How to Make Your Jade Plants Branch Out

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Jade plants (Crassula argentea) are succulent evergreens with fleshy, round, dark green or blue-gray foliage. Jade is a tough and easy-to-grow houseplant that thrives in typical home environments. Many of the jade plants found in nurseries and grocery stores have been pruned and trained with an emphasis on vertical growth. If you want your jade plants to branch out and develop lateral limbs, pinch them back, and give them plenty of sun, water and nutrients. The best time to pinch back jade plants is in the early spring, before new growth begins.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears (optional)
  • Watering can
  • Water-soluble houseplant fertilizer

Pinch or snip the tips of some of the branches back to the next healthy leaf node. Pinch back all or most of the growth on the sides of the jade plant to encourage it to form lateral branches.

Irrigate the jade plant after pinching it back to thoroughly moisten the soil and promote new growth. Continue to water the plant as often as necessary to keep the soil evenly moist during the spring and summer months, when jade plants are actively growing. Allow the surface of the soil to dry to the touch before watering in the winter.

Position the plant in a sunny location in your garden or within 4 feet of a south- or west-facing window when grown indoors. The plant must receive four or more hours of direct sunlight per day.

Feed the plant an application of a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer to jump-start its growth. Mix and apply the fertilizer according to the directions on the product label.

Tips & Warnings

  • The tips cut from jade plants can be dusted with a rooting hormone powder and planted in individual planting containers, if desired.
  • Allowing jade plants to sit in standing water for extended periods of time will cause their roots to rot. All excess water must drain from potted jade plants after irrigating.

References

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