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Jade Emergency

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Carolyn on December 29, 2003 08:43 PM
I have had a large Jade Plant that did very well with little attention for 3 years. I am not sure how old it is, but am guessing that it is pretty old, as the main trunk is 3-4 inches around. In November, after moving it to a spot with less light, I noticed that the stems were getting mushy, so started doing some online research. I cut off the bad parts, but the problem continued.
I then tried repotting it (same pot, new soil - 2/3 potting soil, 1/3 sharp builder's sand) after letting the roots air dry for a week. I also moved it to a spot with more light. I now know it has been in shock, and am trying to save it since the trunk is so big. I have been saving as many good branches as possible, and most are doing OK. I had to cut off a large trunk (1-2 inches around) yesterday because branches had been cut off too close on either side, which weakened it. Does anyone know the best way to root a large woody Jade trunk?
Also, I am hoping to save the main plant, but do not know how to get a trunk with no foliage to put out new growth. There are now 4 good sized trunks with no foliage, and only one trunk that does have foliage. The large trunks have also been growing mold where they have been cut, I assume because it is taking so long for the wound to scar over. I cut the trunks back more to get rid of the mold, and applied a dusting of Rootone with fungicide because I haven't been able to find a plain old fungicide.
I know that I am probably going to lose this plant, but would like to try to save it. Does anyone have any advice for me? I have searched here and elsewhere on the web, but have not found much information on large Jade cuttings and attempting to revive such a large Jade. Any help would be much appreciated. I have attempted to post pre and post rot photos (I'm a newbie). Hopefully it works. Please help! Thanks...


PS: There is a new website dedicated to Jade Plants. It is less than a month old, so there isn't much posted, but the webmaster is looking for contributors. Please visit and contribute:

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by Jiffymouse on December 29, 2003 10:48 PM
carolyn, welcome to the garden helper. your jade was beautiful. i don't think i have ever seen one that big before. i don't have an answer for you, except that perhaps the plant was starting to succumb to old age. [Frown] There are others who will be along in the next few days with more knowlege and insight than i have, but i wanted to welcome you and wish you luck.
by catlover on December 29, 2003 11:07 PM
Here is some info I found that Bill had typed up!
Hope it helps!

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by Carolyn on December 30, 2003 02:12 AM
Thanks for the kind welcome and replies. I have read just about everything about Jades posted on the website, including the forum. I have done a lot of searching on the rest of the web, also. There is a lot of great info out there, but little on trying to propogate or save such a large plant. I'll keep trying, but if anyone knows of a good place to look, please let me know. Thanks!

If anyone would like to check out some other great pictures of big Jades, try this link:

Scroll down to see Jades in their natural habitat...
Here's a photo of some Jade flowers I took less than two weeks ago.

Wish I could say that I made them flower, but they came that way...Christmas present from Mom. Love that woman...

by weezie13 on December 30, 2003 05:18 PM
Hello Carolyn, [wayey]
Just wanted to say Hi, and Welcome
to The Garden Helpers Forum!!!!!!!
That's one mighty big plant you had there.
I'm not tooooooooooo knowledgeable in
the house plants, but the girls gave you some
good advise, Bill may offer some or Will Creed
will be through soon, he's a house plant specialist, Nikkal may know or Njoynit, Boxmonkey showed us a picture like that too, with a ba~zillion flowers on a big jade too....I never knew they flowered before that picture......
So, stick around and enjoy the site....
We have added new sections to the forum with recipes, crafts and hobbies, a banter hall to chat in, so feel free to add your voice to any
of those catagories, or any others we have here,
don't forget if you know any of the answers anyone
else has asked, make sure you answer them, it only takes one person to know an answer!!!
Look forward to seeing you here and talking with you!!!


We also have a few members from your area too,
Bess of the Piedmont, Renee, Vikki, GardenCrazy and Champagne.......

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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by boxmonkey on December 30, 2003 06:11 PM
Jades base their growth cycles on the presence and absence of light. They go completely dormant this time of year...but you need yours to grow now.
Perhaps you could get a growing light and put it on a timer.

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Custom Weathervanes - hand made
by Carolyn on December 30, 2003 07:23 PM
Hey! Thanks for the 'official' welcome, Weezie. I've been visiting the website for a while, now, but haven't contributed until now. I'll be sure to check out other posts to try and help others. With all of the searching on the rest of the web I've done, I've stockpiled a nice (although short) list of helpful websites. I'm not an expert, but have some nice plants at home...the remainder of what was a huge indoor garden. All I have left are two Christmas Cactus, a Snake Plant, a Bird's Nest Sanseveria, a Swedish Ivy, a Spider Plant, a new Pothos from my friend, Bob, and a couple of succulents from Grandma who's names escape me. One of them only blooms at around 3AM...anyone know what it is? It's the big one in the foreground...

Thanks also to Boxmonkey...good idea. Since I'm up late anyway, the timing should work out well, even though I don't have a closet (to shut out light from my late nights). I rarely see sunrise (unless I'm up all night), so I'll try adding a few hours of good light once the sun starts going down. My plants were gorgeous when they were in the closet many years ago, but what's the point in having lovely plants if you can't see them? Hopefully when I get out of this tiny apartment, I'll have a whole room dedicated to my plants.

by boxmonkey on December 31, 2003 03:17 AM
Hey Carolyn,

I don't think I could ever bear to keep my plants in a closet!
I'm quite a night owl myself, but I don't spend most of my nights in the living room where my plants are so they're not affected by my sleeping patterns.

You will find that the Pothos is the easiest plant in the world to take care of. You can over water it or never water it, you can give it no light or full'll just keep on growing anyway.

That jadeplant site looks like it'll be pretty neat if it ever takes off. Please share any other cool and useful sites you've come across in your travels, I'm always looking for more good resources.

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Custom Weathervanes - hand made
by Will Creed on January 01, 2004 07:50 PM
Hi Carolyn,

I am sorry that you have had to preside over the deterioration of your once beatuiful jade. It is very disheartening to watch, particularly when your efforts don't seem to help.

Your jade is sufering from damaged roots that prevent the plant from properly absorbing water and nutrients. When that happens the above ground plant tissues die. Fungus then takes advantage of the exposed dying tissue and causes it to rot. A fungicide might stop that, but it will not change the fact that the roots are no longer functioning.

How did the roots become damaged? Most likely they gradually rotted after the plant was moved to a lower light location where the need for water was greatly reduced. Or perhaps the roots were already greatly damaged due to improper watering before the plant was moved. Replacing the soil may have aggravated the problem. My hunch is that the roots were already largely dead when you repotted the plant.

Does it have a future? Unfortunately, probably not. You can cut off the remaining healthy stem and try rooting it. Any remaining damaged or soft stem tissue should be trimmed off until you reach healthy stem tissue, if there is any. If there is none, then toss it.

If you can prune it back to healthy tissue. There is a small chance that some roots have survived. It will take a long time for these roots to re-establish temselvs well enough to put out new leaf and stem growth. During that time the water must be minimal so that the tender root growth does not rot. This is very tricky and the odds are against you. Keep it in your sunniest window as long as there is hope for survival.

There is not much information available on rooting thick jade stem cuttings because the preferred method for propagating jades is to use healthy new growth stem tips. In good conditions, these tip cuttings can eventually develop into large plants.

You can try to root the large stem cutting, but only if the stem tissue is healthy throughout. Allow the stem cutting to dry out for 24 to 48 hours. Then place it in a small pot filled with a very porous, sandy potting mix. You have to keep this potting mix barely moist for a long time until roots finally develop. Provide lots of direct sunlight. This can take many months during which you will see little sign of anything happening. As long as the stem does not shrivel, you have to be satisfied that you are on the right track.

Good luck to you!
by Carolyn on January 02, 2004 05:53 PM
Thanks Will, I checked out your website and added it to my list of helpful links, which anyone can access here:

I figured this was easier than posting all of the links in a message. I'll constantly be adding new links as I find them. I can't vouch for the info found at these websites, because, as Will points out in his website, most 'experts' deal with ideal conditions in greenhouses and don't know as much about growing plants in poor conditions (apartments, homes, workplaces, etc.). I usually try and find several sources for the same info and go from there.

As for my big Jade, the rot seems to have stopped. The last pruning I had to do was because of a branch that had weakened because branches had been trimmed too closely off of it. The last branch with foliage, which is in the photo, seems to be doing OK. I guess it's just a matter of time and patience. Wish me luck!

by Jiffymouse on January 02, 2004 08:52 PM
hey carolyn, here's wishing you luck! [thumb]

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