Another one of those never-ending jade plant questions

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I have an old jade plant (age unknown) but from the size, I assume it's fairly old.
The plant has always been in a southern window. I water it once every few weeks. When I water it, I soak the soil but do not let it stand in runoff water. It stays inside all year. I have no insect problems with it.
Since last summer, the plant has started to droop. The plant itself is in very good shape with no soft tissue and only an occasional leaf drop, usually in the fall (I live in NY state).
Here is a URL showing the plant:
<http://ny.existingstations.com/Jade/Jade.html
The plant is 4 feet across and 20" high from the top rim of the pot. Before last summer, it never hung below the top rim of the pot and now it hangs 14" below in some places. All the "trunks" used to stand up straight and as you can see from the large horizontal trunk, they are loosing that vertical stance. Maybe it's top heavy?
I'd like suggestions as to what, if anything is wrong, and what I should do or if it should just be left this way.
Thanks for the help.
Charles
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If the leaves have a red tinge around the edges, the plant's getting enough light. Otherwise, it's not, and it'll tend to get leggy. Yours appears to be in pretty good shape, but I wonder if it's getting pot-bound. According to "Crockett's Indoor Garden", they'll survive pot-bound for years, but not always thrive. Does the plant perk up at all within a day of watering, or does it still droop? And, does the water seem to pass through the pot more quickly than it used to?
I'd repot it (with someone else's help, to avoid snapping branches). Go to a pot size that allows maybe 3" of extra soil in all directions, and make sure it's a heavy pot, to provide some weight to counterbalance the plant. Repotting can be done at any time of year. The plant should be fed every 3-4 months. If you break off any stems during repotting, they can be rooted to make new plants. If you can find rooting hormone powder, it'll help.
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"Crockett's Indoor Garden"?!!!
ROTFLMAO!!!!
Crockett died a long time ago. It's time to let it go, Dude.

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Please explain exactly how long it takes before a book becomes useless, in your opinion. Also, explain WHY you believe this is so. Have jade plants changed because of the advent of the interent?

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Crockett's book was a useless piece of coffee table anecdotal fluff catering to dummies when it came out. It was never to be take as gospel. It certainly isn't even a horticultural reference book either.

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Interesting. His advice was always dead-on. The original Victory Garden book was equally good, except for his outmoded dependence on chemicals. What innaccuracies did you find?

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I'm looking at the book, and I can't see any evidence that it claimed to be a horticultural reference book. Hortus Third - that's another story.
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Hortus Third was a real snafu. L.H. Bailey must have been spinning in his grave.
It was mostly compiled by grad students (not the experts in most of the various plant groups) who didn't even bother to do the horticultural or botanical research necessary and it was completely out-of-date when it was published. It was trashed by reviewers from everyone from orchid growers to rose growers. It has far too many mistakes to be taken seriously.
The treatment for succulent plants is very inconsistent and completely useless. Many of the plant names claimed not to be of horticultural value were actually validly published and listed in Index Kewensis and/or Index Londonensis.
The treatment for Plectranthus (which should have included the obsolete genus Coleus as a synonym) was a shameful atrocity. If they had bothered to look, they would have found the widely grown African, Asian and Australian species had been completely revised several years earlier and the literature was sitting right there the whole time in the Cornell library completely ignored.
It is one overly expensive paperweight!!!!
It only goes to show that in actual practice horticulture is little more than botany's idiot stepchild!!!

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On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 06:28:17 GMT, "Cereus-validus....."

What would you recommend in it's place? Other than a good library nearby, which I seem to not have.
--
Charles

Does not play well with others.
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The problem is that there is really no up-to-date single publication that fulfills what Hortus Third was supposed to do. The best you can do is to purchase a book that specializes in a particular plant genus or topic, if such a book exists.
Timber Press would probably be your best place to look for such specialty books.
http://www.timberpress.com/index.cfm
wrote:

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That was actually very interesting Cereus. I haven't had the opportunity to go thru the gifted Hortus Third that my mentor and 80 year old garden friend, Mary Emma gave me last year when she ceased to garden. It seems a quite dry book that I have been reluctant to open up and research answers by. My Horticultural A-Z is better, and I continually read and learn from Horticulture and Fine Gardening Magazine as well.
In looking up the Plectranthus after you mentioned it, once again your knowledge of plants is admirable. Towel in the bucket. But which variety were you speaking of, P. amboinicus, P. Argentatus, P. australis(killed a few of those in my time), P. forsteri, P. madagascariensis, P. oertendahlii (which sounds facinating in description), P. thyrsoideus, or P. verticilltus........ Again, thanks for the great garden conversation. (wonder if Zhan is reading you again, Fashizzle?) maddie

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The odd thing about the species you list is that the plant commonly grown misidentified as Plectranthus australis is actually the South African species Plectranthus verticillatus. It is a semisucculent evergreen prostrate shrub.
The name Plectranthus australis is actually a synonym of Plectranthus parviflorus, an Australian herbaceous tuberous species grown for its edible rootstock. It also is found in the Hawaiian islands, where it was probably introduced and cultivated long ago by Polynesians.
The type species for the genus Coleus is Plectranthus amboinicus, a leaf succulent species that smells like oregano.
Many of the species they list in Hortus Third under Coleus had been transferred to the genus Solenostemon and now are also included in Plectranthus. The so called "Coleus" of the horticultral trade is actually Plectranthus scutellarioides. The species has an extensive synonymy.
The only species they listed in Hortus Third under Solenostemon is S.zambesiacus which is actually a synonym of Plectranthus shirensis.

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Well, getting back to Crockett, I'm trying to draw an analogy here. His advice has been accurate, even if you believe the book had too many pictures to be taken seriously. So, I can only conclude that after an author dies, his work should be allowed to age a bit, and then be forgotten. This does not bode well for Euclid.
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Whatever you say, dude.
Never said anything was wrong with the pictures.
I always thought most of Crockett's folksy advice on the original Victory Garden was half-baked from the start.
That Crockett was unable to distinguish between a cultivar and a botanical variety proved he was firmly stuck in the old ways and was already out of touch with the innovations of his time.
Since when did Euclid write a garden book?

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On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 06:28:17 GMT, "Cereus-validus....."

Thank You!!!! I bought the da** thing and it was useless when I tried to look up any useful information. Thanks to hurricane Ivan and you I no longer need to feel guilty for being a dummy.
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On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 06:28:17 GMT, "Cereus-validus....."

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Your plant has gotten leggy and top heavy.
You need to trim away unnecessary branches and stake the main trunks.

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Top heavy....compared to what? They grow as large as dogwoods in the tropics.

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Top heavy as in the top growth is far more luxuriant than the branches can hold upright.
Note that the plant in question is being grown in a window, not in the tropics, under far less than optimal conditions. The growth is very lanky and not at all ideal for the plant.
I have seen plants of it grown outdoors in southern California that were small trees. The massive trunks were fully capable of supporting the much more compact top growth.

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Top heavy, relative to the volume of earth it's growing in.

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