How to Grow and Care for Gollum Jade

Front view of gollum jade houseplant

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Gollum jade is a cultivar of the jade plant (Crassula ovata 'Gollum') known for its tube-shaped leaves with slightly flared, trumpet-like openings that can resemble suction cups. This plant gets its name from the character Gollum in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books.

This low-maintenance succulent is native to South Africa and grows best with warm temperatures, lots of bright sunlight, and gritty, well-drained soil. They're also easy to propagate using stem cuttings or individual leaves. Note that all parts of the plant are toxic to pets, so take care when choosing where to place gollum jade.

Common Name: Gollum jade
Botanical Name:  Crassula ovata 'Gollum'
Family:  Crassulaceae
Plant Type:  Perennial, succulent
Mature Size: 3 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide
Sun Exposure:  Full sun
Soil Type:  Sandy, well-drained
Soil pH:   Neutral
Bloom Time:  Spring
Flower Color:  White, pink
Hardiness Zones: 9-13 (USDA)
Native Area:  Africa
Toxicity:   Toxic to dogs, cats, and horses

Gollum Jade Care

Gollum jade is an unfussy type of jade plant that doesn't require much maintenance, but the right conditions and thoughtful watering will help your plant thrive.

Closeup of a gollum jade plant

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Closeup showing gollum jade texture

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault

Front view of gollum jade texture

The Spruce / Adrienne Legault


Keep your gollum jade in a spot with lots of bright, direct sunlight—at least four to six hours per day. Gollum jade can also survive in bright, indirect light or moderate shade, but it won't grow as vigorously or develop an attractive reddish tinge on the tips of its leaves without full sun.


Plant your gollum jade in a gritty, well-drained potting mix. Use ready-made potting mix designed for cacti and succulents. You can also make your own by blending three parts potting soil, two parts coarse sand or gravel, and two parts perlite or two parts potting soil and one part perlite.


Allow your gollum jade's soil to dry out completely between waterings, anywhere from two to three weeks depending on your climate. Water deeply so that water flows out of the bottom of the pot. Note that plants kept in porous terra cotta pots will dry out more quickly than those in plastic or glazed ceramic pots.

Temperature and Humidity

Temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees are ideal for gollum jade. Temperatures below 50 degrees can harm the plant.


It's not necessary to fertilize gollum jade, but plants can benefit from a feeding with balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength every two months or so in the spring and summer. An NPK fertilizer with a ratio of 1-2-1 is ideal. Avoid fertilizing in fall and winter when the plant goes dormant.


Since gollum jade is such a slow-growing plant, it doesn't need to be pruned. The plant will occasionally drop its lower leaves as they age, which is perfectly normal and healthy.

Propagating Gollum Jade

Gollum jade is easy to propagate from cuttings or even healthy leaves. The best time to propagate gollum jade is in the summer, when temperatures are warm, sunlight is abundant, and the plant is actively growing. You'll need a mature gollum jade, small plant pots, succulent soil mix, a spray bottle of water, and optional rooting hormone. Here's how:

To propagate gollum jade with leaves:

  1. Twist off a few healthy leaves from the mother plant. Be sure to get the base of the leaf or else propagation won't work. Leave the leaf to callus over for a few days.
  2. Fill a small plant pot or tray with succulent soil. Mist the soil with water to moisten it lightly. Dip the base of the leaves in rooting hormone, if using, and lay the leaves on top of the soil.
  3. Keep the cuttings in a warm place out of direct sunlight for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, misting lightly when the soil fully dries out. Roots and plantlets will grow from the base of the leaf.
  4. Once the plantlets are a few inches tall, you can plant and care for them as you would mature jade plants.

To propagate gollum jade with cuttings:

  1. Take a three-inch cutting from a healthy, mature jade plant. Let the cutting sit out for a few days so the cut end can callus over.
  2. Fill small plant pots with succulent soil. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone if desired, then plant the cutting in the soil.
  3. Keep the cutting in a warm place with bright, indirect light. Water when the soil dries out completely.
  4. In anywhere from two to six weeks, you should see new growth and new roots. Gently tug on the cutting; if it resists, that means roots have formed. Care for the plant as usual.

Potting and Repotting Gollum Jade

Because gollum jade is a pretty slow-growing plant, it only needs to be repotted every three years or when the roots begin growing out of the hole in the bottom of the container. When repotting, use fresh succulent soil and only go up an inch or so in pot size. Give the plant a few days to adjust to its new pot before watering.


Gollum jade can be kept outdoors year-round in warm climates, but in temperate and cool climates, the plant should be brought indoors for the winter before night temperatures go below 50 degrees. It can be kept as a houseplant, or you can try to encourage the plant to bloom by keeping it in a cool part of the house and cutting back on watering.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases 

Common houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, scale, and aphids can damage gollum jade. Watch for signs of pests and remove them with insecticidal soap or a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Prune away heavily infested plant parts, bag them up, and throw them in the trash outside so they don't attack your other houseplants.

In cool, humid conditions without good air circulation, gollum jade can also be affected by powdery mildew. Dissolve one tablespoon baking soda and one-half teaspoon liquid soap in one gallon of water, then spray your plant with the solution to kill the fungus. Move your plant to a warmer, dryer place with better air circulation to prevent the issue from recurring.

How to Get Gollum Jade to Bloom

Mature gollum jade plants (at least three years old) can bloom with tiny, star-shaped flowers in pink or white in the right environmental conditions. Lots of bright sunlight, warm days and cool nights, and a period of cooler temperatures and shorter days in winter will encourage blooming. These plants are mostly valued for their foliage, so don't be concerned if your plant doesn't bloom.

Common Problems With Gollum Jade

In the proper conditions, gollum jade is very easy to care for and requires little maintenance, but it's not immune to pests, diseases, or other issues. Watch for these symptoms of common problems with gollum jade.

Leaves Turning Yellow, Black, or Brown

Overwatering can lead to root rot, which inhibits the plant's root system from taking up water and eventually kills the plant, turning its leaves soft, mushy, and dark. Stop watering immediately and repot the plant in fresh, dry succulent soil. Cut away any black, rotten roots when repotting.

Drooping or Shriveled Leaves

If your gollum jade's leaves look shriveled or wilted, that's a sign the plant isn't receiving enough water. Water the plant deeply and it should bounce back.

Plant Leaves Falling Off

Dropping leaves are a sign that your gollum jade isn't getting enough water. Give the plant a soaking and keep an eye on the soil moisture so the plant doesn't go too long between waterings.

  • What’s the difference between gollum jade and hobbit jade?

    Gollum jade and hobbit jade look very similar, but they're different cultivars of the same species. Gollum jade has long, tubular leaves with trumpet-like openings, while hobbit jade's leaves are more spoon-shaped.

  • Where should I put gollum jade?

    Put gollum jade in a bright, sunny south-facing or west-facing window. This plant can thrive in direct sunlight and will develop attractive red tips on its leaves in bright enough light.

  • Can gollum jade grow indoors?

    Yes. As long as it gets enough bright light, gollum jade is an easy, low-maintenance houseplant.

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