Originally from Africa, Crassula ovata commonly known as Jade Plant, is a fleshy, softly woody shrub or small tree up to 10 feet (3 m). It has a thick trunk and a fine branch structure with thick, oval, green succulent leaves. During winter sometimes small, white flowers appear, but only when the tree has experienced droughts in the season. The bark is green and soft when young, becoming red-brown when it ages. Jade Plants take to bonsai readily and adapt well to the heavy pruning required to maintain the small size.
Specific Bonsai Care Guidelines for Jade Plant
Position: Jade Plant is considered an indoor tree in most temperate zones, although it can be grown outdoors in full sun (and sufficiently high temperatures). Keep temperatures above 41ºF (5 ºC) at all times. It needs lots of light or even full sun.
Watering: This succulent can hold large amounts of water inside its leaves. Water sparsely and allow the plant to dry out a little bit between watering. During winter time watering can be as seldom as once every 3 weeks. Jade Plant is not as particular about over-watering as most other succulents.
Fertilizing: Once a month during the growth season (spring to fall).
Pruning: As a succulent, it stores water in its trunk and branches. They tend to bend from their weight. Jades Plant respond well to pruning, which should be done regularly to force the tree to grow branches also lower on its trunk. Do not use cut-paste though, as this might lead to rotting.
Repotting: Repot the tree every second year in spring, using a very well-draining soil mixture.
Propagation: Easy to propagate using cuttings during the summer.
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