When the Jade plant becomes top-heavy, its branches can lean downward, and the plant will fall over eventually. It's typical behavior from an overgrown Jade plant.
You will need to prune or support the plant to fix this issue. Both these methods are effective in managing such a plant at home. If you don't want to resort to these methods, repot the plant into a large container.
So, let's find out more about it in the following guide.
Why Is My Jade Plant Top Heavy?
The Jade plant turns top-heavy when its main stem and branches grow fast. It happens due to adequate watering, nutrients in the soil, and sufficient sunlight.
Although it is a good sign for your plant's growth, it might fall over each time it doesn't get the necessary support from the ground or pot. Also, the top-heavy Jade plant doesn't look great in terms of aesthetics.
In some cases, the Jade plant may also turn top-heavy due to insufficient sunlight. When the plant doesn't get enough sunlight, it can stretch the branches in upward and outward directions. It is gradual, but you will see similar signs in plants kept in shaded places.
How To Fix A Top Heavy Jade Plant
As mentioned earlier, there are a few ways to fix this problem in the Jade plant. Let's learn more about them below.
1. Prune The Branches
Pruning helps maintain the shape of a Jade plant. When its branches grow large, trim them. It's the best solution for a top-heavy Jade plant, as it helps balance the structure of the plant and prevents it from falling over.
For this task, use sharp pruning shears. You can also use scissors if the branches are relatively small.
Tips To Prune Jade Plant Branches -
- Start pruning the leggy branches during the first round. Then, assess the condition of the plant. If it looks good, don't prune the plant further.
- Always use sharp tools to cut the branches. Making a clean cut is crucial to prevent excess damage to the plant.
- Let the damaged part dry out naturally. Don't spray the plant with water for at least a couple of days.
- Don't prune the plant if it's already distressed due to external damage or fungus attacks.
2. Support The Plant
As I mentioned, pruning is very effective in managing the top-heavy Jade plant. But you can also support the plant using stakes or threads instead of cutting the branches.
If the plant is falling over or leaning downward, use 2-3 bamboo stakes along the sides of large branches. It will stop the plant from falling over.
Note: It's not a long-term solution, as the plant will continue to grow in the future. Hence, you will need to prune it at some point.
3. Repot The Plant
Repotting is another way to provide support to the top-heavy plant.
The primary reason for a bent plant is the lack of support from the main trunk, roots, and soil. You can fix this issue by repotting the plant in a large-sized pot.
It will allow your plant more space to grow its roots and strengthen the entire system.
Note: Similar to pruning, it's not a long-term fix for this problem. You can only resolve this issue to a certain extent. The Jade plant grows quickly and can turn into a tree if it gets appropriate conditions and nutrients.
So, repotting will be an issue for your fast-growing Jade plant.
Check out the following repotting video if you have never transplanted your plant.
4. Keep The Plant In A Bright Place
Lack of sunlight is another reason for a leggy Jade plant.
When you keep the plant in a dark or shaded place, it produces more leggy branches. The branches stretch further in the direction of light and make the top section of the plant more asymmetrical. As a result, the plant becomes heavy on the top.
If you want to avoid this issue, prune the plant first and put it in a bright spot. This way, it will remain sturdy and won't produce more leggy branches.
Rotate the plant every few weeks for balanced growth.
5. Remove Grow Lights From The Top Of The Jade Plant
If you are growing your Jade plant under grow lights, remove them from the top position. Instead, place it in such a position that the plant can receive light from at least 2-3 directions.
When you mount the grow lights at the top of the plant, it encourages the plant to produce more upward growth. Due to this, the lower stem doesn't develop enough branches and lacks overall solidity.
Tips To Manage A Top-Heavy Jade Plant At Home
As I mentioned above, pruning is the best thing you can do to overcome the top-heavy plant issue. But it's not possible in some cases.
In such cases, you should avoid pruning and try to manage the plant. Here are some practical tips to help you out in this process -
- Examine the plant and identify the structural imbalance.
- If it's leaning in one direction, use a wall or stand as support. You don't have to utilize stakes or threads in this case.
- Transplant the Jade plant into a garden. If the plant has been growing in the pot for several years, provide it with more ground.
- Do not cut the top of the Jade plant unless you want to turn it into a bonsai plant. It will produce more lateral branches in the process.
- Propagate some branches and leaves before pruning or repotting the Jade plant. It will help you with a new batch of backup plants.
Does A Jade Plant Need To Be Staked?
In most cases, you don't have to stake the plant. If the pot size is reasonably large, it will grow sufficient roots to balance the plant structure.
Consider growing the stem much stronger in its initial growth phase. This way, the plant will have a more substantial base and support the new branches. However, the stakes can be useful for oversized Jade plants and should be used as suggested in the guide.
If the stakes are not available, use sticks or metal rods to support the plant. You may also use mesh wires to change the formation of overgrown branches.
When the Jade plant's branches grow more oversized than the main stem, it starts to bend over.
Use a couple of bamboo stakes to prevent your Jade from falling over. Repotting it into a large pot is also beneficial to tackle this issue.
You will have to prune the outward growth during the initial phase of the plant's growth to make the trunk thicker.
When you prune the unwanted branches, the plant focuses more on growing its main stem. Ultimately, the trunk grows stronger and looks more prominent than other branches.
Use threads or garden stakes to make your Jade plant stand upright.
If the plant is still not standing up, prune some of the branches and maintain the balance of your plant.
Yes, you can cut off the top of a Jade plant. But you should only do it on an overgrown plant.
If the plant is relatively small or medium-sized, avoid cutting the top of your plant. It will promote more lateral growth and stop the upward growth of the plant. So, trim off some unwanted branches than the main trunk.