Pruning Jade Plants: Tips For Jade Plant Trimming

Potted Jade Plant
succulent houseplant crassula
(Image credit: Andrey Nikitin)

Jade plants are resilient and lovely plants and, because they are so easy to grow, some may grow to the size where jade plant pruning is needed. While jade plants actually do not need to be pruned, knowing a little about pruning jade plants can keep a plant to an acceptable size. Below you will find tips for how to prune a jade plant properly.

How to Prune a Jade Plant

The first thing to consider when deciding if you should trim your jade plant is to ask: does your jade plant really need to be pruned? Typically, jade plant pruning is done only on older, overgrown plants. Pruning jade plants is not necessary for the health of the plant and is done only for aesthetic reasons. Be aware that any time you prune a plant you are exposing the plant to potential bacterial damage, which could weaken or even kill the plant. While the risk of damage due to jade plant trimming is minimal, you still need to think about it when deciding if your jade plant really needs to be pruned. If your jade plant does need to be trimmed, start by mentally picturing which branches you would like to remove. You should never remove more than 20 to 30 percent of the branches on the plant when pruning jade plants. When considering which branches to remove, keep in mind that a trimmed jaded plant branch will die back to the next node (where the leaves grow out of the branch) on the branch, and that when you trim jade plant branches, typically two new branches will grow from where the node is. The next step in jade plant pruning is, after you have decided which branches will be trimmed back, take a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears and trim off the branches you have chosen. Remember to prune the branch to the nearest node, or, if you are trimming the jade plant branch completely, prune it so that the cut is flush along the main branch.

When to Prune a Jade Plant

The best time for jade plant pruning is in spring or summer, but jade plants can be pruned year round. Pruning jade plants in spring or summer will simply result in a faster recovery from the trim than any other time of year because the plants are in active growth. Now that you know how to prune a jade plant, you can keep your plant looking shapely and full. Also, remember that the jade plant cuttings are very easy to root, so each time you prune your jade plant, you can grow a few more plants for friends and family.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.