Originally from Africa, the Jade tree is a fleshy, softly woody shrub or small tree up to 3m. The Jade has a thick trunk and a fine branch structure with thick oval green succulent leaves. During autumn sometimes small white flowers appear, but only when the tree has experienced droughts in the season. The bark is green and soft when young, becoming red-brown when it ages.
If you need help identifying your tree, try our Bonsai tree identification guide.
Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Jade
Position: The Jade tree is considered an indoor tree in most temperate zones, although it can be grown outdoors in full sun (and sufficiently high temperatures). Keep temperatures above 5 degrees C (or 41F) at all times. It needs lots of light or even full sun.
Watering: Jade trees can hold large amounts of water inside their leaves. Water sparsely and allow the plant to dry out a little bit between watering. During winter time watering can be as seldom as once every three weeks. The Jade Bonsai is not as particular about over-watering as most other succulents.
Feeding: Once a month during the growth season (spring-autumn).
Pruning: As a succulent, water is contained its trunk and branches; they tend to bend from their weight. Jades respond well to pruning, which should be done regularly to force the tree to grow branches also lower on its trunk. Do not use cut-paste though, as this might lead to rotting.
Repotting: Repot the three every second year in spring, using a very well-draining soil mixture.
Propagation: Easy to propagate using cuttings during the summer.
For more detailed information on these techniques, try our Bonsai tree care section.
Example of a Jade (Crassula) Bonsai tree