Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s sunset’
No synonyms are recorded for this species name.
Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ is anursery cultivar and, thus, doesn’t exist in nature. Its parent species, Crassula ovata, is native to South Africa, where it grows in open forests, among shrubs on rocky slopes, hills, and fields.
Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ or Golden Jade Tree is a succulent that has glossy leaves and grows into a stout shrub. When grown under full sun, especially during winter, the plant takes on stunning colors with green, golden yellow, and red margins. This beautiful plant forms a wide, multi-branched shrub or a small bonsai-like tree that is smaller, denser, and more compact than the species. It grows slowly, reaching a height of 60-120 cm, with leaves about the same size as the common jade plant, Crassula ovata. The leaves are rounded, fleshy, and have a golden yellow color with ochre or copper-red edges, especially during cooler months. The plant produces starry, white flowers with a hint of lavender in a terminal cluster during the late autumn blooming season.
Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s sunset’ is a plant that you can easily find at garden centers. It’s a great succulent to have in your garden as it can grow into a small shrub or you can keep it in a pot indoors. It’s not hard to take care of and it grows relatively quickly. To keep it happy, make sure it gets lots of bright light and good airflow.
For soil, sandy-gritty soil is best and you need to be careful not to overwater it because it’s prone to root rot. Repotting should be done every three to four years in the spring, but only take off about 10% of the root ball. During the growing season, fertilize every four to five weeks with a fertilizer that’s made for cactus and succulents. Don’t feed it in the winter.
Water regularly in the growing season, but let the soil dry out between waterings and be careful not to water-log it. In the winter, be cautious with watering because the plant can lose its roots if the soil stays too wet and cold for too long. If it’s in a container, bottom watering is recommended. Mist spraying is not needed, it prefers a very dry atmosphere.
For sun exposure, it does well in filtered sun, but it can handle some shade too. If you keep it in the shade, the leaves will stay more green, but in full sun, the foliage can develop a pinkish tinge. In the summer, keep it cool and provide some shelter from direct sun during the hottest hours. It can get sunburned if moved too quickly from shade or greenhouse into full sun. It will get leggy in deep shade.
It’s important to protect the plant from frost to prevent scarring. It can tolerate short periods of temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius if the soil is dry. In areas prone to frost, keep it in a greenhouse or conservatory in pots. You can keep the plant indoors throughout the year at a minimum winter temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, not exceeding 18 degrees Celsius. In the summer, the temperature can rise higher, but as long as it’s near a sunny window, it will be fine.
Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s sunset’ is a great plant to have in hot and dry areas as it can rock it in the garden or grow well in containers on sunny patios or by a swimming pool. In traditional uses, the roots were eaten by the Hottentots and the leaves were used medicinally for different purposes. It’s also traditionally grown in square porcelain tubs with ‘lion feet’ to bring good financial luck and has attracted common names like the Money Tree, Penny Plant, Dollar Plant, and Tree of Happiness.
For bonsai culture, you can prune it at any time of the year and cut off any crossing branches. You won’t need to wire it often. Be aware that it may be susceptible to mealybugs and rarely scale, so protect it from the cold.
Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s sunset’ can be propagated by seed, but it is much easier to propagate by taking cuttings or planting leaves. This plant family has a tendency to propagate vegetatively in this way. The best time to take cuttings is in spring or summer. To take a leaf cutting, gently pull or bend a leaf from an established plant and leave it to dry for a day. Then, insert the broken end of the leaf into a mixture of slightly moist peat and sharp sand in a ratio of 1:2. Firmly press the mixture around the base of the cutting. The cutting will then begin to grow roots and can be repotted once established.
The word “crassula” is derived from the Latin adjective “crassus,” which means thick, stout, or fat. This name is a reference to the fleshy leaves of plants in the Crassula genus, which are often thick and succulent. The word “ovata” comes from the Latin word “ovatus,” which means “egg-shaped” or “oval.” This refers to the shape of the leaves of the plant, which are typically round or oval-shaped.The Crassula ovata ‘Hummel’s Sunset’ is commonly known as the Golden Jade Tree or Hummel’s Sunset Jade because of its spectacular colors that can be seen in full sun, especially during winter. Its leaves turn green with golden yellow and red margins.
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