jade bonsai tree

Crassula Ovata Jade Bonsai: How to Grow and Care

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With a dense, thick truck and a uniquely contrasting fine branch structure, the jade bonsai tree is a specimen worth considering for your collection.

It offers lots of interest for hobby bonsai growers. From its occasional white flowers in autumn to its thick green succulent leaves, jade is a beautiful plant that’s also easy to care for in a bonsai fashion. 

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Jade, or Crassula ovata, only grows up to 10 feet tall when allowed to grow to full size. When grown in a bonsai style, it will be even smaller, possessing soft green bark and lovely star-shaped white blooms with pink tips (but only when grown outdoors – it does not bloom when you grow it inside). 

Interesting Facts about Jade Bonsai Tree

Height4-10”
Width8”
SunlightFull sunlight
Flowering Time Length3-5 weeks
Lifespan100+ years
Scientific NameCrassula ovata

Growing Jade Bonsai Tree from Seed or by Propagation

Jade is easy to grow from cuttings, though it can also be done from seed. The best time to plant a jade cutting is during the summer months, though it can technically be done year round as well.

crassula ovata bonsai

How to Care for Jade Bonsai Tree

Sunlight

The best place to position your jade bonsai plant will be in a full sun location. However, it is a unique succulent in that it can occasionally handle a bit of shade as well. These plants should be kept warm during the day, around 70-75 degrees, and a bit cooler at night (around 50-55 degrees).

Not too cool though – this plant won’t survive when the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you plan on growing it outdoors, make sure your outdoor climate is suitable. 

Watering

Jade, as a succulent, can hold a large amount of water in its leaves. Therefore, it is more likely to be overrated than it is to be underwatered. When you’re keeping the plant cool during the winter months, you may find that you only need to water once every three to four weeks. Simply water when the soil is dry to the touch. Although it is not as sensitive to overwatering as other kinds of succulents, you do still need to be careful about leaving its roots in water. 

Fertilizing

Jade bonsai trees should be fertilized once per month during the growing season. You do not need to fertilize during the winter. Just use a standard, balanced fertilizer – there’s nothing special you need to do.

Potting and Repotting

You should only need to repot your jade bonsai about once every two years – the best time to do this is in the spring. When you repot, use a well-draining soil mixture and avoid watering for a week or so after you have reported your plant. This will let any injuries to the roots or bark heal before water gets in, which can cause rot.

Pruning Jade Bonsai Tree

Jade bonsai holds water in its branches and trunk. Because of this, the limbs are naturally heavy and pliable, meaning they respond quite well to pruning. You can prune it to grow new branches on the lower areas of the trunk. Just make sure you don’t use cut paste when you trim – jade’s soft bark makes it more susceptible to rot.

Pests and Diseases

As long as you water and fertilize your crassula ovata bonsai appropriately (and make sure it’s positioned in a full sun location), you shouldn’t have any issues with diseases and pests. 

Occasionally, you may find that mealy bugs, root rot, or aphids become problematic. These can be treated with insecticides  – although root rot, as a fungal disease, has no cure. It’s easier to prevent this disease by avoiding overwatering. 

A good way to make sure your bonsai tree receives the water it needs without overwatering is to simply mist it. This will allow the leaves to remain green and healthy, increasing humidity without allowing the plant to become waterlogged.

Where to Buy Jade Bonsai Tree

You can purchase a jade tree for bonsai growing from any tree nursery. However, you may be better off purchasing a jade plant from a specialty bonsai dealer, as this will ensure a healthier plant overall.

See more: Portulacaria Afra Dwarf Jade Bonsai

*images by eskaparate/depositphotos

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