Jade Plant Bonsai: How to Grow and Care for Your Own Little Tree

When you’re tired of looking at houseplants, it can be nice to try something a little different.  Jade Plant Bonsai is a relatively new type of bonsai, and it’s gaining in popularity. It’s easy to grow, and there are a number of different ways to care for it. 

There are many things that make these plants appealing including the fact that they don’t need a lot of water each week or month. They create their own foliage with just one root system attached. 

If you’re interested in trying out this style of bonsai, here are some tips on how to start growing your own jade plant bonsai.

What is a jade bonsai? 

The Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) is a succulent native to South Africa. It is an easy-to-care-for houseplant that is popular with gardeners and has many uses. 

The plant has oval, green leaves that are smooth and shiny. The leaves grow in pairs along the stem. In the spring, the Jade Plant blooms with small, white flowers. 

The flowers are delicate and look like stars. After the flowers fade, they are replaced by small, pink berries.

The Jade Plant prefers bright sunlight but can also tolerate moderate shade. It needs well-drained soil and should be watered sparingly.

Overwatering can damage the plant’s roots. The Jade Plant can be propagated by division or by cuttings taken from new growth.

There are two types of jade plants: the common jade (Crassula ovata) and the dwarf jade (Portulacaria afra). Both trees are good for making bonsai trees, but due to their dwarf nature, the dwarf jade plants became more popular among bonsai enthusiasts.

Why grow Jade Bonsai:

Jade plants are one of the most popular types of bonsai trees, and there are many reasons why this is. First and foremost, they are beautiful. 

Secondly, they are relatively easy to grow, provided you have the right conditions. 

Third, they thrive in a wide variety of soils and climates, making them perfect for almost any place. 

Finally, jade plants are very long-lived, typically lasting anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more.

How to grow a Jade plant bonsai: 

Jade bonsai trees can be bought pre-made from nurseries and garden stores, or they can be made from cuttings of an existing jade plant. If you are creating your own jade bonsai from a cutting, it will take several months for the tree to become established and start growing properly.

Where to Place your Jade bonsai: 

When it comes to caring for a jade bonsai, placement is key. Choose a spot in your home that receives plenty of sunlight and is not extremely hot or cold.

The ideal temperature for a jade plant is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will tolerate much colder temperatures if it’s not exposed to direct sunlight. 

As with most indoor bonsais, the Jade needs plenty of sunlight. However, be careful not to place it in direct sunlight, especially during the summer months, as the heat can damage the tree.

A good spot for your Jade is near a window where it will get plenty of natural light but won’t be in danger of overheating.

If you cannot provide your Jade plant with enough natural sunlight, you can supplement with an artificial grow light like this. The best type of light for bonsai trees is a fluorescent light, which comes in cool white, warm white, and daylight colors.

How to Water a jade bonsai tree:

Watering a jade bonsai tree is relatively easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Jade bonsai trees are succulents and as such, they hold water inside their fleshy leaves. This allows them to tolerate drought and can survive for extended periods of time without water. 

However, this does not mean you should neglect your jade bonsai tree. You should water it sparingly, only when the top inch or so of soil is dry to the touch. Wait until the top inch or so of soil is dry before watering again. 

Always use room-temperature water; cold water can shock the tree. 

Finally, make sure to drain any excess water from the pot after watering, as standing water can lead to root rot. 

You can water a jade bonsai as little as once in a month during winters.

when to Fertilize the bonsai tree: 

Fertilizing a Jade Bonsai Tree is important for the plant’s health and growth. It is best to fertilize the Jade Bonsai once a month with a balanced fertilizer. Too much or too little fertilizer can be harmful to the plant. 

Be sure to water your tree thoroughly after fertilizing. 

How to take care of a Jade plant: 

jade bonsai care guide

Pruning a jade bonsai: 

Pruning a Jade Plant Bonsai is easy if done regularly. Being a succulent the tree stores water in its leaves so with time as more and more leaves start growing the tree starts to bend due to the weight. Pruning the tree regularly helps your jade plant maintain its straight posture.

Remove any dead or damaged branches with sharp scissors. Remove most of the lower heavy leaves. 

Always use clean, sharp tools to make cuts. The cuts generally heal quickly within 1-2 weeks. 

Pruning stimulates new growth and helps keep the plant healthy and looking good.

How do you make the leaves of a bonsai Jade smaller?

Unlike most bonsai, succulents don’t usually respond to a lot of pruning by making smaller leaves and usually, you wouldn’t be trimming their roots. The best thing you can do is to start with a variety that has smaller leaves. 

You can try out Crassula tetragona, Portulacaria afra, or some of the small leaf sedums that will give you a more proportional look.

Wiring a jade plant bonsai:

The jade plant can be wired to create different shapes and styles. But remember, when it comes to wiring a jade plant bonsai, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

First, since the water is stored in its trunk and branches, you need to be especially careful not to damage them when wiring. 

Second, the bark is very soft and can easily be damaged, so you need to be very gentle when working with it. 

Finally, monitor it closely after wiring to make sure that there are no signs of damage or stress.

Styling a jade bonsai tree:

The three most popular styles of Jade Bonsai Trees are the Informal Upright Style, the Slanting Style, and the Root-Over-Rock Style.

The Informal Upright Style is characterized by a naturally upright trunk with branches that grow out in all directions. This style is often used for smaller Jade Bonsai trees.

The Slanting Style features a slanted trunk with branches that grow out in one direction. This style is often used for larger Jade Bonsai trees.

The Root-Over-Rock Style features a tree whose roots are grown over a rock or other object. This style is often used for very well-established Jade Bonsai trees.

You can find more about different bonsai styles in this post.

 When To Repot A Jade Plant Bonsai:

Jade plants are not very fast-growing plants, so repotting this plant every 2 years is enough. Always use soil that has good drainage so the plant roots do not get submerged in water. A basic bonsai soil mix will be ideal for this.


You can easily propagate jade plants through cuttings. 

For preparing a cutting, use a 3-6 inches long branch from an established Jade plant. Use a proper pruning shear to cut the branch. Make sure the shear is properly disinfected. 

The best time to take the cutting is when the soil is completely dry. Otherwise, the branches will have too much moisture. 

Trim any leaves away from the lower part of your cutting and dip this end into a rooting hormone to encourage root development. 

Now use this cutting to grow a new jade plant by planting this in the moist potting soil.

Tips for growing a Jade plant bonsai: 

Here are some important points you should remember when taking care of your jade bonsai tree 

  • Make sure your Jade plant gets plenty of sunlight. Place it in a spot where it will get at least six hours of sunlight each day.
  • Water your Jade plant sparingly. Water only when the soil is dry.
  • Prune your Jade plant regularly to keep it small and compact. Cut off any dead or overgrown branches with sharp scissors.
  • Fertilize your Jade plant once a month with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength.
  • Repot your Jade plant every two years or when its roots become crowded in the pot.


Growing and caring for a Jade Plant bonsai is not difficult, but does require some time and attention. With a little effort, you can have a beautiful little tree to enjoy for years to come. So why not give it a try?

I hope this post was helpful to you. If you find this information useful feel free to share it with others also.