Bonsai- Jade Plant
Bonsai- Jade Plant(Crassula spp.) make excellent specimens for bonsai due to their low maintenance and distinct appearance. These easy-to-grow plants tolerate dry soil, average humidity and shade
Bonsai- Jade Plant (Crassula spp.) make excellent specimens for bonsai due to their low maintenance and distinct appearance. These easy-to-grow plants tolerate dry soil, average humidity and shade. Jade grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, but is commonly kept as a houseplant throughout the country. A succulent native to Africa, Jade has thick, evergreen leaves that develop red tips in the sun and white or pink flowers. Jade trees take to bonsai readily and adapt well to the heavy pruning required to maintain the small size.
Purchase a healthy Bonsai- Jade Plant with a thick trunk and compact branches. Varieties that make excellent bonsai include cultivars of Crassula ovata and Crassula arborescens, such as ‘California Red Tip,’ ‘Hobbit,’ ‘Bronze Beauty’ and ‘Tricolor.’
Select a Bonsai- Jade Planter to match the size of the finished bonsai tree for correct balance. A deeper pot works best with the thick trunk and leaves of the jade tree.
Cut small pieces of vinyl mesh a little larger than the drainage holes to place over them to prevent soil from washing out during watering. Cut a piece of wire about 6 inches long and create loops at each end, making the space between the loops the same size as the width of the drainage holes. Place the wire on the outside bottom of the planter with the loops on the sides of the hole and the ends poking through to the inside. Put the mesh over the hole on the inside of the planter with the wires poking through the mesh, and fold the wire ends over to secure it.
Install an anchorage wire across the bottom of the pot with both ends pushed up through the drainage holes. This wire holds the tree in place.
Make a bonsai soil mix or purchase a premade mix from a local bonsai supplier. A bonsai soil mix for jade needs excellent drainage.
Remove the jade tree from the pot. Loosen and remove the dirt attached to the roots. Gently untangle and spread the roots using a hook.
Trim the roots to fit in the selected bonsai planter. Remove any dead and downward-growing large roots.
Prune twiggy or leggy branches off of the jade with sharp scissors. Remove one of each opposite growing branches with concave cutters to create an alternating branch pattern. Tip branches to create a rounded canopy shape.
Spread a small amount of potting medium in the container. Place the tree in the planter, spreading the roots out. Use the anchor wire to secure the position of the jade. Fill the planter with the bonsai soil, leaving up to half an inch of space between it and the top of the planter.
Spread a balanced granular fertilizer on top of the soil following the package directions. Cover the soil with moss or small pebbles.
Water thoroughly until the water drains out the bottom. Place the tree in a sunny location that receives some afternoon shade.
Things You Will Need
- Bonsai pot
- Vinyl mesh
- Bonsai soil mix
- Bonsai hook
- Bonsai pruners
- Concave bonsai pruners
- Balanced granular fertilizer
Bonsai- Jade Plant need very little water. If wrinkles appear on the leaves, the plant needs water.
Trim the tree once or twice weekly for size control.
Place the tree outdoors during warm months.
Fertilize the jade bonsai once a month, starting in late spring and ending in the first half of fall.
Jade bonsai need to be overwintered in a protected location with temperatures at approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 32 degrees will kill the tree.
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