It’s that time of the year again to start playing with my portulacaria.
Which sounds funny. Maybe a song title? Hmmmmnnnnn……
“Playing With My Portulacaria”
Anyway, these two trees desperately need repotting
And I’m the man to do it. I mean, who else will?
I haven’t repotted either of these for two years. I think they need it.
This morning the sky was a harsh grey. Like a battleship cutting through the chop. I was wearing blue jeans. There were many weeds.
Short, declarative sentences. Hemingway-esque, no?
Anyway, the tree-
I’ve found that, if you don’t repot a dwarf jade, it will just sit. It really needs those airspaces between the soil particles to push the roots and (therefore) the leaves. At least in a bonsai pot.
If you’re growing it out in a regular nursery can, the roots will keep circling the pot until you have an unmanageable mass of solidness.
As is, this tree has filled the bonsai pot, so much I’ll need to cut it out
The tool I’m using is my homemade bonsai shank. I fashioned it out of a bed spring from my cot in the Key West Sheriff’s jail. A few years back I was caught collecting some buttonwoods on the coast. I claimed I was an Eco-Warrior liberating the trees from the depraved, exploitative tourist trade that has debased the native flora of The Keys. My story was one of rescuing these poor, stunted trees and relocating them to my backyard where I could take care of them and shield them from greedy developers.
I fashioned the shank to protect myself from the invasive Cuban tree frogs that kept me up at night while I was in the poke. Those suckers get big, man. And they’re invasive too. Bad actors dude.
Next pic please
When I repot I usually get the hose out to spray off the old soil. I find this method to be gentler that raking out the roots. Less abrasive.
With a jade though, because its a succulent, I need to keep everything dry.
If I don’t there is a good possibility the roots will rot and kill the tree.
As you see here
Which you can’t even tell, can you?
I wired a few branches but I didn’t do much trimming. In a few weeks, when the roots have settled, I’ll cut them both back, wire everything that needs it, and I’ll post an update.
To repot a dwarf jade, do it dry.
Don’t water for 2-4 days (a succulent will throw out new roots in search of water. Take advantage of that mechanism. )
And don’t trim until it begins to grow again (which is indicative of root growth)
For further reading here is another post on portulacaria afra.