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5 Simple Steps to Prune a Jade Plant

5 Simple Steps to Prune a Jade Plant

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The jade plant has distinctive round leaves and a tree-like appearance, making it a favorite of indoor plant parents. As with any plant, proper pruning is essential to keep your jade plant healthy and looking great.

But how do you prune one without damaging it or inhibiting its growth?

Throughout this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about pruning a jade plant so that you can do it with confidence!

How to Prune a Jade Plant

Pruning a jade plant can be as easy as pinching budding leaves off its branches. But, observing these steps makes it a lot easier for a beginner.

1 – Identify the Stems That Need Pruning

Look for stems that are leggy, elongated, or have no leaves.

When removed, your jade plant will benefit from a fuller and healthier maturation. In addition, these stems may be competing for nutrients and sunlight.

Most importantly, cutting these types of branches helps redirect the plant’s resources to healthier areas.

2 – Use Clean, Sharp Tools to Cut the Stems

Use a pair of clean, sanitized sharp scissors or pruning shears to make decent cuts. This will protect the plant from injuries and infection.

The right way to cut the stems is to do it above a leaf node or where they join the main stem.

3 – Shape the Plant

Shaping your jade plant serves two purposes. First, it helps to maintain your plant’s appearance and form.

This is important when you want your jade plant to fit a particular aesthetic or location in your home. Second, shaping encourages new sprouts in certain areas of the plant.

A quick tip: Don’t remove too much foliage at once or prune too aggressively. It will inhibit the development of the plant.

4 – Remove Dead Leaves

Remove any dead or yellow leaves. This will help your plant concentrate its energy on furthering its development.

Additionally, dead leaves are a perfect breeding ground for pests and diseases.

5 – Allow the Plant to Heal

Pruning causes wounds on the plant. After pruning your jade plant, it’s essential to give it time to heal its wounds to avoid damage or infections.

Enabling the plant to rest and heal will also help its recovery and redirect the energy for growing. The healing process may take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the extent of the pruning.

It’s best to avoid overwatering or fertilizing your plant during this stage, as it might cause stress to your plant and impede its recovery.

Where to Cut a Jade Plant

Is cutting and pruning different from each other? Why should I cut my jade plant? Is pruning not enough? Nice questions!

Cutting and pruning are related processes for the care of your jade plants. The main objective of cutting is for propagation or to remove dead or damaged tissues.

Conversely, pruning is discarding dead or damaged stems, thinning out areas of the dense concentration of leaves, or shaping the plant to a desired form.

Cutting Jade Plant for Propagation

The most effective way to create new jade plants for propagation is to cut them from a healthy plant. A healthy plant should have no signs of diseases or insect infestations.

Look for a non-flowering stem that is at least 3 inches long with a few sets of leaves. Make a clean cut immediately below a node or set of leaves at a 45-degree angle.

Remove the leaves from the lower half of the stem, leaving a few sets of leaves at the top. Allow the cutting to drain in a warm, dry place for a few days until the cut end has calloused over.

Then, plant the cutting in a well-draining potting mix, burying the cut end about an inch deep. Water the cutting, allowing excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot.

Finally, place it in a bright and warm location. Make sure to expose it to indirect sunlight.

Pinching the Tips of New Buds

Pinch and discard the tips of new buds on a plant to encourage branching and bushier shrubs.

This is one way of promoting vigorous upsurge and better yields for your jade plants.

Deadheading Old Flowers

This involves removing spent flowers from a plant to encourage it to produce more blooms.

It prolongs the flowering season and keeps the plant looking neat and tidy.


Thinning includes removing entire stems or branches from a plant to improve its shape or structure.

This is common practice gardeners do to trees and shrubs for better health and appearance.

Heading Back

Cutting the back tips of branches limits the size and shape of your jade plant.

This process is particularly useful for managing the height of a plant, as cutting the apical meristem, or the growing tip, will encourage the lateral spread of branches.

Likewise, heading back is helpful in removing damaged or diseased branches. This makes it a good practice to promote development in older plants.

When to Prune a Jade Plant

The best time to prune a jade plant is in the spring or early summer when it’s in active blooming. This is when the plant is most capable of healing itself and generating new tissues.

Moreover, if you trim your jade plants during the growing season, it allows you to see the plant’s natural growth patterns. This makes it easy to spot undesirable stems to prevent your jade plant from towering.

On the other hand, pruning your plant during the dormant season (fall and winter) will have an undesirable effect on your jade plant.

The dormant season for plants is a period of reduced activity, maturing, and metabolism. This includes inactive growing or producing new leaves.

If you prune your plant during this season, you may leave your plant vulnerable to infection and diseases because it can’t quickly heal its wound from the pruning. Also, your plant might suffer from excessive stress that can weaken its overall health.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, pruning your jade plant is essential to maintaining its health and aesthetics.

It helps promote growth, removes dead or diseased parts, and maintains its shape and size. To avoid damage to your jade plant, you must practice proper cutting techniques like pinching, heading back, and thinning.

With these, you should be on the right track in caring for your plants. It’s also crucial to allow the plant time to heal after pruning and to take proper care of it afterward.

With the right knowledge and methods, pruning your jade plant can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

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