Unhappy Jade Bonsai

bisforbetsySeptember 30, 2013


I've had this jade bonsai for over 16 years and it's always had leaves that blackened then snapped off which I assumed was because it was in full sun and I was a little too lax with the watering. Now I've moved, it's in less direct sunlight and I'm watering about the same and the poor things miserable. It's a beautiful shape, the trunk is very firm, but the leaves grow deformed and become wrinkly, soft, brown then crispy black and fall or snap off. Now whole branches are snapping off! Am I over watering as the soft leaves would indicate, or under watering as the crispy leaves would suggest? I water about every one and a half to two weeks. I water until I see water come thru the drainage holes. I do let the water set in the saucer until it's evaporated. There's a miracle grow feed stick in the soil, which is topped with a layer of coconut shell shavings that when mixed in potting soil retains moisture. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Overwatering, poor soil (perhaps), poor choice of top dressing,(definitely) fertilizing an ailing plant (you don't want to do that when the plant isn't healthy and in growth mode) - those are three things which come to mind. You've got a nice plant, which will be a nicer plant once you correct those things. These plants are going into growth mode now, and with the proper soil (a porous mix) you'll right this ship.

Here's a great thread on whacking your Crassula ovata to shape it into something that is an eye-catcher. You don't have to, but I think your plant would benefit from a haircut.


Here's a primer on growing it.


Here's a decent thread on soil.


One hopes that Josh (Greenman), our Official Jade Spokeperson, makes an appearance here.

This post was edited by cactusmcharris on Mon, Sep 30, 13 at 12:04

    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:30AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

:-) Thanks, Jeff!
Yes, I agree with Jeff - a change of soil and a hair-cut.
It is an awesome Jade and it would be a real shame to lose it.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2013 at 11:51AM
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