A leggy jade plant is no longer pleasant to look at. This is why jade plant lovers avoid coming into this situation.Leggy Jade Plant

However, if you find your beloved jade plant becoming scraggly and leggy, this article is for you. Read on to know how this happened and what the best solution to this issue is.

5 Common Causes For Your Jade Plant Becoming Leggy?

Jade plants can become leggy because of wrong light exposure, over-fertilizing, poor pruning, over-watering, and poor potting. You don’t want an ugly and leggy jade plant, so let’s find out which of these causes is the culprit causing this condition in your plant.

– Wrong Lighting

Not giving the right amount of light is one of the main causes of leggy jade plants. Jade plants are sun and light-loving plants, so naturally, they prefer to be placed in a location with high sun and light exposure.

An over-elongated branch of a jade plant pointing in a certain direction could be an indication that it’s desperately reaching for light. If not corrected, the branches would become leggy.

If sunlight is scarce in your area, a grow light can be used instead to avoid etiolation. Etiolation is a natural phenomenon that happens when the light source is far from the plant. The plant would find its way toward the source of the light by elongating its branched in the direction of the light, resulting in leggy and sparsely leafed and flowered plants, in this case, your jade plant.Reasons of Leggy Jade Plant

– Over-Fertilizing

Applying fertilizer to your jade plant could also lead to a leggy jade, which you don’t want to happen. Fertilizers are beneficial when the jade plant is still actively growing. Unknowingly for most growers, too much of fertilizers could result in nutrient overload. Thus, a growth spurt occurs in the form of long branches and stems of the plant.

– Poor Pruning

Ideally, you prune jade plant not only for it to become a decorative houseplant but also because it is considered as a lucky charm. It is believed that a jade plant brings fortune to one’s abode.

Jade plants are pruned regularly to achieve the gardener’s desired shape. If pruning is not done correctly and regularly, it would result in a leggy jade plant as its branches will now be crowded. Moreover, the branches would now be competing not only for nutrients but for space and sunlight, too.

– Overwatering

Jade plants belong to the cactus family. Thus, water is seldom needed. Overwatering may cause root rot that could result in an unhealthy jade plant with thin and long branches.

In the same way, root rot due to overwatering may also invite pests and other diseases, resulting in a weak, sickly, and leggy jade plant. Root rot could easily happen, especially when the soil used is not well draining.

– Poor potting

A pot too large or too small for the size of your jade plant can also contribute to producing long and thin stems. This may not easily be detected, but as the plants are more compacted in the pot, struggles for more water, nutrients, and sunlight might occur, resulting in unhealthy and thin-looking jade plans.

What Are Simple Solutions to Treat a Leggy Jade Plant?

The simple solutions to treat a leggy jade plant are first of all proper pruning. You also need to provide adequate lighting and watering. Proper potting will further enhance the bushiness of your plant. However, avoid fertilizers as this will worsen the problem.

– Proper Pruning

When done properly, pruning jade plants will not only solve their leggy appearance but it will also make them bushier. You can simply pinch a stem right above a leaf scar, which is a space where a leaf fell off, or any part of the jade that you wish to cut. A sterile pruning shear could also be useful for a bigger jade plant trunk.

It is advisable though to visualize which part of the plant you would want to grow more leaves and where to cut jade plant trunk so that it can be formed into any miniature tree or any other shape you desire it to be. You can cut all the leggy stems, leaving only one-third of the original stems in total.

Pruning jade plant also encourages more new leaf and branch growth. Thus, this eliminates the leggy problem of your jade.Solutions to Leggy Jade Plant

– Adequate Lighting

A minimum of four hours of direct sunlight is what would make a jade plant happy; a lesser amount of light would mean trouble. Expose your leggy jade plant to adequate light in the outdoors. However, if this is not feasible, especially during the winter season, artificial light or a grow light will suffice.

Also, make sure that the location of your jade plant inside the house is not far away from the source of light, or else, when left for longer periods of time, you will notice that your plant is starting to reach out to where the light source comes in. Windows with direct sunlight are great for the plant and are an ideal place.

– Adequate Watering

For jade plants, adequate watering means scarce watering. Do it when the soil is dry to the touch already. Given that jade plants belong to the cactus family, watering is not so much of a trouble.

Distilled water is best to use when watering your jade plant, as the leaves can be sensitive to the salt content of tap water. Also, salt accumulation in the soil may happen when you continuously use tap water while watering prune jade plants or even those that are not pruned.

– Proper Potting

Jade plants grow for a long period of time, especially if they are healthy. Use the appropriate size of pot that could accommodate the plant. Make sure that it is also a well-draining pot.

Some gardeners prefer that their jade plants be root-bound to their pot. This is because being root-bound makes a jade plant more manageable to prune and achieve the desired appearance.Repotting Jade Plant

Along with the correct pot size, a good soil combination is important. The soil used must be well-draining. A cactus or succulent soil mix can also be used for your jade plant. Repotting every two to three years would be beneficial as the jade plant grows.

– Avoid Fertilizer

When your jade plant is no longer actively growing, cut out the fertilizer. This is to stop having a leggy jade plant. Needless to say, jade plants can thrive without fertilizer.

If there is really a need to fertilize, utilize a well-balanced plant food. A fertilizer with low nitrogen is also best to avoid having a leggy jade plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Do You Make Your Jade Plants More Bushy?

To make a jade plant more bushy you need to prune it. Pruning does not only eradicate old leaves and stems, but it also encourages the plant to grow more leaves and flowers in the long run. Just be careful not to overprune.

– Should You Prune Leggy Jade Plants All at Once or Gradually?

It’s generally recommended to prune leggy jade plants gradually rather than all at once. Trim back a few stems at a time, allowing the plants to adjust and redirect their energy towards new growth. Pruning too much at once can cause stress to the plants.

– Will Fertilizing Your Jade Plants Make Them Less Leggy?

No, while fertilizer can promote healthy growth, it is not a solution for the legginess in jade cultivars. Fertilizer alone cannot fix leggy growth caused by insufficient light. It’s crucial to address the lighting issue first by providing adequate sunlight or artificial grow lights.Leggy Jade Plant Details

– Can You Use Plant Supports to Prevent Leggy Growth in Your Jade Plant?

No, plant supports or stakes can’t prevent leggy growth in jade plants. Instead, they only provide additional support for the plants. To prevent leggy growth, it’s important to address the underlying cause of the legginess, which is usually inadequate light, to promote healthier growth.


Your jade plant can become leggy for plenty of reasons but remember that this issue can be easily solved. Find out what is causing your jade plant to become leggy, and apply the appropriate solutions. Remember that:

  • Wrong lighting, over-watering, over-fertilizing, poor pruning, and poor potting can result in a leggy jade plant.
  • Proper pruning is the fastest way to solve leggy jade plant problems. When done correctly, you’ll achieve your desired look and shape for your jade plant.
  • Fertilizers may bring more harm to your leggy jade plant, so be wary of using them.

Like any other house plant, tender and loving plant care for your leggy jade would eventually result in a bushy, healthy, and auspicious jade plant. Best of luck!

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