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repotting an old Jade help

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by Bekah on August 06, 2005 03:17 AM
I have recieved a mixed blessing. My grandmother gave me her very old jade plant. The plant was about 20 years old when she got it, and has had it for many years. The problem is it has been allowed to grow unchecked in a small pot. Most of the branches hang down below the bottom of the pot like a hanging basket and it is much bigger on one side. It has 4 main trunks but I have no idea how many plants are in the pot. One trunk grows only over the side of the pot, not up. I want to shape it up and encourage more balanced growth, and I am pretty sure it needs to be in a much bigger pot, there is a small crack on the pot that I am assuming is from the root pressure. I am just afraid of doing something wrong, it would be such a shame to kill it. It is otherwise healthy, with beautiful "bark", and is putting out new growth. Should I trim it in stages and then repot it ? If so how should I proceed.
by newlife on August 07, 2005 03:06 AM
I don't have a definate answer, I am new to plants myself. but I will take a guess at it. I would repot it, if your not sentimentally attached to the pot, I would finish cracking the pot and take the plant out that way rather then pull it up out of the top, maybe it would be less disturbing to the roots.
by tkhooper on August 07, 2005 04:47 AM
air roots develop from the stems to help support the plant as it gets bigger so it is probably hard to tell what you have after many years. It sounds like a wonderful plant. Certainly prune the plant and put the cuttings in moist soil and watch them root and become clones of the parent plant. And after you have shaped it put it in the pot that will allow for good drainage. I use a cactus potting soil for mine so it doesn't stay to moist.
by Will Creed on August 08, 2005 08:03 AM
Hi Bekah,

You are very fortunate to have this special heirloom. It has done quite well in the same pot for many years, so there is no reason to change it. If you do put it in a bigger pot, I can almost guarantee you will be back here in a couple of months asking us why your prized Jade is dropping leaves and stems.

The crack in the pot probably came from some minor blow or drop. The roots are not cracking the pot. If the crack worsens, then replace it with the same sized pot so that you do not have to add any soil.

Your Jade would benefit from pruning. Cut back the longest, droopiest stems as much as you can stand. You cannot overdo it, so don't worry about it. Just keep pruning until you get it to the shape that you would like. The pruning will remove some of the weight from the branches and help them grow more upright.

Increasing the light will also strengthen the stems and lead to sturdier future growth.
by Jeffrey S on August 09, 2005 12:13 AM
I will gladly help see to the proper repotting of your jade plant

* * * *
JS
by Bekah on August 11, 2005 10:19 PM
Thank you to everyone who posted, and I will continue to check for more advice. I am going to trim first, I certianly don't want to be back asking about dropped leaf and branches. I am probably overthinking this because I can't replace the plant. I would never fret so over any of my other plants and they all do great. Jeffery S -- when I do repot I'll look you up, for now I'll just shape it up and see how it goes, It puts out new top growth for every branch I trim. I guess the plant knows more than I do. Thanks again all.

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