Introduction to the Jade Bonsai Tree
The Jade Bonsai is a small tree or woody shrub originally from Africa. The trunk of the tree is thick. However, the branches are quite thin. On these branches, you’ll see the succulent-like leaves are thick, green, and in the shape of an oval. Sometimes, white flowers will appear, but this only occurs if the tree went through a drought during that season. When young, the bark is soft and green, but when it ages, it becomes red-brown. These our our favorite bonsai trees we recommend to our friends and family on a regular basis. Here are the seeds we recommend, and here are the Jade Bonsai kits we recommend. We know you will enjoy having a Jade Bonsai tree. Keep reading to learn how to care for your Jade Bonsai.
How to Care for Your Jade Bonsai Tree
We’ve compiled an assortment of care topics to help you be as successful as possible with your Jade Bonsai tree, like your watering and fertilizing schedule, pruning, re-potting, and any special training techniques that will make your bonsai look especially awesome.
To start with, Jade trees are, in temperate zones, indoor trees, though, they can be outdoor trees if there are high temperatures and if it will get full sun. Always keep temperatures above 5 degrees C (41 degrees F). These trees need full sun or lots of light.
Watering Your Jade Bonsai
These bonsai are able to hold lots of water inside their leaves. You should water your tree sparsely and allow the tree to dry out a bit in between watering. During the winter, you can water your bonsai as seldom as once every three weeks, but only if your tree is kept relatively cold. Water as soon as it’s soil dries out in the slightest. Over-watering your plant is not a big deal as it is with other succulent type plants. If you do over-water your plant, the roots will rot and the leaves could turn yellow and fall off.
Fertilizing Your Jade Bonsai
Fertilize your bonsai during the growth season, which is spring-autumn, once a month. Using a pre-mixed, ready-to-use bonsai fertilizer is a perfect option. This is the fertilizer we would recommend to our favorite bonsai enthusiast who’s looking for easy bonsai feeding. If your leaves slowly turn yellow, this could be because you are either underfeeding or overfeeding your plant.
Pruning Your Jade Bonsai
Since Jade Bonsai tend to grow at different rates in different environments, we suggest pruning on a regular basis as you start to notice new branches and leaves growing. This time frame can be different depending on environment factors, but it’s important to keep in mind that this bonsai has thick succulent leaves, which can in turn weigh down your branches, distorting the shape you are trying to achieve. Be sure to use sharp clean pruning shears each time. These are the pruning shears we recommend. Be aware that if you use cut-paste, your bonsai could rot.
Wiring Your Jade Bonsai
Wiring your Bonsai tree is a way of training and styling the tree. You simply wrap wire around the branches you can bend and reposition the branches the way you’d like. It will take a while, a couple months, before the branches will be in their new shape. The wire can then be removed. The wire we recommend is this wire set with 5 sizes of wire.
Special Training Techniques For Your Jade Bonsai
With some simple acre and attention, your jade bonsai can be made into a very attractive centerpiece. they respond very well to wiring and training, making it a great plant to spend your time and attention on.
Jade bonsai also respond very well to a wide variety of planting and potting methods, making your options almost limitless for training.
Re-potting Your Jade Bonsai
You should repot your bonsai every second year in the spring. When doing this, we recommend this soil mixture that has black lava in it, which allows water to drain easily and gets oxygen to the roots. Allow the roots to dry and callous for about a week before you water the soil again or the plant will rot.
Propagating/Cloning Your Jade Bonsai
As a bonsai enthusiast, you should be happy to learn that Jade Bonsai plants are easy to propagate during the summer. Using simple cloning techniques you can turn your Jade Bonsai into a handful of Jade Bonsai trees. For a more detailed explanation on propagating or cloning your bonsai, you should check out our article here.
Pests/Diseases Common in Your Jade Bonsai
With proper care and good health, the risk of your Bonsai getting infected with any diseases or pests is very minimal. Some common diseases or pests that your bonsai may get are mealy bugs, black ring disease, powdery mildew, and brown rot.
Mealy bugs look like cotton on the leaves or stems. These pests will suck the liquid out of the plant. To get rid of them, rub an alcohol dipped cotton swab on the leaves and stems. The alcohol will kill the insect while simultaneously removing any infection.
If the underside of your leaves have black rings, your plant may have black ring disease. There is no known cure for this, however it won’t kill your plant. To prevent the spread, remove the infected leaves from the tree and do not plant cuttings with infected leaves.
The most common disease that may affect your bonsai is powdery mildew. This causes the plants leaves to be scabby, gray in color, and eventually white circular spots. Typically, this fungus grows late in the growing season and will cause the leaves and buds to grow distorted. This may kill the plant eventually if left untreated. To treat this fungus you need to put a good fungicide specially made to treat fungus infection. The spray we recommend using is this. In addition to this, you should destroy all the fallen and dead leaves.
Brown rot occurs when you over-water your plant. In the winter months, you only need to water your plant once a month, and during the rest of the year your plant is actively growing, you need to water once a week. There is no cure for this, however you can prevent spread by cutting out the infected area. If the infection reaches the roots, you need to cut out all the infected roots and repot in new soil.
Common Deficiencies with Your Jade Bonsai
The Jade Bonsai is not prone to many deficiencies, so as long as you keep up with basic care with sun, water, and fertilizer, you should be fine.
Common Scientific Names of the Jade Bonsai Tree
The most common scientific name for the Jade Bonsai is Crassula ovata. Some other common names are the money tree, money plant, and lucky plant.
Scientific name: Crassula ovata
Higher Classification: Pigmyweeds
Where to Get a Jade Bonsai Tree
There are two common ways to get a bonsai tree. The first is by getting seeds. While it is difficult to find Jade Bonsai seeds, you can find a collection of other Bonsai seeds here. Growing your Bonsai from seeds gives you the most amount of control of the tree. Though, this process takes about three years before you have a tree. The other option is getting a live tree. The benefits of this option are that you can start training the Bonsai within a month (this time lets it get accustomed to it’s home) rather than wait the three years for the plant to grow. The kit we highly recommend is this.