Care of Jade Bonsai Trees

Overview

Native to South Africa, the jade bonsai tree (crassula ovata) is an evergreen succulent. Its natural leaf size is 1 to 2 inches, but with proper pruning leaves only grow to approximately 1/2 inch in size. Though green in color, the edges of the leaves become tinged with red when provided with enough sunlight. The tree produces star-shaped white flowers in the fall. The jade bonsai tree has a thick trunk and is particularly well suited for clump style bonsai plants. It is a low-maintenance plant.

Step 1

Grow the jade bonsai tree indoors, since they thrive in warm climates. To avoid stunted growth, be sure your jade bonsai plant gets plenty of natural sunlight. A window sill is an ideal location to grow the tree.

Step 2

Only water the tree when the leaves begin to wrinkle or when the soil feels very dry. Since arid climates are the natural habitat for jade bonsai trees, they are capable of storing large quantities of water in their leaves. Over-watering results in poor root development. Jade bonsai plants with poorly developed roots provide inadequate support to the water-laden leaves.

Step 3

Feed the jade bonsai tree monthly from spring until fall. Feeding with a balanced fertilizer once a month provides all the nutrients a jade bonsai plant needs.

Step 4

Prune new growth frequently. The jade plant tolerates frequent and extensive pruning much better than most bonsai tree species. Frequent pruning encourages vigorous growth and reduces the size of the leaves. Flesh cuts work best for removing branches and twigs. Due to the tough nature of jade plants, the use of a sealant is not required.

Step 5

Repot the jade bonsai tree every two to three years in inorganic compost that drains well. An ideal soil mix consists of 75 percent inorganic matter and 25 percent organic matter. Gritty soil mixed with compost creates a healthy balance between drainage and water retention.

Tips and Warnings

  • Jade bonsai stalks break easily. Training a jade tree requires delicate care and patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Jade plant
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden shears
  • Plant pot

References

  • Bonsai 4 Me:Jade Tree/Crassula Ovata syn.C.Arborescens
  • Bonsai Gardener: Jade Tree (Crassula Ovata syn. C.Arborescens)
  • Bonsai Tree Care Tips: Caring for Jade Bonsai
  • Jade Bonsai Tree: Jade Bonsai Tree
  • Bonsai Gardener: The Jade Tree Bonsai
Keywords: jade bonsai tree, grow jade bonsai, pruning jade bonsai

About this Author

Rebecca Moore has been a writer since 1994. She has been published on Associated Content, Suite101, eHow and numerous print magazines. Moore attended Living Word Bible College and Leeward Community College. Moore enjoys spending time at garden shops and botanical gardens and experimenting with hydroponics and square foot gardening.