Jade plant rotting after pruning

salixsunFebruary 20, 2013

I have had my jade plant for almost 5 years and have had very little issues with it. Recently I noticed some of the branches were very heavy, so I began a slow pruning process.

Since the end of the pruning process, my plant has gone down hill. It does not look as if it is growing much at all and I have lost some smaller branches. Today I noticed some rot on one of the large cut branches near the base. Also, in the fork of the two main branches, a crevice has opened up. It almost looks as if the branch on the right is going to die off.

I must have watered too much and caused this indirectly. I want to save the plant, but at this point I feel very stuck.

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Here is another picture

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:16AM
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Here is the main branch fork

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:18AM
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I'm sorry to tell you that your plant looks like it won't be recovering. If you want to preserve it, cut off the fresh growth and re-root the cuttings. In my experience, the variegated C. ovata is prone to weakness and needs all the help it can get. If not given close to perfect conditions, it will droop, lean, drop branches and finally, show deep grooves between the segments on the trunk. Once the trunk looks like that, I haven't brought one back from there. I also haven't lost one in a long time. They like bright diffused light/shade, morning sun only or afternoon sun only. I've seen big ones growing under the shade of a tree. I've never tried to bring one indoors but I suspect it wouldn't take more than the bare-minimum indoor wintering. Also, I'm pretty sure there are two varieties of variegated Jade, one being more healthy and hearty than the other.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:31AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

There are many varieties of variegated Jade on the market now, but this one is the common 'Tricolor.' Many folks have difficulty rooting cuttings from this plant.

I don't know if the pruning introduced a pathogen of some sort or not, however this is a poor time of year to be pruning Jades (in most places). We've all done it, yes, but it's not optimum for recovery or for the quality of the new growth.

Next time, sterilize the cutters (if you didn't) and dust the fresh cuts with cinnamon.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:12PM
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It is a house plant in a south facing window, so I figured the time of year really didn't matter. I also had to prune it because the branches looked really heavy. Maybe I should have waited though.

I did use sterile tools and I did dust with cinnamon as well.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:20PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, the timing of the season matters immensely, especially if the plant is kept in the house where it will never achieve full growth potential. For the fastest recovery and the sturdiest, most compact and vital growth, you want to prune during the primary growing season.

With the clean cutters and the cinnamon, you are two steps ahead. Not sure what went wrong, I'm sorry to say. There are others out there with molded Jades, though, so don't feel alone.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Well, I definitely learned my lesson. I think I am going to let nature take its course. I will definitely never prune in winter again, that is for sure!

Should I cut back the branch on the right of the fork or even both to get one main stem? Or, will that cause even more trauma?

This post was edited by salixsun on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 18:41

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:37PM
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