How to Make a Jade Indoor Bonsai

The jade plant grows well in all levels of shade and sun.

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The naturally small size, slow growth rate and adaptability of the jade plant make it an ideal selection for indoor bonsai. This succulent evergreen produces glossy, green foliage attached to an often multistemmed trunk that thickens with age. A tolerant plant, the jade bonsai thrives well in all levels of sunlight and shade, and demands a nearly dry soil environment.

Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedPotting containerPruning shearsFertilizerSuggest Edits1

Select a well-draining container for your jade bonsai. Choose one with a depth that is slightly deeper than the trunk’s diameter and a width that is about two-thirds the height of the plant. Be sure to select a container with several drainage holes at the bottom, as opposed to a single hole in the center.


Line each of the potting container’s drainage holes with a fine wire mesh to keep the roots in and the pests out. Fill the container about a third of the way with a fast-draining, loamy soil.


Remove the jade plant gently from its original container. Remove only enough soil from the root mass to inspect the roots. Cut any dead or wilted roots back to the root mass. Use sharp, sterile shears to complete this process.


Position the jade plant in the center of the prepared container, and fill the container the rest of the way with soil. Be sure that all the roots are covered with soil. Press the soil firmly around the base of the jade to secure its upright position. Allow the jade plant to rest for several days before watering it for the first time.


Place the jade bonsai in a warm, well-ventilated location that receives at least a few hours of natural sunlight each day. Feel free to place the indoor jade bonsai outdoors during the warm summer months, as it benefits from the natural environment. Bring the jade bonsai indoors before the temperatures fall below 50 degrees F to prevent injury.


Irrigate the jade bonsai at soil level with tepid water. Pour the water evenly around the base of the jade until the excess water runs from the drainage hole. Allow the soil of this drought-tolerant bonsai to dry slightly, but not completely, between each watering. Check the soil’s moisture levels before each irrigation to determine its needs, as the jade can go as long as several months between irrigations, depending on its growth rate, soil water retention and climate.


Feed your indoor jade bonsai every three to four months, as instructed by the Clemson Cooperative Extension. Select a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Apply according to the package instructions to prevent overfertilizing, which can injure your jade bonsai.


Pinch out the jade bonsai’s new growth to increase vigor toward the bottom of the plant and reduce foliage size. Trim back vigorously growing branches to promote branching at the wounded area.

ReferencesUniversity of Florida IFAS Extension: Crassula argentea Jade Plant; Edward F. Gilman; 2009Clemson Cooperative Extension: Jade Plant; Karen Russ; March Jade Tree/Crassula OvataThe Bonsai Hub: Jade Choosing the Right Pot for Your BonsaiPhoto Credit Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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