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Jade plants can nurture new friendships

This plant is treated more like a cactus than a tropic type of plant.

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Nurturing a healthy jade plant has its own rewards.<br/><br/>
John Zvirovski / The Jamestown Sun

The thought of more money, good luck and added friendships are always a good draw for anyone to pursue. If you are in the market for these items, try obtaining a jade plant. The Jade plant has been around for thousands of years and represents good luck, wealth and new friendships. Most of this may just be an old wives' tale, but if it has any factual basis to it, I will make sure and have one in my home.

The jade plant is native to South Africa but in the Asian realms, it garnered a strong reputation for deeper meanings. It was given as a gift for housewarmings and weddings to ensure good luck and good fortune. In fact, some believed that if you placed your jade plant upon your paper investments for the year, it would ensure growth and strong value. The Asian culture also revered the precious stone of jade to rival that of the emerald. Soon it became part of many pieces of jewelry and art to adorn people, places and things. Many artwork pieces also have the symbol of the jade tree in their drawings and paintings representing prosperity.

The jade plant also has evergreen round leaves that represent a coin, thus many have referred to it as the money tree. Well, since I cannot cash in on it, I don’t think I will plant too many of them within my household, but that doesn’t negate the fact that these are wonderful plants to have within your home.

Known as a succulent because of their thick, water-retaining leaves, this plant is treated more like a cactus than a tropic type of plant. It is a slow-growing specimen and prefers a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight in the home. If they get longer hours of direct sunlight, the leaves may even get a red hue to them because of the intensity. Rarely do the leaves get sunscald indoors due to the sun, but they may in hot direct sun outdoors during the summer.

They do not enjoy a great deal of humidity and only like to be watered about once every three weeks. During its winter dormancy period, it prefers even less water. This is one plant that will display its dislike for too much water by dropping its leaves and rotting at the base. Once this occurs, it is best to just take a cutting to try and save the plant.   

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Jades enjoy indoor temperatures in the 50s during the evening hours and around 70 during the day for optimum growth. They should be grown in a porous soil that does not contain peat moss or heavy organic matter as these elements hold too much water. Half part good potting mixture mixed with half part gravelly or bark mixture will work best for this plant, as it provides excellent drainage.

Oftentimes, if a leaf falls from this plant into the soil below it will take root quickly to form a new plant. One can also take a stem cutting, let it dry for a few days and then place it into a potting mixture where it will take root also. They say this is a great way to cultivate new friendships. Since they are so easy to propagate, they are a great catalyst to initiate a new friendship with others in the plant world. I always say it is a good practice to bring others into the plant world while sharing something new you have grown — you can never have too many people interested in growing new things!

If this plant has the ideal conditions, it will also bloom for you with either white or pink clusters of flowers. They prefer conditions that are similar for the poinsettia and Christmas cactus to force them into bloom. Shortened natural daylight and cooler temperatures along with less water in the fall will force them into budding by the time the holidays come around. Once in bloom, the flowers can last up to a month or longer in some cases.

If you are looking for a great plant that does not require constant care and tends to thrive on neglect, this plant may be one that you would enjoy trying. Not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment as it slowly grows and have the ability to share some cuttings with others, but it is also a plant that does not take up a great deal of room. An older plant may become quite large with time, but that usually takes 10 to 20 years of nurturing. Plants 3 to 5 feet tall are very, very heavy in containers due to all of the water weight they contain. Take care in moving a plant of this size as it might prove challenging for your back without a little help. 

Nurture this plant along with a new friendship today and see all the wonderful rewards that lie ahead during your journey through life. You never know what kind of luck or good fortune it might bring along the way.

Related Topics: GARDENINGHOME AND GARDEN
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