Did you know you can grow your Jade plant into a tree?
Although the Jade plant is a succulent plant, it can grow like a small tree in the pot.
But if you want to have a tree-like structure for this plant, you will need to follow some techniques.
In the following guide, I have talked more about this topic in detail.
So, let's dive right in!
Can You Grow A Jade Plant Into A Tree?
Yes, Jade plants can grow to about five feet tall with lots of branching and a woody texture.
Usually, they have a thick main trunk from which the branches extend, and it's very easy to encourage branching.
Because of these features, you can shape your Jade plant into a small tree.
Let's look at the ways through which you can achieve the same results for your plant.
How To Grow A Jade Plant Into A Tree
Here's a detailed technique that you should follow while performing this task -
1. Examine The Jade Plant
First, choose which side to use as the "front" of the tree.
This is totally up to you! There's no right or wrong, just what you think will look best.
If you're having trouble deciding, think about where the trunk looks most upright.
Also, think about any branches you'd like to keep.
Jade plant branches can grow in all directions.
This can look bad, but it can also result in some beautiful shapes.
Note if there are any bigger branches to hold onto.
2. Prune The Unwanted Branches From Your Plant
Now that you've made your plans, it's time to prune.
Using your shears, prune away any big branches that obscure the trunk or the other branches you want to show off.
Focus on removing branches from the lower half of the plant.
This way, the top will stay lush like a tree.
Also, remove any branches that point down. This will also make it look more tree-like.
Besides branches, you may want to remove some leaves.
If you have a lot of leaves farther down the branch, these can obscure the trunk and make the plant look too bushy.
These should snap off easily in your fingers.
Remember to leave the leaves higher up on the branches!
This looks better, and it's also beneficial for the plant.
Prune from all sides of the Jade plant, but constantly check what it looks like from the front.
That way, you can make sure that you don't remove too much and it still looks good.
Jade plants branch easily, which could be good or bad for the shape you want it to take.
Note: Keep in mind that this is a very slow-growing species, increasing in size only 5-20 cm per year.
This means you won't have to prune again for another year or two.
On the other hand, you might be hoping for more branches on the top half of the plant to fill out its shape.
If this is you, be patient! New branches will form with time.
3. Fertilize Your Plant
Try feeding your plant with succulent plant food every time you water.
This will speed up the growth process to help you quickly achieve your desired tree shape.
4. Keep Your Plant In A Ventilated Space
Once you're done with shaping your Jade plant, you can move the plant to a place where it can receive plenty of air and sunlight.
These two elements are essential in growing your Jade plant in the future.
Also, it will help expedite the callus formation process on the trimmed branches.
So, these are the four easy steps to grow your Jade plant into a tree.
In the next section, you will find some more guidelines on things you should remember during the pruning process.
10 Things To Remember While Pruning Your Jade Plant
Shaping your plant into a tree isn't the only reason you might decide to prune it.
You may want to remove dead or affected parts, encourage branching, or remove a piece to propagate.
Plus, getting rid of heavy, leafy branches can expose the lower areas to more light, and jade plants love light!
It also increases the airflow around the plant, helping the soil dry out properly and protecting it from pests.
Bigger Jade plants can get unruly, and pruning becomes an issue of convenience and aesthetics.
When you're ready to prune, here are some things to keep in mind -
- Think about whether you really need to prune your plant. Pruning every once in a while can keep it healthy, but it can also expose it to bacteria. Also, the reason you're pruning will determine how to prune it.
- You can prune your Jade plant at any time of year, but spring and summer are best. That way, the plant will be in an ideal condition to recover and put out new branches.
- Plan out where and how much you will prune. It's important not to remove more than 20-30% of the branches at any one time.
- Start by pruning branches that are dead or diseased.
- Always use sterilized equipment to cut the branches. Since trimming your plant can expose it to harmful bacteria, make sure you reduce this risk as much as possible. Wipe your shears with rubbing alcohol before and after use.
- Where possible, trim just above a node. The pruned branch will die back to that node, and the two new branches will grow from there.
- Also, try to cut along one of the rings circling the branch.
- If you're removing the branch completely, you can cut it straight off where it meets the trunk of the plant.
- You might be pruning to encourage branching and give your plant a fuller shape. If so, trim off the very top of the trunk. With time, this will develop into two new branches, and you can repeat the process with each of them.
- Remember, Jade plants are very easy to propagate from cuttings! You can hold on to the sections you trimmed off and repot them. First, remove any leaves from the bottom of the cutting and let the incision dry out for a couple of days. Right before planting, you can use powder root hormone to speed up the rooting process. Then just stick it in the soil and watch it grow!
Well, try to follow these guidelines whenever you're going to trim some of the branches from your Jade plant.
Below, I have talked about another important aspect of shaping a Jade plant.
Many Jade plants don't grow straight during their growing phase, but you can surely turn things around and shape them properly.
Let's find out more about it in the next section.
How To Straighten A Jade Plant
If your Jade plant is growing off to the side, it's probably looking for more light.
Try finding a brighter spot for it.
Remember, Jade plants love light and can handle full sun.
If it's already so leggy that it's falling over, you might need to take more drastic measures.
See if you can correct the problem by pruning away the heavy branches that are weighing the plant down on one side.
If the problem is the trunk itself, you may need to repot it so that it grows straighter.
In either case, you'll still need to find a brighter spot for the plant.
Apart from that, you can also tie some threads or support the main branch with stakes to grow the entire plant in the right direction.
These are the few things you can do to straighten your Jade plant.
It takes two to three years to see your Jade plant transform into a tree-like structure. It's a slow process and depends on several factors like sunlight, fertilizers, pot size, etc.
You can remove some of the sideways branches and let the main stem grow for a long. This will help the plant make the trunk stronger and sturdier in the process.
You can root the broken stem separately in the soil or water.
Both these propagation techniques are quite useful in forming roots on the stem of this plant.
Besides, if the stem is still attached to the plant, you can bring it back to its original position and cover the broken part with tape.
Make sure the broken stem remains steady in this position for a long time.
You can water this plant every week or every ten days. It's a succulent plant, and it won't require much water.
You can place this plant in a bright and airy location.
This plant does require a fair bit of sun, so find a place that does get enough sun as well as air.
Aeration is quite important too because it keeps the moisture away from the plant.