This article was last updated by on

Is Jade a Succulent or Herb? Explained!

The Jade Plant boasts many medicinal benefits, often displayed by an incredible herb, but interestingly the plant hardly exhibits any signs of a herbaceous plant.

Generally, Jade Plant is a member of the Crassulaceae family, often identified as a perennial herb. It has medical qualities as a herb and requires less water as succulents, only to coin the term “herbaceous succulent.”

So, the Jade Plant is a catch for gardeners who love succulents and herbs equally.

Find out whether the Jade Plant is truly succulent or herb. 

Succulent vs. Herb

Aloe Vera, Jade Plant, Opuntia, Agave Americana and Plectranthus Amboinicus are popular plants with succulent and herb attributes. 

Here is how you can distinguish between succulent and herb.

NameThe word Succulent is originated from the Latin word "sucus," meaning juice or sap.The word herb is extracted Latin word herba, meaning grass or green crops.
Foliage & StemSucculent grows woody stems with thick fleshy leaves adapted to store water.Herb usually lacks woody stems and displays short, thin leaves which would die back at the end of each growing season.
SmellThe succulents are hardly aromatic but are usually grown for display.Most herbs possess fragrant leaves and flowers.
Lifespan Depending on the habitat, succulents can live from 3 to 100 years and above, such as Barrel Cactus.Herbs will only survive for a few years, until they are propagated or regrown.
Family Common succulent family includes Cactaceae, Crassulaceae, Aizoaceae, Apocynaceae, and Solanales.Common herb family includes Lamiaceae, Rosaceae, Alliaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaeae, and Malvaceae.
Usage A succulent is mostly displayed as a show plant in home and office, but Aloe Vera is grown for both decor and medicianal uses. Herbs are largely grown for culinary and medicinal uses, while some are grown as companion plants to repel pests and predators.

Is Jade a Succulent or Herb?

Many gardeners point out that Jade Plant is an herbaceous plant because of its medicinal applications

They are not entirely wrong, but herbal characteristics are not overtly based on medical properties.

Jade plant displays thick leaves that stores and circulates water
Jade plant displays thick leaves that stores and circulates water

Check out a few proven facts that display Jade in some impressions of succulents. 

    1. Fleshy Leaves: Like any typical succulent plant, Jade displays thick and fleshy leaves to store water for longer.
    2. Woody Stems: The woody stems are thicker in diameter and provide sturdy support to hold and supply water throughout the plant.
    3. Hates Moist Soil: Succulents hate sitting in moist soil, and so does Jade which requires sparse watering and slightly dry soil.
    4. Loves Loose Soil: Jade prefers loose, well-draining soil, usually consisting of sand, gravel, perlite, and pumice, that allows quick water drainage and offsets the risk of root rot.
    5. Sparse Fertilization: Succulents do not enjoy regular fertilization as they are slow growers. Moreover, Jade prefers fertilizing only once or twice a year.

Wrapping Up

Jade Plant is a combination of succulent and herbal characteristics, but it has more inclination to succulent traits.

So, it’s up to you to look at Jade Plant as a succulent or herb. 

To grow a Jade Plant, provide full sun with 65-75°F temperature, water biweekly in the growing season, and fertilize with diluted solution twice a year with repotting every 2-3 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *