Winter is the time to grow the trunk of Jade Tree
Winter is a good time for active growth of trunks and preparation of the plant for spring pruning. Because of lack of light in winter, and a lot of people have no possibility to organize illumination, plants grow poorly, stretch and bend. In order to prevent it, I don’t recommend reducing watering, as a lot of crassula-growers recommend, I advise you to do it in another way
Before winter (you can also do it at the beginning of winter), I advise you to pinch the last buds or remove the last pair of leaves on all branches (it applies to the plants that have poor branches and grow in poor lighting conditions) and to start watering the plant with good doses of universal fertilizers. After that, the growth of foliage will be suspended for a while (until new buds wake up). Since the growth points will be inhibited, the trunk, branches and leaves will begin to grow actively. Do not forget to dry the earthen lump completely and rotate the plant.
At this time, the trunk will grow, and in breadth and generally increase in different directions, and old leaves can also grow.
Feeding the money plant (Jade Tree - Crassula) with sap from its own leaves
One of the options for feeding Crassula is sap nutrition from its own leaves. To provide the plant with nutrients during this dark time, I recommend watering the money tree with a solution of sap from its own leaves in winter (1:4 of water), a sufficient supply of which you could accumulate throughout the year in the freezer. The delight of sap is that the plant needs a minimum of light to absorb it. If there is no sap, you can add a little sugar, half a teaspoon per liter of water, alternating it with mineral fertilizers for cacti.
What fertilizers you should use for Crassula
If branches are pulled, use potash fertilizers with lower nitrogen content. It is not necessary to allow the loss of turgor because of drought, because the trunk dries out and does not grow in breadth. If new pairs wake up at the ends of the branches during the winter, they also need to be removed.
Sometimes I recommend doing abundant watering with plain warm water without fertilizers in order to wash off an excess of organic substance and salts from the pot, constantly draining water from the pan. Watering frequency is until half the pot is dry.
During the whole winter it is necessary to pinch new apical shoots that will grow. By that time, lateral buds may wake up on the trunk, unnecessary ones will also need to be removed in spring. In spring, when the plant acquires a thick trunk, accumulates strength and is ready to give birth to new shoots, if the length of the branches allows it, pruning can be done (cut 1-2 pairs of apical leaves).
At this time, feeding with sap (if you used this type of feeding) must be stopped and gone over to small doses of mineral fertilizers and slightly reduced the frequency of watering, compared to winter, because now the crown will grow, and we do not need long internodes. It will be necessary to water after the pot is completely dry. This advice only applies to non-nutritive, permeable, quick-drying, peat-free soil (!)
In early March, prune the plant according to your preferences. In this case, it is better to use potash fertilizers so that the leaves that grow on the branches are small. I do not recommend removing large leaves from the plant before it grows well with new ones. The plant should drink water after watering, and actively evaporate it from the leaves. If most or all of the leaves are removed, there is a very good possibility of flooding the plant.
© Andrey Girin
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