This tiny plant needs help ! The previous tenant left it in the apartment. With a little search, I guess it's a crassula ovata. I live in France, what are the best recommendations do you have ? Is it too late or is there hope ?

What I will do for now :

  • I'll keep it inside, under luminosity
  • I'll water it once a month until the winter ends

I don't have green fingers but I have to give it a try !

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3 Answers 3


This is not hopeless.

You've lost a lot of leaves at some point. The stem will not fill back in with new leaves. It may get a new sprout or two, but it will always look sparse and droopy like it does now no matter how well you care for it.

I think I would focus on starting new little plants. You can do this by taking a few of the mature leaves and laying them on the soil. After awhile, each leaf should sprout roots and a new little plant. I'm attaching a photo of a plant of mine that is in a similar state. You can see the leaves that fell off, which I laid on the soil. You can see the little plants that are now sprouting from the bases of the fallen leaves. These little plants are about 2 months old now. My plant

You don't have a ton of leaves to work with, so I'd take a limited number - maybe the 3 oldest leaves - and place them in the soil.

I'll also mention that with the pot setup you have, it looks possible that the plant will be stuck in standing water for awhile as the layered pots drain. When you're watering only once a month, it is probably OK, but you might consider repotting the plant in the outer pot alone. If you do this, I would use a quick draining succulent/cactus soil.


Jade plant is extremely easy to propagate and revive. Leaf propagation was suggested, however it will also take a while for the cuttings to have the appearance of a mature jade plant. Instead, I would focus on stem propagation.

Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut where indicated above. The exact positions don't matter, but make sure to leave a few nodes between each stem cutting. Leave the cuttings on a window sill for 2-3 days to callous, then you can plant the leafy stem cutting in some cactus soil. The stem cuttings can be arranged lying on the soil around the leafy stem cutting (don't bury). The leafy stem cutting should root and produce new offshoots. The other stem cuttings should eventually also produce small roots and buds and will develop into mature plants in a few years. As for the remaining stump, you can either just keep as is and it will eventually create buds and new shoots, or you can cut off the roots and treat it as another stem cutting.


At the risk of over-answering the question, here's some points that I didn't see in the other answers.

The small wire-like bits near the middle of the "trunk" right now are themselves buds of roots. They start as white/translucent and then dry out as dark brittle wires. That can be a good point to quickly start rooting in water or soil.

Since it's a jade (though many succulents have similar propagation behavior) there are a number of articles discussing propagation. One example is this article (particularly about the problem of root rot) that discusses propagation and re-potting. It discusses two important things in particular:

  • potting in well-draining soil, allowing the roots to establish without rotting; and
  • allowing the cuttings to dry out and heal over before re-planting (a matter of a few hours or days). That is: cut, allow to briefly dry, replant. It's a succulent, so the leaves are not going to themselves "dry out" noticeably, but the end will seem to "scab over". This will help prevent the cut-ends from rotting before they establish roots and other new growth.

This can be done with many plants with rooting habit, including things like Schefflera, Portulaca, Crassula.

  • 1
    Since they are relatively easy to propagate (compared to other plants) Jades (and other succulents) are a great "gateway" plant to developing a "green thumb" -- be warned: you can propagate dozens (hundreds??) of these plants within a few months if you want :)
    – hoc_age
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 13:21
  • I think: avoid propagating in water. Succulents don't like to be propagated in water usually.
    – jeremy
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 15:40

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