that became favorites.<br><br>FWIW, yesterday I checked out the succulents for sale at our local Home Depot, and they had lots of both plain and variegated elephant bush plants, still quite small and inexpensive. So--probably not very hard to find, if you want to try this 'ible.
<p>Wow.. that was quite insightful. Thank you so much for sharing this.</p>
<p>Really great!</p>
Thanks alot :)
<p>Looking awesome bro, very detailed. That Jade plant looks magnificiant! :-)</p>
<p>Aha.. there you are :). Thank you so much bro, I am so glad that you liked it.</p>
<p>Indeed I am here :) Just where you left me :D And no problem!</p>
<p>thanks for posting your hanging jade plant basket. In the past I have not been successful with jade, but now I will try again. This time I will plant a jade in a hanging basket and follow your simple directions. I will also apply your directions in caring for my Christmas cactus. </p>
<p>Thank you for your kind words. I hope you have read the update about name confusion, please make sure you choose the right plant. I love to grow almost anything in hangings, they are such a pleasant sight for the eyes :).</p>
<p>Where can i get one of those plantlings? They look very pretty....</p>
<p>Thank you, I think you should check in your local garden store or nursery.</p>
Just to clarify about the plant above. Is it not an elephant bush? Not traditional jade which has much larger stalk and leaves? I think some people call elephant bush dwarf jade. Just checking.
What you are saying is quite possible, but in India I have never seen any other plant being called as Jade.Probably due to hotter climate here it looks different. If you look the picture carefully you will be able to notice a large stalk, just telling. <br><br>You gave me something to research upon. Thanks :)
<p>It definitely looks like elephant bush, mini jade, etc., and the scientific name is Portulacaria Afra which isn't jade (botanical families are different). However, it's just a matter of changing the names in the Instructable because your plant is very popular and very pretty, and more people should grow it. :)</p>
<p>Thank you so much for the details :). This is actually an enlightenment for me because I have been growing this plant since long and none of the plant nurseries in cities I lived referred it otherwise. I guess they just skipped the word 'mini' out of it :). </p>
<p>The very coolest part of Instructables is learning. Thanks for the opportunity. I had never seen this plant until I purchased it about two years ago. It is absolutely beautiful. The info that came with it stated that it was called &quot;elephant bush&quot; because it makes up part of their diet. I have yet to research that tidbit =) Here in the states we call the picture I attached Jade.</p>
<p>I really appreciate your's and Angryredhead's interest &amp; contribution to the details, I think I will include these details in the intro to avoid any confusion for new readers. Thank you again.</p>
<p>Common names are very tricky and frequently misleading like &quot;Lucky Bamboo&quot; which isn't bamboo at all, but because of the common name, a lot of people think it is. Here in the US, I've only seen your plant listed by the scientific name and/or &quot;elephant bush&quot;, so there's a regional thing going on with what something's called. :)</p>
<p>You are soooo right :).</p>
<p>Thanks for inspiring me to try to grow one of these. I have been trying to come up with something for my front porch that can take the heat and I think this is the solution! Have a beautiful day!</p><p>sunshiine</p>
<p>I am very happy to know that Sunshiine :). Thank you so much :) </p>
You are welcome! Stay awesome!

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Bio: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)
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