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Plantidote of the Day 2010-12-20

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jade plant in bloom

Crassula argentea

Jade plant

Another brutal winter here in Zone 10, with the mercury (or whatever is in thermometers these days) plunging into the 50s -- and sometimes even 40s. Brrrrr!! Maybe to make up for the punishing temperatures, Mother Nature has given us jade plants. Actually, she gave them to South Africa, and somehow or other they got here. Anyway, the one above is in the backyard, flowering away even as we speak.
Jade plants can be grown indoors in colder climates, but probably won't flower. Don't let that discourage you from trying one. They're quite pretty, very tough, and don't require much care. Also, like so many succulents, they store water in their fleshy leaves and can survive long dry spells.
I've heard that jade plants are used in folk medicine, but haven't been able to find any details. If anyone knows more, please leave a comment.

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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Submitted by lambert on

For some reason, I just can't do indoor plants with success. The wild temperature variations from the wood stove might have something to do with this, but I think I'm just more sympatico with vegetables.