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Do you want to know how to make a jade plant bushy? Perhaps your plant has gotten leggy from neglect or poor care, or maybe you just have a single trunk plant and you want it to branch out and be nice and full.
In this post, I’ll show you step-by-step with photos, how simple it really is to encourage your jade plant to become a nice, full specimen! It is surprisingly easy to do. The procedure literally only takes minutes, and then you just have to wait for your plant to grow to see the results.
So how exactly do you make a jade plant nice and bushy? The answer is pruning. Don’t be scared…I’ll show you how with my own plants.
HOW TO MAKE A JADE PLANT BUSHY
Why would you want to prune a jade plant? The reasons are many, and they include:
- To control the size of your plant.
- To encourage your plant to grow more branches and become more full.
- To create a sturdier, stronger, and more compact plant.
- And while you’re at it…you can use the cuttings that you prune off to propagate if you want more plants.
Whether you have the plain old jade plant (Crassula ovata), or a cultivar like the ‘Gollum’ Jade, you can prune your plant the same way.
Here is my Gollum Jade that I grew from a cutting. You can see that it started to grow nicely, and even started to branch out on its own before I even did anything with it.
After it continued to grow, I wanted to prune it so that it would branch out and create a fuller plant. Simply select an area where you want your plant to branch out, and prune it off.
For example, look at the photo below. Prune each branch just a little bit above a set of leaves (where the red line is). Wherever you cut it off, you will get new branches forming right underneath that point.
I pruned this plant when it was a little older than the photo above, but the concept is exactly the same.
Take a look at what happened after just a few weeks of pruning. Each of the three branches that I pruned grew two new branches, so a total of 6 new branches.
Here is one example:
And the same new branches after they’ve grown a bit more:
After a few months of the initial pruning, here is what the plant looks like:
It may look a little sparse, but it has branched nicely, and as it grows, it will be full and beautiful.
You can then repeat the pruning process on the new branches once they have grown a bit. So from 3 original branches that I pruned, I ended up with 6. And then if I prune each of those 6 branches after they grow, they will become 12.
PRUNING A LEGGY JADE PLANT
If you have a jade plant that has become leggy and lost a lot of the lower leaves, you can still prune your plant.
Here is how, and I’ll demonstrate with a photo of another one of my jade plants (the plain old species, Crassula ovata this time).
If you look closely at the photo below, you will see rings around the stems. These are leaf scars where leaves used to be.
You can simply prune right above a leaf scar (maybe a quarter of an inch above it…don’t cut it too close to the leaf scar). Remember that new branches (usually 2 from each cut) will form just below where you pruned.
I lightly pruned (and also repotted this severely root bound jade).
Take a look at the transformation after less than a year.
Tips on Pruning Your Jade
- Stand back and look at your jade plant. Know that wherever you prune it, you will get more branching, so visualize where you want new branches to grow. It’s an art as well!
- Use a clean, sterilized knife or set of pruners. Here are the pruners I love to use (link to Amazon). You can prune your plant back pretty hard, but don’t go too crazy. You can safely prune off up to a 1/3 of the plant or so.
- You normally will get two new branches forming right below where you prune.
- And if you want more plants, you can propagate your jade stem cuttings.
- After you prune your plant, be sure that you’re giving your plant enough light and good growing conditions. Jade plants grown in lower light will be leggy, so get your newly pruned plant off to a good start. Check out my blog post on Jade Plant Care for more details.
- And once you’ve trimmed your jade, you can propagate new plants with whatever you’ve pruned off. Did you know that you can grow jade plants not only from stem cuttings, but you can also propagate jade with single leaves?
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on how to make a jade plant bushy. It really is simple, and with time and patience, you can easily achieve a beautiful, full, jade plant.
Monday 5th of September 2022
I have a Jade plant (probably more of a tree) that is probably 40 years old. My Mom had it for many years and it didn't grow much and stayed a nice shape. Then she gave it to me and I have it in a sunny west window and it has exploded----too much. I'd like to cut it back so it's shorter and get it to grow more from the bottom. It's just too tall and wide and I'd like it to be fuller and bushier. I can no longer move it and it is leaning right into the windows. My husband & I have tried to turn it, but it tips over. It's huge! It has flowered a few times, though sparsely, but very exciting. I don't want to cut too much and kill it, but want a more manageable size. Suggestions?? Help?? Thank you!
Tuesday 6th of September 2022
A good rule of thumb is not to remove more than about 30% of the plant or so. I've removed much more than that, but 30% or less is very safe! Try it out!
Saturday 9th of April 2022
I appreciate this help with my Jade tree and smaller plants. I saw blooms on one of your photos. How do you get a Jade to bloom? My tree is about 20 years old.
Sunday 10th of April 2022
Having high enough light is the most important factor. Plenty of direct sun!