Practical Guide on How to Care for Your Jade Bonsai
The Jade is an evergreen tree specie that typically grows in South Africa. Although this tree is easy to care for, it must never be exposed to locations with temperatures that reach below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It also needs to be provided with ample amounts of sunlight, so that its elliptic leaves will start developing red-colored edges. During autumn, the Jade tree looks particularly lovely because of its white blossoms with an impressive star shape. The best bonsai styles for the Jade tree is the clump and informal upright because of its thick and dense branch structure.
Location and Placement
The Jade bonsai grow well in locations where there are low or high light conditions. If you are a beginner in bonsai cultivation, the Jade is an excellent specie to grow because it is fairly easy to maintain. If you plan to place it outdoors, make sure the minimum temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this specie is more suitable as a houseplant, as long as it obtains an ample supply of natural sunlight for at least 5 hours a day. When autumn comes, you will appreciate the tree even more because of its strikingly beautiful blooms beginning late September or early October.
Your goal in ensuring the health of your plant is by providing it with sufficient amount of water. What’s special about the Jade is the fact that their leaves can retain moisture better than other species. With this in mind, you should water the plant lightly while allowing the soil to dry and soak moisture well between watering. During winter, it is ideal to water the Jade tree every 2 to 3 weeks, and make sure you allow the soil to “breathe” before you start pouring more water on your plant. If you want to know whether your plant needs to be watered or not, you may consider lifting the pot to determine if its still heavy and moist or light and dry.
The right time to fertilize your bonsai is during spring when you notice new growths on the plant. You will also need to feed your Jade with a balanced type of fertilizer to promote its vigorous growth. A liquid organic or chemical fertilizer may work, as long as you dilute the latter in water to reduce it to 1/2 strength. Feeding is done every two weeks in springtime and once a month during winter. Interestingly, the plant responds well and quickly when fertilized, so make this an important bonsai care regimen.
Pruning and Wiring
The Jade is an excellent specie for bonsai cultivation because it grows slowly. In fact, it may take about 2 decades before it reaches about 3 feet in height. If you want to strengthen its growth near its bottom part, you must pinch back new growths to attain this goal. Its wounds can also heal in as little as 1 to 2 weeks, unless its cuts are deep.
When wiring the Jade bonsai tree, make sure you start at the base part of the bonsai until you reach the branch that you intend to train. In about 3 to 6 weeks, you can expect its branches to maintain the desired shape. By this time, you may remove the wire to prevent it from cutting through the branches.