30 September 2011

Portulacaria afra - Dwarf Jade

Portulacaria afra -
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.


Dwarf Jade

`Portulacaria afra,
the Elephant's Food,
Spekboom,
Dwarf Jade,
Elephant Bush
Baby Jade









Forest

Portulacaria afra Information Overload
A monograph by the Phoenix Bonsai Society








2012 re-potted  
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.





Unlike other types of Bonsai, Baby Jade can go for long periods without water. It stores water in the trunk, branches and leaves. Water until the soil is moist and let the soil dry between watering. Don’t allow standing water to puddle in the pot. It is quite tolerant to under watering and is a good beginner plant for home or office.








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. 

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