TREE CARE

Book a 1-on-1 Tree-iage with a teacher : https://calendly.com/bonsaibar

ABOUT YOUR TREE

Your tree is a Portulacaria Afra, also known as elephant bush or spekboom in its native region of S. Africa. They are commonly referred to as dwarf jades, though they are not a true jade and are NON-TOXIC to people and pets.

P. Afra is exceptional in its ability to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide.

PLACEMENT & LIGHT         

Your P. Afra requires FULL SUN, if possible. A south-facing window is best, but available light can be supplemented with a small LED grow light as needed! Full sun helps keep your tree healthy and the leaves compact. 

Your P. Afra may be kept indoors all year, but it can do well outdoors when the OVERNIGHT TEMPERATURE IS ABOVE 50°F.

WATERING (FIRST WATERING should occur 3 DAYS AFTER CLASS) 

Your tree will require more or less water depending on different seasonal and environmental conditions. 

ALLOW THE SOIL TO DRY OUT completely between waterings, and water only when the soil is dry to the touch. When you water, SOAK THOROUGHLY with cool water so the soil hydrates fully. 

Spraying with a hose or faucet can wash your soil away, so a gentle cascade from a watering can or carefully submerging your tree in a bowl of water to the level of your pot rim minimizes the loss of soil. 

FERTILIZING

Fertilizing is optional, but will help your bonsai develop healthier and faster. You can begin fertilizing your P. Afra two weeks after your class or last re-pot. It is best to fertilize when your tree is in good health or showing signs of growth. Avoid fertilizing if the tree appears to be unhealthy. Your tree will respond positively to almost any type of fertilizer. 

REPOTTING

Repotting a P. Afra can occur ANY TIME OF YEAR. Repot when the water no longer percolates through the roots and out the drain holes, but instead, first cascades over the sides of the container. Use a WELL-DRAINING SOIL or bonsai mix with ingredients such as pumice, diatomaceous earth, and lava rock. To safely remove the tree from the pot, cut the anchoring wires underneath. Be sure to loosen the roots with a chopstick before tying into a new pot. Repotting is best done WHEN YOUR TREE IS HEALTHY, so after signs of being root bound, do not delay if possible.

AFTERCARE

WATER THOROUGHLY & PROVIDE BRIGHT SUN & LIGHT

If you added wire to shape your branches, be sure to remove it when you notice the wire biting into the bark of your tree. Wire can be removed safely by cutting each link until all wire is removed. Unwrapping the wire can damage the branches and/or foliage.

INSPIRATION AND OTHER RESOURCES

Follow the adventures of Michael McTeague as he apprentices at Fujikawa Kouka-en, Osaka Japan https://www.youtube.com/c/BonsaiHarmony

PFM Bonsai Studio, West Charlton, NY http://pfmbonsai.com/

Bonsai Society of Portland, OR https://www.portlandbonsai.org/

California Bonsai Society https://www.californiabonsaisociety.com/

Bonsai and Penjing Collection at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum https://arboretum.harvard.edu/collections/bonsai-and-penjing-collection/

National Bonsai Museum https://www.bonsai-nbf.org/

Pacific Bonsai Museum https://pacificbonsaimuseum.org/

American Bonsai Society https://www.absbonsai.org/

Shohin Bonsai Europe by Morten Albek https://shohin-europe.com/

New England Bonsai Gardens and shop https://www.nebonsai.com/

Michael Hagedorn bonsai books, and resources https://crataegus.com/

Bonsai Tonight blog, podcasts, shop, etc. https://bonsaitonight.com/

Bonsai U at Eisei-en https://www.bjornbjorholm.com/

Bonsai Mirai: https://bonsaimirai.com/

The Bonsai Shack, Pomona, NY http://thebonsaishack.com/

Asymmetry Podcast by Bonsai Mirai https://bonsaimirai.com/blog/asymmetry-podcast