House Plants/Plant id and care please
Hi Will, can you please id these two plants for me. I think they may be Jades. What can I do to help them ? Thanks in advance.
Yes, your plants are Jade Plants (Crassula ovata). They appear to be generally healthy, but in need of substantial pruning.
First and foremost, resist any temptation to repot them. They are just fine as-is and probably will never need to be repotted. Keep them on or close to a sunny windowsill. In direct sunlight, the leaves develop a reddish tinge on their edges, which is fine. Jades tolerate cold temps down to freezing. Allow the soil to dry about one-third into the pot before watering thoroughly until some water trickles through the drain holes. It is best to err on the side of dryness with Jade Plants. Low humidity is fine so no need to worry about that. Fertilize it at half-strength monthly, but only when the plants are healthy and putting out new growth.
As long as your Jades get enough light and you don't repot or over-water, they will be easy for you to care for and will do well.
Pruning is what keeps Jades (and most other plants) looking good, although it does not affect their health. You will observe the new growth on Jades is almost always at the tip ends of stems. That means the stems grow ever taller and longer and eventually gravity starts to pull them downward. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you prefer a more upright plant, then the solution is to shorten the stems by pruning. For example, if you were to prune a very long stem back to within 3 inches of the pot, then new growth will emerge on that stem just below the pruning cut and grow upward from there. Pruning eliminates long, leggy stems and promotes new growth in the center of the plant and closer to the pot. Pruning only alters the appearance of the plant so you cannot really do it wrong. The worst that can happen is that you cut off too much, but even so it is just a matter of time before it grows back in. So, don't hesitate to prune vigorously.
I have written articles on repotting, pruning and on Jade Plant care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC
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