Top Tips on Pruning a Jade Plant to Make it Bushier and Bigger

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Pruning a Jade Plant is an art not many seem to have mastered. This guide will help you do it right to make it bushier and bigger!

Pruning a Jade Plant

The jade plant (Crassula ovata) is one of the quintessential succulents for homes that becomes a little out of shape, leggy, and overgrown with time – this calls for some pruning action, and this is where this guide comes in!

How to Prune a Jade Plant to Make it Bushier and Bigger

Once you spot the plant getting a bit overcrowded with stems and fat leaves while growing in every direction – it’s time to give it a smart prune! Do it after every spring or whenever the weather is sufficiently warm – however, you can do it any time of the year (not in winter, though!).

Trimming above the node is always a good idea, as it helps the plant sprout more stems. However, if you prune below the node, it helps propagate the trimmed cuttings.

But you can prune in any which way you want – doesn’t matter – jade plant will keep on growing and becoming bushier – pruning will simply speed up its process!

Make sure you clean your pruning shears, knives, or scissors and keep them sharp, too.  Remember not to remove more than 1/4 of the plant’s growth during one pruning session, as it can hinder its growth and make it weak. 

Pruning a Jade Plant to Give it a Tree Like Appearance

Choose the central main stem as the trunk, and prune the lower half of the plant including all the leaves and stem to give it a top-heavy, tree-like look.

Do not trim more than 20-30 percent of the branches in one pruning session. For more details and instructions, do read our article here

Pruning a Leggy Jade Plant

You can apply these tips for pruning a Baby Jade Plant (Portulacaria afra) as well

First, spot the longest, thinnest branches and cut them back to the same length as the shorter or medium ones. Find any drooping stems and remove them, too. 

Pinch the tips and snip off the top two baby leaves or the soft new growth to promote lateral growth when the plant is young.

Pruning an Overgrown Jade Plant

Pruning a Jade Plant 2
jadeplant gallery

An overgrown jade plant looks like a mess and is never a good sight (Look at the picture above!). Start by removing any dead, damaged branches and leaves. It will help clear the clutter! Then look for any drooping or tangled stems or the ones that are going haywire everywhere – they need to go. 

Now, cut away the leafless stems and any growth that sticks out like a sore thumb. As the jade plant is already thriving at this stage, it would be a good idea to give it the desired shape.

Post Pruning Care

  • Give a slow and thorough watering to the plant and keep it at a spot where it gets plenty of bright light (3-4 hours of partial or full sunlight is a MUST). Make sure it gets a stable temperature too – keeping it near a radiator or AC vent is a big NO!
  • Don’t let those pruned cuttings go to waste! Use them to propagate new jade plants!
  • Always keep an eye on pests and diseases while pruning and discard the trimmed parts carefully to prevent further infestation.
  • Dilute a balanced liquid fertilizer to 1/4 of its strength and feed the plant every 3-4 weeks.

These pruning techniques and care tips work the same for both indoor and outdoor jade plants.

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