Tips for pruning a jade plant include only pruning older and overgrown plants and trimming branches down to the nearest node. A trimmed jaded plant branch dies back to the nearest node, and nodes typically produce two new branches after pruning. Never remove more than 20 to 30 percent of the branches during pruning.
Pruning younger plants and being too aggressive when removing unwanted branches may cause harm to the plants. Plants do not require pruning in order to stay healthy, but branches are commonly removed for aesthetic reasons. Even minor pruning may create an increased risk of a bacterial damage that may weaken or even kill the plant. Jade plants prefer locations that offer abundant sunlight, and they do well in both indoor and outdoor locations that provide moderate temperatures.
Plants trimmed during the spring or summer typically recover more quickly than plants trimmed during other times of the year. Plant cuttings are easy to root and can grow into new plants. Jade plants are easy to grow, but pruning may be necessary to ensure plants remain an acceptable size. Jade plants are native to South Africa and may grow up to 3 or 4 feet in height after a few years.