Skip to Content

9 Tips For Pruning Jade Plants For Success

This article may contain affiliate links. We get paid a small commission from your purchases. More Affiliate Policy

If you are looking for a fantastic houseplant with some care, I strongly recommend Jade plants (Crassula Ovata).

They are fleshy, succulent houseplants with woody, thick stems and oval-shaped leaves. If you have one already, you know these plants require pruning since they can quickly become leggy and sparse.

However, don’t worry if you have a leggy Jade plant because this piece will detail how you can quickly fix this.

Pruning your Jade plants is critical to eliminating diseased or dead foliage. Also, pruning helps promote healthy blooms and foliage and makes your plants resistant to pest infestations. Pruning can also add years to your plant’s life.

Table of Contents

In essence, pruning is crucial to keep your Jade plants growing well. Pruning your plant is not rocket science because you can do it when your Jade is in a container or on the ground. To improve the plant’s overall health, ensure to prune its roots daily. Overall, prune your plant regularly for better growth and production.

Reasons to prune your Jade plant.

  • Shaping – You can create the look you want, whether a filled-out bush or a statuesque tree shape.
  • Rescue Work – You can start over if disaster strikes using severe pruning. Your Jade plant’s new growth will be vigorous, full, and strong when you cut the plant back severely and provide decent care.
  • Support and strength – The stems of Jade plants do not always grow with the foliage. You can have a top-heavy plant when your Jade grows tall. Therefore, leggy branches can break or sag when their water-storing leaves become fat after a soaking. As such, you can promote sturdier stems through pruning.
  • Decongestion – When pruning the plant, allow more air and light for better growth.
  • Plant health – You can eliminate disease and pests by pruning damaged or dead material.

Should I Prune My Jade Plant?

It can be scary for many people when pruning their Jade plants. But it would help if you prune your Jade plants as part of the general care routine. As the plants grow, they typically drop older leaves and thin out in the middle.

If you have one, you can prune off the growing tips of a young or small Jade plant. Pinch them off using your forefinger or thumb. You will have about two stems from where you pinched the growing tips.

I recommend pruning back harder when your Jade plants are older or larger with many branches. When you prune back your Jade plants, ensure not to remove more than a quarter to a third of the plant. Use a sterilized blade or a sharp pair of pruning shears. With that, you would be sure of not spreading any disease.

Additionally, you can use the pruning shears to prune the exact place the stem aligns with the leaves to determine the direction in your plant to branch off. With that, you can be sure of getting two resulting branches from each cut.

How Often Should I Prune My Jade Plant?

You should prune your Jade plant year-round, though summer and spring are the best time to prune it. The plant will be growing strongly during this time. As such, it can overcome the stress of pruning and give off strong new growth.

Jade plants will also need pruning when it is getting overgrown. Therefore, watch out for any drooping branches. It means the woody stems can break! I recommend observing it after you have watered it thoroughly. You will notice weak branches sagging when their foliage becomes laden with water.

Thus, keep some of these in mind:

  • Prune thick stems. A thicker stem will have more branches, while you can only get a new shoot from a thin stem. Also, thicker stems are the result of good light.
  • Prune the plant when it has about eight to ten older leaves.
  • Wait until your Jade plant is about one year old, as you can stunt the central trunk and roots when you prune too soon.

How Do You Prune a Leggy Jade Plant?

Before we discuss how to prune your leggy Jade plant, let’s talk about why your plant is leggy. Knowing this can help you prevent having leggy Jade plants. The Jade plant is leggy because of the lack of light. Jade plants will grow longer in an attempt to reach light before putting out new growth when they don’t get enough sunlight. Thus, they have a leggy appearance. So, move your plants closer to a light source to prevent this case.

Pruning a leggy Jade plant involves getting a sharp pair of scissors. Make a clean cut on the plant using sharp shears or scissors. In addition, ensure that these tools are clean so you won’t want to get dirt in the cut.

The best time to prune your Jade plants is in spring or summer. With that, they will have plenty of time to grow and recover. Use sharp cutters to cut off areas that have grown leggy or too long. Prune not more than a quarter of the foliage, so you will allow some space for the plant to start growing.

9 Tips For Pruning Jade Plants

When your Jade plants are young and have less than ten leaves, you can begin to prune them. With that, you can promote early branching and have a well-balanced plant from the start. Also, you will need to prune any Jade plant that has grown tall with more than twelve leaves without any branch. As this Jade plant gets heavier, it is also at risk of bending. Here are nine tips for pruning your Jade plants for optimal success.

1. Prune Branches Or Leaves With Dark Spots

When you notice dark spots on your Jade plants, it means the presence of pests or they have a disease. The dark spots can spread to the whole plant if you don’t treat them. Save your Jade plant by pruning the entire section. Use antibacterial gel to sanitize your shears between snips. With this, you can reduce the danger of spreading disease to your plant’s healthy parts.

2. Prune Drooping or Leggy Branches

Your Jade plants will resemble an overgrown bush if they have grown for a long time without trimming them. The leggy parts drain resources from the rest of the plant. As such, they are not healthy.

So, prune the leggy stems to about 1/3 of their length using a pair of shears, and I recommend cutting at a 45-degree angle. So, your Jade plant is overtaxed when you notice light green or yellow leaves on it.

When you prune these leaves, your plant can refocus energy to grow in a fuller pattern. These leggy parts are longer and thinner than the other branches.

3. Prune with Sharp Shears

Use bonsai pruning shears for your pruning. Prune back drooping branches when they intersect with the trunk. Also, you can prune partial parts of branches or individual leaves if your focus is mainly on your plant’s shape. Identify the section where the leaf grows from the branches and prune there.

Just know that your Jade plant will regenerate and thrive well when you prune it because a whole and the compact Jade plant is healthy. Ensure that the plant’s branches have enough space because they won’t get enough light when overcrowded. Never cut your Jade plant’s main trunk or branch because it connects to the roots.

4. Prune Your Jade Plants Early Summer and In the Spring

Technically, you can prune your plant any time of the year. However, these plants thrive well in warm weather and can recover more quickly from pruning through warmth and sunlight.

Give your Jade plants about three to five hours of sunlight daily. While keeping the plant where it can get sunlight, ensure it does not get direct light for long because it can burn the plant.

5. Prune When Branches Begin to Droop

Weak branches may not support the leaves’ weight because the plant stores water in its leaves as a top-heavy species. Pruning those branches will lead to stronger, thicker stems, resulting in a larger plant. Jade plants develop trunks and roots in their first year. As such, pruning them too soon can lead to permanent stunt growth.

6. Pruning for Fewer Pests

Jade plants are most vulnerable during the cold season, and pests are most attracted to them during the winter. Therefore, you can eliminate the risk of pests by reducing the leaf coverage through pruning. Spray the leaves with a bit of neem oil if insects damage your leaves.

7. Prune 20 to 30 Percent of the Branches

Ensure you prune about 20 to 30 percent of your Jade plant’s branches, except if you want to regrow the entire plant. Prune away to the roots can be effective if your plant is dying of frost or in case of disease.

8. Determine Your Jade Plant’s Appearance before Pruning

You can imagine how you want your plant to look before pruning it. Do you want a shrub-like image, a firm stem, or many branches? You can prune the plant’s appropriate branches based on what you want. You may even use paper, ribbon, or colored tape to mark the branches you want to cut to make it easier.

9. Prune to Replant

You can prune your Jade plants’ branches and leaves to propagate them through cuttings. As such, grow new tiny Jade plants using clippings. Ensure the branch is about three to four inches long, and prune any leaves growing one inch above the cutting’s bottom.

Then, let the cutting dry for about two to three days by leaving it in the open air. After that, root about two inches of the cutting in a sandy, moist soil mix. Your first task is checking if the root is growing before watering.

FAQs about Jade Plants


Several websites and articles talk about ways to prune your Jade plants; many are worthless and far from accurate. Many gardeners claim that pinching the tip of the leaves end is the best way of pruning the Jade plant. It is recommended to start pinching a Jade plant between nine to ten days after repotting it.

With that, it will start growing new leaves and filling the last leaves. You can also read through our tips to prune your Jade plants again and make notes for maximum success.

Please subscribe to our website by filling out the form below if you enjoyed this article.