help with drooping jade

amandamaJuly 10, 2013

hi everyone. thanks in advance for any help!

i just returned from a long weekend away to find my jade plant in some rough shape. it is a somewhat leggy plant grown to around 18 inches tall from a 3 leave clipping i found on the ground 6 years ago. it has had some rough goes in its life (once a window fell on it snapping it off at its base) but it is hearty and always snaps back.

anyway, i came home and half of the branches of the plant were lying flat. drooped over and splayed out. a handful of leaves had also fallen off. the leaves look perfectly in tact. firm and bright green. the branches are a bit wrinkly and a tiny bit soft when squeezed at the trunk but not bad. the soil is loose and dry as far deep as my finger will go in the pot.

this happened last summer also when we had a spell of temps in the high 90s. it bounced back fine but i want to make sure i am doing all i can for it.

i have given it a little shake to check for more loose leaves. i staked and tied all of the branches up straight. i moved it to the coolest room in the house with the best circulation (though not good sunlight at all)

should i just wait it out? i thought about repotting but am worried i will cause more damage. any other advice?

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Hi Amanda,

Your poor Jade has been through he**..Wow.
But, it sounds like a fighter, since it perked up after falling windows and severe heat.

You say the leaves are firm but trunk is soft?

How long were you gone? If you went on vacation, etc, did you water your Jade thorouhly, then place in shade?

How warm/hot was the room?

Also, how large is the container/rootball, and what type of medium do you use? Toni

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 1:08PM
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yeah he is a pretty impressive guy.

the leaves are still perfectly firm and look ideal event he ones that have dropped off. the trunk is over all firm except at where the branches split off of the trunk. there they are softer and that's where they are falling down.

i was gone for 4 days. he was water maybe 3 days before i left. i'm not sure how hot it got inside while i was gone because well, no one was there. i know outside temps got up to around 93 or so. my living room is south facing with huge trees outside so it is basically partial shade.

the pot is about 14 inches tall and 10 inches square with a thick layer of rocks in the bottom for drainage. he is in a moisture control potting mix. i know that is not the ideal but it has been what i've had him in since i found his as 3 crushed leaves on the sidewalk 6 years ago.

this morning i was wondering if it might be the best idea to start fresh. trim up the branches to full firm healthy place and reroot the whole thing?

i tried to take some pics this morning but without removing all the supports i have put in you can't really see the problem.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

You watered it 3 days before you left... but it's bone dry.

Is it heavy, as if it's moist within the pot, or virtually weightless? If the pot is clay, this can be inaccurate or just too heavy to bother.

I wonder if the root ball is packed so tight that water has not been penetrating at all. Highly likely with peat.

If you suspect it's really that dry that the stems are shriveling, is it possible to put the pot in a container of water at least a few inches deep and see if the water disappears?

"the pot is about 14 inches tall and 10 inches square with a thick layer of rocks in the bottom for drainage. he is in a moisture control potting mix. i know that is not the ideal but it has been what i've had him in since i found his as 3 crushed leaves on the sidewalk 6 years ago."

Has it been in the same pot the whole time? Are rocks blocking the drain hole? Extremely rare to encounter a jade dying of thirst, as it sounds like you know.

A pic of the trunk emerging from the soil would probably be the most helpful, if you feel like doing that. You can add one pic per post, but post as many times as you like.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Amanda, the pot sounds fairly large. Is the trunk thick or thin?

You're right, moisture-control soil isn't the best.

If it were my Jade, I'd repot in fresh, well-draining soil, then cut stems down. You'd be surprised how quick new leaves grow.

A pic of my Jade before dividing a couple trunks for two reasons. 1. heavy, 2. wanted to look like a tree.



One of the three cuttings is a different Crassula.

I've cut leaves off a second time, March 2013.


Before repotting cuttings, I removed every last leaf off each cutting.

Cutting will thicken your Jade.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 4:23PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great progress, Toni!
I love to see re-potted and pruned Jades.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 6:39PM
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further investigations leads me to believe we were definitely suffering from rot. i pulled them out to look at repotting and everything at the base was soft and a bit mushy. i cut everything up to trimmings. lost all of the trunks and the roots.

i dried all of the clippings for 2 days when put them into a couple of pots with a more appropriate cactus soil blend and are hopefully working their rooting magic. i figure this big guy started as 3 tiny leaves it can grown from the again.

everything i read suggested i not water until i see a bit of new growth but to mist them lightly with water daily. agree? disagree? other suggestions?


This post was edited by amandama on Mon, Jul 15, 13 at 16:08

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 4:05PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I wouldn't mist & certainly not daily.

Pls. remember about succulents that their fat, fleshy leaves hold water in reserve, so you may think they need water, but they don't, they'll take it from their own tissues.

It's a race to root before it rots, by watering (or even more than light misting) you encourage the rot before the plant has had a chance to root, the best indicator of which is new growth.

Pls. believe me on this, this is why in regard to succulents we say when in doubt about watering, don't.

If you absolutely must mist, I'd suggest no more than once a week.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Hi Josh. Hope all is well. Thanks.
The multi-trunk pot was too heavy to lift. Think it weighed more than

Amanda, sorry your Jades rotted. Taking healthy cuttings was a smart move.

If trunks were slightly rotted, 'I learned this on C&S Forum,' sprinkling cinnamon on rot heals the plant.
But, since trunks were mushy, cuttings were the best and only option.

How tall are the babies?

Karen/Pirate Girl will probably scream at me, lol, but I too agree misting small leaves will help..especially if it's hot and/or dry.

My succulents are sprayed, well hosed outside in summer, 'never in winter,' mainly to clean foliage.

In 2011, I cut back a Crassula.' Cuttings were approximately 4" tall. The month was November..not a good time to root, but I didn't have a choice.

After cuttings were in well-draining medium, I added a little water w/Superthive.
As time progressed, instead of watering, I sprayed/misted foliage. Once a week.
One roots established, cuttings were watered regularly.

Karen, sorry. :)
Obviously, you know a heck of a lot more about succulents...however, misting cuttings worked for me.
I still love you...:) Toni

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 2:43PM
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