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Bonsai help

Hi, I was hoping someone could please help with my bonsai. I’ve had him for nearly 10 years now but I’m not much of a gardener and have neglected him somewhat and would like some advice on getting him looking his best! I would also like to know what type of bonsai he is as I can’t remember what was on the label when I bought him! Any advice greatly appreciated, thank you!


  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,120
    If mine I would remove from pot , clean off all soil , trim roots , take the top down to fresh growth  and remove dead stems , LEAVE TO CALLOUS for a fortnight then repot into a gritty medium . Keep it on the dry side throughout the Winter then start again in the Spring in as bright a position as possible .
    Appears to have been in that container for too long .
    PS  Looks like Crassula ovata to me .
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,892
    Paul B3 said:

    PS  Looks like Crassula ovata to me .
    Possibly, but I'm leaning towards Portulacaria afra just by the way the stem grows in sections like that.

    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,120
    Agree with ID above ; got it around my neck again !! (Must be an age thing)! :)
  • cmarkrcmarkr Posts: 142
    I think the growing medium is the first thing to fix. It looks like there's moss on the surface which means it had been staying wet. Jade trees are succulents so wet soil is a big no, will cause rotting. Buy some dedicated bonsai substrate (I suggest Kaizen #3) to ensure you get good drainage and nutrient retention. 
    To repot, if personally remove all existing soil carefully and replant in new soil avoiding large air pockets. I suspect you'll find you don't have much root left due to rot but these things are fairly bullet proof.
    Watering should be performed only when the soil has dried out.
    After a month or so following the repot start to provide a week liquid feed regularly, or mix in some slow release pellets when you repot. You should start to see it recover, evident by elongation of the stems and retention of more than the current couple of leaves on each stem.
    Once the plant is vigorous, cut back stems to a pair of leaves. This will encourage back budding and you should get leaves further back along the bare stems. At this point you can start cutting back to these leaves and start to create a more compact canopy.

    I had one of these in its original substrate for about 25 years and repotted a couple of years ago (see image). They will survive a lot of neglect but need some attention to ensure they look good.
  • Jac19Jac19 Posts: 496
    I would be wary about clipping the roots until he is back to  good state.  I would leave even the branch pruning to when he has had the time to recover in a new pot and new soil.  Root pruning makes branches wilt and wither.   He is doing so poorly and looks like he needs every leaf until he gets better.  New soil and possibly a bigger pot, yes.  Pruning for when he has had at least a couple of months to get well in it.
  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,002
    edited October 2021
    Have you grown this plant as a bonsai before, @Jac19?
    Sunny Dundee
  • Thank you everyone for the help! I’m going to try my best with him! 
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