Crassula Ovata ‘ET’s Fingers’ Jade Plant: Grow and Care For It

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. But there are no additional costs to you.

Want a cool looking houseplant for your home? The ET’s Fingers Jade Plant reminds you of the cute alien from the movie ET and is a hot topic when guests visit.

The Crassula Ovata “ET’s Fingers” is a smaller evergreen succulent that grows in the form of a vertical shrub. 

This article will cover how to care for and grow the ET’s Fingers jade plant for your home. 

ET’s Fingers Jade Plant Overview


It is a popular jade plant variety for its uniquely shaped tubular leaves that resemble fingers with concave tips. These finger tips will take on a reddish hue in cooler weather.

  • Common Name: ET’s Fingers Jade Plant, Skinny Fingers, Baby Toes, Shrek Ears, Ogre Ears
  • Botanical Name: Crassula ovata
  • Plant Type: Evergreen, succulent shrub
  • Mature Size/Height: 2 to3 feet tall, 2 feet wide
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-draining
  • Soil pH: 6.1-6.6, Neutral to acidic
  • Bloom Season: Spring and Summer
  • Flower Color: White
  • Native Areas: South Africa
  • Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Cats, and Horses. Sap can irritate the skin in humans.

ET’s Finger Jade Plant Care Guide

Jade plants are generally cultivated indoors because they require a warm environment.

Indoors they can be cultivated year-round. For outdoor cultivation, they require a hotter climate.

With proper care, the ET’s Fingers Jade plant can grow a star-shaped white flower.

Soil for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

A well-draining soil mix specifically formulated for succulents is your best option for an ET’s Fingers jade plant. This plant will thrive in soil that has a neutral to a bit acidic pH level measuring 6.1 to 6.6.

Excellent drainage is a must to prevent the accumulation of excess moisture. Excess water can lead to fungal infections and root rot.

If you only have all-purpose potting soil, add perlite, pine bark, or coco coir to it to increase drainage.

Succulents also do better in clay or terracotta flowerpots, as these aid in the moisture-wicking of excess moisture.

Light for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

ET’s Fingers jade plants require lots of sunlight, some of which can be direct. They should be protected from harsh sunlight. The foliage of young plants placed in direct sunlight is at risk of scorching.

If your plant receives too little light exposure, it may become leggy and weak. It will also not flower with insufficient light.

Place your plant in a spot where it will receive 6 full hours of bright indirect sunlight daily.

Water for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

ET’s Fingers jade plants can do with more frequent watering in the summer. Soil should remain moist but not wet, so efficient drainage becomes crucial.

In the winter and cooler weather months (October through March), jade plants can be watered monthly.

One option is to soak your plant occasionally in a sink or tub. Allow excess water to drain out. The soil bed should dry out somewhat before repeating. Never leave a jade plant sitting in water or in soggy soil.

Temperature for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

Jade plants, regardless of the specific cultivar, do well in environmental temperatures measuring between 65° and 75°F. In the evenings they will tolerate temps that drop to 55°F.

They should not be kept in environments with temperatures that dip below 50°F for prolonged periods.

Damp, cold environments can be detrimental to this plant’s health. They do not tolerate frost.

Repotting the ET's Fingers Jade Plant
source: Eduards Greenery

Humidity for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

The ET’s Fingers jade plant will manage easily in humid conditions. Consider occasional misting if your plant’s location is on the drier side.

Fertilizer for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

Succulents can do well without fertilization. However, feeding during the growing season will aid your plant’s development.

Apply a liquid 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to half-strength weekly to mature jade plants. Younger plants can do with an NPK ratio that is less in nitrogen.

You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer once at the beginning of the growing season.

Growth Rate for ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

The growth rate for this jade plant cultivar is slow.

Propagating an ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

ET’s Fingers jade plants are easy to propagate.

Stem or leaf cuttings as well as basal offsets can be used. Cuttings should preferably be taken in the springtime at the beginning of the growing season.

To propagate with stem cuttings:

  • Cut a 2 to 3 inch “finger” cutting from a healthy, mature plant.
  • Play the cutting in a warm dry location for several days to allow the cut end to callous over.
  • Dip the calloused end in the rooting hormone.
  • Place the cut end in a pot with half potting soil and half perlite.
  • Water lightly to dampen the growing medium. In several weeks roots will develop. Care for your new plant as you would any jade cultivar.

Potting and Repotting an ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

When potting or repotting any jade plant cultivar, opt for an unglazed clay, terracotta, or heavy container.

Jade cultivars are notorious for becoming top-heavy and toppling over. Pots should have a good number of drainage holes.

Your jade cultivar will require repotting every 2 to 3 years for smaller and medium-sized plants. Larger, bushy plants will need repotting every 4 or 5 years.

Repotting should be carried out at the beginning of spring to encourage the development of the plant during its growing season.

To repot ET’s Fingers Jade Plant:

  • Soil should be dry before you attempt to repot.
  • Use a flat trowel or tool around the pot’s inside to loosen the plant roots and old soil.
  • Gently remove your plant from the container.
  • Use a tool of your fingers to remove old soil from the root system. Prune any dead or sickly roots with a sharp knife or shears. Treat the roots with fungicide.
  • Prepare the new container. Fill it approximately 1/3 full of fresh soil blend. Position your plant in the center, spreading out the roots. Backfill the pot with more soil.
  • Let the plant sit for approximately a week. Do not water during this period.
  • Water lightly a week later.

Pruning ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

Plan on pruning your plant annually at the beginning of spring to encourage new growth.

Use sterile sharp gardening shears to cut away dead, spindly, or damaged growth and to shape your plant. Overgrown plant stems can be cut off entirely.

Is ET’s Fingers Jade Plant Poisonous?

Unfortunately, this plant is toxic for dogs and cats. All plant parts are toxic.

When ingested in large quantities, it can be fatal. If pets exhibit any of these symptoms, take them to your veterinarian immediately.

Possible poisoning symptoms include:

  • General weakness
  • A lack of movement coordination or loss of muscle function
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Aggressivity

The plant sap can be irritating to human skin upon contact.

Common Problems for the ET’s Fingers Jade Plant

Humidity and Watering ET's Fingers Jade Plant

Jade plants are hardy and resilient. There are several symptoms that will indicate your plant is in distress.

 Leaf Drop or Loss

When a jade cultivar loses foliage repeatedly, it may have a light problem. This is a common reaction to insufficient light.

Move your plant to a spot with bright indirect light that enjoys at least 6 hours of light daily.

When loss of foliage happens together with leggy stem growth, the plant may be in a location that is too warm. Move it to a spot with a proper temperature.

Shriveled Foliage

Jade plants, like all succulents, store water. They do so in their leaves.

If the plant’s characteristically fleshy leaves begin to shrivel, your plant is not getting sufficient water. Stems may also begin to wilt. Water thoroughly, and the plant should perk up.

Yellow Leaves

The occasional yellow leaf can happen. Should, however, the entire plant’s foliage begin to yellow, you have overwatered. Reduce watering and check the roots for root rot.

ET’s Fingers Jade Plant Pests

Jade plant cultivars can be susceptible to mealy bug infestation and ET’s Fingers plant is no different. These appear as cottony deposits on stems and foliage.

Mealy bugs can be removed manually with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or pad. Then treat your plant with an appropriate organic insecticide or insecticidal soap. Treatments should be suitable for use on succulents.

Occasionally you may also find scale or spider mites on jade plants. Use the same treatment procedure.

Final Thoughts About the ET’s Fingers jade Plant

These are lovely easy-to-care-for houseplants. The ET’s Fingers jade plant variety is unique for the shape of its tubular leaves.

It makes a lovely addition to any indoor home garden. Outdoors, it can provide an unusual ground cover in the proper climate.

Learn more about jade plants: 

Fast Growing Trees and Plants

Photo of author

Written by:

Amy Walsh
Amy Walsh is a passionate indoor gardener, deeply engrossed in the world of houseplants and herbs. Her apartment is a lush sanctuary of foliage, reflecting her journey from hobbyist to devoted botanist. She's constantly exploring the latest in smart garden technology, eager to share her insights on nurturing green spaces indoors. Alongside her botanical pursuits, Amy enjoys connecting with nature and friends, continually enriching her lifestyle with greenery and growth.

Leave a Comment