The Q&A Archives: Jade Plant Pruning

Question: I have a bunch of different jade plants, all sprouted from 1 store bought jade and a leaf from another jade. However, my plants seem to keep growing up and up, with these big thick stems, and the bottom leaves fall off. It starts to curl around, and basically looks really ugly. The leaves get really big, and sometimes, red flowers sprout off the plant. I am wondering if I pruned each plant (which I have never done) if they would look better and grow into a big Jade I could be proud of. However, I am not sure how to prune it.

Answer: What you've described is the standard growth habit for the Jade plant (Crassula argentea). They can grow up to three feet high and generally have a bare tree-like trunk. However, Jade plants are good bonsai specimens, and take well to pinching and pruning. To keep your plants small, put them in small containers so there's barely room for new roots to grow. Then start pinching off the growing tips as they appear. You'll have to carefully manage the water for your potbound Jade plants. Let the soil dry out between waterings, but don't let it get bone-dry for any length of time. Since you have so many plants, experiment with different pruning techniques on each one - pinch off all new growth on one of them, and pinch only some of the new growth off on another. You'll eventually discover which technique works best for you, and produces the look you want.

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