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Jade Plant Ball Topiary

I spotted this topiary in the summer at a garden center here in Chicago that I visited for the first time. It is a simple sphere shape stuffed with moss and planted with jade plant cuttings. Crassula ovata is an evergreen succulent plant that is a very popular houseplant grown around the world. When given plenty of light the jade green leaves develop a red tint around the edge and with good care they flower small white or pink flowers. Most of the time it is grown as a tree or several stems are grown in a pot resulting in a shrub-like plant. Seeing this plant being grown in a ball topiary form was a bit of a surprise because I've only seen it grown as a tree or shrub and thought this was pretty ingenious.

This succulent like many others can be grown from a single leaf or a bunch of cuttings from a larger plant. If you've never done it before see my post Echeveria 'Black Prince' propagation where I posted pictures of new plants growing from single leaves of a succulent plant. This jade plant ball topiary will need a lot of pinching back because this plant can grow very large but this is a good way to grow some of your cuttings if you don't like wasting plants or need to keep your plant up and away from kids or pets.


  1. Anonymous6:02 PM

    That is so cool! It would be neat to have several hanging at different lengths.

  2. This one is great. I've always loved the creative way succulents are used in arrangements. I get them every once in a while, but treat them like a temporary flower arrangement because the succulents they use usually don't do well in this climate, or else they grow so fast that it distorts the arrangement. I take out the more hardy varieties and pot them up, so it's not a total waste.

  3. This is a fantastic idea! I do have and will have future cuttings from my bonsai'd Elephant Bush. I've got a bowl of cuttings rooting now and many more plants in my succulent tires waiting for them to get stronger "trunks" to bonsai. This idea would be something and would be an ongoing and never-ending process...and a great idea for gifts!!!

  4. Thank you for a good idea, MBT. I'm looking to add to my houseplant collection now that we have moved into a new place. It's full of light, white walls, and space just begging to be filled with plants.

  5. This is a great idea! I'll definitely have to do this with a few of my jade plants.

  6. How fun! I love this... I've seen topiary balls of tillandsias before, but never of succulents. I may definitely have to steal this idea. :)

  7. Hi Mr. Brown Thumb,

    Found you through the "worm hole" known as Walk2Write.

    I used to grow jade plant as a houseplant many years ago. It might be a good time to bring it back in as a ball topiary. I like that.

  8. I should get a Jade plant again. It's one of the few houseplants that can survive the 'attention' they receive in our house.

  9. Whenever small branches fall off my 34-year old Jade plant I try to root them, with varying success. Your post makes me think those little pieces could turn into a cool topiary. Thank you for the idea, Mr Brown Thumb, and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  10. Great idea! I haven't grown jade in many years, time to bring it back into the fold.

  11. Cool idea - I'll have to try this with a succulent that I don't know what to do with.

  12. Jade plant can turn into a beautiful topiary like this?... fantastic! Thanks for posting.



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