Jade tree (Crassula ovata & arborescens) as bonsai ... pics

bens2bensOctober 5, 2013

Hi,

there is often the discussion if you can use Jade trees for bonsai. In my opinion they are suited quite well ... especially for african style bonsai like peernef or baobab style. However, when googeling for crassula+bonsai you only find very few good examples ... most of the pictures are from still relativ small speciments with a bad leaf-size to trunk-size ratio.
In this thread i ask you to show pics of your jade bonsai, just to get ideas what you can do with this species and it cultivars.
To start, here some pics of my largest jade trees, not yet in typical bonsai pots ...

"Hummels Sunset"

normal green Jade

"Skinny Fingers"

C.arboreescens Silver Dollar ... due to its big leaf size this cultivar is not perfectly suited for bonsai, however just want to give it a try. Maybe if the plant is very big one day i will work.

The best Crassula ovata cultivar for bonsai seems to be the small leaf variant "Crosby's Compact".

... finally a project that i started five years ago with a small cutting of crosby's compact. The goal is to produce a strait main stem of around 60 cm with an umbrella shaped top. To get the strait stem with no bigger wounds i cutted away all developing new site branches just when they started to develope, only allowing the main branch to grow. Additionaly to get very short internodes, which later should give an interesting branch structure, i never fertilized the plant and grew it under quite hard conditions with lots of light and little water. I know that it will take very, very long to get a nice plant, but if you compare the internodes to the skinny fingers that was started in a dutch greenhouse and was very fast growing in its first years, i think it might be worth and one day could produce an outstanding bonsai. Right now the stem is about 45 cm ... so maybe two more years until I will allow the developement of the treetop ;)

Looking forward to see pics of your jade tree bonsais

Best regards,
Ben

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Cheers, Ben!

I fully agree that these succulents make excellent candidates for bonsai...but, as you note, certain varieties lend themselves better to bonsai presentation. Your Crassula are brilliant!

I was so eager to get some pics to add to this Thread that I was rather sloppy with my camera work. But I hope these give an idea of my various plants in progress...not even close to being "finished."

Let's start with the largest leafed and least likely to have good proportions when small, Crassula arborescens "Silver Dollar Jade."

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:52PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And a shot of the same plant in the hand....

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:54PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

A very poor picture of Crassula ovata 'Gollum.'

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:57PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And a very poor picture of Crassula ovata 'Skinny Fingers.'

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:59PM
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bens2bens

Hi Josh,
thanks for the pictures. I especially like your "Skinny Fingers" ... it already has a very nice shape.

It is always interesting how the same cultivar could look under different conditions. Whereas your Skinny Fingers has more shorter tubes, mine developes very long and thin tubes ... although it is grown in full sun.

However maybe there are also other reasons for, like the high mutability of this group of cultivars ...

There exist a nice overview article about the Tolkien-group of jade trees where they note ... "This chameleon seems to change its form readily and the mutated branches can be easily propagated to produce a new cultivar." (Crassulacea No. 2 - Jan. 2013 - Crassula ovata Tolkien Group)

You can find the article here:
http://www.cactuspro.com/biblio/fr:bhl

regards,
Ben

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 5:49AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Ben, for the nice comments and the article address! Also, thanks for advising me on my oblique leafed Jade...had you not, I might have continued to remove those variegated leaves!

When I purchased my 'Skinny Fingers' Jade, it did have longer leaves...but I've grown it hard, and the leaves have shortened. This is the same with my other 'Gollum' and 'Hobbit' Jade sports. If I re-pot them, I think they will grow more lush. That said, these are indeed very mutable sports, and a variety of leaf-forms appear on each from time to time.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 4:11PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I have a couple of Jades that I'm working on. This is the best looking one at the moment.

Ben, Thanks for starting this thread. I'm a big Jade fan, and I enjoy looking at others pictures.

Rob

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 11:11AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Rob, sorry I didn't come back to this Thread sooner.
The Finger Jades ('Gollum' and 'Skinny Fingers') make the best "instant" bonsai, in my opinion. Great plants.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 8:17PM
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beedee138

All these are great! I am new to bonsai and taking care of plants in general but i picked up a few jade plants for cheap over the past year and have been perusing the internet to see the possibilities. I will post pictures this week of what I have so far and maybe you lovely folks can give me some tips on how to best achieve a more presentable bonsai.

-Brian

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 8:47PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sure thing, Brian!

Josh

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:19PM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

I'm happy to contribute to this thread. I love bonsais and I love jades even more. Just whacked mine and finally got it into a bonsai pot. I'd love to see if I could expose some of the roots in the future. While the leaves are a bit large and mess with the proportions, I think it kinda works :)

Variegated Crassula argentea/ovata

1 Like    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:51PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Jade's fun to play with for Bonsai

I'll post more later
Need to take some updated ones anyways

I've got a few cool twisted and knotted ones

~Zombie Trees~
The two bigger ones in the back or both 6+ years old
Were started from small tip cuttings
2in pot

The smaller one in front is around 4 1/2 years old
Was started from a leaf pulling sprout
Hard to see in the pic but it has a bone embedded in the trunk
It was planted in the center of the bone & I moved it up as the plant grow & got thinker & now the trunk is starting to grow over the bone

Here is a link that might be useful: My Cascading P. Afra

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 5:20PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

This is a newer one...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 2:02AM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

This is so lovely. Would you mind telling us how you got your jade to begin growing on a rock ? Did you slowly start revealing more and more of the roots?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 7:27PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Hey

Thanx...

I've tried rooting cutting in a pot
Washing all the soil off the roots
Then draping the roots over a rock
But never had the best of luck doing that

Best way I've found so far is
Root a cutting in a small pot / Only like about 1/3 full of soil
Unpot it when it's well rooted but don't wash the soil off & place the whole thing over a rock
Make sure to use a rock that goes all the way to the bottom of the pot
Then put like a pot with the bottom cut off or a foam cup around it & fill it with soil ~ Will keep the soil from washing away

Now the hard part
Waiting for the cutting to form nice thick fat roots ~ The thinner ones will dry up & die in the sun

Hope That Helps

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 9:35PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

And when you take the cup or pot off it'll look like this
With time the soil & smaller dead roots will wash away
Helping it out with the hose will speed things up / LOL

I would say the main thing is just to give it time to form some really nice strong roots & anchor its self good before removing the cup

I put a cup back around the one in the pic
Want to give it a little longer 'cause I have a bigger Brug. & it looks cool but it's not exactly anchored to/over the rock very well
It's still healthy & all
But don't think it'll make it in the long run

    Bookmark   May 22, 2014 at 9:55PM
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Bon_Sai123

Hey guys all of your Jade trees are beautiful. I actually got one about 3 Months ago so that I can make into a bonsai. I have a little problem it's growing but the trunk and branches are still green and soft they're about 5-6 inches tall should I wait a little more time or is something wrong? Someone please let me know!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 2:25AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bon, you can pinch the new growth to shorten the plant and get it bushy.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Bon_Sai123

Hey Josh,
This is one of the three I have it looks pretty young but I just wanted to know how long until the branches/ trunk start turning brown. I did pinch out the biggest of the leaves which were about 2 and 1/2 inches long. I hope the picture helps so that you can help me. I don't know if you can tell but the first inch of the trunk is already brown

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 1:37AM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

It's normal for the stems to be green, especially when it's a youngin' like yours! The "woody" part will slowly creep up the plant as it ages and grows, but it takes some time. I'm not sure what you can do to speed up that process. Perhaps putting it in more light may help, but I'm really just guessing. Time is really the only answer.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:37PM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

Dethcheez,

That's awesome. Thanks so much for you mini tutorial. I now most definitely want to try your process. How long do you let the roots form over the rock while in the cup before removing it?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 5:41PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bon,
as the others mentioned, lignification (the process of becoming lignified or woody) merely takes time. Lots of sunlight, fertilizer, and water will help the trunk expand rapidly, and as it expands the fissures and cracks and flakes will form, which will hasten the woody texture. New growth will always be tender and green.

Bon, I would recommend that you pinch again:

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 2:07PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

littlekirstenjr
Not a problem
Happy it helped

As long as you can go without removing the cup / LOL
They seem to be cool in about 5 - 6 months
But the longer the better I guess

Best Of Luck


My Braided Red Tipped 

Approx. 4 to 5 years old   
From small cuttings 

Pic 1

<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/a2c2dbd004b39d6f_9-7394/home-design.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/a2c2dbd004b39d6f_8-7394/home-design.jpg" width="500" height="450"/>
    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:24PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Pic 2

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:31PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Pic 3

Just going to keep braiding the top branches as they grow
Not sure what I'm going to do with the two draped ones???


I'll post some of my Fallen C. Arborescens a little later on 

PEACH...

<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/4162e8f804b39d6d_9-7392/home-design.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/4162e8f804b39d6d_8-7392/home-design.jpg" width="500" height="746"/>
    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 6:57PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Fallen Silver Dollar...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 2:11AM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

And Now For #2

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 2:38AM
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moochinka

As long as you realize that braiding is considered to be quite tacky in bonsai... not a bonsai at all, but a cute way to sell plants in supermarkets...

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 10:43PM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

Oh please, he's having fun with his jades and trying different things. I think it's pretty cool. I can't wait to see how they all look once they start getting bigger. I need to get myself a small jade and start working on the root over rock idea. I have some pretty chunks of glass that I think would work well.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 12:57PM
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moochinka

Knock yourself out, just don't call it a bonsai (this is a bonsai forum).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 10:25PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Please Forgive Me
For I Have Sinned Against The Bonsai Gods

My Braided Jade Is Blasphemy
An Abomination

I Shall Paint a Large Scarlet "F B" On My Chest
For "Fraudulent Bonsaier"
And
Hang My Head In Shame

Ummmm
Don't Think So


\*\*\*Attention\*\*\* 

If you have posted a photographic image of a plant in this thread   
And   
Said plant does not strictly comply with the 'Rules' of Bonsai listed in the link below   
You May NOT Call It a Bonsai   
And   
Must Remove It Immediately   
Or   
You May Offend "moochinka" 

'Cause This Is a "Bonsai Forum" D@mmit   
And   
Yours Is Not a Bonsai   
Because the trunk doesn't flare to the apex &amp; doesn't taper as it ascends + the branches cross &amp; the don't caliper properly to the proportion to the trunk   
Etc. &amp; So On Blah Blah Blah 

"Can't We Just All Grow Along"   
??? 

PEACE... 

Here is a link that might be useful: [The Rules of Bonsai by Brent Walston](https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/rules.htm)
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:46PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

PS~ Sorry Forgot To Apologize For Being "Tacky"
I Hope My Blatant Tackiness Did Not Offend Anyone
If It Did I Sincerely Apologize


The next thing I know   
Someone's going to the me that   
"Zombies" are "Tacky" 

What a World   
What a World

<img class="cursor-magnify js-enlarge" data-imgurl="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/f3e2e00c04b39d6a_9-7389/home-design.jpg" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="http://st.houzz.com/simgs/f3e2e00c04b39d6a_8-7389/home-design.jpg" width="500" height="370"/>
    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 11:20PM
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moochinka

Get a grip! Sheesh! And don't quote BW please - he knows more about bonsai than you and I put together ever ever ever will.

This post was edited by moochinka on Wed, Jun 4, 14 at 10:51

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:06PM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

This just became my most favorite thread on GardenWeb/the internet.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 5:43PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Relax, folks ;-)
Everyone knows that regular Jade leaves are too big for bonsai, hahaha. A joke of course. I often say that my Jades aren't true bonsai but that they're grown in bonsai fashion (potted small, kept small), or that they're grown with a bonsai aesthetic in mind.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 10:51AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good morning from the west coast!
Here's my largest 'Hobbit' mother and daughter bonsai...beside a 'Crosby's Compact' that I hard pruned a while back.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:44AM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Gollum in its new ceramic pot
3 - 4 years old
From small cutting

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:08PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Top view

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 3:21PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

***WARNING***
It's About To Get "Tacky" Up In Here
LOL

My first attempt at inter-twinning different plants

The Gollum in the center is 2 - 3 years old
Planning on twisting the middle branches & cascading the left & right branches

The P. Afra & Red Tip (small "Y" tip cutting) were more recently added

I guess for right now I'll let the P. Afra drape down between the Gollum & Red Tip
And
See where the Red Tip takes it as it grows
???

One Way Or The Other
It Should Be Interesting looking In a Few Years

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:20PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

And Now For Even More Unadulterated Tackiness

~Twisted Red Tip~

This ones around 4 years old
Was started from a leaf pulling sprout

I brake off any & all new off shoots that form
I like the look of the bare branches with leaves just on the tip

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:40PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

I have around 30 some to 40 Bonsai
(NOT one of which was store bought / All are form cutting or seed)
Probably half of which are Jade
So I can do this all day / LOL

But Would Love To See More Pics Of Other Peoples Projects

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 5:52PM
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KrysJ

Hello all!

Just stumbled across this forum. I am starting to propagate a baby jade plant I bought a couple months ago that I would like to "bonsai" (meaning a tacky, non-traditional "bonsai"). There are some great pictures here, and hopefully I can contribute some in the near future.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:01AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Welcome, Krys.

Deth, I have lots of little Jade projects....plenty of pics to come. These two cuttings are grown in pure, screened Turface, and bloomed last Winter for the first time.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:50PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Jade on the left has bloomed every year since I received it as a cutting from a GardenWeb member in Oregon (taken from his motherplant). It has pinkish blooms that are very nice.

The Jade on the right is a 'Crosby's Compact' that I rescued. I pruned it a year or two ago, but I haven't consistency pinched it, so it isn't looking its best. It has a smooth trunk that I like...

Josh

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:56PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Here's a shot of the Jade that I've had the longest...my mother Jade, grown from the first cutting I ever propagated. I nearly froze it to death, but it survived.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:59PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

...The other side of one of the Jade tables.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 2:04PM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

Josh,

I love that you have a table all to your jades. As it should be! After I pruned my variegated jade, I thought I was going to have all sorts of cuttings that would eventually root. But NONE of them made it and I'm bummed about it. The cutting were placed on top of dry soil and they all either dried out completely and shriveled up or they rotted even though I added absolutely no water. Something tells me that because my variegation is so intense, with a lot of my leaves on the cuttings being entirely white, that they weren't strong enough to root. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Still, the most intensely variegated were the ones to go first. I researched all about rooting jades and still can't believe ZERO of mine made it. Not even single leaves. I wonder what I did wrong....

:(

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 10:48PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

littlekirstenjr

Was that the one in the pic above
It would be cool if you could get one of the branches that's almost solid yellow to root

Just tossing this out there & wish I remembered all the technical terms & what not

But wonder if you having problems with them rooting has anything to do with the color

Not enough color for photosynthesis & the plant can't sustain itself type of thing???

Just a Thought

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 2:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!
Variegated Jades (the 'Tricolor' especially) are difficult to root. Few have success with them...and the greater the variegation, the less likely they are to root. It does, indeed, have to do with the lack of chlorophyll for photosynthesis.

Here are a few more that are hanging out on this bench:

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

...and here's an update on my C. arborescens 'Silver Dollar' - one of my favorites. So stout. Not a great picture....I'll have to take a few more until I catch the proper angle to show this one off.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:38PM
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littlekirstenjr(8)

Ok COOL. I thought I was a failed gardener/jade appreciator. I've had other succulents accidentally root for me, and yet, the only one I truly wanted to root was my variegated jade haha.

Dethcheez,
Yup, that's the jade! Some of the branches I was trying to root were entirely or nearly entirely white and like I said, they were the first ones to go. It's like they all had a mass jade suicide. The mother plant is doing great though. Sprouting new leaves here and there.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 8:44PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Here's another favorite -
Crassula ovata var. obliqua.....the green form.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:35PM
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KrysJ

Littlekirstenjr,

I've had best luck propagating my jade by doing stem cuttings and putting them directly in water. I keep the cuttings inside under a light. It takes quite a few weeks, but strong white roots should appear. Make sure you change the water often and I test my water (I have acidic water with lots of chlorine, so I adjust my pH to be more neutral and let the water sit out for at least 24 hours). I have not attempted to propagate from leaf cuttings.

What was odd during propagating was that some of the leaves were wrinkled as if they weren't getting any water, but were sitting in water. Once I planted them they filled out.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:44PM
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harman75

These are all amazing!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:36PM
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