Houseplants forum: Turning Jade Stalk into Fuller Plant

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Lobalobo
Jan 19, 2017 2:59 PM CST
In my office, I've grown a Jade plant from a small stem. The plant, picture included in this post, is as healthy as I could expect. But now I want to re-pot it and change its shape. As you can see the top of the plant is beginning to spread out bush-like from a long single trunk with large leaves. What I'm aiming for is a significantly larger pot and a plant with a thicker trunk (or trunks) that bushes out as much as it grows up.

Should I trim this plant but cutting off most of its branches and create multiple trunks scattered in a larger pot? Or should I try for two trunks here, the existing one and the one made from a single cut near the top where the plant begins to spread? Or is something between better? Also, I've read that to prevent straight up stalk-like growth in the future, the plant should be pinched where two leaves propagate from the same point, but I'm not sure what "pinch" means or what is meant precisely by two leaves "at the same point." Thanks in advance for any help.


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[Last edited by Lobalobo - Jan 19, 2017 3:01 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
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tarev
Jan 19, 2017 3:57 PM CST
If it were mine, I would bring it outdoors as soon as your outdoor growing conditions are okay. It would grow much faster and better outdoors. Indoors, the light is rather limited, as seen on your plant, the leaves looking too deep green and leaves a bit droopy. Depending where your location is, if you got snowy conditions, you got to wait for Spring.

Crassula ovata roots are rather shallow, so using too big container when plant is still small is not ideal, dry out time of media will take longer, and you may end up with rotting roots.

My jade stays outdoors year round, since our winters are milder, but we do get chilly temps and rains. Grown outdoors the plant is able to do better gas exchange at night when its leaves stomates are open. I don't really do anything special for my jade, just leaving it growing outdoors and stepping up watering when our super hot and dry months return.

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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Jan 20, 2017 10:25 AM CST
Whatever you do to the plant with pruning or re-rooting will be secondary to the light the plant receives. If you want a bushy plant with a wide trunk relative to its height, you'll get the best results with a lot of sun. Given the light your plant is currently receiving, it will never reach those proportions. Try to get it out in the sun in the spring (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere), but do it gradually: start it out in bright shade then over the course of weeks slowly increase the exposure step by step so that the sun does not fry your plant before it has proper defenses. It does take a while for an indoor plant to be able to take lots of outdoor sun. You'll know you have good light when the distance between successive leaves along the stem (internode) is short and the edges of the leaves have red highlights.

My recommendation indoors would be to find the brightest spot available, ideally right by a south-facing window this time of year, with hours of daily sun. Without that daily sun, your plant will eventually grow tall and spindly, rather than short and wide. Eventually it will require pruning when the weight of all that succulence becomes too much for the stem to bear, and the sideways branches start pointing down. Plants out in full sun (here we are fortunate in having a mild climate that permits this year round) never need pruning.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 20, 2017 10:27 AM (+)]
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