Jade Plant vs Elephant Bush – (Top Differences)

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The jade plant vs elephant bush is frequently misunderstood as one. They share many similarities; however, several differences enable us to differentiate between the two plants.

Jade Plant vs Elephant Bush Differences

The fundamental distinction between the two plants is that the jade plant has fleshy, lustrous leaves, while the elephant bush has thick, brittle leaves.

These two plants aren’t closely related despite their similarities and typical habitats.

Elephant bush is highly drought-resistant and commonly used in areas such as Arizona to create landscaping.

The jade plant is poisonous to animals of all kinds, and animals and humans may consume the elephant bush. It is consumed in the southern part of Africa. It was also used for its medicinal properties.


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Jade plants have more giant leaves than the elephant bush, even though the leaves look identical. Even though they bloom in the same shades, the flowers appear different. However, jade plants have stars-shaped flowers, while elephant bushes have smaller flowers that do not have a star shape.


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The size of plants varies. While elephant bushes can become huge, Jade plants generally are about six feet, particularly indoors. The elephant bush could expand to nearly double that height, reaching approximately 15 feet.


Although both are located in southern Africa, they prefer to be found in different areas. For example, jade plants usually grow on slopes of sand and forests elephant bushes thrive on rocky slopes.

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Jade Plant vs Elephant Bush: Similarities

They share a lot in common, which makes them often confused. These include aspects like appearance and care requirements, which have many similarities.

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The jade plant and elephant bush are indigenous to South Africa but are common houseplants.


Each plant has a long history of medicinal use. The jade leaves of a plant have been used to treat treatments such as treating warts. Elephant bush treats issues like bug bites, blisters, and acne. Due to its toxic properties, ensure you are cautious with the jade plant to treat ailments.

Both plants possess a remarkable capacity to store carbon and are excellent for the environment.

Care needs

Because they’re succulents, they have the exact maintenance requirements, don’t need lots of water, and are great indoor plants. They also thrive in a lot of sunshine.

The elephant bush and jade plant are well-rooted when propagated. However, as do all succulents, they require well-drained soil to satisfy their water requirements.


Both are succulent and have large waxy leaves. Both are white and pink. Both are considered bonsai trees in the event of their growth because of their appearance like a tree. When they reach the desired size, they begin to resemble trees. This is when you can begin shaping them into an ideal bonsai.

What is a Jade plant?

Jade (or Crassula ovata) is a succulent indigenous to the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and Mozambique, an African country located near South Africa. It is an evergreen plant that blossoms with tiny white and pink flowers in winter.

What is an Elephant bush?

The Elephant Bush (Portulacaria afra), also known as spekboom in Afrikaans, is also called “the dwarf jade” plant because of their resemblance. It has tiny leaves, and its stems are an orange or red hue. So they are named because they’re part of the eating habits of the elephants, which eat their leaves. Other animals also eat the leaves of the bushes, including elephants.

What plant to grow: the jade plant or the elephant bush?

The jade plant and the elephant bush are succulents, which means they store water in their leaves and stems to survive droughts. But that’s where the similarity ends. The elephant bush is one of the most challenging plants to grow, while the jade plant is one of the easiest.

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The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is a South African succulent. It is a simple houseplant that prefers bright light but can tolerate low light levels.

Jade plants require relatively little care. They rarely need watering and will continue to grow even if you don’t water them for weeks.

Overwatering is the most common mistake made by those trying to grow jade plants.

Elephant bush (Portulacaria afra), often called “elephant food,” is a South African succulent.

It can grow as a shrub or small tree and reach up to 10 feet. Elephant bush prefers full sun or light shade and well-drained soil to grow. It will not thrive in very moist soil.

The elephant bush is a slow-growing shrub that takes some time to mature. It is also high maintenance and is often kept as a houseplant because it is very picky about watering.

The jade plant is for you if you’re looking for a low-maintenance succulent. However, if you are looking for something more challenging, the elephant bush may be more for you.


Jade Plant vs Elephant Bush: Conclusion

If you know the distinctions and similarities between jade plants and an elephant bush, you’ll be able to determine which you’d like or already have and then educate others. Jade plants are straightforward to propagate and take care of.

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