PORTULACARIA AFRA CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Originating in the dry regions of South Africa, the Dwarf Jade, or ‘Elephant Bush’, is a succulent plant, which explains its ability to store water for a long time. It is a very undemanding plant, well suited for individuals who travel often or who are prone to forget to water their plants. Though it grows to heights of 10 feet tall in its native habitat, it is an ideal bonsai for a beginner; this beautiful plant is easy to care for and will be a thing of beauty for years to come.
In the winter it can tolerate tempratures to the low 40’s. Freezing temperatures will destroy this succulent plant so bringing your tree indoors during very low tempratures is recommended. If conditions are ideal, it will do well indoors throughout the year with very bright light. But it’s happiest if kept outdoors in bright light.
Light is key to a healthy tree! This type of tree can survive indoors with bright natural or artificial light, but it may struggle or drop leaves. It prefers to be outdoors so after the last frost of the season, place your tree in a spot outside where it will receive full or partial sunlight. Morning sunlight is the best!
At minimal, the dwarf Jade needs to be watered only after the soil is dry. But with good draining soil and hot temps, the tree actually thrives with daily watering. Especially in hot weather. In the winter, if it is placed in a cool location, it will only need water every four to five weeks. This plant can go without water for upward of four weeks without suffering at all making this easy to care for plant a gem for busy people.
WateringTIP: If your leaves begin to shrivel and fall off, that’s a sign your tree needs water.
Do not fertilize during the winter months as it only likes to be fertilized in the spring and summer every four weeks with Osmocote and a liquid fertilizer like Miracle Grow. Both are safe to use at the same time. Dwarf jades love fertilizer and respond with faster growth.
Repotting will be desired every two–four years in the late spring using well draining soil.
Maintenance Pruning for Developing Ramification
There are two reasons for pruning a bonsai tree. Pruning for maintenance or pruning to style the structure of a tree. The technique below is for maintenance pruning to develop ramification your little jade.