Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ is a cultivar of the Crassula ovata ‘Jade’ plant. If you’re familiar with JRR Tolkien’s work, then the name, Gollum will ring a bell. Gollum is an infamous character in Tolkien’s popular books. The character, Gollum, is a disfigured hobbit brought on by a series of unfortunate twist of events. This plant, Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ also appears as a disfigured or misshapen relative of the Crassula ovata ‘Jade’ plant, hence the amusing name. This plant is also known by other common names such as Ogre’s ears, Shrek’s ears, and Finger plants.
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ has elongated, tubular leaves with a puckered end that appears like suction cups. The tips have a reddish tinge and the long leaves are green. The flowers are star shaped and white or pink in color.
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ plant is very similar to the Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ plant, both names taken from JRR Tolkien’s writings. These two plants are very similar that they are often used interchangeably.
Is the Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ an Indoor or Outdoor Plant?
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ can be grown both indoors and out. The most important thing for these plants is to provide them with a well draining potting mix and adequate sunlight. They also need to be protected from frost and too much water. Read on to find out more about growing requirements.
Indoor Lighting Requirements
Place in a bright location indoors, anywhere where there is plenty of light. Try an east facing window. A south and west facing window may also work. This plant takes on a deeper green hue when kept in the shade or partial shade. It becomes lighter in color and the red tips are more pronounced with more sun exposure.
If the plant starts to suffer from lack of light, move to a brighter location. You would know by how the plant is growing. If it starts stretching out and become leggy, that means the plant is not getting enough light. This process is called etiolation. The plant is literally seeking more light. This produces weak and stunted growth. To keep them really happy, they need approximately 4-6 hours of bright light per day.
Crassula ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ will not tolerate poor lighting for prolonged periods of time. If your indoor space does not receive adequate lighting no matter where you move the plant, consider using a grow light. Grow lights can help supplement your plants’ lighting requirements especially during those long, dark winters. To check the prices on some of my grow light recommendations, click here.
To read more about this topic on indoor lighting for succulents, check out my post on “Proper Lighting for Succulents Indoors” to get some helpful tips.
Outdoor Sunlight Requirements
Light Shade to Full Sun. Crassula ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ plant does best in areas that receive plenty of bright, partial sunlight. It can also tolerate full sun but needs to be acclimated to full sun in the beginning to prevent sunburn. The plant takes on a lime-green color with more sun exposure. When kept in the shade, it stays a deeper green. The red tips are also more pronounced with more sun exposure.
Before moving the plant outdoors or increasing the amount of sunlight it receives, it is better to acclimate the plant by gradually increasing the amount of sunlight it receives until it is fully acclimated to the more intense sun. Morning sun is generally better tolerated by succulents than the more intense afternoon sun. You can start with exposing your plant to direct morning sun and gradually transition to the more intense afternoon heat.
Use taller plants or furniture as protection or shade. You can also use sunshades to protect your plants from the scorching heat in the summer months or during a heatwave, when even a plant that is accustomed to full sun can get burned. Here are some of my recommendations for sunshades and sun protection.
For further details and information on outdoor sunlight requirements, please visit my post “How Much Sunlight Do Succulents Need Outdoors?” to get some useful tidbits.
USDA Hardiness Zones: Zone 9-10 or 20-40 °F (-6.7 to 4.4 °C)
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum jade’ can tolerate mild frost and slightly freezing temperatures as long as they are not for long periods of time. If you live in USDA hardiness zones 9-10, you can get away with leaving the plant outdoors all year long.
For those people in areas with extreme winter conditions, the best way to grow these plants is in containers. That way you can bring them indoors during winter or when there is forecast of frost or snow. In case you can’t bring your plants in, there are ways to protect them from frost and freezing temperatures outdoors. You can use frost cloths or mini greenhouses to help them survive the cold winter. Here are some of my recommendations for frost protection.
For further tips on this topic, check out my post on “Optimal Temperatures For Succulents to Survive and Thrive”.
Like any other succulent plant, Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum’ needs a well draining soil. The right type of soil goes hand in hand with proper watering. I have been using a simple and easy mixture that has worked well for my plants. I use cactus potting mix and combine it with perlite for added drainage. I do not use exact measurements but eyeball it to about 2:1 solution of cactus mix and perlite.
You can also make a sandy soil, which adds more drainage to the mix. This can be achieved by mixing cactus mix or potting soil with coarse sand (about 2:1 ratio). Or you can use a combination of the three materials mentioned: Cactus mix, perlite, coarse sand (1:1:1).
Click on my resource page here to check for prices on my soil and soil amendment recommendations. To read more about soil for succulents, click on “Best Soil and Fertilizer for Succulents” to get more useful information.
Watering largely depends on the climate you live in. Although succulent plants are highly adapted to dry weather conditions, they thrive when given sufficient amounts of water, as long as they don’t stay wet for too long. There really isn’t a set schedule or formula on when to water succulents. My watering schedule is dictated by the very dry climate I live in. For reference, here’s how I water my plants.
In the summer months, I water my Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ as often as every 7-10 days. When the weather cools down during spring and fall seasons, I cut back on watering to every 10-14 days . During the winter season, it rains a lot in my area so I hold back on watering altogether and solely rely on rainwater. But if we don’t get any rain at all during winter then I water at least once a month or every 2-3 weeks, depending on how dry the soil gets.
For those people in humid locations, you won’t need to water as much. And if you keep your plants indoors, you may not have to water as much, especially if they are not receiving a lot of light. Too much water and not enough light is a recipe for disaster for these plants.
One good way to tell whether it’s time to water is to check the moisture of the soil. The top inch of the soil needs to feel dry before you can water again. If you are unsure how much and how often to water in the beginning, it’s always better to underwater and increase watering as needed. Pay attention to how your plant looks and you can adjust watering accordingly.
For further help with gauging your plants’ watering needs, consider using tools like hygrometers or moisture meters to check for moisture in the soil and air. These tools are pretty affordable and can come in handy especially if you are unsure of when to water your plant next. I have narrowed down the choices here on my resource page.
Interested in finding out more about watering succulents? Visit my post “How And When To Water Succulents” where I go into more detail about this topic.
Propagating Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ Plant
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ plant can be propagated from stem and leaf cuttings. The easiest way is through stem cuttings. When using leaves, it’s better to start with a few leaves because not all of them will make it till the end.
How To Propagate Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ from Stem Cuttings:
- Obtain a stem cutting and let it dry for a day or so. Let the cut ends dry and callous or seal. It is a good idea to obtain cuttings from healthy looking plants with plump leaves, not dehydrated or stressed plants.
- (Optional) Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. I usually skip this step but some people prefer using rooting hormones to speed up the process and also guarantee success.
- Once the cut has healed and dried, stick the cuttings in a well draining potting mix.
- Keep away from direct sunlight. Water or mist the soil every few days or when it feels dry.
- After about two weeks or so, you will notice new roots growing.
- After about four to six weeks, sometimes more, the cuttings should be fully rooted and you will soon notice new growth developing from the top or sides of the stem.
- Once fully rooted, cut back on the misting and switch to regular watering about once a week or less. Increase the amount of sunlight as the plant matures.
How To Propagate Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ From Leaves:
- Gently pull a leaf out, make sure you get the entire leaf including the base. Give the leaf a little twist and it should come off. Try to find a nice plump leaf that looks healthy. It also helps to have more than one leaf just because not all of them will make it all the way to the end.
- Optional: Dip the cut ends in rooting hormone. Rooting hormone can help speed the propagation process up, especially when growing from leaves.
- Wait for the leaves to dry for about a day or two. Keep in a dry location away from direct sunlight.
- Prepare a well draining potting mix. Once dry, lay the leaves flat on the soil or stick the cut ends in soil.
- The leaves should start shooting out roots in about 2 weeks or so. In a few more weeks you will notice a new baby plant emerging. The whole process can take anywhere from a few weeks to months.
- As I mentioned above, it takes longer to propagate from leaves as opposed to an entire stem. Success rate is also higher with stem cuttings so do keep these in mind when propagating. If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to propagate these plants and have them growing everywhere in no time.
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ Blooms
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ plant produces star-shaped flowers that are white or light pink in color. While it’s always a treat to see your succulents bloom, keep in mind that not all plants are ready to flower, and some may not bloom at all. A lot of it depends on environmental factors beyond our control.
Here are some tips on how to encourage Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ to bloom:
Make sure the plant is mature enough. When a plant blooms it means it is ready to reproduce. If the plant is too young, it is simply not ready to reproduce and therefore will not bloom. Give the plant some time. Usually if the plant is over 3 years old and beyond, it is mature enough to bloom.
Plenty of Light
Make sure the plants are receiving adequate sunlight throughout the year and are kept in a bright location, even during the colder winter months.
To encourage flowering, provide proper temperatures. They need a distinct difference in night and day temperatures as well as summer and winter months. Succulents favor cooler outdoor nighttime temperatures of at least 50-55⁰F (10-13⁰C) or indoor night temperatures of at least 60-65⁰F(15-18⁰C). Especially when kept in a controlled environment, succulents prefer a marked difference between their night and day temperatures to mimic their natural habitat, with the cool night temperatures having an integral part in the plant’s growth cycle.
Overwintering is also important if you want to see your succulents bloom. This can be achieved by keeping them cool and relatively dry in the winter months, especially desert cacti. Keep them cool during winter months with temperatures just above freezing, between 35-44⁰F (1.5-7⁰C). If kept indoors during winter, have them in a non-heated room if possible or keep the temperatures low to provide them the cold winter period that they need.
Feed or Fertilize
While fertilizing is not necessary, giving your plants the nutrients they need will help ensure proper growth and encourage blooms. It takes a lot of energy for plants to produce flowers, and feeding them extra nutrients will help supplement their needs during flowering season. The most common recommendation is to fertilize during the active growing season, or during spring and summer months.
Fertilizers are better applied at a quarter or half strength, about every two weeks. Refrain from fertilizing towards the end of the fall season and during the winter months. A balanced blend of fertilizer diluted to half strength is suitable and commonly used. Fertilizer blends specially formulated for cacti and succulents are also suitable. Here are some of my fertilizer recommendations for succulents.
Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ is a great plant to have because it is an easy and low maintenance plant. It also adds a unique shape and texture to your container or landscape garden. Plus, the name alone will bring a smile to your face.
Wondering where to find a Crassula Ovata ‘Gollum Jade’ plant? Check out my resource page for recommendations on where to purchase one of these and other succulent plants online.
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