long legged beauty.

Lauren Shisler

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Or.. not so much ;) haha

I've been looking around the web for a few weeks researching the how's and what's of my jade I got last summer.
It wasn't happy in the room with a western window, and dropped quite a few of its leaves. And the remaining ones were starting to go soft. So, I moved it to a northern facing one, and started to water it more frequently. It has perked back up and started to produce some new foliage! But now.. it looks pretty spindly.

I know the little rings on each branch is a leaf scar, and everything I've read says to prune it at one of these junctions. But I haven't been able to find anything about when I should prune. How aggressive can I be with one of these things?
 

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fredman

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Its a Crassula ovata. They don't make the best bonsai. They do make good pot plants though. They are succulents and can take aggressive cutting. I'll plant it in a good open soil in a pot and make the best pot plant I can from it....;)
 

Lauren Shisler

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Its a Crassula ovata. They don't make the best bonsai. They do make good pot plants though. They are succulents and can take aggressive cutting. I'll plant it in a good open soil in a pot and make the best pot plant I can from it....;)

I gathered that much from how large the foliage is! Had it been a dwarf variety styling can be considered. I just don't want it to look ...silly!
 

Bonsai Nut

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I gathered that much from how large the foliage is! Had it been a dwarf variety styling can be considered. I just don't want it to look ...silly!
Well... I have argued against most succulents in the past as being CONVINCING bonsai, but there certainly isn't anything wrong with keeping a plant in a pot and thinking about it in term of how you might style it as a bonsai. Once you go down that slippery slope, every plant in the world becomes bonsai potensai. I can't look at a hedge today without perusing it for bonsai potential.
 

aml1014

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I gathered that much from how large the foliage is! Had it been a dwarf variety styling can be considered. I just don't want it to look ...silly!
I have a full size variety that I've been training for 4 years now and it has leaves that are about .75" so they can reduce quite a bit. I was given a 40+year old one from my bonsai teacher this last fall and plan to train it as a large size tree (it's largest trunk is about 4" at the base). They don't make amazing bonsai, but they are pleasing enough for me. As said above, they can be pruned aggressively and like a free draining soil, I water mine when the leaves get a little squishy meaning the plant is using its internal water storages.

Aaron
 

Lauren Shisler

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I have a full size variety that I've been training for 4 years now and it has leaves that are about .75" so they can reduce quite a bit.

Aaron
How would I go about reducing the leaf size?

As well as, if I wanted to make the tree shorter... would trimming it at the red lines be too aggressive? ( I'd try and propagate the trimmings....)
 

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aml1014

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How would I go about reducing the leaf size?

As well as, if I wanted to make the tree shorter... would trimming it at the red lines be too aggressive? ( I'd try and propagate the trimmings....)
That's not at all to aggressive. As for the cuttings, put them in a dark place for a week or two to let the cut ends dry, then pot them up in a free draining soil and do not water them until you see new growth, this means there are new roots. Try not to move the cuttings much while they are rooting. To reduce leaf size, I just let the tree grows about 5 pairs of leaves then prune back to the first pair, then I defoliate the tree, I noticed the tree grows new shoots faster when I defoliated. I'll post a pic in a few of my little guy, and maybe the beast too.

Aaron
 

Bonsai Nut

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If you want to go down the jade plant route, I think you might enjoy a plant that has naturally smaller leaves and shorter internodes, like Portulacaria afra. We have talked in the past about the line of plants with corky appearance from Frank Yee. He often sells them at the Huntington Bonsaiathon. Last year I bought two - he easily had 20 medium sized ones and tons of small ones.

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