Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Pruning Jade plants

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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 10, 2016 1:47 PM CST
I have a very droopy Jade plant that I'm going to cut back to try to get it to grow more upright. I have read both that I can cut it back all the way to the trunk, leaving the first branch node, or, that I shouldn't cut more than 20%-30% off at once. Which should I believe?
Thumb of 2016-07-10/msandsm/c49646

msandsm
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jul 10, 2016 2:28 PM CST
Hi & welcome!

Pruning will get rid of the growth that's currently leaning, but it won't grow more upright if it's not put in a brighter spot. That's the growth it can produce in its' current location.
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[Last edited by purpleinopp - Jul 10, 2016 2:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jul 10, 2016 2:33 PM CST
Welcome! @msandsm. In my experience, you can cut them pretty much any way you want. If you simply want to shape this leggy one, take off the ends of the branches where you want that final shape to be. That could be 1/3, 1/2, or even 2/3 of the lengths. You can plant those cuttings and most of them will root. In my opinion I think you have those leggy, drooping branches because of lack of light. Jade do best in very strong, though indirect light. They can be acclimated to sun, but if you rush it, the leaves will sunburn. Early morning or very late afternoon sun is great though. When the leaves of mine get reddish along the leaf-borders, I know it is getting just the right amount of sun and bright light.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 17, 2016 3:20 PM CST
Well, I've done two things. First I cut off any limbs that were drooping (I kept about 10 cuttings right where they became straight, and a number of leaves). I staked it and used floral tape to help new (straight, hopefully!) branches grow. And I moved it from the shade to a spot where it gets morning sun but is in shade after about 1:00. It's just too bright (SW facing) and hot here to leave it in full sun all day. I've included before and after pictures. I'd also like to hear what it's water needs are after cutting it back so severely.
Thumb of 2016-07-17/msandsm/830c03


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msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jul 17, 2016 3:40 PM CST
When the soil looks dry, water it thoroughly. It won't require very frequent watering with so few leaves. If you were watering every week, it might be every two weeks. I don't use a rigid schedule though. Watering can also be dependent on how much heat there is how much humidity. We still don't know where you are located. Update your profile to show your location.

One sure way to tell when a jade is begging for water is when the leaves show a bit of shriveling. When you water, you want to be sure that the root-ball really does get wet, particularly if you allow the root-ball to dry out excessively. I water with a gentle-rain attachment on my hose and will do it twice, waiting a minute or so between waterings.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 17, 2016 6:02 PM CST
Hi drdawg - I've updated my profile so you can see where I am, zone, etc. In my zone, 9a, summers are very hot and dry (as in no humidity, no rain). To make things worse, my garden is on the SW side of my apartment. It's odd, but despite fertilizing, my plants usually don't bloom more than once. Makes me sad. :(
msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jul 17, 2016 7:20 PM CST
Thanks for updating with your location, Melissa. You are in a difficult situation for sure. The first thing I would try to do is moderate that west sun on the plants. Here at my home, when the ambient temperature is 90F at 6:00 PM, the temperature, according to my digital sensor hanging on a brick wall facing west, reads 120F. That's what kills plants quickly. Some shade is badly needed. With your hot, dry conditions, more frequent watering will be necessary. How and when I water does not relate to your conditions.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 17, 2016 8:39 PM CST
drdawg - I have resorted to putting up a 9' umbrella to provide shade for those that need it most. But with the sun's movement during the day, I find I need to move plants around to get the right amount of light and shade they need. And I water everything (with the exception of my geranium bush, and the Jade and succulents) every day, some twice a day. Then I cross my fingers!

msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 18, 2016 5:50 AM CST
Melissa, sometimes we have to come up with "novel" ways to improve our growing conditions. Is there any way to get some nice plumeria that have a lush leaf-canopy? That/those plant could give your plants some much needed shade. Plumeria love heat and love sun.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 18, 2016 10:05 AM CST
Well, I've done two things. First I cut off any limbs that were drooping (I kept about 10 cuttings right where they became straight, and a number of leaves). I staked it and used floral tape to help new (straight, hopefully!) branches grow. And I moved it from the shade to a spot where it gets morning sun but is in shade after about 1:00. It's just too bright (SW facing) and hot here to leave it in full sun all day. I've included before and after pictures. I'd also like to hear what it's water needs are after cutting it back so severely.
Thumb of 2016-07-17/msandsm/830c03


Thumb of 2016-07-17/msandsm/3f44fa

msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 18, 2016 10:13 AM CST
Melissa, @msandsm, do you realize you re-posted something from yesterday? Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 18, 2016 10:51 AM CST
Sorry, no, I didn't realize that. To be honest, I don't know a lot about,how forums work, although this one seems fairly simple. At least it's not full of abbreviations I don't understand!
msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 18, 2016 12:19 PM CST
Tell me about it, Melissa. I know what DIL, DH, DW, MIL, and LOL mean. Heck, I don't even own a cell phone, so why in the world would I need to know what all the abbreviations mean? We have an English language and I am proud to be able to actually put sentences together.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jul 18, 2016 2:45 PM CST
Melissa, your location is about 3 hours to my north, so we have similar hot and dry inland location. Jades slow down in growth during summer, it waits to perk up again, once we come into cooler Fall conditions. I water my jades once a week, it is just too dry anyways, our humidity is too low, so very fast dry out time. But it fattens its stems at this time, it efficiently stores the moisture there and in its leaves.
Your plant was going droppy, since it wanted more light.

If that were my plant, I would have slowly acclimated it to outdoors in Spring, so by summer it is already accustomed to outside conditions. Active gas exchange with succulents happens at night when its stomates are open, so it will enjoy being outdoors.

My jades stay outdoors year round, and they can take the summer conditions and our mild winters nicely. I think since we still manage to get a nice cool down at night, it ably handles the super dry and hot daytime especially when heat wave occurs. But I do make sure to water them thoroughly when heat wave is being forecast for that week.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 24, 2016 4:16 PM CST
Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to the head. tarev, you say you leave your jades out all year. Becayse I'm at about 1200-1500' off the valley floor, we often get winter temps in the 30's. Isn't that a bit cold for leaving it out? A nursery suggested I get a cloth - im not clear what kind they meant - to cover it in the winter with the intent of helping it stay a little warmer. Are you familiar with that?

drdawg: a DH is a designated hitter, right? 😊
msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 24, 2016 4:28 PM CST
It is, but most refer to their "Dear Husband" with the DH (at least I think so).
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Jul 24, 2016 5:19 PM CST
Hi Melissa, for some sensitive plants of mine I wrap them with burlap. if freeze warnings is in forecast. Make sure it is kept dry and move plant container closer to your house. I have my jade outdoors and it has endured occasional 20-21 F during winter. It will get really chilled colors, reddish hues.

So far with mine, I have not wrapped it all these years during winter, but it is always in that spot right beside our house.You are in higher elevation, in case you also get snow fall forecast, then definitely move it indoors.

This was my jade taken Feb 2012
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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Jul 24, 2016 9:06 PM CST
That's a beautiful Jade tree! My Jade (and my new little Ripple Jade) will be taking their chances one way or the other this winter. My apartment is pretty dark (which is how it got to be so droopy in the first place), and I have yet to find any artificial lighting I can afford. So if I bring it in it doesn't get enough light, if I leave it out it might get frost bitten. I will definitely get some burlap and cover it when I know it's going to be too cold, or snowy. Thanks for the suggestion!
msandsm
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 25, 2016 5:48 AM CST
Melissa, a simple, inexpensive shop light with two or four T5 or even T8 tubes will help with your light problems. Fluorescent fixtures produce quite a bit of light, are cheap to run, and can be hung almost anywhere. Check these fixtures out at any hardware or big-box store.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
msandsm
Aug 18, 2016 10:24 AM CST
A month ago I said that I had pruned my jade plant back. But there's no new growth on it yet. Shouldn't I be seeing some by now? And I'm watering it once a week. Too often? It's been in the high 90's to over 100 deg here for several weeks.
msandsm

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