Jade Roots

Aldeberan(6)August 10, 2014

Hi guys, been reading here a couple of years but didn't have an account.

About three weeks ago I transplanted my succulents into a gritty mix: 2 parts each of napa floor dry (sifted to >1/8") and pea gravel (washed and sifted to 1/8"), and 1.5 parts I have a couple of (recently acquired) 'Gollum' and 'E.T's Fingers' that have done well. They quickly grew stable root systems and have acclimated well to a return to the yard from the protective shade of the covered deck.

My regular jade seems less well... sort of. I've had it a couple of years and it got spindly in my old apartment sitting in a NE window. I'm in a new living situation now and can move plants outdoors for summer. My Jades had been 4 cuttings in a 3" pot and not surprisingly were extremely root bound. I put 3 of the original cuttings into a 6" pot, and put the nicest one in it's own 3" pot. I also pruned them all lightly - nowhere near as hard as I have routinely seen on the board.

All the Jades are showing new buds and leaves at the cut points. They're slowly acclimating to the sun. The one in it's own pot has not put out a stable root system. I've knocked it around a few times now when watering or moving it in/out of the sun (I've read to only start watering after a repot when new growth is seen). Today I tied it to some stakes to try to prevent that from happening again, and keep it straight up in the soil (larger rocks weren't doing it).

Is there something I should be doing to encourage development of a larger root system? Should I pinch back the new growth to get the plant to work on roots instead?

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Keeping them stable is important because every time you rattle it around, the fragile hair roots break, slowing the root growth. The health of the plant at the time of repotting is a factor too; the healthier the plant, the faster the recovery. I like to use solid wire and rig it around the pot rim to support my repotted jades. It keeps them very solid, even when picking up and moving the pots. Just be patient my friend, it'll come around.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:48PM
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Joe, I am also having trouble with "wobbly" jade plants. I'm getting ready to prune and transplant (I just got them--you'll see I have a long post about "rescuing my rescue".) But in case you can't bear to read everything I wrote, could you please explain what you mean when you say "solid" wire. I've been trying to figure out how to support the plant(s) once I prune them. Perhaps if you have a photo, you could post it so I can understand just what you're using and your method.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 3:01AM
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Here's a picture of 2 jades I have supported with wire. When I say solid wire, I am referring to single strand copper wire, like that found in electrical cable for house wiring, known commonly as Romex. Being an electrician, naturally I have easy access to any sort of wire, but solid works best, because it is rigid, and bends into any shape you want, versus stranded wire, which is too bendy and loose. Notice how I form gentle hooks in the wire, so as not to damage the trunks or leave marks. On the taller Crosby's compact, I used a contraption made of wire with loops twisted in to provide a place to secure the wires. I have removed some, because it is pretty well stable, so only a couple wires are shown. For the variegated jade, I went the easy route and just taped the support wires on with vinyl tape.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:27PM
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