LITTLE JADE BONSAI
Thanks for checking out my website! My name is Gilbert Cantu and I am a graphic designer, little jade bonsai enthusiast and traditional artist. I live in Corpus Christi, TX and I’ve been growing bonsai for over 20 years.
Shortly after getting bit by the bonsai bug I purchased all types of trees from eBay like junipers, maples and even pines. I had no clue what I was doing but knew I wanted to grow bonsai. I soon joined my local club and accumulated somewhere between 40-50 trees on my small apartment balcony and within a year I killed them all. Except one. That tree was a portulacaria afra (little jade). Around this time I read an article on Jim Smith and his amazing portulacaria afra bonsai he had been growing since the 60’s. I thought ok, if this tree can thrive while my other trees died then this is the perfect tree for me. I want to be just like Jim Smith when I’m an old guy. I will become a little jade bonsai master. So I decided to put all my effort into learning everything I can about portulacaria afra and what made this tree so hearty.
That was almost 19 years ago and since then, my collection has grown to over 400 little jades in all stages of training. I still have that first little jade and it is known as “The Godfather” since it’s where a large portion of my trees have come from. Today, I continue to grow my collection of trees and sell occasionally to share my bonsai art with people who have the same love for this species as much as I do. I also do lecture/demos on portulacaria afra bonsai. My biggest struggle in learning about portulacaria afra was all the FALSE information I read online. That, with all the questions I receive daily on Instagram have inspired me to create this website.
I REALLY love sharing knowledge and helping others start their portulacaria afra bonsai journey. To me, it all comes down to taking care of our planet and if someone can learn to take care of one little tree, then that’s a start.