leotoni
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:14 am

I need some of the basics on Dwarf Jades

Hi, everyone.

This is my first post on this forum. It has been very helpful so far, providing most of the info I could act on.

I bought my first bonsai two to three months ago. I believe it is a dwarf jade, based on pictures I have seen on this forum and other websites. First of all, I would like to know the basic to keep it alive. Since I bought it, it has had two episodes when it started losing lots of leaves--now being the second.

The first time around, I read a little about watering, and started watering it thoroughly every time the soil seemed dry--at least on top. Generally, this would mean watering it every week and a half. For a couple of times, I actually immersed it in water, which seemed to yield fast good results.

It was looking beautiful until a couple of weeks ago, when it stated losing leaves and even branches. I have not changed the watering routine, so I am not sure what is going wrong.

Below are some questions I have:
-I live in an apartment in New York. There is no way for me to put it outdoors--there is no such thing in my apartment! Do I have a chance of succesfully keeping it alive for a long time indoors?
-Do dwarf jades need a lot of light (e.g., by the window), or should I keep it away from direct sunlight? It seems to actually lose extra leaves every time I move it from the shelf where I keep it to the window. I have read somewhere that moving them twice a week is not a good idea either.
-Am I watering too often? I have noticed its leaves are somewhat big and heavy, so I am concerned I am letting it soak too much water.
-Is immersion a good idea? How often should I do it? I have read that it is a good idea to do it every month or two.
-Should I fertilize it? How often and with what fertilizer?
-What is the best way to trim it?

So far, this is the most complete page I have found that talks specifically about dwarf jades https://www.bonsai-express.com/products/1610-dwarf_jade_bonsai.htm Is it any good?

Thank you!

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Re: I need some of the basics on Dwarf Jades

leotoni wrote:I live in an apartment in New York. There is no way for me to put it outdoors--there is no such thing in my apartment! Do I have a chance of succesfully keeping it alive for a long time indoors?
Well, you're lucky there, since it is an indoor plant that SHOULD do well indoors all year long.
leotoni wrote:Do dwarf jades need a lot of light (e.g., by the window), or should I keep it away from direct sunlight? It seems to actually lose extra leaves every time I move it from the shelf where I keep it to the window. I have read somewhere that moving them twice a week is not a good idea either.
IME, not really. Jades (baby or otherwise) thrive in indirect room light, at least the ones I've kept. But, you'll tend to get more growth in a really bright room. I've never placed one directly in a sunny window, but I don't think it would be appreciated.
leotoni wrote:Am I watering too often? I have noticed its leaves are somewhat big and heavy, so I am concerned I am letting it soak too much water.
Succulents, like cacti, need much less water than most house plants. I would allow the soil to become dry before watering again. They can take a lot of abuse in the dryness department (as compared to other house plants) but do not do so well when over watered. I had a very large jade that was watered, for instance, once per month.
leotoni wrote:Is immersion a good idea? How often should I do it? I have read that it is a good idea to do it every month or two.
Not for a jade, I don't think. I would just water until the soil appears wet, wait 15 minutes, then water again. I'd do this every two weeks, or when the soil surface is completely dry to the touch.
leotoni wrote:Should I fertilize it? How often and with what fertilizer?
Depends on the soil you're using. It's better to err on the side of caution and not fertilize at all, especially during times of stress. Because this plant is intermittently dropping leaves, I'd focus on getting it stable before even thinking about fertilizing.
leotoni wrote:What is the best way to trim it?
Again, not something to be even thinking about at the moment. These "trees" don't conform to any of the traditional bonsai shapes very well at all. At best, maybe a modified broom type of tree would be something to shoot for. Otherwise, just shape it as you like it.
leotoni wrote:So far, this is the most complete page I have found that talks specifically about dwarf jades https://www.bonsai-express.com/products/1610-dwarf_jade_bonsai.htm Is it any good?
Sorry, did not have time to check. Maybe someone else will and offer their opinion.

constantstaticx3
Green Thumb
Posts: 391
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:24 am
Location: Haddonfield, NJ

https://images.google.com/images?q=Jim%20Smith%20Portulacaria&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wi


Just to prove Jade can be styled in a traditional style.

When jades are left to get pot bound they form interesting rootage, I suggest you do this. They do like to be put in a south facing window, the more light the better.


Tom

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Yeah, I've see some of those. Very nice trees but very difficult to accomplish, especially since wiring can be problematic. Definitely some beautiful trees though.

leotoni
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:14 am

It is getting there...

Thank you very much for the advice, kdodds. I have not watered it since, and it actually seems to be losing fewer leaves now, although it is still losing some branches.

Some of the leaves that have been falling are incredibly filled with water, so I guess I had been over watering it. The soil seems pretty dry, but I will hold off for a few more days before watering it again. Since this species supposedly takes more abuse on the dry side, I will try and err on that side. I will keep you posted of its progress.

User avatar
bonsaiboy
Greener Thumb
Posts: 892
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:54 am
Location: Earth

Just so you know, I let my jades lower leaves become slightly wrinkled before I water it agin. Don't let them lose to much water, but just enough so that the leafs have a slightly wrinkled texture. Water well, and in a few hours the leaves will retain there smoothness agin. Mine thrives being watered like this. It is best to use a soil that dries up in 48 hours, as any longer could promote root rot. Jades, depending on size, like the soil to go dry a few days or even weeks before watering agin. Let the plant, not the soil, tell you when it needs to be watered agin.
הדמיון הוא יותר חשוב מאשר ידע

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”