How to Prune a Jade Plant

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Jade plants are beautiful and easy to grow; so easy that they can grow unwieldy, with heavy, stooping branches. While the plants are low maintenance, requiring little water and adapting to indoor, low-light conditions, they require occasional pruning to keep their limbs from growing too heavy for the trunk. These branches can be trimmed and used to grow new plants. Pruning a jade is easy and will benefit the overall health of the plant. Typically, only plants that are several years old, with branches that are getting leggy or droopy, require pruning.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Examine the jade plant and decide which branches you would like to trim, making sure to target any that are bruised or that appear unhealthy. Plan to eliminate 20 percent of the growth on a large jade; if your jade is less than two feet tall, avoid a heavy pruning until the plant is strong and shrub-like in appearance.

  • Take a pair of sharp pruning shears and snip the chosen branch . Be sure to trim the branch back to the nearest node, identifiable as the site where leaves grow out of the branch, or back to the main branch.

  • Store cuttings at room temperature. exposed to the air for 24 to 48 hours. The cuttings will dry out and a thin crust will form over the exposed stem.

  • At this point the cuttings can be replanted in moist soil and should begin to grow.

Tips & Warnings

  • For best results, prune the jade plant in spring or summer. If you live in a temperate climate, such as that of Northern or Southern California, you should be able to prune any time of the year. Note that when you prune back to the branch node, the plant will die back to that node and subsequently two branches will almost always grow from that node.

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