Crassula Ovata— the Jade Plant Succulent

Crassula Ovata Jade Plant

Ever heard of the phrase, “money doesn’t grow on trees?” I know I have…

Well, as per old Chinese divinity beliefs, it can grow money— at least on succulents. According to Feng Shui lore, simply placing some plant at the entrance of your house, office or business is what it takes to make big bucks.

The Jade Plant

The jade plant is widely associated with luck, riches and prosperity in the Asian communities. In China, you’ll find it mainly at the entrance of shops, restaurants and offices to attract customers and good fortune. The jade plant, also known as the dollar plant, is believed to attract riches due to its small, round-like leaves that resemble jade coins symbolic of wealth and success.

So serious is the belief, that the jade plant is usually placed on top of stocks and investment certificates during the Chinese new year celebration for higher stock value in the incoming year. (Talk about a bullish method).

Crassula Ovata the Jade Plant
Crassula Ovata— the Jade Plant @farmer_chui

In most countries where these beliefs are upheld, this “good luck” plant is usually given as a gift in weddings, house warming and during a launch of a new business.

The Feng shui philosophy has it that the jade plant will attract money towards your house, office or business due to its “positive energy” emission.

Though multitudes may dismiss that as a myth, misconception or a Chinese fad, be that as it may, the jade plant is a popular household plant, not only in China, but globally. You’ll find it in Asian countries and even here in the United States.

So will a jade plant placed at the entrance of your house increase your bank balance, clear your credit cards, help you pay your mortgage quicker or grow those savings? Well, that’s quite iffy. One thing for sure, it’ll make a remarkable house plant in your living room.

Crassula Ovata

The jade plant is scientifically referred to as Crassula Ovata. Though previously known as Crassula argentea, it belongs to the genus Crassula and the Crassulaceae family. This particular succulent is loaded with hordes of common names: money plant, lucky plant, dollar plant, friendship plant, jade plant and pink joy.

Crassula ovata shares the name “money tree” with Pachira aquatica which also goes by the same nickname and both are believed to attract money according to Feng shui folklore.

Origin of the Jade Plant

Native to South African and Mozambique, this supposedly auspicious succulent has found its way around many households all over the world.

It does well both indoors and out in the open garden or landscape. The jade plant is mainly grown in temperate and tropical regions.

Characteristics of the Jade Plant

Crassula ovata jade plant
Crassula Ovata Succulent @little.greenery

Crassula ovata is a slow-growing, ever-green and thoroughly branched succulent that can last for generations under good conditions. It’s mainly recognized for its glossy, spoon-shaped, jade-green leaves that grow in opposite pairs. When grown in abundant light, the leaves become tinged with red.

Stems start off as green and fleshy but as the plant grows, they turn to brown and become woody. Mature jade plants have a miniature tree-like appearance, which makes them very aesthetically appealing as decorative houseplants.

The jade plant produces small, star-shaped, white or light pink flowers that are arranged in round clusters. The blooming takes place in winter or spring. The flowers are lightly sweet-scented and attract butterflies, bees and flies.

The following features make the jade plant unique…

  • Its miniature tree-like appearance makes it a charming indoor ornamental.
  • It’s very easy to propagate jade plants through stem and leaf cuttings.
  • Crassula ovata requires minimal care.
  • It is a disease-free succulent.
  • It can thrive when both grown indoors or outdoors.

How to Grow a Jade Plant

Crassula Ovata jade plant
Crassula Ovata @alexisandherplants

This South African succulent does not need a lot of attention. It’s an easy grow plant, pretty forgiving if denied water once in a while and loves lots of sunlight.

To end up with a healthy jade plant, observe the following…

Light Requirements

Jade plants flourish in direct sunlight as well as bright, indirect light. The recommended light dosage for the jade plant is a minimum of four hours.

Insufficient light will cause it to have droopy stems and you clearly don’t want such morphology. Place it near a window or anywhere it can busk in the sun for healthy stem and leaf formation. Or you can use these indoor grow lights we found to be very popular.

It’s also worthwhile to note that during its growing stages, avoid placing it in the afternoon hot summer sun as this will lead to leaf scorch.

Ideal Temperature & Climate

The jade plant can tolerate a wide range of humidity and temperature, and even light frost. However, they can’t stand freezing – they’ll die.

They mainly love room temperature and during winter it should not be less than 10°C. They also prefer a well ventilated area.

Watering a Crassula Ovata or Jade Plant

Crassula ovata, like many other succulents, is “easy to care and hard to kill.” Hard to kill because of one thing – overwatering. Contrary to what you think, succulents don’t need a lot of water, much more every week. These are xerophytic plants that have adapted to surviving in desert conditions by storing water in their leaves.

Therefore, when you feed them water every time, their roots fail to take up the water leading to a damp soil – a disaster for their roots. Damp soil will cause their roots to decay and death will be inevitable.

So how often should you water your Crassula ovata?

It depends on three things: the weather, soil and the water storage capacity of the plant.


Crassula ovata jade plant
Jade Plant @pottedfriends

The best way to know when to water your jade plant is by sticking your finger into the soil. Check whether it’s completely dry, in that case, it’s time to water the plant. If it’s damp, don’t water it. Wait till it dries out completely. Easy peasy.

While watering it, give it a generous pour and let the water drain in the soil.

Of course, you’ll water it very less frequently during winter since the plant is semi-dormant. Leave the soil mostly dry during this time.

If you notice foliage spotting and dwarfing in your jade plant, that’s an indication that you’re giving them less water than is recommended. However, as mentioned above, you can never go wrong with waiting for soil to dry out in-between watering.

Best Soil for Crassula Ovata

Crassula ovata flourishes on fast draining soil preferably specific to succulents and cacti. Wet soil is injurious to the plant as it makes it susceptible to pests, diseases and root rot.

It is possible to make a home-made cacti mix for planting the jade plant.

Simply mix portions of garden soil with equal amounts of pearlite or pumice to end up with well-draining soil. Here’s a great bag of soil we’ve found highly rated.

Also, jade plants can do well without a fertilizer. However, if you want to accelerate the growth process, then feed it every two months using liquid fertilizer during the growing season. (Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle of any liquid fertilizer you use, some are concentrates which need to be diluted before use. Otherwise your plants may be heading to the wrong direction before you can help save it).

Jade plant crassula ovata
Jade Plants @homebyfousna

Propagating the Jade Plant

When it comes to propagating the jade plant, nothing could be easier. This can be achieved either through stem or leaf cuttings. Propagation through leaf cuttings is the easiest but stem cuttings might be quicker and with a higher success rate. Regardless of the method you choose, you should end up with healthy little jades in several weeks.

To propagate through leaf cuttings, simply pluck a healthy leaf from the base of the stem. Allow the cutting to dry for a few days. This is to avoid it to rot after you’ve planted it. You can alternatively dip it in rooting hormone. Stick the dried cutting in a commercial cacti mix soil that is well draining. If you don’t have access to a commercial cacti mix, simply mix garden soil with equal amounts of pearlite or pumice. Do not place the propagates in direct sunlight. Water them every few days.

In about two weeks, you’ll notice roots begin to form. Increase the sunlight after the plants are established and decrease watering to three times a month once the plants are mature.

The procedure is the same for stem cuttings. Cut out a stem from a mature jade plant, give it a day or two for the wound to dry. Stick it up in a well-draining cacti mix.

Stem cuttings will take between 6 to 8 weeks for them to be fully rooted. Leaf cuttings take longer, about 8 weeks to a few months after propagation. This is because you need to leave the plant to sprout and also to grow bigger.

Repotting the Jade Plant

Crassula ovata can remain a long time in pots and become root bound. You can repot a jade plant once in every two to three years or when it outgrows its pot.

You also want to repot your jade plant to a larger pot or container to prevent it from tipping over when it becomes top-heavy.

succulent planters
Succulent Planters @bebe_federmann

Crassula Ovata Pests & Problems


The jade plant is not susceptible to many pests. The most common insect pests attacking jades are mealy bugs. They harm the plant by deforming new growth. Use cotton wool dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off and do this for several weeks until you eliminate all the pests.


These pests set up huge colonies and when not dealt with, they can get out of control and spread disease. Check the leaves for aphids and hose them off or use rubbing alcohol.

Drooping stems and a lanky morphology

These problems are as a result of insufficient light. If you notice any of these, quickly move your Crassula Ovata to a well-lit area, preferably next to a huge window.

Rotting roots

The usual suspect is overwatering. However, it can also be caused by cold conditions or a combination of both. If your plant is rotting, cut out the root before it spreads.

Shriveled stems and leaves

An indication that your Crassula ovata is clearly parched. Give it enough water and wait for the soil to dry out between watering.

Poison / Safety

Jade plants are mildly toxic to humans and poisonous to dogs and cats. (See more poisonous succulents to dogs and cats here). The toxic compound in jade plants remains unknown. When ingested, it can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.

Where to Buy Jade Plants

You can get yourself a Crassula ovata at plant nurseries or home garden centers near you. Online stores such as Etsy and Amazon can serve as great alternatives too.

Better still, you can receive it as a gift from a close friend or family member. Take a look at our article for more information on where you can buy a variety of succulents from online to your local stores, it’s helped a lot of people.

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complementary guide. 

There you have it, everything you need to know about the unique characteristics of the jade plant, or the crassula ovata for you scientific growers. Be sure to share this with a friend if they need some information on this succulent plant.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa— the Panda Plant or Pussy Ears

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant

Unique, attractive and low maintenance—that’s just the most fitting description for succulents. When you thought you had landed on the most astounding succulent, nature surprises you with even more than that. Exploring succulents never ends.

Whether you recently joined the succulents and cacti club or you’re an old hand trying to enrich your collection, the Panda plant might just be your best fit. The unique foliage makes this succulent a popular decorative ornamental in living rooms, offices and landscapes.

Quite forgiving and an easy-care succulent, the panda plant will not die if you forget to water it once in a while. Plus, the succulent does well indoors and can blend well with other succulents.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Kalanchoe Tomentosa- Panda Plant @succulustbalcony

The Panda Plant

The panda plant is a slow-growing perennial succulent with unusual foliage. The succulent has a robust, branched stem, with its base turning woody as the plant gets older. Reaching to a height of only up to 45cm (17.7 in), Kalanchoe Tomentosa’s branching stems gives it an upright, shrub-like appearance.

The panda plant is widely recognized for its furry leaves which are fleshy, oval, and grey-green in color. The leaves lack a stalk and are covered by white or silvery fine hairs (trichomes) making them have a velvety touch. (Talk about soft). 

The tips and edges of its leaves are tinged with a dark chocolate color which gives it an attractive appearance. The leaves grow in loose rosettes borne on a woody hairy stem. 

Kalanchoe Tomentosa will readily bloom in its natural habitat. The flowers are tubular and bell-shaped, usually produced at the tips of the leaves. Blooming is mainly in summer or winter with the plant producing yellow-green flowers and dark brown petal tips. However, the panda plant will rarely bloom indoors.

If you’re dying to see blooms show up on your Tomentosa, you can get it outside during spring or summer to increase its chances.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Potted Panda @pottingdaddy

Scientific Classification

The botanical name for the Panda plant is Kalanchoe tomentosa. The word tomentosa means “covered with fine hairs.” It belongs to the Crassulaceae family which includes more than a hundred species including the humble jade plant and the burro’s tail.

The genus Kalanchoe is made up of about 125 species of flowering succulents. The name Kalanchoe originates from the Chinese name “Kalan Chauhuy” which is translated to “that which falls and grows.”

Also known as the chocolate soldier, Kalanchoe tomentosa has a bunch of other names. The most popular ones include; Panda bear plant, plush plant, white lady, panda plant, donkey ears, and cat or pussy ears.


Although native to Madagascar, Kalanchoe tomentosa is widely grown as a houseplant in many parts of the world. Its original habitat is granite rocks. Typical of other succulents, it stores water in its thick, fleshy leaves as it has been adapted to xerophytic conditions.


Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Flourishing Panda Plant @succulentsbysophie

How to Take Care of Kalanchoe Tomentosa Succulents

When it comes to growing or caring for a panda plant, nothing could be easier. The plant is already adapted to surviving in desert conditions and it will thrive on neglect. However, as with any other succulent, specific environmental conditions will favor its growth.

Keep your Panda plant in the following ideal conditions for optimum growth.

What is the ideal temperature for a panda plant?

The panda plant can thrive in a wide range of temperatures. Mostly, it will do well in warm temperatures of between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius (60 to 75 Fahrenheit), though slightly lower or higher temperatures wouldn’t harm it.

You can take your panda plant outdoors during spring and summer but be sure to bring it back during freeze cold and frosty nights. Cold temperatures will quickly damage your plant and it might even die. Conversely, exposing the plant to direct sunlight for very long hours during summer may lead to sunburn.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Striking Panda Plant @nature.reflections

How much light does the Kalanchoe Tomentosa plant need?

This Kalanchoe will produce healthy and rich leaves if exposed to bright sunlight. You can throw in a few hours of shade just for the balance. If growing the panda plant indoors, set it on a sunny window in the morning and late afternoon. Avoid setting it on the hot midday sun as this will damage its tender leaves.

Be careful when growing it indoors. Poorly lit spaces may lead to succulent etiolation making your panda plant to be stretched, curved and scrawny. If necessary, get a grow light to ensure enough light on your plants.

Soil & fertilizing requirements for Kalanchoe Tomentosa succulents

Most succulents hate sitting on damp soil for extended periods of time. Kalanchoe tomentosa is no exception. It will easily rot from the roots if the soil remains wet for a long time. To prevent this tragedy, use soil that has good drainage capabilities. Nothing beats a cactus commercial potting mix. It is specially formulated to mimic the desert soil so that it can provide the proper Ph for your plant while keeping it healthy. You can get commercial cacti potting mix online for a few bucks.

Here’s some organic soil that we’ve found highly rated on Amazon.

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For you DIY geeks, you can make your own cacti mix by mixing garden soil with equal amounts of pumice or perlite. Make sure its grainy and doesn’t stick as that would be disastrous to your panda plant.

This desert succulent doesn’t necessarily need a fertilizer for it to show robust growth. Feeding it once or twice a year is enough. Only feed it during the growing season (Spring and summer). Use a diluted liquid fertilizer that’s specific to succulents. 

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Panda Plant Soaking up the Sunlight @damngreenhouse

Watering The Panda Plant— Kalanchoe Tomentosa

The panda plant has numerous adaptations to enable it to survive on little water. Its leaves are endowed with a covering of white hairs which prevents air from directly moving across the surface of the leaf. Consequently, this reduces the loss of water vapor that’s usually caused by transpiration.

The trichomes are also closely stacked together and therefore shield the leaf from harsh environmental conditions. Additionally, the white or silver color of the leaves reflects light preventing overheating.

With such adaptations in regard to water storage, the last thing this succulent would need is overwatering. Flood it thoroughly and only do so again when the soil is completely dry. Do not leave any excess water in the soil, let everything drain down or pour out the excess water.

Water the panda plant from the bottom. The wooly, velvety leaves will begin to rot if they get in contact with any water. In case this happens, quickly wipe off as much water as you can from the leaves. Remember to be gentle as the leaves can break off from the stem if a lot of force is used.

Read more about watering your panda plant: “When Should You Really Water Your Succulents”.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Miniature Panda Baby @garden.gurrl

What are common problems for panda plants?

Yellow mushy leaves

Yellow leaves on your panda plant are indicative that you’ve been overwatering this plant. Leaves will be mushy as an early rotting sign due to excess moisture. This can be averted if caught early.

Cut back on watering and let the soil dry out completely. If unsure, give the soil up to 2 days for it to dry. With Kalanchoe tomentosa, it’s better to underwater than to drown them. You can pluck out the mushy leaves to prevent the spread of the rot.

Panda plant pests

Mealybugs usually have a whale of time camouflaging in Kalanchoe tomentosa’s white leaves. They produce some white powdery substance that can easily be confused with the normal color of the leaf. Careful inspect your plant from time to time for white little bugs. You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol or neem oil to ward them off.

Poison concerns

If ingested, the panda plant is mildly toxic in all its parts to humans and pets. Keep it away from curious toddlers and small pets who may want to taste its leaves.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Outdoor Panda Plant @plantsbylauryn

How to Propagate the Panda Plant Succulent

When it comes to succulents, getting more plants is never a concern. Propagation always completes the equation. In Kalanchoe tomentosa, this is done by leaf cuttings. The best time to do it is during spring or summer when conditions favor growth.

Simply pluck a few leaves from your plants. Just pick enough as plucking many leaves will weaken the plant while just one may fail to produce roots. Allow the leaves to callous for a few days to prevent rot of the fresh wound when planted.

Get commercial cacti mix and place the calloused leaves on it. Slightly dampen the soil and water it once it is completely dry. Place the propagates in a spot where they’ll receive lots of indirect sunlight.

It might take up to five weeks for the roots to develop and new buds to appear. Once new growth has set in, move the plants in their own pots having well-draining soil. Be careful with watering as it might be tempting to overwater them at this point. You’ll never go wrong with waiting for the soil to dry out in between watering.

Get a more in-depth guide on all things propagation with our article: “How To Propagate Succulents Successfully”.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
House plant Panda @plantladycr

Repotting Panda Plants

The panda plant is a fairly slow-growing succulent that doesn’t need repotting that often. You can repot it once in every two years to a size larger than its pot.

Once it reaches 45cm (17.7in) long, it stops growing which means less repotting. Even when fully mature, Kalanchoe tomentosa doesn’t require a big pot unless a lot of branching has taken place making it top-heavy.

Where can I buy panda plants?

Oh yeah, we saw this coming. Who wouldn’t want to grab a Kalanchoe tomentosa given all its amazing features? Locally, you can buy one in plant nurseries, conservatories or garden centers near you. Hunting during spring or summer may largely increase your chances.

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If that doesn’t prove successful, try online stores such as SucculentBox, Etsy, Amazon or Mountain crest gardens.

Kalanchoe Tomentosa the panda plant
Pretty Pandas @nadinetravica

Do you understand why Panda Plants get their nicknames from now, quite neat right? Do you have a panda plant? Let us know and what you do to keep this succulenti healthy and vibrant!

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complementary guide. 


Thanks for reading our article on panda plants! Happy planting! ?

Aloe Aristata— All About The Torch Aloe Plant

Aloe aristata the torch plant

How about a succulent that produces juice used as bathing gel which results in a refreshing tonic effect? Well, that’s right! The Pondo people wash their bodies using Aloe aristata juice mixed with water because of it’s refreshing effect.

If you’ve been around the aloe genus block, you’re quite aware that their species have lots of uses and benefits. This is also true for the torch plant. In addition to being showy, evergreen and attractive, aloe aristata is also used for its wound healing prowess among other uses.

No need for over the counter healing gels and ointments when you have aloe gel to work with.

Just like the classic aloe vera, the torch aloe plant is an easy care plant that will literally thrive on neglect. Whether you want to grow it indoors or outdoors, aloe aristata is one succulent that will add spice to your existing collection.

Aloe aristata succulent plant with blue and green hues

The Aloe Aristata Plant

Although most gardeners know it by its synonym, “Aloe aristata,” the correct name of the torch plant is Aristaloe aristata. It hails from the aloe genus though its appearance leans more on the haworthia genus. Just like the China aster plant, the torch plant is the only species in the genus Aristaloe.  Its common names include Guinea-fowl aloe, lace aloe, torch plant and torch aloe.

Native to the grasslands of Lesotho and South Africa, the torch plant is a hardy succulent well adapted to living in arid areas. It’s quite rare to find these plants in the wild due to regular harvesting by the locals. This African succulent is a popular living room companion in many households and gardens all over the world.

Characteristics of the Torch Plant

Short and stemless, Aloe aristata is an attractive, slow growing succulent reaching only to a height of 12 inches. It’s an evergreen perennial growing in closely knit rosettes.

The leaves are fleshy, stubby and lance-shaped, randomly arrayed with white spots giving it a striking resemblance with its relatives in genus Haworthia. The torch plant leaves are triangular-like with a spiny tip and have a serrated margin covered with white teeth.

Still on the leaves, they are pale green when grown in shade and turn dark green when exposed to full sun. Aloe aristata stores water in its long, lanceolate leaves allowing it to cheat long periods of drought.

This plant of merit will bloom in late winter or summer producing a tall inflorescence bearing orange-red, cylindrical flowers that are nectar-rich thus attracting birds and bees. The flowers are scentless and have a short lifespan. Be that as it may, Aloe aristata will bloom every year without fail.

Its well-formed rosettes and conspicuous flowers makes it a perfect fit for containers or a complement to succulent gardens.


Aloe aristata succulent plant

How to Take Care of Aloe Aristata Succulents

This jungle succulent isn’t demanding when it comes to growing it. A brown thumb or a newbie gardener will find growing a torch plant extremely blissful. Careful though, it might collapse on you if denied ideal growing conditions.

Read on to find out how to grow healthy torch plants.

What is the ideal temperature for the torch plant?

Aloe aristata will do well in room temperature but won’t be very happy if exposed to freeze cold temperatures. If you’re living in a region that’s usually cold throughout the year, it’ll be wise to have your torch plant in a pot so that you can bring it indoors when winter strikes.

This succulent can grow in dry air and really doesn’t care about humidity levels. To encourage blooming, let it have a winter rest at a temperature not exceeding 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Light requirements for aloe aristata

The torch plant is an avid sun lover and would do well in bright sunlight for a minimum of four hours a day. You want to place it in a west or south facing window to receive adequate light if you’re growing it indoors.

When growing outdoors, plant it in a spot where it will receive enough sunlight every day. Avoid strong sun especially during summer as this might lead to stressing. Aloe aristata can do well in partial shades but be careful not to overdo it. Insufficient light will cause your plants to etiolate.

Succulent aloe aristata plant

Soil and fertilizing aloe aristata

If you want your Aloe aristata to be around for a longer period, then be careful with the type of planting soil in use. Nothing leads succulents to an early grave than damp soil. Excessive moisture is a nightmare to any succulent as it leads to root and stem rot.

The solution?

Use commercial cacti potting mix. It’s specially formulated to emulate well-draining desert soils ensuring your plants don’t sit on wet soil.

You can get commercial cacti soil online without breaking the bank. If you don’t mind some dirt on your hands, then you can make your own cacti mix right at home. Simply mix garden soil with equal parts of sand or perlite and you’re good to go!

Like most succulents, the torch plant doesn’t necessarily need fertilizer to grow into a healthy plant. To accelerate growth and blooming, feed it every two weeks with a dilute liquid fertilizer during its growing season. Avoid feeding it during winter.

Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 10 Quarts
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food, 8-Ounce (Plant Fertilizer) (2...
Hoffman 10410 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix, 10 Quarts
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food, 8-Ounce (Plant Fertilizer) (2...

Last update on 2021-10-07 / Amazon

Watering the Torch Plant— Aloe Aristata

This South African survivor has been cheating drought spells for ages. Its thick, fleshy, and lanceolate leaves store water for use in tough times. With such an adaptation, it’s quite dangerous to feed it excess water as it doesn’t need it. This will lead to the water sitting in the soil for a long time –a disaster for the torch plant roots.

Depending on the environmental climate in your area, water your Aloe aristata 2 to 4 times in a month. Allow the soil to completely dry out in between watering. Cut back on watering during winter and other cool seasons.

The recommended way to water your torch plant is from the bottom. Watering from the top will get the tight rosette wet leading to leaf rot.

Aloe aristata succulent plant in ceramic planter

How to propagate the torch plant succulent

Getting more plants from Aloe Aristata is a painless process. Propagation is by pups or offsets which grow at the base attached to the mother plant by a stolon. This is best done in summer for optimum growth of the offsets.

To encourage offsets growth in your plant, avoid placing it in dark spaces as the torch plant will readily produce offsets when showered with adequate light.

To propagate by offsets, look for mature pups at the base of the plant. This can be evidenced by small roots or already formed leaf rosettes on the pups. Gently separate them from the mother plant using a sharp knife or scissors being careful not to injure the delicate roots.

Plant the offsets in well-draining soil, preferably commercial cacti mix. Slightly moisten the soil and don’t water it for two to three weeks until the pups start showing signs of growth. Set the pups in bright light away from direct sunlight for healthy, dark-green leaves formation.

Repotting aloe aristata succulent

Move the torch plant to pots one size bigger during spring. It’s recommended to use shallow pots while repotting. Avoid extra-large pots as the aristata plant will easily produce offsets when it’s root bound.

While repotting, avoid burying leaves close to the soil as this encourages plant rot. Only use cacti potting mix to repot your torch plant.

Aloe Aristata Pests & Common Problems

Aloe aristata succulent plant


Apart from stubborn mealy bugs and scale insects, the torch plant doesn’t suffer much pest infestations. You can get rid of mealy bugs by washing them off with a jet of water or better still, using 70% isopropyl alcohol or neem oil to combat them. As for scale insects, you can physically remove them or use insecticides to control them.

Yellow and wilting leaves

If you notice the leaves of your aloe aristata turning yellow, then you are overwatering your plants. This is usually accompanied by stem rot and it’s an early grave for your plants. If you detect it early, stop watering immediately and inspect the plant while removing any rotten parts.

Wilting, on the other hand, is caused by plants not getting enough water during summer. Investigate early signs of wilting and continue watering your plant accordingly. Remember, succulents need more water during hot seasons due to increased transpiration.

Where to buy the torch plant succulent?

Aloe aristata is a popular succulent and is readily available in plant nurseries, home garden centers as well as grocery stores. If that doesn’t prove successful, then try online stores like SucculentBox, Etsy, Amazon and Mountain Crest Gardens.



If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Thanks for reading with us and happy planting!

How to Repot a Cactus Plant (Beginners Guide)

How to repot a cactus plant

Repotting is an inevitable activity in the life of a cactus let alone any other succulent.

Due to the fact that it is always growing (just as any plant), it is bound to overgrow the initial pot. And this necessitates a change for your cactus to keep glowing.

Typically between 2-4 years, your cacti require repotting, don’t you wish you had a new home this often?

Right below, you’ll learn about repotting a cactus (the right way) without killing your plant.

First off…

how to repot cactus plant

Requirements for Repotting Cacti

Repotting isn’t much different from the initial potting. Below is a recap of the requirements.

The right pot or planter

When it comes to choosing a pot for your cactus, the size and material are of utmost importance.

Usually, a pot made of clay like a terra cotta pot is preferred over a plastic one. The clay allows the roots to breath more easily which contributes to the general well-being of succulent plants.

Additionally, it boosts the drainage of the cacti potting mix hence providing just the ideal conditions for your cactus – scarce water.

On the size aspect, choose a pot that is neither too large or too small – depending on the size of the cactus you wish to pot. You want to make sure that there is just a bit of space between your cactus and the pot’s walls. A super small pot will choke up the roots ultimately killing the plant. A larger than life pot will lead to the soil mix retaining water, and you know that means for your cactus.

Also, don’t forget to ensure your pot has a few holes down there. A big enough and well flowing draining system will be crucial to your cacti’s growth.

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how to repot a cactus plant

The proper potting mix

Cacti, being succulents, require a potting mix that is well-draining to provide the water scarcity condition that they’re adapted to. So your normal soil mix is a no-no. (If you’re looking for a premium cacti soil mix, here’s one we highly recommend from Superfly Bonsai).

Instead, you can grab a commercial succulent mix prepared just for your cactus. A typical cacti/succulent potting mix contains a small amount of organic materials, sand, perlite and sphagnum peat moss.

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Alternatively, you can prepare your own ideal mix at home as long as you have the ingredients – and it’s not some endless collection of stuff from the outer space, although that’d be pretty cool. Check out the ingredients your cacti soil mix will need.

  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Pumice (perlite is also a good option here)

And the procedure is straightforward – mix the above ingredients with potting soil taking up a larger share of the combination while the other two ingredients sharing the remaining part equally.

For instance, 2 parts of potting soil can be combined with 1 part of coarse sand and 1 part of pumice/perlite.

To test if you’ve indeed ended up with the real thing, wet your mixture and try squeezing it. A good one should be coarse and crumby. If not, consider adding more of sand and pumice/perlite. The coarseness and crumbiness (is that a word?) is what allows your succulent soil to have a functional draining system.

how to repot cactus plant

Repoting a Cactus Plant

Here’s a refresher for when you first pot a cactus

In case you aren’t well informed on how to properly pot cacti in the beginning, here is a quick reminder on what you need to do. Just follow the steps below, skip to the next section if you just want to learn how you can be repotting your awesome prickly cactus.

  1. Place a well-draining material at the bottom of your pot. Gravel is fine.
  2. Fill up the pot with a well-draining mix – commercial or homemade – up to a third way of the pot.
  3. Try placing your plant in the pot. This way, you get to know if the pot’s size is ideal for it. The cactus shouldn’t be too deep into the pot nor too high up. And should leave just a bit of space between it and the pot – remember above? And, please don’t forget to watch for spikes. A pair of tongs or even cacti gloves will cover you.
  4. If all is good with the size, hold the plant centrally and fill up the remaining space with more potting mix.
  5. Firm the soil by pressing it gently. Add some more it goes down considerably but be sure to leave some watering space at the top.
  6. Give the plant its first shot of water.
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Repotting a Cactus Plant

  1. Loosen up the soil in the pot by running a blunt knife or some other gardening tool in it. Be thorough at this to avert any possibilities of damaging the plant.
  2. Remove your cactus plant being careful not to come into contact with its pricks. In case the plant is quite huge, use a rolled up towel or actual gardening gloves.
  3. Rid the roots of large soil debris and see to it that you have individual roots separated from each other.
  4. Check the roots for any pests and diseases. Treat with appropriate chemicals. Also, nip off any dead ones.
  5. Prune the very large roots. Cutting these roots will help your plant grow with much more vigor.
  6. Allow the plant to dry out for up four days. This allows the roots that might have been hurt to heal hence eliminating any risk of rot in the soil.
  7. Follow the potting procedure above to install your plant in the ideal pot. But don’t water it yet. Give it up to a week before you water it.

After that, you can go back to your normal care routine.


how to repot cactus plant

Repotting your cactus plant is mandatory to maintain the ideal pot size. And as long as you’ve taken your plants through the above treatment, you should do so without a problem.

Thanks for reading our repotting a cactus plant article, we hope you learned something new today in order to avoid getting pricked by the spiky thorns on cacti. Let us know if you have any tips that we didn’t share below!



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What Is The Purpose of Thorns on The Cactus Plant?

What is the Purpose of Thorns on a Cactus Plant?

Cacti are beautiful plants. I mean that’s why you have a few of them around, right? We’re guilty of it for sure…

But with this good look, comes the grueling task of having to deal with the thorns, or rather spines as they’re usually referred to in botanical circles. Yes, they may add to the beauty of these plants (with a variety of colors and sizes). But what if they were a bit, say, tender?

Well, if the spines existed for the sole purpose of sitting around your home just maybe that would have been possible. But we all know where they were really meant to be – out there in mostly dry environments braving the harshest of conditions.

And these spines play a huge role in this coping. They’re an adaptation that has ensured the survival of cacti out there in places where a majority of floral is non-existent.

These thorns range from the long and blatantly don’t-mess-with-us types to the small, fine and yet vicious glochids. Despite this, their functions are more or less the same.

Purpose of Thorns on Cactus Plant

Let’s get to it!

Shade by day insulation by night

A thing with desert temperatures is that they’re always swinging to the extremes – day and night.

During the day, temperatures are sky high with the shining sun. As the day wears off and the sun disappears in the opposite direction, a downward spiral in readings kicks in resulting in very cold nights.

Now, these aren’t very nice fluctuations for any living thing out there. And that’s where thorns save the day for cacti.

Their numerous number on some species adds up to form a considerable amount of cover for the plant. So, during the day, the cactus plant is safe from the scalding hot sun (and the accompanying high temperatures). During the night when temperatures are bottom low, the cactus plant is kept warm by a thin layer of air – attributable to the thorns.

Protection from predators

A known fact: there is very little vegetation in the desert. But you know what?

Still, there is a considerable number of herbivores that need food in the same desert. They need vegetation to keep going. And water, of course.

Cacti would have been great sources for both of the above. Only that they would have been extinct by now, maybe. Most of these animals wouldn’t dare touch the cacti. So, definitely they have their thorns to thank for that.

Well, it’s true that some desert animals still have a way around the spines and do manage to get a bite (pack rats, bighorn sheep, desert tortoise etc). But it’s also true that the sharp thorns have kept away lots of others from munching the cactuses out of existence. I mean seriously, would you ever want to munch on something like a cactus, talk about very painful dental visit.

Diffusing Light

Cacti are light-loving by nature. Each part has to get plenty of it for the plants to grow accordingly.

But sometimes this is not possible largely due to the style of growth of some. For instance, shrubby ones. Light is going to reach just a few stems. Well, that’s if the cactus plant was just a smooth-stemmed structure. But bless the thorns –they split up light, evenly distributing it around the whole plant.

Water traps

In fog-prevalent deserts, thorns are quite instrumental in quenching the plant. They trap enough of this fog to turn it into water droplets that later find their way down around the base of the plant.

With the shallow root system common in cacti, the water is quickly absorbed by the plant. And the cacti live on.


Air traps

As mentioned above, thorns trap air around cacti that is pivotal in the survival of the plant two major ways. Insulation is one. The other is water preservation.

The thin film of air reduces the rate of evaporation of water from the plant. As a result, very little of this water is lost to the atmosphere. In a desert setting, this is a huge deal.


Certainly not all. Especially not the large ones.

Glochids are the ones that serve this purpose perfectly in some cacti plants like Cholla.

The glochids are tiny, numerous and get easily (and firmly) attached to a passing body due to their barbed shafts. That way, segments of the plant are carried from the parent to some other place where they form new plants upon being dropped.

Wrapping Things Up

That’s how these thorns have helped cacti survive in the wild. The thorns could be pointless now, you know, with all the care these plants get as houseplants. But their prickly parts are not going away anytime soon.

Who knows, maybe they will as they spend more time in pots. But, that will definitely take a lot of years.

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.