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Portulacaria Bonsai Leaves Turning Brown and Shriveling

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 3:16 pm
by hutch1
I am new to bonsai as an owner. I have a portulacaria that is hardy but has leaves shriveling and turning brown . The leaves doing this are minimal and brush off easily. I am careful to remove them from the surface of the ground to prevent desease. Is this common? I have watered once in 3 weeks by pot immerstion. I have had this from the start . Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:17 pm
by arboricola
Hi hutch1;

I take it you have a drawf jade. These plants can take some dryness, but I think you're going a little too long between watering. Try watering every one to two weeks. Let it dry out between watering. At the first sign of leave shrivling, water...


Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:08 pm
by hutch1
The everyday name is an elephant bush. This plant has had these browning leaves from the start ,not as a cause or effect of watering. I watered one week after getting it and have had it 3 weeks. The shriveling leaves are the leaves closets to the branch. All leaves toward the ends look great. Ready for more suggestions. HutcH

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:35 pm
by arboricola
Portulacaria ( elephant bush, elephant plant, dwarf jade ) is a succulent that stores water in it's trunk and leaves. It's more water tolerant than other succulents. So, water it and let it dry out, then water again. The shriveling of the leaves are a sign it needs water which should stop once you get it on a wet/dry schedule..


Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:12 am
by Gnome

I agree with Phil, you may need to water a little more frequently. They do not seem to be quite so drought tolerant as actual Jades. This may be due to the fact that they simply have less physical mass and are not able to store the same volume of water as their larger cousins. At any rate keep a close eye on the leaves, if they begin to lose their turgidity you have waited a bit too long.

Do you have the conventional green variety or the variegated form?