Variegated Money Plant/Crassula ovata ‘Variegata’
This succulent is perhaps better known by its earlier name ofargentea ‘Variegata’. It is a variegated form of the Money Plant or Jade Plant. Like most variegated plants, some of the leaves are yellow, or have large patches of yellow or white on them. Because this reduces the amount of green foliage which makes the plant’s food, variegated forms tend to be slower and a little more temperamental to grow than all-green varieties. Even so, the Variegated Money Plant will make quite a large bush eventually, although not as large as the normal green form. This plant also tends to be more reluctant to flower. However, it makes a nice feature plant for a bright position indoors.
The Variegated Money Plant is easy to grow and quite tolerant of low temperatures if kept fairly dry.
Like most plants, it will benefit from good ventilation, but not draughts.
Grow this plant in a bright position, but preferably not in full sun all the time. It will grow happily in an East- or West-facing window or close to a similar good light source.
Water well during the Spring and Summer, then allow theto dry before watering again. During the Autumn and Winter, keep the plant fairly dry, giving only enough water to prevent shrivelling. This plant will soon rot if kept wet at low temperatures.
As a native of arid areas, Crassula ovata ‘Variegata’ need not be provided with any additional humidity.
Feed this succulent regularly every three months during the Spring and Summer. Use afood, or one that is recommended for tomatoes diluted at about half strength.
The Variegated Money Plant will do best if grown in a well-drained compost containing about one third horticultural grit. Repot small plants at least every two years, and larger specimens every three or four years.
Although being evergreen, Crassula ovata ‘Variegata’ usually sheds its oldest leaves in the Spring: the leaves wither slowly and then drop, which is quite normal.
White spots often occur on the leaves, but they are not an indication of a problem. The spots are caused by minute deposits of salts from the plant’s pores as it breathes. They are easily removed by spraying the plant with water or wiping them off with a damp cloth.
Mealy Bugs appear as little cotton wool-like patches in the axils of branches and leaves, later turning black. Eradicate with a cotton bud and methylated spirit, or treat the plant with a systemic insecticide during the Summer.
Basal Rot can occur as a result of over-watering. Plants that have not been repotted for many years, and have had to survive without any food (at which they are quite good), tend to develop very poor root systems. These, in turn, make them susceptible to over-watering.