Jade plants (Crassula) and elephant bush (Portulacaria afra) plant can be easily mistaken due to their quite similar outlooks. Not only that, they share the same South African origin and stress patterns (when exposed to extreme sunlight). But these are two different succulent plants. Today, I will show you the differences.
Before we point out the differences, let’s talk more about the similarities. Both jade plants and elephant bushes have shiny green leaves, sometimes with reddish edges under intense light. Their young plants look alike, growing in a branching, shrubby way. Both require similar care needs, like well-draining soil and occasional watering, which makes it easy for people to mix them up, seeing them as easy-to-maintain succulents.
The Differences Between The Elephant Bush Plant Vs Jade Plants
The two plants are different, and here are some key differences between them two:
|Jade Plant (Crassula)||Elephant Bush (Portulacaria)|
|Origin||native to South Africa and Mozambique||native to South Africa|
|Leaves||oval, thick, shiny, smooth green leaves||fleshy but flatter and smaller with green hues|
|Stress reaction||red tinges around the leaves’ edges||Similar|
|Stem||thick & woody when aged||less woody|
|Growth||grow upright, tend to become tree-like||cascading growth habit (great for hanging baskets)|
|Flowers||small, star-shaped white or pink flowers||also small and star-shaped but pink to lavender in color|
|Cultural Uses||known as “Spekboom” in Afrikaans – a significant role in traditional African medicine and cuisine||well-known as “lucky plant” or “money plant” in Chinese culture|
Choose between jade plant and elephant bush?
To be honest, I think both are fine. We don’t need to be picky. However, there are several things to consider if you want to pick the most suitable for your place. Jade plants grow slower and are bushier, fitting small spaces, while elephant bushes proliferate and are tall, needing more room. Jade plants have round, dark green leaves that can turn red in bright light, while elephant bushes have small leaves on red stems. Though both like lots of light, jade plants can handle less light better.
Regarding the care for these plants, both need water when the soil is dry, but jade plants are more lenient with irregular watering. They like moderate temperatures; however, elephant bushes handle heat and dryness better. Propagation is super straightforward for both, but elephant bushes root quicker. Choose based on your home or garden’s needs.
A Few Closing Words
It’s fantastic to address this question. The post also includes an infographic that welcomes shares from my beloved readers. Let me know if you want to know anything else!
Eager to learn more about Portulacaria succulents and Crassula plants? Check out the subsequent 2 links:
Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City
Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!