Care Of ET’s Finger Jade – Tips For Growing ET’s Finger Crassula

Potted ET's Finger Crassula Plant Next To Alien Statue
ET jade
(Image credit: Gardening Know How, via Nikki Tilley)

Who wouldn’t want a plant that looks like ET’s fingers? Jade, the pleasantly-plump succulent that is such a great houseplant, has several cultivars with unusual foliage, including ET’s Fingers. These fun plants are great additions to indoor containers or outdoor beds if you have the right environment.

ET’s Finger Jade Plants

ET’s Finger is a cultivar of jade, Crassula ovata. Jade plants are succulents with fleshy foliage and are native to South Africa. It is an evergreen shrub that thrives in hot, dry, sunny environments. For most people, growing a jade outside isn’t possible, but it makes a great houseplant. What makes the ET’s Finger jade so unique is the shape of the leaves. The original jade has small, flesh, oval leaves. ET’s Finger jade plants grow leaves that are also fleshy, but the shape is elongated and tubular with an indentation at the end that is reddish in color and a little wider than the rest of the leaf. In other words, besides the fact that most of the leaf is green, it looks like ET’s finger. This cultivar is also called ‘Skinny Fingers’ and is very similar to another one called ‘Gollum.’

Growing ET’s Finger Crassula

Care of ET’s Finger jade is the same as for any jade plant. If you are growing jade outdoors, you should be somewhere with dry, hot conditions and mild to warm winters (zones 9 and higher). As a houseplant, you can grow this plant in any location. In fact, they do very well because they can be neglected and go unwatered for a while and still be fine. Give your ET’s Finger jade soil that drains well. Between waterings, let the soil dry out completely. Overwatering, or poor drainage, is the most common way jade houseplants fail. These desert plants also need full sun, so find a sunny window. Keep it nice and warm during the growing season, but let it get cool in winter. You can also place your pot outside in the summer. Your ET’s Finger jade should produce small white flowers in the summer and will grow slowly but steadily if you give it the right conditions, including occasional fertilizer. Trim off dead leaves and branches to keep it healthy and looking nice.

Mary Ellen Ellis

Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.