How to Prune a Jade Tree


Jade trees are succulents native to South Africa. Because of their beautiful, woody bark, they are popular both as a traditional house plant and as an indoor bonsai tree. Pruning is important to keeping your tree healthy in a constricted pot. By removing certain limbs and opening up the tree, you allow light to reach inner areas. Jades should be removed from their pots every two years for a root trimming. If you are trying to grow a large jade, repot the tree once every year or two in a larger pot.

Step 1

Look at your tree from all sides and decide on the overall shape of the tree after pruning.

Step 2

Allow your jade's soil to dry out before a major pruning. You can do minor pruning any time.

Step 3

Begin pruning from the bottom of the tree. As you remove lower branches, the overall shape of the tree will change. Jades are succulents, so pruning via pinching off is easy. If you use scissors or pruners, make sure they are sharp and clean.

Step 4

Encourage branching by removing the leaves from the sides of larger branches. In most cases, a branch will begin to form where you remove a leaf.

Step 5

Remove terminal leaves just above the next set of leaves to prevent long branches from growing longer. Removing the terminal buds may trigger new leaf growth at the pinch or cut point. Simply rub out new leaves with your fingers to discourage growth.

Step 6

Thin the upper leaves of the tree to allow sunlight to reach farther into the tree and encourage more full growth toward the center.

Step 7

Once your tree is pruned, place it in indirect light for a couple of weeks and restrict water to around 50 percent of your standard watering schedule. This will help the tree heal and encourage new healthy growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Jade tree
  • Pruning shears or scissors


  • Bonsai Tree Care: Jade Bonsai
  • Bonsai SIte: The Jade Tree
  • Bonsai Gardener: The Jade Tree Bonsai
Keywords: jade tree pruning, jade tree care, jade tree cultivation

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.