Crassula Ovata hobbit

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’, often referred to as Hobbit Jade or simply ‘Hobbit’, is a unique, shrubby succulent native to South Africa. This cultivar of Crassula Ovata, better known as Jade Plant, features unusual, tubular leaves that curl back onto themselves and form a hollow, round tip, giving it an almost fantasy-like appearance. The plant can reach a maximum height of approximately 3 feet.

Crassula Ovata Hobbit
AttributeCrassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’
Common NameHobbit Jade
Botanical NameCrassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature SizeUp to 3 feet
Sun ExposureFull Sun to Partial Shade
Soil TypeWell-drained soil
Soil pH6.1 to 6.5 (slightly acidic)
Bloom TimeWinter
Flower ColorWhite or Pink
Hardiness Zones10 to 11
Native AreaSouth Africa

Morphology and Anatomy:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is characterized by its unique leaf structure. Unlike the flat leaves of the typical Jade Plant, the ‘Hobbit’ variety’s leaves are tubular and curled back onto themselves. This forms a round, hollow tip resembling a suction cup or, as its name suggests, a hobbit’s pipe. The plant produces small, star-shaped flowers, usually white or pink, during winter.

Growth and Development:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is a slow-growing plant with optimal growth in warm, dry conditions. It favors a location with full sun to partial shade. While it can tolerate some drought, it prefers well-draining soil to avoid waterlogged roots. It doesn’t require much fertilizer; feeding it with a diluted succulent fertilizer during the growing season (spring to fall) should be adequate. Overwatering should be avoided as this can cause root rot and other fungal diseases. Regular pruning can help maintain its shrubby, compact appearance.

Taxonomy and Classification:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ belongs to the following taxonomic groups:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •  Division: Tracheophyta (Vascular plants)
  •  Class: Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
  •  Order: Saxifragales
  •  Family: Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)
  •  Genus: Crassula
  •  Species: Ovata
  •  Cultivar: ‘Hobbit’

Other species in the Crassula Ovata genus include ‘Gollum,’ ‘Minima,’ ‘Sunset,’ and ‘Crosby’s Compact.’

Reproduction/ reppotting:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ can reproduce sexually, through the flowering and seed process, and asexually, through stem and leaf cuttings. Stem cuttings are the most common method of propagation. The cuttings or leaves should be allowed to be callous over for a few days before being planted in well-draining soil.

When it comes to repotting this delightful plant, it’s essential to choose the right materials to ensure its continued health and vitality. Sandy soil is ideal for Crassula Ovata Hobbit as its roots are not fond of excessive moisture. Good drainage is crucial, and a well-balanced mix is recommended for repotting. A blend of 60 percent cinder, 20 percent sand, 10 percent compost, and 10 percent cocopeat provides an excellent foundation for the plant to thrive, promoting healthy root development and preventing overwatering. With proper care and the right soil mix, your Crassula Ovata Hobbit will continue to bring you luck and joy for years to come.

Habitat and Potting requirements:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is native to South Africa and grows in rocky and sandy areas. However, it has been widely cultivated and is now found in various habitats worldwide, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions, where it thrives under full sun and in well-drained soil.

Crassula Ovata Hobbit, a popular succulent variety, requires special considerations when it comes to its potting requirements. It’s crucial to start with a pot that is not overly large for the size of the plant, as a smaller pot provides a snug environment for the roots to establish themselves initially. Additionally, the pot should have multiple drainage holes, as depicted in the figure, to ensure excess water can escape and prevent the risk of root rot caused by waterlogging. To further protect the plant from potential root diseases, it is highly recommended to mix in a fungicide with the soil during repotting. This proactive measure will safeguard the plant’s root system and overall health.

Adaptations and watering:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ has several adaptations that allow it to survive in dry environments. These include its succulent leaves that store water and its ability to carry out Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), a form of photosynthesis that reduces water loss.

During the winter months, it’s essential to water the plant less frequently, as it enters a period of dormancy and requires reduced moisture. On the other hand, if the plant is placed in a location with ample sunlight, it will need more frequent watering to compensate for the increased evaporation. To encourage optimal growth, a smaller container is recommended, as it helps control the plant’s size and prevents overwatering.

Threats and Conservation:

While Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is not specifically threatened, habitat loss, pest species, and climate change can impact its natural habitats. As a popular ornamental plant, propagation and cultivation can aid conservation.

Plant Nutrition and Soil Requirements:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ requires well-draining soil to prevent root rot. It favors a slightly acidic to neutral pH. It requires minimal fertilization; a dilute solution of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer can be applied in the growing season.

About Soil Requirements

Furthermore, placing a tray or saucer under the pot will catch any surplus water, preventing it from pooling and potentially causing harm to the plant. By adhering to these potting guidelines, you can foster a thriving and healthy Crassula Ovata Hobbit, allowing it to adorn your living space with its unique beauty and charm.

Notable Plant Features/Types:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is notable for its unique, tubular leaves that curl back onto themselves, resembling the pipe of a hobbit, as per its namesake. Its thick, succulent leaves store water, allowing the plant to survive drought. There are no known color variations of the ‘Hobbit’ cultivar.

One fascinating feature of this plant is that its leaves can act as a natural indicator of its water requirements. When the leaves appear to be hard and stiff to the touch, it is a clear indication that the plant is content with its current water supply and does not need additional watering. This adaptive mechanism allows the Jade Plant to withstand dry conditions and periods of water scarcity, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance indoor or outdoor gardens.

Importance and Uses:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ plays an important role in ecosystems, contributing to a region’s biodiversity and aesthetic value. As a succulent, it helps conserve water in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. As an ornamental plant, it adds beauty and interest to gardens and indoor spaces.

Fun Facts or Curiosities:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ gets its name from curved leaves resembling a ‘hobbit’ pipe, a character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Interestingly, this plant is not edible and should not be consumed by humans or pets.

The Jade Plant is particularly sensitive to hard water, and if you observe the appearance of unsightly white dots on its leaves, it is a clear indication of the adverse effects. To avoid this, it is advisable to shift to rainwater or filtered water for irrigation. Before watering, a simple finger test can be employed to gauge its moisture needs accurately. Inserting a finger into the soil, it should be entirely dry to the touch before considering giving the plant more water. This cautious approach helps prevent overwatering, safeguarding the Jade Plant from potential root rot and ensuring its longevity and ornamental charm.

Photosynthesis and Plant Metabolism:

Like other plants, Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ undergoes photosynthesis, converting sunlight into energy and producing oxygen as a by-product. This plant can also perform Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), which allows it to conserve water and endure harsh, dry conditions.

Plant Diseases and Pest Control:

To ensure its well-being, it is best to position the plant near a window where it can receive partial shade. While they enjoy bright light, direct sunlight should be avoided as it can lead to sunburn and damage the leaves. Watering should be done with caution, waiting until the soil is dry before giving the plant a thorough drink. It’s essential to refrain from spraying water on the leaves, as this can promote the growth of mold and lead to issues like rot. If you notice the leaves shrinking or falling, it might be an indication of root problems. In such cases, consider using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water to wash the roots, as it can help address potential root diseases. Alternatively, applying a fungicide directly to the roots can aid in preventing and combating root-related issues. By following these simple care instructions, your Crassula Ovata will flourish and grace your living space with its striking green foliage for years to come.

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ can be affected by pests such as mealybugs and spider mites. Overwatering and poor drainage can also lead to root rot. Appropriate watering practices, good airflow, and pest management strategies can help maintain the plant’s health.

mealy bug issue

If you notice small pieces of cotton rolled on its stems, it’s a telltale sign of a mealy bug infestation. Mealy bugs are tiny, white, cottony pests that can cause significant damage to the plant if left untreated. Thankfully, addressing this issue is relatively straightforward. To tackle the mealy bug problem, one can apply rubbing alcohol on the affected areas. The alcohol works as an effective insecticide, killing and removing the bugs from the plant’s surface. With timely treatment and attentive care, the Crassula Ovata Hobbit can quickly recover, and its charm will continue to grace your living space with natural beauty.

Plant Conservation and sun burn issues:

While not specifically threatened, Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit,’ like other plant species, can be impacted by habitat loss and climate change. Cultivating and propagating these plants in gardens and greenhouses can contribute to plant conservation.

Crassula Ovata Hobbit, requires careful acclimatization to sunlight to prevent sunburn. When transitioning the plant from a low-light indoor environment to a sunnier outdoor spot, it’s essential to do so gradually. Slowly increasing the intensity of sunlight exposure helps the plant adapt to the change and reduces the risk of sunburn on its leaves. If providing direct sunlight outdoors is not feasible, using a grow light indoors can be a suitable alternative to ensure the plant receives adequate light for healthy growth. Additionally, if you notice that your jade plant is leaning to one side, it may be an indication of insufficient sunlight. Adjusting its placement to a sunnier location will encourage more balanced growth and prevent the plant from straining towards the light source.

Gardening Tips and Cultivation Techniques:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ requires well-draining soil, minimal watering, and plenty of sunlight. Prevent root rot through overWatering. During the growing season, a diluted balanced fertilizer can be applied.

Gardening Tips

For a healthy trunk, it’s advisable to prune and remove unnecessary growth on the bottom, allowing the plant to focus its energy on developing a strong, sturdy central stem. The stem itself boasts a beautiful woody appearance, enhancing the overall appeal of the Hobbit Jade.

When choosing a container for this succulent, it’s best to avoid plastic ones, as they can lead to waterlogged soil and root rot. Instead, opt for a porous container with drainage holes, ensuring proper air circulation and preventing water from pooling at the roots. With the right care and attention, Crassula Ovata Hobbit will reward you with its unique charm and robust growth.

Medicinal and Herbal Plants:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ does not have known medicinal properties. However, some Crassula genus species have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes. Always ask a health professional before using any plant for therapeutic purposes.

Ornamental Usage and Landscaping:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is a popular choice for rock gardens, succulent gardens, and terrariums due to its distinct leaf shape and growth habit. Its low maintenance requirements and striking appearance make it a perfect choice for beginner and experienced gardeners.

Ethnobotany and Traditional Uses of Plants:

There are no known specific ethnobotanical uses for Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’. However, it is valued for its aesthetic appeal and as a houseplant, primarily because of its unique growth form that adds an interesting texture and shape to indoor and outdoor gardens.

Ecosystems and Food Webs:

While not a major contributor to large-scale ecosystems or food webs, Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ does contribute to the biodiversity of specific habitats, particularly those with arid or semi-arid conditions.

Life Span:

The Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is a perennial plant and can live for many years with good care. They generally bloom in the cooler months of winter and early spring.

Flowers, roots, leaves, and seeds:

Crassula Ovata Hobbit leaves exhibit fascinating changes in response to sunlight exposure, providing valuable insights into the plant’s health. When these succulents receive adequate sunlight, their leaves develop a beautiful red or pink outline, while also taking on a glossy sheen. A darker jade color in the leaves can also be a sign of a healthy plant, but interestingly, it may indicate that the Jade is not receiving enough sunlight. In an attempt to reach for more light, the stems of the plant will start stretching towards the sun source, leading to elongated growth. Additionally, the space between individual leaves may become wider as the plant tries to maximize its surface area to capture sunlight.

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ has tubular leaves that curl back to the stem, giving them a unique, foot-like appearance. It produces clusters of star-shaped, white, or pink flowers. Propagation is typically done through leaf or stem cuttings rather than seeds.

Plant Care/ Fertilizers:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is easy to care. It needs well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight. Overwatering is avoided to prevent root rot. A diluted complete liquid fertilizer can be applied during the growing season for optimal growth.

About Care


While it can be propagated through both leaf and stem cuttings, it’s important to note that leaf cuttings may require more time and patience to establish roots compared to stem cuttings. One of the key indicators of a healthy Jade plant is a robust and thriving trunk. Native to South Africa, in its natural habitat, Crassula Ovata Hobbit can reach impressive heights of up to 6 feet. However, when grown as an indoor plant, it typically reaches around 3 feet in height, making it suitable for smaller living spaces. Its bonsai-like appearance, with its tubular leaves and intriguing finger-like tips, makes it especially beloved among plant enthusiasts and adds a touch of character and charm to any interior space.

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ propagation is typically done through stem or leaf cuttings. It’s a straightforward process:

  • Take a cutting.
  • Let it dry for a few days to form a callus.
  • Please place it in well-draining soil and water sparingly until roots form.

Water propagation

Crassula Ovata, also known as the Jade Plant, is not only a stunning succulent but also a plant that can be propagated with ease. One fascinating way to propagate it is by taking leaf cuttings. Simply cut a healthy leaf from the parent plant and allow it to callous over for a day or two. Then, place the leaf in a shallow dish of water, making sure that the cut end is submerged. After about ten to 15 days, you’ll notice the magic of nature as small roots start emerging from the base of the leaf. These tiny roots indicate that the leaf cutting is ready for the next stage of propagation. Around 40 days after the water propagation process, when the roots have developed further, it’s time to gently transplant the leaf cuttings into small pots with well-draining soil. With proper care and regular watering, these little leaf cuttings will soon grow into vibrant green succulents, adding to the beauty of your indoor garden or outdoor landscape. The joy of witnessing new life sprouting from a single leaf is a rewarding experience for any plant enthusiast and showcases the resilience and wonder of Crassula Ovata.

Stem Propagation

To propagate Crassula Ovata Hobbit through stem cuttings, it’s important to select a healthy stem with the right characteristics. Cut a stem that is approximately 5 inches in height and ensure that it has at least 4 to 5 sets of opposite leaves, as illustrated in the accompanying figure. These sets of leaves are essential for successful propagation, as they contain the necessary nodes from which new roots and shoots will develop. Once you have the suitable stem cutting, allow it to callus over for a day or two before planting it in a well-draining soil mix. With proper care and attention, the stem cutting will take root and grow into a new, vibrant Hobbit Jade plant, carrying on its unique beauty for years to come.

Interaction with Animals/Pets:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is generally safe around animals and pets. However, it is important to note that the plant may cause mild gastrointestinal distress if ingested by pets. It is always advisable to keep plants out of reach of curious pets to prevent accidental ingestion.

Commercial Availability:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is widely available in the United States and many European countries, both in physical stores and online. Prices vary depending on size and maturity, but on average, a small plant may cost between $5 to $10 or £4 to £8.

Root pruning

root pruning with hands, once in two years

Crassula Ovata Hobbit, or Hobbit Jade, benefits greatly from regular root pruning, especially when it’s time to change the soil, typically every 3 to 4 years. Root pruning is essential for maintaining the plant’s health and promoting a more compact growth habit, similar to the techniques used for bonsai plants. When engaging in root pruning, carefully remove the plant from its container, and with gentle hands, gently shake off the excess soil from the root system. Trimming away some of the overgrown roots will encourage new and healthier root growth, enabling the Hobbit Jade to thrive in its new soil environment. This practice not only helps manage the size of the plant but also revitalizes the root system, leading to a stronger and more vigorous Crassula Ovata Hobbit. With the proper root care and periodic soil changes, this delightful succulent will continue to grace any space with its bonsai-like allure and resilience.

Growth Rate:

For optimal and rapid growth, it is essential for this particular plant to receive a minimum of 4 hours of direct sunlight daily. This ample sunlight not only encourages its healthy development but also lends a striking beauty to its appearance. The leaves display a captivating spectacle of red edges, adding a touch of vibrant allure. However, caution must be exercised, as overexposure to sunlight can be detrimental to its well-being. If subjected to excessive rays, the delicate leaves may suffer from unsightly burns, compromising the overall health and beauty of the plant. Striking the right balance and providing just the right amount of sunshine will undoubtedly yield a flourishing and stunning outcome.

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is considered a slow to moderate grower. It may grow to 1 to 2 inches monthly with optimal care. It is adaptable to indoor and outdoor environments but requires plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil to reach its maximum growth potential.

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ Variegata:

There is a variegated form of Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ known as ‘Hobbit’s Pipe Jade’. This variety has leaves with creamy white and green stripes, giving it an even more intriguing appearance. The care requirements are similar to the non-variegated form but may need more protection from intense sunlight to prevent leaf scorch.

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why is my Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ turning brown? Browning of your Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ could be overwatering, sunburn, or a disease. Overwatering can cause root rot which eventually shows up as browning leaves. Sunburn shows up as a bleached appearance or white scorch marks on the leaves. If the plant is otherwise healthy and cared for, a disease might be the cause.
  2.  Why are my Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ leaves shriveling? Shriveled leaves on a Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is often a sign of underwatering. These plants store water in their leaves, and if the plant doesn’t get enough, it will pull water from its leaves, causing them to fade. It could also be a sign of a root issue.
  3.  Is Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ toxic to cats? While Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is not listed as a toxic plant, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and keep it out of reach of your pets. If your pet ingests this plant, it might experience mild gastrointestinal distress.
  4.  Why is my Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ losing leaves? Leaf drop is usually a stress response, which could be caused by overwatering, temperature shock, or a sudden change in light levels. Check your plant care practices and ensure you’re not overwatering or exposing your plant to extremes of temperature or light.
  5.  How often should I water my Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’?The watering frequency for Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ can vary on many factors, like temperature, humidity, and the size of the plant and pot. A good rule of thumb is to water thoroughly once the top of the soil is dry. Remember, it’s better to go underwater than overwater these succulents.
  6. Why my Crassula Ovata is too much scattered and tall? When Crassula Ovata Hobbit experiences rapid, elongated growth, it can lose its aesthetic appeal. To address this issue and restore the plant’s compact and attractive appearance, there are effective solutions available. One approach is to take stem cuttings from the top of the plant, reducing the excessive growth and alleviating the weight on the upper part. After carefully making the stem cuttings, it is essential to allow them to dry for three to four days to promote callusing, which helps prevent rot when planted. Once the cuttings have callused, they can be placed into well-drained soil, where they will develop new roots and grow as fresh, more compact plants. Another solution to improve the stretched-out jade plant is to relocate it to a brighter spot with more direct sunlight. By providing the plant with the right amount of light, it will encourage more balanced and compact growth, revitalizing its appearance and ensuring a healthier and more visually appealing Crassula Ovata Hobbit.
  7. Why there are white spots on the leaves of my Crassula Ovata? One common issue that plant enthusiasts might encounter with this charming species is the development of white spots on its leaves. Fortunately, these spots are not a result of any harmful pests or diseases but rather a build-up of salts and minerals that the plant excretes due to the water it receives. To address this concern, a straightforward solution is to gently clean the leaves with your hands or a soft cloth to remove the accumulated deposits. Alternatively, switching to using distilled water for watering the plant can be an effective long-term solution, as it eliminates the presence of excess minerals and helps maintain the plant’s vibrant appearance and overall health. With proper care, the Crassula Ovata Hobbit will continue to thrive and add a touch of natural beauty to any living space.
white spots on leaves

Additional Information on Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’:

Crassula Ovata ‘Hobbit’ is known for its unusual, curled leaves, which give it its whimsical name reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous hobbits. The unique shape of the leaves, curling back to the stem, creates the illusion of a green finger or “hobbit’s pipe,” adding a unique texture and appeal to your succulent collection. It’s a great talking point and an interesting addition to any succulent arrangement or garden.

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