How to Thicken the Trunk on a Jade Plant

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Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners

  • Small dowel rods

  • Twist ties or plant ties

  • Water

  • African violet fertilizer


Jade plants enjoy a warm breeze, but not a cold draft. During the summer, consider placing your jade outside away from hot direct sunlight. Wipe down the leaves of your jade with a damp cloth every month or so to remove dust.

Jade plants are known for their beauty and tolerance for a variety of growing conditions. They are typically successful even for novice indoor gardeners. A succulent, the jade plant generally grows well in a container with minimal care. If your jade's main stem is starting to tilt or bend over, the trunk might be too weak to hold the leaves or the plant isn't receiving the proper care. By ensuring you give your jade the appropriate light, water and nutrients, you can thicken the trunk on a jade plant over time.

Step 1

Look over the body or your jade to make note of branches that appear too long to be supported, stems that disrupt the overall bush shape, and branches that are bending down and touching the rim of your pot. Prune away these stems either where they attach to the main trunk or immediately after a branching fork to decrease strain on your plant.

Step 2

Transfer the jade to a new pot using a succulent potting soil if the plant has out grown the pot it is in, or if you know the existing soil is not made for succulent plants. Look for roots to be sticking out of the bottom of the pot as a sign your jade must be repotted.

Step 3

Insert a length of dowel rod into your pot an inch away from the trunk to act as a support rod. The stake should be as tall as the plant plus about 4 inches. Use twist ties or flexible plant ties to stabilize the main trunk with the support. Be careful not to knock off leaves during tying.

Step 4

Place your jade at a bright windowsill that receives a high amount of light, even if it isn't always direct. A west or south facing window is generally best, but constant direct light may be too strong for your jade.

Step 5

Water the jade regularly once a week using tepid, not cold, water from about mid spring to mid fall. It is okay for the soil to dry between watering. During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, cut watering back to once every six to eight weeks.

Step 6

Feed every other week during the summer with an African violet fertilizer following the directions on the packaging for application method and strength. If the fertilizer requires being dissolved in water, then use this water as your weekly watering to avoid soaking your plant.

Step 7

Allow new growth to follow and for the trunk to begin to thicken over time. Depending on when you are working with your plant you may see an improvement within two to three months or longer if starting just before or during dormancy.

references & resources

Amma Marfo

Amma Marfo is a higher education professional and writer. Presently, she shares her writing expertise in the Office of Student Activities and Multicultural Programs at Emmanuel College in Boston.