Jade plant

whip1 Zone 5 NE OhioMay 16, 2006

I have a nice jade plant. It is getting a little top heavy, and I would like to trim it, and make the trunk thicker. I have read a lot of the other post here and in the house plant forum. If I understand correctly, you can trim evry leaf, and they will grow back. Is this true? The plant has a nice trunk, and three branches. Is it best to remove the branches, or just the leaves? Does anyone have some good pics of their jades after trimming? How aggressive can I get? I don't mind trimming plants, but I'm afraid to over do it, and kill the plant.

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denise_gw

When I get serious about whacking mine back, I cut off the branches so that when I'm done, what I have is the trunk and about 2" of each branch, no leaves. No, don't just remove the leaves, but cut below the last set of leaves on each branch, but above the trunk and the new leaves will sprout on the old woody branches. Set it in a bright but fairly shady spot until the new leaves start to emerge (and keep it moderately watered...) When the new leaves start to sprout, you can move it gradually into full sun. This way the new leaves adapt to the intense sun and will have more color. And don't toss the cuttings - start lots of new Jades and then you have many to experiment with an figure out your favorite way to grow them.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 6:51PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

After I posted, I thought a picture might help.

I guess this will be the "before" picture! I'm going to cut below the lowest leaf. What do you recomend I cut it with? Scissors, knife, saw, or something else?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 7:01PM
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denise_gw

A sharp clean knife. I would go above the last pair of leaves since the lowest pair are so close to the trunk. Then pull off those last leaves to force new growth. This should leave you a couple of inches of each branch above the trunk. Set the cuttings aside for a week or so before putting in potting mix, then mist the cuttings every day until roots form. They root quickly this time of year.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 7:51PM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Cut those stems in half and listen to Denise. Denise, he is from Ohio, I wouldn't mist the extra leaves, I would just lay them on top of damp soil, and don't water until he sees new leaves forming. I would be afraid of rot. Norma

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 1:46AM
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denise_gw

The reason I mist is because it lightly dampens the top of the soil just enough to encourage roots, but not enough to have a wet pot of soil. I've found they root faster using this method, but Jades will root even without any soil at all. If you toss a Jade cutting aside on your kitchen counter and look at again in a few weeks - voila! - you'll see new roots at the first joint!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 7:38AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

....Well.... I did it! My jade does not look very happy right now, but I hope it will recover!. I will post a picture when I get a chance.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 10:49PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

I don't show these photos as this is "how to do it", but to reassure you the tiny bit of pruning on your plant that you've done is not going to kill it.

This was done about 6 weeks ago before I moved all of my plants outside for the growing season. It was the ugliest Crassula on the face of the earth and did not deserve another day as it was.



It was cut way below any foliage and has budded back nicely. I'll let it go for a few years and see what develops. What's left of the trunk is about 2 inches in diameter.

I rarely prune anything for instant gratification, it's done for what will come from the pruning afterwards.

randy

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 5:46PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

rjj, WOW!!! I wasn't that drastic, but I did remove a lot. Here is the after picture.

Should I remove those last leaves? I thought if I left them, it wouldn't be as hard on the plant. Does anyone have a picture of a jade about a year after trimming?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 9:12PM
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becca_grow(2)

You can remove them, your plant will be fine. I took EVERY leaf off my Jade, and 4 months later it is happy as can be with TONS of new leaves.
:)
becca

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 4:55PM
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rhodostom(z6 MO)

Sweet fancy cut backs Randy! That is amazing. Will that scar disappear by the time the new trunk is 2-3" again?

-Michael

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 6:03PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Michael

I doubt it. I have a cut about that size on another Crassula that is 2 years old. It's just now getting the bark texture inside the cut and starting to blend in.

The thing about this cut is that it's on the back of the plant where it will not be noticeable. All large trunk chops on other species are done similar to this where the front of the plant will hide it in the future.

randy

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:07PM
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breenthumb

I cut one back to the divided trunks once and it never came back. Any idea why? Thats what is keeping me from cutting 2 others back "too far." And they really need it. Thanks, Sandy

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 10:14PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I wanted to update everyone. I removed the last few leaves. I did the first triming on May 18th. Today I found some very small green buds on the tips of each branch. Less than a month, and it's growing back!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 12:12AM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Denise, just leave the plant alone now, and give it a chance to grow back. I always leave some green on top. It looks good to me. I wouldn't be any more drastic than that. You can always cut it again, don't be in a hurry, study the shape and decide what you want it to look like when finshed, then cut and re-examine again, then cut. Norma

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 2:28AM
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gabro14

I've seen so many jade postings on pruning and cutting back. It seems to be an important aspect in caring for this plant. I inherited a large jade plant (in an 18" pot) because the people that had it were killing it. When I first got it, the trunks were completely limp and hanging over the pot. I withheld water from it, propped the trunks on sticks to hold them up, and put the tree in direct sunlight. Now the trunks can stand on their own. When I look at some of the pics people post of their jade plants, they look very full and nicely pruned. However, I personally like to see the trunks, and don't like such a full look. Believe it or not, I like when the little offshoot branches are strangly and unpruned. That's just my preference. I know it makes the plant top heavy (I have to use sticks to hold up some of the side branches), but I really like the way it looks and I'm very hesitant to prune it. Is it bad for the plant to not prune it? I also notice that the largest trunk seems very "scaly" and dry. Is this ok? Here are some pics, let me know what you think. Thanks!

Full plant:

Close-up of trunk that is 'scaly':

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 4:04PM
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fred_grow

gabro the scaly trunk is OK, your jade would benefit from LOTS more light.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 8:36PM
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grandmascuttings

Im trying a bonsaai, of jade never done one before, but I have plenty of cuttings (or pinches) to expieriment with. My results, The one in the dish looks like I want it to(shallow 1" clay pot) But the others in a deeper 4" pot have thicker stems and slightly taller. I am trying young 3 branches to begin with. I saw a 40 yr. old one I just thought was beautiful and even though mine are only 2yrs old im trying for the same results. 10 yrs. from now i'll know what I should and shouldnt have done.Jades make great indoor outdoor plants here in mich. they even show fall colors of red and purple.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 10:06PM
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gabro14

Do you have a pic to post of your project thus far? And I have a question...you mentioned using younger branches. Does it matter whether you use young branches or old branches to start a new plant? Anyone, please chime in. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 10:15PM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

I love the bark on your C. ovata "Jade". The reason you trim those long floppy branches is to keep them from breaking off due to weight. It you cut only 1/3 of the top growth the trunk will thicken. If you deceide to keep it that way then cut down on watering, and give it more light, that way the branches will be stronger. The more you cut the more top growth you will get from each cut, then more flowers when it is time for it to flower. Keep us posted. By the way, scars on succulent or cacti do not heal they just add personality. Norma

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 12:45AM
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gabro14

Thanks Norma. If you look at my other post...(I think it's title Jade Post New Thread), you'll see the dramatic (at least for me!) after picture. Even though I didn't prune all the leaves and branches, I pruned the hanging ones. I didn't want to put me...or my plant...into shock by taking it all off! But I will definitely put up pics when it has grown in. So if I cut the trunk with thicken? THat's great! And about the scars....the previous owners had hacked away at it a few years ago, so there are already some old scars....I kinda like them! I agree, they add personality.
Thanks,
Gabi

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:52AM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

Here's a picture of mine after 8 months. It's doing very well!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 9:15AM
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gabro14

Wow..that's encouraging! Glad I pruned mine :)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 2:54PM
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rodalco

Great photo's and talk about the Jade plant.
Hi, I'm Raymond from New Zealand and just joined this forum with all these fantastic plant lovers.
I have quite a few Jade Plants inside and outside in the garden.
These are easy to propagate, just break or cut a branch of and let it dry for a few weeks. Quite often roots will form by themselves and they are ready for potting.
On bigger plants you may miss the flowering of the Crassula, because they flower on last years growth.
I nearly killed one which was inside a dark room and i forgot about it.
When put outside it got sunburnt and lost all its leaves, only the bare trunk and branches stood up. I thought that was the end but no, the crassula recovered fully and is very healthy looking. I will post some photo's soon.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 3:32PM
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rodalco

Hi, me back again.
It took me a while to find this thread, couldn't find it via last post.

Here are some photo's from last winters flowering.
The crassula's set buds in late June and start flowering July (NZ winter).

[img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/155/345958275_8349d22bde.jpg[/img]

[img]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/143/345958272_a467814329.jpg[/img]

It is interesting to see that crassula's have 4, 5 and 6 petals on the flowers.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 7:18PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

From personnal experience, jades are prety hardy plants! Unless they are over watered, they are hard to kill!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 10:01AM
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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Below the equator opposite weather. Do you grow Sansevieria down there? If so, when do they flower? Norma

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:54PM
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greenclaws UKzone8a

Hi, I am new to this particular forum and saw the jade plant thread and thought you might like to see a pic I took of mine today. Its 8 yrs old and is flowering for its third or fourth season.
As you can see I am from sunny ole' England, so it's winter here although we have only had a couple of slight frosts and no snow...yet!
It lives in the greenhouse which is heated to keep it frost free. Its one of two I have grown from a couple of 2 inch cuttings, both are now around 18 inches from the top of the pot and are coming into flower. The trunks are about 3inches in diameter. They weigh a ton and are very top heavy!
I have never pruned either as they seem to be quite symmetrical and grow strong thick brances. They seem to benefit from a colder spell like in our winter rather than being kept in a central heated house, this appears to promote mine into flowering anyway.

Happy New Year to all on the cactus forum.
Greenclaws.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 10:47AM
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simon_polymath

Hi. I have a jade plant that is the ugliest plant i have ever seen and i'm totally in love with... lol. My problem is that it only has one main branch running straight up 13 inches with droopy leaves. I am using a couple pieces of ornate chopsticks to keep the plant propped up from tipping over (I like the oriental look it gives it) but i'm afraid that if I don't do something it will become too tall and top heavy for that single branch to support. Is there anything I can do to maybe cut the plant down and encourage it to branch from where I cut it back and also persuade the leaves to look a little perkier? I do know that I used to water my plant way too much, but I have slowly cut back to once a week.

I would appreciate any advice or stories about similar situations anyone has encountered.

Thanks!

-Simon

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:38PM
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gabro14

Once a WEEK? You should be watering your jade once a MONTH at most in the cold months. I water my 2' jade once every 1-2 months. Some people don't water them at all in the winter. I still can't get over that you actually cut back to once a week....how much were you watering before??? This plant is a succulent and therefore can be killed by overwatering, which you are doing. The leaves hold the water so they can go a long time without water. It's better to underwater jades than to overwater them. I would withhold water for a while if I were you.

Anyway, if you are asking what you can do to cut the plant down and encourage perkier branches, the answer is to simply cut it down. Cut off all the hanging branches. Judging by the amount you've been watering, those branches (if not the whole tree) are probably rotted. So I would definitely cut them all off and leave the single trunk. If the trunk is healthy then you'll be happy when the leaves finally grow back. It may be a shock at first (trust me, I had to cut mine back and it was very shocking), but your plant will look better eventually.

My advice to you is to do some searches on here for jade care. There are tons of posts...it's one of the most popular succulents, so you'll find a ton of info. Hopefully, if your main trunk is in good health, you can save your plant and start over.

Good luck,
Gabi

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:58PM
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dragonstone

Whoa! Everything Gabi has said is right. Don't be afraid to let the pot dry out.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 3:37AM
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simon_polymath

Thank you soooooo much for the advice. As you can tell I am extremely new at this and my attachment to growing indoor plants far exceeds my knowledge and ability. What is the best method for replanting cuttings to create new plants? I've heard/read about many differnet techniques, although the most common practice seems to be removing the sample and leaving it out for a period of time letting a "callus" form. If this is the best process then what is the best length of time before replanting the cutting?

Thank you sooo much for your help!!!

-Simon

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 1:26PM
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gabro14

There are a lot of ways to root your cuttings, but it seems as though the cuttings might not be healthy by the way you described the plant. It's worth a try though. If they aren't rotted, then you can just let the cuttings sit out in bright light, not direct sun though, and they will probably just root on their own...then you pot them up in fast draining soil. Some people plant them in very coarse soil mix after they callous. Or you can put them in water to root but you probably don't need to do that since Spring is coming around. There's not just one way...if you have lots of cuttings maybe try a few ways. But do a search on here about rooting/propagating jade cuttings...you'll find a lot of info. If you can, put a pic up of your plant...that would get you some more information on its condition.
Good luck,
Gabi

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:45PM
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tanyag

Hey Simon,

How much space was/is between the leaf sets? It may not be getting enough light. I don't think Jade will branch as much if it is not getting correct light.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 12:01PM
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