How to Trim a Jade Plant
Is your jade plant getting a little wild looking or maybe even lopsided? Perhaps it’s time for a trim. Jared produced a great jade-trimming video in the Groovy Plants Ranch greenhouse and shares tips here. Just ask him, and he’ll be the first to tell you a good trim will make your jade plant (Crassula ovata) not only look better but also grow healthier. Untrimmed jade plants can become very top heavy and are prone to splitting and breaking. In fact, he trims his five-year-old jade plant twice a year.
All you need to get started is a pair of sharp hand pruners or scissors and some rubbing alcohol. Use the rubbing alcohol to clean the pruners in the beginning and a few times as you go.
Before making cuts, examine the plant and ensure it is not wrinkling or wilted before trimming. Look for crisscrossing branches, downward pointing ones, branches close to the soil and leggy stems. Selectively remove these problematic branches that take away from plant’s aesthetics and waste its resources. For most cuts, go all the way back to the node (that’s where the leaves emerge from the stem). Continue removing branches to reach the desired dome shape. If you have one side of the plant with thinner growth, try making a few cuts between nodes to encourage branching and fuller growth.
Jared says trimmed jade plants may look a little bare and sad but will make an astounding come back. Pruned in spring, the jade plant will put out new growth in just three to four weeks. Pruned in winter, new growth will take a little longer. Just make sure to hold off watering the newly trimmed plant for a week.
The perks of pruning is plant cuttings can be grown into more jade plants. Just place them in a dry shady spot for a few days to allow the cuts to dry or “callous.” Next, place the cuttings in pots, and barely water them for 2-3 weeks.
Groovy Plants Ranch offers several jade plant varieties, including the classic jade plant, variegated jade plant, Golden Jade (with gold leaves and red edges), Jitters Jade (with wavy green leaves) and Hobbit Jade (with curled, tubular leaves). Native to South Africa, these tough long-lived plants thrive in dry conditions. Like other succulents, jade plants have fleshy leaves and thick stems to store water. Luckily, they require little water and make a perfect fit for the plant challenged. They’re also known as dollar or money plants and make symbolic housewarming gifts to bring good fortune.