Ask a Question forum: Taking care of, pruning, shaping a large Jade plant

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Mar 11, 2017 10:38 AM CST
Good Day,

I recently acquired a large Jade (in the condition shown in the pic) and now that Spring is fast approaching I'm looking for pro tips on the following. I have read articles, blogs online but I wanted to come here for some specific advice while I describe my particular plant.

1) How much water now and once Spring/Summer arrive? Currently my plant sheds some leaves, not many, one here, one there...they are completely dry and just fall off or fall into my hand as I gently touch them...No yellow leaves etc. I've been giving it roughly 500ml of water each week and the soil is never wet, in fact it might be dry most of the time (winter here is quite dry)

2) My goal is to prune/shape the plant, stimulating lateral buds instead of vertical. I would like to shape out the bottom to expose the wooden trunks, and give it a nice tree shape look but I want to do this correctly.

3) Plant food? When, what type and how much/often?

Please take a look at my pic, rughly 2 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide, with many trunks roughly one inch or more in thickness for the majority.

Gets some winter sun now (it's not sunny often) through a window and will remain an indoor plant while receiving a lot more sun come summer. I could take it outside on the balcony but I don't want to deal with cleaning/dust etc and transporting it because she is quite heavy.

Thank you kindly,

Thumb of 2017-03-11/xPepi/bcf06d

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 11, 2017 7:40 PM CST
Your photo is very dark so its hard to say what you have going on there.

You can't really prune a jade too much - they come back no matter what. I would suggest a little thinning so that the plant is airier. Start at the bottom and cut all the side branches off the main stems to a few inches up each trunk (depending upon how much trunk you want showing). Thin some of the side branches out of the center until you have the airiness that you are going for. Then cut the remaining branches off so there are just a couple leaves on each branch. The branches will resprout at the leaf node closest to the cut end.

Also, these plants need very bright light and can handle some sun too if its dappled. When they are healthy and happy, the leaf edges turn red. Your plant will quickly grow leggy with your current plan.

Here are some examples of well grown jades:

Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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