My succulent plant is tall, skinny, and about to fall over. Tips?

fly_girl_756April 2, 2013

I have some sort of tall and skinny succulent (I think a Jade variety) that only grows straight up. I currently have a stick propping it up, but I'm not sure what the best method is for getting it to bulk up? I tried pinching off a leaf a long time ago, but this just stunted its growth and eventually grew around this broken off part (it's hard to see in this picture). Is there any hope to rescue this plant? I've had it for 6 years and don't want it to snap in half!

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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Yes, it is a jade. I would cut it just below the bottom leave and cut the the top into two pieces and then you will have three jades. Allow each to callous before planting.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:55PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I had a Jade do this, up up up, and then it finally snaked over. I just pruned it back to a point of new growth on the stem. Now it will grow sturdier. I agree with Biker...prune and root the cutting.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:21AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

Don't be afraid to whack it! New leaves will emerge from the old leaf scars. The stem will die back from the cut to the next scar, so make your cut between the leaf scars. You have to remove the lower leaves because they will be planted in the mix and will rot, eventually. I guess if you want even more jades, you your remove the leaves carefully and root them, too.

This post was edited by bikerdoc5968 on Wed, Apr 3, 13 at 8:05

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:03AM
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And you have it overpotted - that plant would be happier in a pot half that size and the soil amended with something that will help it drain - cut the soil with perlite by 50% or so.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Thank you all for the helpful comments/insight! (Especially the photo with detailed instructions noting where exactly I should cut; It is much appreciated given I am a complete novice at these sorts of things.) This will be my first time pruning and repotting (thanks for letting me know my pot is too large!) my Jade plant; any helpful general comments? Will a pair of scissors work to chop it? Any ways to bulk up the stem and make it more 'woody'? When reseeding a leaf is there anything to it besides sticking it some soil?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 8:59AM
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From my experience, a leaf will send out roots if you just lay it on top of the soil and give it some light. Do not water until you see the plantlet start to grow.
I haven't seen it mentioned, so I will add that you need to let your cuttings callous. Let them hang out for a day or two at least before you stick them in your gritty mix. Do not water the unrooted cuttings. Wait until you see new growth starting.
If you water, and there are no roots, the cutting or plant will rot.
I hope this helps! Lennie in Michigan

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:33AM
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That's a matter of maturity, but it can go a little faster if you give it full sun and some warmth, particularly in spring and fall (their main growth periods - as long as it's in a range of growing conditions, which you'll learn about if you read any of the threads here with lots of posts about jade / Crassula ovata, it will be growing). Personally, I'd have it on a high-energy diet, a very loose soil (so it can be watered often, but not too much), lots of air circulation, temps in the 80s during the day and 60s at night, bottom heat (which you can achieve if you wrap a cat around it), and quarterly fertilizings. Don't repot often, but if you see lots of leaf growth, prune (this will make the trunk at least appear to be thicker than it is, and eventually it actually will become so). Oh, and don't fuss over it - they like that phrase common to these plants - benign neglect. There's also an FAQ to read (check the link).

Lennie and flygirl,

That process of the leaf becoming a plant will be expedited if you mist the leaves a few times a week (possibly even every day, but I myself am much too lazy for that). Now's the time for them to grow until the hot weather.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jaded Not Faded

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 9:49

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 9:41AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

This was a cutting from my sister, and this is what happened when it finally became too tall. For a moment there, I considered making this 'Crosby's [not so] Compact' ;-) into a cascading Jade, but I don't have the room or the patience.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:30AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I have far too many Jades as is, and several duplicates of this variety, so I opted for just a single trunk-cut and I discarded the cutting. The trunk immediately "sprang up" when the weight was removed. Once the plant has grown some leaves, I'll re-evaluate and very likely take it down further.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 10:35AM
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I appreciate everyone taking the time to offer comments/suggestions. Thanks :) I'll trim, let the cuttings callous and replant. *crosses fingers*

This post was edited by fly_girl_756 on Thu, Apr 4, 13 at 15:29

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Can I ask why this plant is growing up so quick and tall ? I have the same plant to fly_girl_756, and it was broken into half after a storm. I really just want to make the plant's or trunk thicker, it doesn't need to be so tall and thin like it is now.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 3:28AM
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