How to Shape a Jade Plant


Most of the time a jade can grow just fine on its own, but sometimes the body of the jade can become misshapen and even cause the plant to tip over. To shape a jade plant, wait until early spring when the plant breaks dormancy and you start to see fresh, green growth. Shaping the plant will take little time, and afterward your plant should be able to go years without another pruning.

Step 1

Look over the jade to see which branches are distorting the otherwise rounded, pleasing shape of the plant. You aren't going to prune the jade to be smaller, but shape it at its current size.

Step 2

Cut off the excess lengths of branches, using the pruning shears, with a clean cut perpendicular to growth just after a pair of leaves on the branch.

Step 3

Shape the plant, cutting away the unsightly branches until the jade looks the way you want it. This may mean cutting away several or few branches depending on your plant and whether it has been shaped before.

Step 4

Allow the plant to grow over the years, letting the rounded shape become larger, and only trim away branches which stick out too far from the rest of the plant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Shaping should only be done when necessary to keep the plant from becoming unsightly or off-balance, never to make the plant smaller.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • "37 Houseplants Even You Can't Kill"; Mary Kate Hogan; 2006
  • "The Garden Primer"; Barbara Damrosch; 2008

Who Can Help

  • Information on jades
Keywords: How to shape a jade plant, shaping a jade plant, how to trim a jade plant

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.