Dwarf Jade or the Elephant's Food
Easy care succulent from South Africa.
A houseplant, anywhere with adequate bright light. Drought tolerant. Chronic over watering can kill the tree. Can go for several years without repotting. But do let the soil dry out. When in doubt- don't. Avoid watering Dwarf jade late in the day or at night. Care should be taken during the winter rest not to over water (water only enough to keep the leaves from shriveling). Fertilize at one-third strength during the growing season. Prune by pinching or cutting above a pair of leaf pads.
the Elephant's Food,
A monograph by the Phoenix Bonsai Society
Repot a Baby Jade bonsai every few years in the late spring when the daily low temps are above 50º F and high temps are above 90º F. Use a very well draining soil. Before re-potting, dry the soil out thoroughly. After re-potting, keep a Baby Jade's soil dry for a few days then resume to water as needed.
Do not use a concave crotch cutter to remove a branch, leave a nub and let it fall away naturally. After any cuts, do not water until the wounds heal. At the base of each leaf is a bud that will become a new branch.
WARNING: Elephants attack this plant as if it were a cat attacking catnip.
by Jim Smith:
Jim Smith, bonsai master, is donating 100 bonsai trees to Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce.
Guide to Succulents of Southern Africa