My Jade is Woe
by Andrew S.
(West Henrietta, NY)
Hello once again!
I've been known to propagate a Jade or two... currently I think I have about 11 or so Jade plants growing.
My first Jade that I planted, which is currently about 15+ inches tall and looking wonderful, came from a plant that my wife bought for her office.
This plant has lost a lot of lower leaves, and they are slowly getting yellow and falling off. I believe she's been over-watering it, but I wanted to check-in and get your thoughts :)
I'm not sure if pinching each stem and pinching some leaves will encourage more healthy growth or what.
Thanks as always!
Hi Andrew - I laughed at your comment that you've been known to grow some Jade Plants - you'll be happy to know you're not alone.
Judging by the top growth of your plants, which look very happy and healthy, I'm going to suggest that the older leaves (those at the bottom of the stem) are simply too old to do their job any more and are falling off.
You will see this characteristic on a lot of succulents, which can lead to an incredibly long stem, with a rosette of green growth at the top of it.
I recommend chopping that off, which will 'remove apical dominance' a highly technical term to say that this will just encourage more shoots to emerge from lower down on the stem.
In time, you'll have much happier (and shorter) plants by doing this on a regular basis.
In your plants case, it also is likely that the plant is reaching terminal velocity, and should be repotted and split into several groups. No amount of fertilizer will help a plant that is root bound, which this appears to be.
You can use an old bonsai masters trick of chopping off some of the roots, and repotting the plant, which encourages lots of smaller roots to form.
This is useful in several ways; you can actually just repot it back into the same pot with fresh soil, and in addition, the new roots are much more efficient at processing the nutrients - a win/win situation.
Best of luck with your never ending projects!