Crassula ovata (Hobbit), commonly known as Hobbit Jade, is a unique and eye-catching succulent plant with tubular, curled leaves that resemble the shape of tiny fingers. The tips of the leaves turn red when exposed to full sun, and it produces charming, light pink or white star-shaped flowers. This post will serve as a comprehensive guide to help you care for, propagate, and maintain your Crassula ovata (Hobbit).
How to Care for Crassula ovata (Hobbit)
Crassula ovata (Hobbit) is versatile in terms of light requirements, but understanding its ideal conditions will ensure optimal growth. For indoor growing, place your Hobbit Jade in a location with bright, indirect light, such as near an east or west-facing window. The plant can also be grown under fluorescent lights or LED grow lights, with a distance of 12-18 inches between the light source and the plant.
Outdoor growth requires a balance between sun and shade. Morning sun and afternoon shade work well, as they provide the necessary light without causing scorching. To help your plant adjust to outdoor conditions, gradually increase sun exposure over a week or two to avoid shock.
Monitor your Hobbit Jade for signs of stress, such as leaf discoloration, drooping, or sunburn. If necessary, adjust its position to better meet its light requirements.
Watering Crassula ovata (Hobbit)
Mastering the watering technique for Crassula ovata (Hobbit) is crucial to its success. Since the plant is prone to over-watering, it’s important to follow the “soak and dry” method. To ensure a thorough soaking, water your plant until water flows from the drainage holes of the container. Empty the saucer to prevent the plant from sitting in standing water.
The frequency of watering will vary based on factors such as temperature, humidity, and light exposure. Generally, watering every two to three weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and reducing the frequency to once a month during winter months is sufficient.
Use a moisture meter or the “finger test” to gauge soil moisture before watering. Insert your finger about an inch into the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water.
The ideal soil mix for Crassula ovata (Hobbit) should provide a balance of nutrients, aeration, and drainage. To create your own mix, combine equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice. The sand improves drainage, while the perlite or pumice enhances aeration, preventing compaction and promoting healthy root development.
Alternatively, you can use a store-bought cactus or succulent mix and add extra perlite or pumice to improve drainage. Ensure the chosen pot has drainage holes to avoid waterlogged soil.
Temperature and Humidity
Crassula ovata (Hobbit) is adaptable to various temperature ranges but thrives in a moderate climate. When transitioning your plant between indoor and outdoor environments, do so gradually to avoid temperature shock. Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 40°F (4°C) for extended periods, as it may cause frost damage.
Hobbit Jade’s ideal humidity range is 30-50%. If your indoor environment has higher humidity, increase air circulation around the plant with a fan or by spacing it farther from other plants. If the humidity is too low, you can use a humidifier or place the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water, ensuring the water level remains below the pot’s base.
Crassula ovata (Hobbit) requires bright indirect light, careful watering using the “soak and dry” method, well-draining soil, and moderate temperatures. Ideal humidity is 30-50%, and adjusting its environment is key to prevent stress or damage.
How to Propagate Crassula ovata (Hobbit)
To successfully propagate Crassula ovata (Hobbit) using stem cuttings, follow these detailed steps:
- Select the right stem: Choose a healthy, disease-free stem or leaf from your plant. Look for stems with several sets of leaves, as they will have a higher chance of success.
- Sterilize your tools: Clean your cutting tool (knife or scissors) with rubbing alcohol or a mild bleach solution to prevent the spread of diseases.
- Take the cutting: Make a clean, diagonal cut on the stem or leaf, ensuring that it is at least 2-3 inches long. The diagonal cut increases the surface area for rooting and helps the cutting dry out faster.
- Allow the cutting to callus: Place the cutting in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. The callus will form over the cut end within 3-7 days, depending on the temperature and humidity.
When your cutting has formed a callus, follow these steps to plant it:
- Prepare the pot: Select a small pot with drainage holes and fill it with well-draining soil. A mix of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite works well.
- Plant the cutting: Make a small hole in the soil using a pencil or your finger. Insert the callused end of the cutting into the hole and gently firm the soil around it.
- Provide proper conditions: Place the pot in a bright, indirectly lit location, maintaining a temperature range of 60-75°F (15-24°C).
- Watering: Wait 2-3 days before watering the cutting to avoid rot. Use the “soak and dry” method to water it.
To propagate Crassula ovata (Hobbit) using stem cuttings, select a healthy stem, sterilize cutting tools, make a diagonal cut, and let it callus. Then, plant the cutting in a well-draining soil mix, provide proper light and temperature conditions, and water using the “soak and dry” method.
Fertilizing Your Crassula ovata (Hobbit)
To fertilize your Hobbit Jade, follow these best practices:
- Choose the right fertilizer: Select a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. A specialized succulent fertilizer can also be used.
- Dilute the fertilizer: Mix the fertilizer at half the recommended strength to avoid over-fertilizing, which can cause root burn or leggy growth.
- Fertilize during the growing season: Feed your Hobbit Jade every two months during spring and summer. Cease fertilization during the dormant winter months to avoid unwanted growth.
Common Pests and Diseases
Crassula ovata (Hobbit) can be susceptible to common pests like mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Keep an eye out for these pests and treat them promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Proper care, including well-draining soil and adequate airflow, can help prevent fungal diseases like root rot and powdery mildew.
Where to Buy
Buy your Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ Jade from Mountain Crest Gardens