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Sep 10, 2019 1:36 PM CST

I'm hoping to get some advice on my jade plant. I've had it over 10 years. At my previous house it stayed pretty small and was very slow-growing. I don't think it got enough light. It's been in this north facing garden window for the last 8 years. It's the best light in my house as the rest of the house is surrounded by woods. It seems fairly happy, but it's gotten very leggy. I've been taking better care of it the last couple of years and the amount of new growth is impressive. But it's still very tall.
The legginess started at the old house and I didn't know until very recently that pruning could have helped. Now I worry it's too late?
I did snip off some of the small branches today to encourage them to fill out. But that's not going to reduce the tall "trunks". Is there anything I can do? Should I, could I, go so drastic as to chop off the entire top down to only a few inches tall? I love this plant and don't want to kill it.
I have 2 established babies that I grew from leaves. And today I planted a few cuttings and set out several leaves to try to get a bunch of baby plants.
Any advice would be appreciated!

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Sep 10, 2019 3:31 PM CST
Southern Indiana (Zone 6a)
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alhj said:I'm hoping to get some advice on my jade plant. I've had it over 10 years. At my previous house it stayed pretty small and was very slow-growing. I don't think it got enough light. It's been in this north facing garden window for the last 8 years. It's the best light in my house as the rest of the house is surrounded by woods. It seems fairly happy, but it's gotten very leggy. I've been taking better care of it the last couple of years and the amount of new growth is impressive. But it's still very tall.
The legginess started at the old house and I didn't know until very recently that pruning could have helped. Now I worry it's too late?
I did snip off some of the small branches today to encourage them to fill out. But that's not going to reduce the tall "trunks". Is there anything I can do? Should I, could I, go so drastic as to chop off the entire top down to only a few inches tall? I love this plant and don't want to kill it.
I have 2 established babies that I grew from leaves. And today I planted a few cuttings and set out several leaves to try to get a bunch of baby plants.
Any advice would be appreciated!

Thumb of 2019-09-10/alhj/4824fe
Thumb of 2019-09-10/alhj/6f6d5f


I actually think it looks really cool like that! Some people actually train their jade plants into bonsai trees. Your window situation, looks fine to me. In a normal north facing window, it may be too dark, but since yours is sort of a little greenhouse, I think it's fine. I'm not a jade expert, so I'm not sure what you could do as far as size control goes. Maybe @Baja_Costero knows?
Maybe we should get a second opinion...
Last edited by CrazedHoosier Sep 10, 2019 3:32 PM Icon for preview
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Sep 10, 2019 3:41 PM CST
Name: Codie
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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I agree
I love it! It does look happy. Smiling (but I'm no expert either)
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Sep 10, 2019 6:35 PM CST
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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You can prune your plant whenever you like, but it will continue to grow leggy (stretched, etiolated) stems given that northern exposure (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere). Do you have another window you can use? Something facing a southerly direction? Ideally the plant should "see" the sun for hours a day year round.

You can get an idea of how the light is affecting the plant by looking at the internodes, the distance between successive leaves along a stem. The stronger the light, the shorter that distance will be.

These plants tend to survive all sorts of extreme pruning, but maybe it would be better to start a new plant from a short-stemmed cutting in a brighter place, so that it grows more compact and sturdy. If you do cut your plant back, do it in such a way that you're favoring upright growth over sideways growth in the final product, because sideways growth is usually the first to show the adverse effects of gravity in a low light situation.
Last edited by Baja_Costero Sep 10, 2019 6:36 PM Icon for preview
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Sep 12, 2019 4:11 PM CST
IL
It looks great to me, how long ago was it repotted?
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Sep 13, 2019 12:59 PM CST

Mardel said:It looks great to me, how long ago was it repotted?

Many years ago. At least 6, if not closer to 8. I'm keeping my eyes open for a pot that isn't taller but is wider so it's more secure but will still fit my window for as long as possible!
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Sep 14, 2019 9:10 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
It is healthy and happy, so no reason to repot, especially since the available light is limited.

Pruning does no harm at all to a healthy plant, no matter how much you prune. Pruning does change the way the plant looks and that is a personal choice for you to make. But don't let the fear of hurting the plant inhibit you.
Will Creed
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Sep 16, 2019 2:02 AM CST
Name: Eric
Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Cactus and Succulents Plant and/or Seed Trader
It might really like to be outdoors for the summer months if a north window is the best you can do, and a bigger pot.
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Sep 23, 2019 11:46 AM CST
Name: Erica
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Houseplants
You can cut pieces off and root them and add to this if you want. The more light the better with these guys. Mine lives outside in full sun late spring-early fall. I wouldn't repot, jades have REALLY small root systems.

If you want it shorter you could always cut all of them off to the height you want them, root them and plant them back after your done and throw away the stumps.

If you don't have a higher light option tho it'll continue to grow like this. I do know people with jades in light situations like yours that just cut them once a year or so to keep them shorter.
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Sep 24, 2019 6:25 PM CST
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
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Save the stumps - they will have new growth on them in time.
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