Top-Heavy Jade with scarce roots

adorablurrMay 4, 2014

I was given this jade as a cutting from another plant, and so far it has been growing taller (or longer, as you see in the photo) rather than branching out or forming roots to anchor it. Now the top is so heavy that it keeps jumping out of the pot when lightly touched.

Should I be plucking its upper leaves or giving it some plant food to encourage root growth? I'm worried that if I cut some of the upper leaves it will become quite the ugly beast of a plant.

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, it looks to be a small-leaf Jade variety...and they have a tendency to go long, then droop. How much sun does it receive? It has good color, but the small-leaf varieties are also known for coloring well even in dim conditions.

One option would be to prune it, more or less, in half. Pot the short root-end, and let it develop.....and then root the top half into its own plant. I'd also recommend a mix with more coarse material - perlite, pumice, turface, DE, other grit.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:07PM
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adorablurr

Josh, it is indeed a small-leaf jade. I have it near a south-facing window and gets 3-4 hours of bright sunlight - which is the best I can do, I'm afraid. I'm a bit worried if I prune it, the same thing will happen again... although I'm not sure what else I can do at this point.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 12:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Prune it, and then keep pruning :-)
That's the key....each time it makes a few pairs (2 - 3) of leaves, pinch off the tips to keep it branching regularly.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:19PM
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adorablurr

Do you mean that it'll create two to three branches from where I prune it? What do you mean by pinch off the tips? (Do I take off the top few leaves?)

Thanks a bunch!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:14PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes. You literally pinch off the tip.
As a general rule, a healthy Jade will produce two stems/branches wherever pruned.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:33PM
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