Ask a Question forum: The Bending Jade

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Name: Tiffany Corley
Columbia, MO (Zone 6a)
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Alkhemist
Feb 4, 2018 4:53 PM CST
Last night I turned my jade, and when I woke up this morning the whole thing is bending over the pot. It's done this before and eventually stood itself upright again so I'm not worried, I just wondered why it does that and haven't had any success googling it. Thanks, all.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 4, 2018 5:07 PM CST
There are several factors causing your Jade to lean. One is that the size of the pot is quite large for the size of the plant. Tightly potted plants are better supported by their roots.

Another factor is improper watering that causes the roots to shrink back. This can happen because of either under or over watering. I don't know your watering routine, so it is hard to know which applies, but I am guessing you are under watering. It may be that you are not watering thoroughly when you do water thereby providing water only to the surface roots while the lower roots die back.

Finally, inadequate light will lead to weak stems, but that does not appear to the case with yours.

I suggest that you prune back your Jade as much as you can stand and relieve the force of gravity pulling it downward. Then, set the stem upright and use a small stake to hold it in place. When you water, put enough in so that a small amount trickles through the drain hole. Water again only when the top inch of soil is dry.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany Corley
Columbia, MO (Zone 6a)
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Alkhemist
Feb 4, 2018 6:09 PM CST
Thank you so much, Will. I am hoping that it will get quite large, as plants seem to do that here, and had thought giving it room to grow would help. Should I re-pot it and its offspring into a smaller size then wait for it to get bigger before moving it to a big one? Also I will make note to water deeply when I do, thanks for that. I now believe I may not be watering my big aloe enough either.
It was standing up just fine yesterday and seemed to have no problem doing so, but overnight it bent like this after I turned it to keep it from growing too much in one direction. I didn't even know that jade could move that fast, ha!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Feb 4, 2018 7:37 PM CST
Pots don't make plants grow larger any more than large shoes make kids grow bigger. Plants should be moved up only one size at a time and only when quite potbound. Jades stay in small pots for a long time. Light more than anything else determines how fast and large a plant grows.

You could downsize, but the risk of doing that is substantial unless you are very experienced. Just be sure you water more deeply and let the soil dry out sufficiently between waterings.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany Corley
Columbia, MO (Zone 6a)
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Alkhemist
Feb 8, 2018 10:24 AM CST
Excellent advice. It's standing back up now, so when it's erect I will re-pot. I am not experienced enough to be downsizing! Thank you for taking the time.
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Tisha
Feb 8, 2018 12:13 PM CST
Why are you repotting?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 8, 2018 1:56 PM CST
Prune, straighten the plant and get your watering under control. Don't fool with the roots or repotting. It will be a very long time before it needs repotting.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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Faridat
Feb 9, 2018 1:21 AM CST
Your aloe seems to have some problems too. I'd watch my watering. In my opinion these plants look underwatered and that is the reason why your Crassula gets "erect" again when it is watered. So, both of your Aloe and your Jade are thirsty. Our plants have their ways of telling us that something is wrong, so by wilting and bending, by shrinking, or changing color, or having marks, etc. We just have to learn to watch them more closely and understand their language. Smiling
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Tiffany Corley
Columbia, MO (Zone 6a)
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Alkhemist
Feb 25, 2018 2:09 PM CST
Thank you Will and Faridat, for taking the time. These plants were all orphaned and they have come to me, so it's great to have this opportunity to learn from those who know. Need to research pruning, I've not done that before. It's such an art form, and I have a long way to go. Cheers!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Feb 25, 2018 4:13 PM CST
Pruning is so much simpler than repotting. Simply cut the stem back to the length or height that you prefer. It is like getting your haircut. New growth will emerge on the cut stem just below the pruning cut and grow out from there. You can not harm the plant by pruning, which only alters its appearance. Pruning will allow you to get the plant to any shape and size that you want.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany Corley
Columbia, MO (Zone 6a)
Image
Alkhemist
Apr 4, 2018 12:55 PM CST
My jade is now standing upright and doing very well! There are new leaves growing between existing ones and I have six new starts. With this new information on pruning I am considering what I want it to look like. I am pruning my aloe as well, and it's doing so much better. I'm watering all my plants more often and being more attentive to their needs.

Thank You!

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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Apr 4, 2018 1:34 PM CST
Thanks for the update. Looking great!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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