The jade bonsai tree is a succulent plant that is cultivated into a miniature size. It grows glossy foliage that captures and holds water. Like the standard jade, the jade bonsai is quite adaptable to its environment and can withstand long periods of drought. The jade bonsai is a rapidly growing tree that will take on varying shapes and colors in response to its surroundings.
Plant the jade bonsai in coarse, well-drained soil with a neutral balance (pH 7.0). Use a combination of nutrient-rich soil, compost and sand. Plant the bonsai in a container that has a depth equivalent of, or slightly larger than, the diameter of the jade's trunk. The diameter of the pot should be at least 1/3 the height of the jade bonsai.
Saturate the soil of the jade bonsai when watering. The water should run lightly out of the container's drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Place the tree back into its location and allow the soil to dry completely before the next watering.
Place the tree in a partially shaded indoor area that provides at least four to six hours of full sunlight. Avoid exposing the jade bonsai to temperatures below 40 degrees F.
Fertilize the jade bonsai tree during the tree's growing season, generally spring through midsummer. Use a fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Choose fertilizers with low levels of nitrogen and apply at half strength.
Prune the jade bonsai tree to promote a miniature size and develop the desired shape. Trim away foliage, stems and branches to promote directional growth. Remove lower branches and foliage to promote a taller tree. Trim the upper part of the jade bonsai to promote a balanced weight distribution.
Apply wire around the branches to promote branch twisting and shaping. Use thin, aluminum wire for this application. Apply gently and carefully around the branches to avoid breakage, bruising or damage. Allow the wire to remain for several weeks. Cut away the wire gently.
Repot the jade bonsai tree about every two years. Complete the repotting process during the early spring, just before the growing season begins. Remove the tree from the pot and gently remove the excess soil from the root system. Prune the jade bonsai's root system using sharp, sterile scissors. Trim no more than one third of the root system from the tree. Repot the jade bonsai in fresh soil using a similar soil mixture. Avoid watering the tree several days before and after the repotting process.