I've read other questions on this and other forums on Jade plants, and haven't quite found an answer.

My Jade plant is 20 years old and about 3" in diameter at the base and 4' high. It seems to never have been sick, except for a sunburn 10 years ago. A few months ago, leaves down the branches from the tips started to wrinkle and brown - more than the normal old age shedding. Now most leaves have wrinkled and are dying. The plant's trying hard to survive - it has grown new leaves that I thought would "save" it, but now they are wrinkling and turning brown too.

All I've read on over-watering has led me to reduce watering, then increase some after a month of low water didn't help.

An 18" tall tree next to this one is doing great. Sunshine in Colorado isn't a problem. I'm wondering if a house sitter over watered and cause the roots to rot, but I don't know what to do now.

Can I repot a tree this large? (maybe there is no choice).

How large a branch can I start in a separate pot? How would I start a fairly large branch?

  • 2
    Could you post a picture?
    – J. Musser
    Mar 18, 2012 at 1:24

1 Answer 1


This is a hard question to approach, it could be many things. If it is effecting the whole plant and you've ruled out the basics:

  • Insects attacking leaves, branches, roots
  • A larger plant taking over all the sunlight
  • Water pooling
  • Something that could have contaminated the soil where it is growing

It's possible that it is some sort of disease.

If it is disease then the problem is you are likely to bring that disease across when you take a new cutting.

If you can't see the source of the problem on the leaves or branches I would get out my shovel and clear away some of the dirt next to the roots. Enough so you can get a decent look and see for yourself if there is any problem down there.

My first step would be to search for something like jade tree diseases on Google. I would also take a small cutting of an effected section of the plant and take it to a nursery (my suggestion would be to take it to an independent, not a big mega-mall style nursery) and ask them there. Even if they can't say exactly what it is they may be able to suggest something you could try in terms of disease control.

In my experience I have cut 50cm off the side of a jade tree (no roots) to start a new plant. I have also cut 10x 1m large succulents out at ground level and left them at the base of a tree (very little sunlight) without any dirt and they all eventually grew roots down to the ground and are all very happy. The problem in your case, the larger the cutting you make the more chance you are of bringing across the disease.

If you are wanting to preserve the plant for sentimental value I suggest you take a cutting of about 15cm of new growth and move it away from the parent plant.

  • @Gordon - I can add further to this answer, but I am confused about something: In your question you say 're-pot' but you say there is an 18" tree next to it. Can you tell me if it is currently in a pot or if you mean take it out of the ground and put it in a pot? I can then provide you more info.
    – going
    Mar 18, 2012 at 22:29

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