User avatar
falcon
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:04 pm
Location: Canada

jade bonsai?

OK, I'm pretty sure my juniper dead :( , so I'm looking around for something else...

What I really would like is a jade bonsai. But I don't really know that much about them. I know that they are succulents, and that the chinese believe they bring prosperity, but that's about it.

Any info at all would be appreciated. If they're a pain, and you know of something better, I'd be open to suggestions, too. Anything other then ficus (I know that's what everyone suggests, but I have a plant-loving cat, and ficus' are toxic) :wink:

Thanks!

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

falcon,

Jades are one of the easiest plants to keep. They have only two real requirements, don't water too frequently and don't let them freeze. They are not even particularly sensitive to a somewhat low level of light. Portulacaria is a similar plant but is a little more finicky about good lighting. If I could only have one, for bonsai, I would choose the Portulacaria the leaves are smaller and present a more bonsai-like appearance.

For both of these I am referring to their winter situation as I keep them both outside, in full sun, during the summer. They must come inside when temperatures at night are consistently below 50f. In reality they will withstand a few hours at lower temperatures than that but a hard frost will kill them. Besides once the temperatures get that low they are not doing much growing anyway and you might as well get them inside.


I keep them under fluorescent lighting during this period but a bright window will suffice. A south facing one is ideal. Regardless, don't get it so close to the glass that it gets too cold.

That's the good news, the bad news is that these are not traditional bonsai specimens. They are fleshy, not woody and it is difficult to get anything that resembles a proper nebari (exposed roots). Some bonsai enthusiasts would never even consider them for these reasons. That does not mean you cannot grow them, I do and enjoy the experience. They are relatively fast growers and respond well to the clip & grow method and to a hard pruning from time to time as well.

Here are some pictures of a few of mine. The last one is a closeup of a Portulacaria so you can get an idea of their habit.

[url=https://img19.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mediumwd4.jpg][img]https://img19.imageshack.us/img19/6951/mediumwd4.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img177.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jadeportnm1.jpg][img]https://img177.imageshack.us/img177/5530/jadeportnm1.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img126.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pagreennb1.jpg][img]https://img126.imageshack.us/img126/8003/pagreennb1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Norm

User avatar
falcon
Full Member
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:04 pm
Location: Canada

jade bonsai?

Jades are one of the easiest plants to keep. They have only two real requirements, don't water too frequently and don't let them freeze. They are not even particularly sensitive to a somewhat low level of light.
Thanks Norm! That's really encouraging to hear. I'll probably go ahead and buy the jade that I've been looking at for a while. Not trying to be a pest, but do you know anything about Metasequoia Glyptostroboidesor Dawn Redwood as bonsai. They're one of my favorite trees but I always thought they were too fast-growing to be used for bonsai. However, just a few minutes ago I happened across this article. [url]https://badgerbonsai.wordpress.com/2008/04/20/metasequoia-glyptostroboides/[/url]

Thanks!

Gareth
Full Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:41 pm
Location: Surrey, UK

Dawn Redwood's are fine for Bonsai. Their foliage is an attraction as it turns from green, to pinkish to golden through Spring-Autumn.

- Keep in full sun, but protect on days when scorching may occur. Winter protection for temps below -10c.

- Repot every year in a more water-retentive mix. Don't worry about it being a conifer - they can tolerate some waterlogging.

- Pinch the tips when they've hardened as they are quite delicate. Wire only for a growing season once the shoots have hardened.

- Water lots and lots and lots. In the heat of the summer, morning, noon and night. They're a thirsty tree and demand lots.

- Fertilise with high nitrogen from Spring until Summer. Ease off to a low nitrogen fertiliser if you want the nice seasonal colour change.

Return to “Indoor Bonsai Forum”