parkerp
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watering of bonsai jade plant

I have a bonsai jade tree - have had it about 4 months now - started losing leaves more so 1 1/2 mos ago - more plentiful - I had been watering once/week - took in to nursery 3 weeks ago, told to water twice/week, that it had been under watered. Continued to lose leaves, some branches a bit shriveled looking on ends, called nursery - told to soak plant briefly to bottom of trunk, felt underwatering still. Only has a few leaves left, looks happier though to me, told to water this way once/week. What are your thoughts? Would the plant lose leaves with overwatering also?

Thanks.

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Gnome
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parkerp,

Hello and welcome to the site.
took in to nursery 3 weeks ago, told to water twice/week,
No bonsai should be watered on any kind of schedule. You have not indicated your location which would be helpful. You also have not indicated how much sun the plant is getting, the type of soil it is potted in or your watering practices. I feel that you are probably over watering the plant, not under-watering.
it had been under watered.
A healthy Jade in full sun can easily go more than a week without water, two weeks is more like it. I have mine in full sun, in free draining soil and do not water as frequently as you have been. Unless the leaves have lost their turgidity and have wilted then you have not under-watered. Do not confuse the wilting that I speak of with rotten, shriveled branches, this is unhealthy.

Try cutting back on the watering and keep a close eye on the leaves. As long as they are plump and healthy looking you are OK. Jades are very easy to manage and about the only way to kill them is with too much water, not too little.

Norm

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bonsaiboy
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I am no expert on this, but I read in a book some jades require cooler winter/dormancy temp., and if to warm the leafs may fall off. I have no idea if this is the case, or if its even true, but I just thought I'd say that.

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Gnome
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bonsaiboy,
and if to warm the leafs may fall off
I have never experienced this and I keep my better ones in full sun during the summer. I ran short of bench space this year and many of my smaller Jades and Portulacarias never made it to the benches. They are doing fine in a more shady location.

Norm

parkerp
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As to the location, the plant is indoors on a dresser close to a window that gets light but not direct sun. The tiny ends of some of the branches are now shriveled looking. Should I move it outside for more sun - do you think it has definitely been over-watered - what else would cause to lose its leaves? There is 2 drain holes in the pot - soil has little sandy/rocky appearance on top with more dirt type underneath. This really irks me that the nursery guy where we bought the plant said it needed more water if that's not at all the case. What remedy now? Thanks much for all your help.

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

parkerp,
As to the location, the plant is indoors on a dresser close to a window that gets light but not direct sun.
I keep all my plants outside during the summer, in fact this is when they really thrive. Things slow down considerably over the winter in large part due to the less than stellar lighting that I am able to provide. What might seem to be an adequate level of light to you (indoors) is dim to your plant.

So yes I would put it outside for the remainder of the summer. You still have not given your geographical location, so use your common sense. Jades are tender. I would not place it directly in full sun right now. When I have moved them from indoors to full sun all at once they have suffered leaf burn. Find a location that gets some sun and some shade.
do you think it has definitely been over-watered
From the information I have, yes. During the winter (indoors) I might only water once a month. The leaves go limp and flaccid but always rebound quickly when watered. I assure you, you will not kill a Jade by under-watering it unless you truly ignore it to death. Allow the soil to to go completely dry and then some before watering.

Jades are succulents and as such store water in their fleshy stems and leaves. They are adapted to go long periods without water and then when it does rain they store water until next time.
soil has little sandy/rocky appearance on top with more dirt type underneath.
A soil that is uniform throughout is preferable but I have found Jades are not that picky about their soil. The single most important thing to know with Jades is not to over-water. By the way when you do water do so copiously and repeatedly to allow the plant to re-hydrate itself.
What remedy now?
Just wait it out and see what happens. Cut any mushy parts back to firm material and just wait. I would wager that it will recover.
what else would cause to lose its leaves?
Unless there some other cause such as insect activity or disease I really don't know. My Jades are almost trouble free.

[url=https://img466.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jadedy5.jpg][img]https://img466.imageshack.us/img466/9510/jadedy5.th.jpg[/img][/url]
Thanks much for all your help.
You're welcome.

Norm

ynot
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parkerp,

Welcome to the forum.

Gnome offers excellent advice here IMO.

Considering the 'dirt' you mention as being the main body of your soil, I would wager that the soil is far too moisture retentive for your jade.

As mentioned: You can wait until you see the leaves wrinkle a bit and then water completely and they plump right back up. :D.

PLEASE, Resist the urge to water it.

Like Gnomes Jades... Mine often go weeks without a drink. When they look a bit flaccid [& wrinkled]... I just give them a good drink.

After you get it back outside and adjusted I suspect it will take right back off.

Please do add your location to your profile.

ynot

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