Large Jade - needs to be 'rejuvenated'

rina_February 26, 2012

Something fell on my large jade last fall & many branches broke off. I saved some bigger ones to be potted. Now I need to do something with the mother plant. It is shapless, but healthy. There is new growth since the "accident". Two remaining thicker branches are opposite of each other, from tip to tip is about 44inches span. I don't mind to prune off these if that's best for the look of this plant.

Trunk is just over 8.5" circumference at the base. There is also a branch growing from the trunk near the base which I think should be pruned off.

The main trunk is split into "Y" approx. 9.5" from the bottom.

I have this plant for about 17yrs. now. It flowered few times (after I started to keep it outside). I started many new plants from cuttings off it, have 3 right now that are about 1.5yrs old. More photos on photobucket.

Is it right time to do it now or is it better to wait? I keep it outside when warm enough. It also needs repotting, last time was only potted-up & that is at least 3-4 yrs ago.

I would appreciated any suggestions as to how to prune this plant.

Thnx.

Rina

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dan4279

I wish I had a jade that big. I'm sure you're going to get plenty of great suggestions. If it were mine, I think I would cut it back hard. Leave maybe 3 main branches. That would give you many large cuttings that you could turn into more plants.

As far as timing goes, I've never paid much attention to when I cut back and repot my jades, and I've never had any problems. That being said, I'm sure there are recommended times of year to do these things that others will share.

Nice plant!

Dan

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 7:53PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Dan's advice to prune it back hard is a good idea.

But before that, can you set your photobucket account to allow the pics to open in a new window?
I'd like to view larger pics to evaluate the branch structure.

The very best time to do extensive root-work would be later this Spring/Summer,
once the plant has regained some of the energy lost during the cold, low-sun Winter.
Also, the foliage that regrows during the Summer will be more compact and sturdy
than the thinner growth that occurs during Winter pruning.

But, really, Jades are very tough and tolerant.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:04PM
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rina_

Thank you Dan & Josh.
Josh, I am not sure how to reset photobucket, I thought that clicking on the posted pics you can access the album. Pls. let me know.

So I guess best time to prune would be just like any other plants as per advice from Al - around June? I can wait...

Rina

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:39PM
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rina_
    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:49PM
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Ron4310

I would prune it back hard. I prune my jades back hard each spring.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 8:54PM
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pennyhal(11Sunset23)

Josh, all I do is click on the thumbnail and the photo enlarges in Photobucket. So I don't think Rina needs to do anything. I don't know why that doesn't work for you.

Penny

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 2:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

When I click on the thumbnail and the new window opens, I get a photobucket message saying
"The action that you were trying to perform has failed." When I experienced this last, it
required a setting to be changed. But no matter, I have the album address now.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 2:40AM
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elichka(6b)

Hi Rina,
You mentioned that trunk is 8.5". What is the pot size? It doesn't look so thick in a picture.
Thanks
Inna

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 10:22AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Inna, that measurement is the circumference.

Josh

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 10:58AM
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elichka(6b)

Josh, i understand but i have a jade stump which is 4" diameter and it looks huge compare to Rina's. So it must be optical illusion.
Inna

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 11:34AM
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rina_

Inna,

pot is too large, 18"

Rina

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 12:14PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I agree with Josh. You'll get fastest recovery and most vigorous back-budding if you wait until after Father's Day to cut back hard. In spring, plants are usually weakened from the long winter, making recovery slower, and because they lack stored energy, back-budding not as profuse.

Most people think that spring is best for repotting, root pruning, and cutting back hard, but summer makes the most sense from a physiological perspective.

Al

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 7:57PM
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rina_

Al

Thank you. So I'll wait (as per your advice for my 2 Benjamina trees) until June. Jade will go outside when warm enough. I am sure it will put lots of new growth on, it is doing that now under not the greatest light conditions.

Rina

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 8:30PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Best luck!

Al

    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 8:49PM
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aseedisapromise

Inna--circumference is pi times the diameter. So the circumference of your 4 in diam jade is 12 and a half inches. So yours is bigger. The diameter of her jade's trunk is 8 divided by pi, or 2 and a half inches. Seem more like it?

I cut my jades back before I put them outside for the summer. Then their growth is more compact.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 12:08AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Actually, if 'compact' is your goal, you'll get more compact growth if you cut your plants back at or near the summer solstice/Father's Day. Your jade will concentrate more on branch/stem elongation during periods of increasing day length. During periods of decreasing day length, a greater portion of energy reserves goes into storing energy in cambial tissues. Branch elongation and internode length decreases considerably, so the plant grows fuller and more compact. Cutting back in the spring ensures long, then tightening internodes. If you cut back in the spring, you're cutting back to last years long internodes - not the best way to keep a plant compact because you're continually cutting back the most desirable parts of the plant.

Al

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 2:35PM
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rina_

Al;
that's what i am hoping for, 'compact'. Thank you for explanation. Will I repot/cut back-prune & root prune at the same time? (It should be repotted-last time it was only potted-up approx. 3yrs ago & also I want to use gritty mix at that time; also I would prefer a smaller pot if that's what is better).
Thnx.

Rina

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 8:52PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I wouldn't cut back and repot at the same time. I usually stagger the work by 2-3 weeks, starting with the repot and moving to the pruning later. The reason for that is, the added (current) photosynthate the foliage will produce after the repot will help to more quickly get roots reestablished and back online. Then, cutting back isn't the ordeal (for the plant) it would have been if you'd left the plant with a diminished root system AND a diminished photosynthesizing volume.

For most plants we commonly grow as houseplants, concentrating any serious work in that 'summer solstice' time frame helps both physiologically AND esthetically. Temperate plants that have a true dormancy, and other woody plants that tolerate some frost, usually get repotted in spring, but most succulents and houseplants are best repotted while growing robustly and when full of energy ...... or at least as full of energy they can be, given the conditions they're growing under.

It's all about working with the plants energy ebb and flow, instead of against it, and it all makes perfect sense if you think about it a bit - most folks just need someone to point it out and explain it for it to 'click'.

When you're working with plants, lost potential is gone forever, there is no reclaiming it or catching up to be done. So if you work on getting good at preserving potential and eliminating limiting factors, you'll always be pleased with your plants. It's really not such a tall order - most times it's our choices that bring us trouble. Learn the right choices and you have it.

Al

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 11:35AM
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rina_

Al
Thank you again for the advice.
I appreciate that you always take time to give reasons 'why'.

Rina

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 12:58PM
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