It only takes one leaf to begin growing a Crassula ovata or jade bonsai. Jade begins as a small plant that will eventually grow and reach a height of 5 feet. Commonly known as a houseplant, jade bonsai is a succulent plant with fleshy branches and shiny, rounded leaves.
They don’t ask for more when it comes to water though it thrives successfully in bright light with minimal exposure to direct sunlight. While your jade plant is growing, it will drop the older leaves. That is normal.
However, you have a problem if the plant is losing more leaves than it should. The good thing is there are ways to resolve this issue. The solution mainly involves adjusting the watering schedule and checking the plant for pests. Cold temperatures and low light conditions can cause a problem.
Why Does a Jade Bonsai Drop Its Leaves?
Aside from being a natural part of the plant’s growth, a jade plant drops its leaves due to some other reasons:
- Moving it indoors and outdoors – other growers move their jade plant indoors during winter months and bring it back outdoors in summer. Moving a jade bonsai indoors often leads to developing a dark green, soft leaf because of decreased lighting levels. If you move your plant back outdoors, it will find itself bare to direct sunlight which may lead to leaf scorch.
- Leggy growth – this often leads a jade plant to have little branches and dropping leaves. To avoid this, make sure your plant receives adequate light and if necessary, give it supplementary lighting like grow lights.
- Yellowing – overwatering often leads to a jade bonsai to yellowing. To prevent this, make sure you give it enough water. If the problem continues, check the roots and ensure there’s nothing that covers the drainage holes which may prevent the soil from draining the water. If the roots are white and healthy, consider repotting them. Water the plant sparingly.
- Diseases – humidity and water often lead a jade bonsai to become sick. overwatering the plant often cause the roots to rot. Excessive water and humidity make your plant’s stems and base mushy and soft.
Signs and Conditions of a Jade Bonsai
Once you notice a black mold that covers your plant’s leaves, assume that excessive humidity is the culprit. Use soapy water, carefully wipe the mold, and put your plant in the place where it will receive less humidity and more sunlight.
When the top of the soil inside the pot has a gray or white covering, it indicates mold caused by over-watering and too many fertilizers. Try reducing the fertilizers and water you give to your jade bonsai. Do it with extra care.
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Generally, a jade bonsai is somewhat carefree. When something wrong occurs, observe how you water the plant, check its roots, and observe humidity and temperature.
Learning how you should take care of your Jade bonsai is your biggest responsibility. Becoming a master in this matter will let you enjoy being with the plant for a long time.
Stop Your Jade Bonsai from Dropping Its Leaves Depending on the Cause
A jade plant that is not receiving the right amount of water usually shed its leaves naturally. When the leaves of your plant start falling off, inspect the soil first. If the soil seems dry, water the plant thoroughly.
Water your plant whenever the top of the soil in the pot dries out. A jade plant adds shoots and leaves throughout the summer season. It is the time when your plant will need more water.
Reduce the water you give to your plant only when the winter months arrive. Although the plant uses less water during the winter time, it will still need some to drink from time to time.
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Too much water is also a problem. A jade bonsai don’t want wet feet which makes it prone to rot. Don’t leave your plant’s pot with stagnant water. Make sure the water is draining each time you water it.
Look at the leaves and check if they are turning yellow and begin dropping off. If the soil is soggy or damp, stop watering the plant until the soil dries. If your plant has a soft trunk and branches, take your plant from the pot and remove the soil touching the roots.
Cut off the roots or soft branches and repot the plant in the potting mix designed for cacti. Use a new pot when replanting the bonsai if the rot is due to an infection caused by fungi.
When the plant loses its leaves when the winter season begins, it can mean it is not getting the right amount of light. Move the plant near the window but make sure it is still a few inches apart from the window’s glass.
Winter drafts can also damage your plant just like low light. If you think the window is too drafty or too cold for your plant, use an artificial source of life. Your best choice is the long-lasting white CFL bulbs.
A jade bonsai stays healthy at temperatures ranging between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Frost kills the plant, but both warmer and colder temperatures lead to leaf drop. Keep your eye on the thermometer and protect your plant from radiators and drafts.
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Also, keep in mind that window glass magnifies the sunlight rays which can burn your plant in summer months. A rapid change in the temperature as a result of a move will trigger leaf drop, too. The leaves grow back when your plant successfully adapts to the new environment.
In preventing this, slowly acclimate the plant to its new place by putting it there for a few hours each day. From there, slowly increase the span of time the plant remains in its new setting before you leave it there for good.
A jade bonsai is susceptible to scale insect and mealybugs. These make the leaves sticky that promotes the growth of mold. Also, they may cause deformed leaves and leaf drop. You can get rid of it by using a cotton ball or paintbrush with rubbing alcohol.
Don’t use insecticidal sprays and soaps because they are extremely harmful. This video will give you more ideas on treating these pests.
Avoid using leaf shine products on your jade bonsai. They can cause yellowing and falling off the leaves. Don’t use household cleaners and chemicals, too. If your plant is dusty, just wipe the leaves carefully using a soft, clean cloth.