Gollum Jade

Succulents

Succulents are plants characterized by thick, fleshy stems and leaves that are used to store water. Some succulents store water in their branches and have little to no leaves, e.g., the cacti. On the other hand, some succulents keep most of their water in their leaves, such as the agave. Most succulents’ root systems are shallow and wide because most of them are natives of semiarid regions. However, these plants can also serve as a form of décor in various environments. Due to their distinct nature, sizes and shapes, they can be easily adapted into any surrounding. There are many families of succulents with a wide range of species. However, for this article, we shall look at the “Gollum Jade”. 

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An Image of Crassula Ovata “Gollum”: IG@markheartsplants

Crassula Ovata “Gollum”

This succulent is also known as the “Ogre’s ears”, “Finger plants” etc. A cultivar of the “Jade” plant, the Gollum Jade is an endemic plant to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This plant is a common household plant that can grow up to three feet long and two inches wide. It also has finger-like, tubular leaves that have circled red ends, hence the nickname. It is also known to produce white or pink star-shaped flowers during early winter and late fall.

Finally, although this plant is deemed a good luck plant, this plant was named “Gollum” after a disfigured hobbit in the movie “the Lord of the rings.” It was named so because it appears to have a disfigured look. This deviation from the typical jade plant results from a mutation caused by a bacterium called mycoplasma. This mutation makes the plant fold inside, thus causing the tabular appearance. 

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Gollum Jade Indoor adequate light: IG@greenheartbonsai_

Light

If the plant is being grown indoors, it is essential to place it in areas that receive adequate sunlight. If the plant is kept in shade or partial shade, the plant turns a green hue. On the other hand, it becomes lighter, and the red edges are more pronounced when placed under sunlight. 

If the plant is not getting enough sunlight, the process of etiolating takes place. Etiolation is when the plant starts to stretch in search of the sun. Etiolation results in stunted growth. Thus, the Gollum jade needs approximately 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. The plant cannot tolerate long periods of inadequate sunlight. If adequate light does not filter into the house, it is advisable to use grow-lights. 

If the plant is grown outdoors, areas that receive bright or partial sunlight are the best environments. The Gollum Jade can tolerate full sun, but it needs to be conditioned towards intense heat. This process is to prevent sunburn. Thus, one can start by introducing the plant to the morning sun before transitioning towards the more intense afternoon heat. 

Nevertheless, shaded protection should be available for the succulent. In cases where there are extreme fluctuations in the climatic conditions (e.g., heat waves), it is advisable to have taller plants beside this succulent or furniture. Plants that have fully grown accustomed to intense heat can still get sunburned. 

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Gollum Jade Temperature Control: IG@jessica_amin

Temperature

 Mild frost and freezing temperatures can be tolerated by this succulent, but not for long periods. Thus, these plants can only tolerate temperatures that are down to 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, intense heat can give the plants sunburn. Therefore, temperatures between 45-85 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal for the Gollum Jade. 

These plants also prefer areas with good air circulation. Thus, environments that have low to average room humidity are best for this succulent. 

Finally, to encourage the plants to bloom, there must be a distinction in the temperatures between day and nighttime. This distinction helps to mimic the plant’s natural habitat. Thus, the outdoor nighttime temperature of 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit and an indoor nighttime temperature of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit are preferred by the plants. 

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IG@nihanoorain

Water

Climatic conditions play a pivotal role in the watering of succulents. Being that the Gollum Jade is drought-resistant, it can thrive when given adequate amounts of water. However, it should not stay wet for too long. In hot conditions, the plant should be watered as much as every week. In cooler conditions, it should be dampened by the Gardener every other week. 

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IG@curated_by_rohini

Soil

This plant needs well-draining soil, as with every typical succulent. A cactus potting mix that has been combined with perlite is a good option for this succulent. The perlite boosts the drainage of the soil. 

Fertilizer

Although feeding is not necessary, it can be an added boost to the plants. The Gardener should feed the succulents during their growing months –spring and summer months- as it helps to supplement their needs while flowering. 

These fertilizers should be diluted and applied every two weeks. Towards the beginning of its dormancy period, the Gardener should not feed fertilizers to the plants. 

Potting and Repotting

 It is advisable to transplant the succulent during the warmer seasons. Before repotting, the soil has to be dry. Once it has been removed from the pot, the old earth should be shaken off by the Gardener. This process ensures that it is not repotted with dead or rotten leaves.

The plant should then be placed into a new pot that has been backfilled with soil. The plant should dry for about a week. 

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Mama Gollum Jade with her babies: IG@fandineplants

Propagation

 This plant can be propagated by leaf or stem cuttings. A leaf or cutting that is two to three inches in length should be taken from the mother plant, allowed to harden for several days. 

When a scab appears on the side the leaf was cut, the Gardener can plant the leaf with the scab-side into a potting mix. The pot needs to be placed in an area with bright sunlight. Once the plant is firmly rooted in the soil, it should be watered. 

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IG@_plantistry_

Toxicity

Finally, this plant is toxic and should not be kept in areas where pets or children can access it. Ingestion of this plant in large quantities would lead to death.

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