What kind of plant is this?

Asked October 28, 2015, 1:31 PM EDT

I've had this little guy for about a month now, and had been growing fine however it's starting to look a little droopy. I live in a dorm, and temperatures are dropping so I'm wondering if the cold is bothering it? I don't over water it, just give water whenever the soil is dry. The bottom of the glass contain it's in has rocks for about an inch before the soil starts - so the roots don't just sit in water. Does it need a bigger container? It's been very cloudy the past week in Cincinnati so I'm wondering if he isn't getting enough sunlight. I'd like to know what type of plant this is - and how to best care for it especially now in the start of winter!! Thank you

Hamilton County Ohio

1 Response

I would guess that your plant is a variety of a Jade (Crassula) plant which is a succulent. These type of plants have the ability to store water in their tissues and typically require as much direct sunlight as possible to thrive. It sounds like you are only watering when the soil is dry which is important so that the roots do not rot. Is the plant placed at or near a window that gets direct sunlight? If not that may be part of the problem. Without sunlight it will develop spindly growth. It is also important to give your plant a quarter turn on a regular basis to allow for an even growth pattern.

They do like a winter rest period during which they should not be subjected to temperatures above 55, and during this time they can tolerate temps down to 45.

The rocks are probably placed in the glass for drainage purposes since more than likely there is not a drainage hole in the bottom. If you choose to repot be sure to select a container with a drainage hole. The best potting soil for succulents would be a mixture of three parts soil-based potting soil to one part coarse sand or perlite. Most Jade plants under the right conditions will thrive in the same pot for 2 to 3 years.

Apply standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks only during the active growth period.

Good luck with trying to save the little guy.