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New Bonsai Lost Leaves, Now Sprouting New Leaves

Hello everyone I'm Steve from western Massachusetts. I've got a serious question and concern for my indoor dwarf jade bonsai. I ordered it online and was really hesitant about doing so given the sensitive nature of the bonsai trees but went ahead and did it anyways.

When the bonsai tree arrived it was absolutely beautiful. The company did an amazing job of packing it very well and it was protected from the winter cold of New England.

That being said my concerns started to grow more and more as the days passed and turned into weeks where each and every single day I would notice the jades leaves falling off and scattered on the counter.

I summed it up to the stress of shipping, adjusting to the New England winter and getting accustomed to its new environment. However, more and more leaves kept dropping off on a daily basis so I decided to take a look at the root ball to determine if there was any rot. The root ball is absolutely flawless and the roots are clear and extremely strong so there is no rot.

I put it back in the pot securely and mixed addition soils with what it was shipped in. I then watered it completely and set it back up on the counter. Yet again more and more leaves have dropped off and it's now 98% bare of all the beautiful, green and healthy leaves it was shipped with. It does however show new growth. New leaves and shoots seem to be popping up all over the plant. So my questions/concerns are this:

1. With the new growth does it seem like this indoor jade bonsai has finally adjusted to its new environment and will continue to grow and do well?

2. Is this something that indoor jade bonsai trees do every year - drop old leaves and grow new ones?

3. Should I repot this bonsai in a larger pot?

4. Watering has me a little confused as well. Instructions say to not let it sit in water but water it thoroughly every 5-7 days. I usually will water it from the bottom as it's more convenient then getting the soil/rock combination all over the place. Should I be doing it this Way? Could it be harming the bonsai?

Thank you all for any information you can provide. I'm a newbie in the bonsai dept and just absolutely love this tree and all the other ones that I have. (3 ponytail palms, an azalea, and a podocarpus macrophyllus). I appreciate any help and guidance.

Indoor dwarf jade bonsai
Indoor dwarf jade bonsai

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Re: New Bonsai Lost Leaves, Now Sprouting New Leaves

No, the jade tree is not deciduous and would not drop leaves unless it were suffering. Perhaps it is adjusting, but if the new leaves start dropping off, you will have to figure out what it needs quickly or it will die. It is generally pretty un-fussy, but it is sensitive to cold. Be sure you don't have it too close to the window where it could get cold drafts.

No, the idea of bonsai is to keep your tree miniaturized in a tiny pot. You can put it in a larger pot at which point the tree will get bigger and after awhile it won't be a bonsai any more, just a house plant. Which is fine, I guess, if you want a jade house plant.

Yes if you are letting it sit in water, you are harming it. They meant it about water thoroughly. Put it in the sink and pour water into it from the top and keep doing it until the water is running freely out of the bottom drain holes. Let it sit and drain and then do it again ("for bonsai, it always rains twice"), to be sure all the soil is moistened. Let it sit and drain until no more water comes out and then put it back where it lives and do not water again for awhile until the soil is drying out. Now that it has hardly any leaves, it is not taking up much water, so it could be two weeks between watering.
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Re: New Bonsai Lost Leaves, Now Sprouting New Leaves

I have a 3 1/2 foot nearly 12 year old jade plant that has a 6 inch diameter trunk. I move it outside every summer. When I move it back indoors for the winter it will lose about 1/3 of it's leaves during it's indoor stint and even branches now and again. This is a normal adjustment to the differing light conditions. When it is moved outdoors for the summer it explodes again replacing all the lost leave and more. Your bonsai jade was probably under ideal conditions from the company from which it was ordered. I believe it is merely making an adjustment to it's new conditions. Also remember that Bonsai's have reduced root structures to keep the plant smaller. Water it twice a month and give it strong light and if you are able place it outdoors in the summer. If you place it outdoors make it a gradual adjustment to prevent the leaves from burning (maybe a couple of non back to back days per week to start then add one day every subsequent week). The best location is a place with combination sun and shade. I attached a couple of pictures of my jade. The top picture is current. The bottom picture is the same plant right after bringing it inside last fall. The smaller jade is about 18 inches tall and is about 3 years old. It is from a leaf of the larger jade. I
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