Gollum Jade, also called Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum,’ is a perfect houseplant if you are looking for an easy-going, aesthetic succulent with unique features. It does not look exactly like Crassula Ovata because its leaves are a lot more elongated and very tall.
Some of its common names are Finger Jade, Green Trumpet Jade and Green Coral Jade. Learn all about its growth and care requirements from this comprehensive care guide.
- What Is Gollum Jade?
- Quick Overview
- Gollum Jade Care
- Other Helpful Information
What Is Gollum Jade?
Gollum Jade or Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ is a succulent plant that has green, tubular leaves and is one of the favorites in winter houseplants . It belongs to the Crassulaceae family of cactus. An interesting thing to note about this succulent is that it is named after the monstrous character Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.
The difference between the usual Jade plant and Gollum Jade is due to the mutation caused by a bacteria called mycoplasma.
This mutation causes the flat jade leaves to curl in and fuse to form tubular leaves in the Gollum Jade.
Gollum Jade is toxic to both humans and animals, so be careful if it is around your children or pets. The plant is commonly also known as the Finger Jade because of the finger-like shape of its leaves.
– Size and Growth
Gollum Jade is a tubular succulent with long, tube-shaped leaves. It grows well in containers and pots and can reach a height of three feet and a width of up to two feet. It grows actively during the winter months and goes dormant during the summer.
Gollum succulent remains like a shrub with red-tipped and green finger-like leaves. It is a cultivar, and even though it can grow up to three feet tall, most people grow it as Gollum Jade bonsai.
Gollum Jade plants have long, tubular leaves that curl inward and have red tips. The leaves are fleshy and tend to burn when exposed to harsh, direct sunlight. Do not mist the leaves as they are prone to rot because of too much water. If the plant is happy, it sometimes produces small, star-like pinkish flowers in the summer months.
Gollum Jade does not have very deep roots. The roots are small and shallow, which is why it does not need to be repotted too frequently. It is a hardy plant and can tolerate being root-bound for quite some time.
When the plant naturally sheds some of its leaves, some of them callus over and develop roots. Over time, they develop into bigger plants.
Here is a handy table of this plant’s requirements.
|Light||Thrives well under partial shade to full sun|
|Water||Soak the soil entirely and let it dry out completely before watering again|
|Soil||Well-draining and sandy|
|Humidity||Low to average humidity levels|
|Temperature||Temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Fertilizer||Apply diluted fertilizer in its growing season during the winter months|
Gollum Jade Care
Gollum Jade is an evergreen succulent that demands little care and attention. In this section, we’ll be talking all about its needs, from light and water requirements to fertilizer requirements and propagation.
– Light Requirements
Gollum Jade grows well in partial shade to full sun. Ensure that your plant gets enough sunlight to avoid problems like stretching, which happens when the plant becomes tall and stretches out. Provide it with direct sunlight before it begins to get leggy.
This plant can survive and tolerate partial shade also, but it would not show as fast a growth as it shows in full sunlight. Keep it in partial shade during the afternoons. Morning and evening sunlight works the best for its overall growth.
If you are growing your plant indoors, its leaves will be a darker shade of green and would not have the red tinge on the leaf tips. On the other hand, in full sunlight, the red tinge at the tips will creep down to the rest of the leaf. For bright and vibrant colors, provide a good amount of direct sunlight to your plant.
– Water Requirements
Like most succulents, Gollum Jade is sensitive to overwatering, so keep the watering frequency on the lower side. Underwatering is actually better for this plant. The more you ignore it, the more it will thrive.
Use the soak and dry method to water your plant. Soak the soil entirely and then let it dry out completely before watering again. Water the plant only when the soil has completely dried up.
It is important to always follow the right method of watering. For indoor succulents, ensure that the water does not stay on top of the leaves. If the water stays on the leaves for too long, the leaves will rot. If you are prone to overwatering your plants, check the leaves before watering and wait until the leaves start to feel a little soft, limp and wrinkled.
If your Gollum Jade is kept outdoors, you do not have to worry too much about overwatering as there is better airflow around the plant. How often you should water your succulent depends on where it is kept, the temperature around it and the humidity level.
If it is kept indoors, water it every 15 to 20 days when the soil mix has dried up. Adjust this frequency according to other prevailing factors in your area. Do not water before the soil has dried up completely.
– Soil Mix Requirements
Make sure to provide a well-draining and sandy soil mix for your Gollum Jade. Ensure that the pot or container you use for your plant has sufficient drainage holes at the bottom. Use a porous and well-draining soil mixture.
You can use commercially available soil mixes for cactus and succulents or prepare your own by mixing potting soil and sand in the ratio 2:1. You can also mix potting soil, sand and perlite in the ratio 1:1:1.
We do not recommend using the regular potting soils because they are heavy and succulents tend to grow well in loose soils. Heavy clayey soils suffocate the roots and make them unable to breathe. These soils also make the plant prone to problems related to overwatering.
– Temperature Requirements
Gollum Jade is a succulent that grows well in cooler environments. It can tolerate a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is large enough, it can easily tolerate freezing temperatures. If the temperature drops to below freezing, make sure to cover the plant with a frost cloth or bring it inside.
Gollum Jade goes dormant in the summer months and grows rapidly from winter to spring. In hot temperatures, its growth slows down and it becomes almost dormant. It is not a heat-tolerant plant and will burn if kept in the intense afternoon sun. Temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit work well for this plant’s growth.
– Humidity Requirements
You do not have to worry about maintaining high humidity levels for growing your Gollum Jade. Low to average humidity levels work well for its growth. Avoid misting the plant as it is highly prone to rot due to high moisture levels.
Average humidity levels inside homes are good enough for this succulent. If you live in a tropical area and your plant is kept outdoors, move it to a dry spot indoors, especially during the rainy season.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Even though fertilizer is not absolutely required to grow Gollum Jade, using a diluted fertilizer in its growing season during the winter months helps in faster growth. Regular feeding can help the plant absorb the nutrients easily and help them grow properly.
Larger plants will benefit more from regular feeding as compared to smaller ones. Small succulents are too small to feed. In fact, too much fertilizer can cause more damage to your plant as it may cause the development of mold on the soil, which, in turn, can cause root burn.
Most succulents including the Gollum Jade are slow growers. You might need to repot them every three to four years when the old soil mix is decomposed and not good enough to sustain the plant’s growth. In that case, change the potting mix and prepare a new soil mix using potting soil, sand and perlite.
The soil mix should be airy and well-drained so that the roots have enough space to breathe and the plant does not face any issues of overwatering.
Gollum Jade does not require pruning on a regular basis as it is a self-pruning plant. As the plant grows and becomes taller, some of the lower leaves will fall off. If you want to prune the plant, prune it during the months of spring.
Propagate Gollum Jade by leaves or cuttings. Leaf propagation works better in smaller plants, and propagate this plant using cuttings if it is large enough.
Leaf propagation takes longer for the plant to attain a larger size, and it can be slightly challenging to grow the plant from leaf propagation because it is essential to make a clean cut.
– Leaf Propagation
While propagating this plant from leaves, gently twist a leaf from the stem. Make sure to get a clean pull which means that no part of the leaf should be left on the stem. Let the leaf form a callus over two to three days. You can then place it in the soil or in any dry, shaded spot.
– Stem Cuttings
When taking stem cuttings, make sure to make a clean cut using a sharp, sterilized pair of scissors or shears. Let the cutting dry out and heal for a few days before planting it in the soil mix. After placing the cutting in soil, wait for a day or two before watering it using the soak and dry method.
– Self Propagation
Gollum Jade also propagates on its own when it sheds its leaves. The leaves callus over and form baby plants in the soil after some time. You can move these baby plants either to a new pot with fresh soil mix or let them grow in the same spot.
Gollum Jade is usually a fuss-free succulent, but it can face some problems that are also experienced by other succulents. Continue reading to find out some of its problems and their solutions.
– Yellowing or Blackening of Leaves
If the plant’s leaves start to appear yellow or black, it is a sign of overwatering. This is the most common problem faced by this succulent. Overwatering causes the leaves to turn yellow, soft and mushy and eventually kills the plant.
Let the soil dry out completely before watering again, and check that your succulent is planted in well-draining soil.
– Wrinkled Leaves
If you notice that the leaves of your Gollum Jade are getting less plump and becoming wrinkled, it is probably because the plant is not getting enough water. Underwatering is a less common problem as compared to overwatering, but it can happen if you completely forget to take care of your plant.
The leaves will start to droop and due to drought stress, they become thin and wrinkled. Wrinkled leaves overtime become crisp and fall off. Maintain a regular watering schedule and check your soil properly before watering. If the soil has dried up completely, water the plant.
– Leaves Falling Off
If you notice your Gollum Jade shedding its leaves, it is most probably because of poor lighting. If you have placed your plant in a very dark spot that receives little light, the plant will begin to shed its leaves.
In this case, move the plant to a brighter spot either in partial shade or a spot that receives at least four hours of direct sunlight.
– Black Mold on Leaves
The formation of black mold on the plant’s leaves is a symptom of too much humidity. Wipe off the mold with soapy water and place your plant in a dry spot that receives more light and less humidity.
– White or Gray Mold on the Soil
White or gray mold develops on the top layer of the soil because of overwatering or over-fertilization. Manually remove the mold and adjust your watering and fertilizing schedule according to the plant’s needs.
Generally, Gollum Jade is not susceptible to pest attacks, but mealybugs can be a problem. They form white, cottony patches at the leaf joints and feed on the plant sap. These bugs secrete a sticky substance called honeydew.
Some insecticidal soap and chemical solutions can be a bit too harsh for the leaves of Jade plants, but you can wipe them off with cotton balls or rub alcohol on the affected leaves.
Other Helpful Information
Read the following frequently asked questions about Gollum Jade plants.
– Why Is It Called Gollum Jade?
The plant Gollum Jade is named after J.R.R. Tolkien’s character Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” series.
It is quite similar to the Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit.’
– How Much Sun Does a Gollum Jade Need?
Gollum Jade grows quite well in at least four to five hours of morning and evening sunlight. Too much sun or harsh sunlight during noon can cause sunburn to the plant leaves, but remember that direct sunlight helps in giving the leaves their distinctive red tinge on the tips.
– What Is the Best Time to Plant Gollum Jade?
Early spring is the ideal time to plant Gollum Jade as springtime gives the plant sufficient time to adjust to its new environment and absorb direct sunlight. Avoid planting it during summer as the plant may go into stress in hot temperatures.
– How Do You Care For a Gollum Jade Plant?
Gollum Jade is a succulent and grows well in aroid soil mixes. Water the plant only when the soil mix has dried out completely. Avoid overwatering at all costs, and fertilize the plant in spring for faster growth results. This plant thrives on neglect, so do not fuss too much over its growth requirements.
Usually, watering every two to three weeks works well for this plant’s growth. Provide four to five hours of direct sunlight and low to average humidity levels. Use a cactus or aroid soil mix to grow these beauties.
Gollum Jade is the perfect plant to put in tray arrangements as it works as a great filler. It is a forgiving plant and thrives on neglect. Let us sum up everything we have learned about it so far.
- Gollum Jade, or the Finger Jade, is a succulent variety loved for its tubed leaves with red tips.
- It can grow up to three feet tall and up to two feet wide with proper care.
- It is a full sun to partial shade succulent, so make sure to provide it with at least four hours of bright, direct sunlight during the day.
- Water your succulents only when the soil mix has dried up completely as it is susceptible to root rot due to overwatering.
- Use a porous, well-draining soil mix to avoid problems related to overwatering.
- This plant can tolerate temperatures that go as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it goes dormant in very high temperatures.
- It prefers low to average humidity levels to grow well. Do not mist this plant.
- It does not have very high fertilizer requirements. Fertilize this plant in spring for faster growth results.
- Repot the plant in spring every three to four years when the soil mix has decomposed.
- Propagate this succulent using either leaf or stem cuttings, depending on its size.
- Sometimes, this plant can face problems like yellowing or browning of leaves, loss of leaves and mealybugs. These problems can be treated if detected early.
Add Gollum Jade to your indoor plant collection if you are looking for an easy-to-care-for succulent.
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