Wishing you all a very happy & green Earth Day.
And that's why I thought to post a gardening instructable. :)
Do you know about Jade Plant? I am sure most of us do :), if not, no problem. Jade plant are one of the easiest succulents to grow and are super hardy. They are mostly popular for their bonsai like development resembling a small tree like structure.
Google a bit and you will find out what Jade plant usually looks like.
Jade is mostly grown in small pots so that it can grow like a bonsai looking plant and to shape it like a tree it requires lots of regular careful pruning and monitoring. Now that may look like a lot of care requirement. So if you are a lazy gardener like me who likes to plant jade but don't want to do much, this ible is for you.
I have a terrace garden in my home with lots of plants in hanging baskets which saves a lot of space. If you live in an apartment with balcony, this approach for planting jades will suit you best.
Jade plant in hanging baskets looks magnificent and requires almost no pruning or special care.
The two pictures above showing my 2 Jade plants in hanging baskets, both plants were planted around 15 months back. Look at the beauty and its growth.
Let's plant some Jade :)
UPDATE APRIL 24, 2014: It seems like this plant is Elephant Bush or Mini Jade, I have known this plant as Jade all my life probably because of regional common naming misconceptions. I like to thank instructable members Angryredhead and mretuck for the clarification and details. Please use the pictures if you are buying it from your local garden store.
Step 1: What All You Need
The entire process is so simple that you don't need lot of stuff. You only need
- A small jade plant. It is ok if you get a bigger one too :). But try to pick a plant that has branches on all sides. As a bonus step I will tell you how to propagate jade plants later. The plant shown in the picture is propagated by me and it has grown 4" tall in a 2" plastic tea cup.
- A plastic hanging basket with hanging mechanism. I have a 8" wide and 6" deep basket. Sorry about the dirty image, I used the basket in which I had planted some seasonal plants.
- Gardening soil and some gravel. If you are buying ready-made soil, make sure it is organic and coarse fast-draining soil. REMEMBER : We are planting a succulent and they don't like lots of water. For some reason you don't find a well coarse soil, then make it coarse by mixing one-part sand.
- Water :)
Yup that's all.
Step 2: Planting Your Jade
To plant your jade in hanging basket, do as follows:
- Cover the basket base with gravel. The kind of basket I used does not require gravel but I choose to put it.
- Fill the basket with soil, leaving about 1/2" of space from top.
- Dig a small hole in the middle of the basket.
- Remove the plant from propagation pot and plant it in the hole.
- Cover the gap with soil , gently press the soil around the plant.
- Attach the hangers.
- Hang the basket where the plant gets plenty of direct sunlight.
And you are done here :) . Seriously , now all you need to do wait and see your jade grow to a magnificent looking beauty.
Step 3: Simple Care for Your Jade Hanging Basket.
Jades in hanging do not require lots of special care, however there are things about jade which I recommend you to know :
- Where to place your hanging: Full sun is recommended, but partial works too.
- Watering: Being a succulent, jade does not needs lot of water, that's why we used well drained soil. Water your jade when the soil on top of basket is almost dry. If you live in a place with hot climate like mine, then you might have to water it daily or alternate days.
- Nutrition & fertilizer: Based on my experience, general purpose fertilizer for ornamental plants works well. Check your garden store if they can suggest a specific fertilizer for succulent like Jade.
- Cold climate: In my city there is never cold like snow etc, so I keep my jade hangings as it is, but experts suggest that you may want to bring them indoor if its too cold.
Jade Plant Pests and Diseases: Watch for mealybugs, spider mites, snails and aphids, which are common insect pests found on the jade plant. I suggest watering using a spray all over this can help you get rid of mealybugs if there are any.
Pruning: In hanging baskets you never need to do pruning, but in case you jade plant is only growing taller, just prune the head. This will promote growth of new branches from sides.
Turn the basket: Every 2-3 weeks, I rotate my hanging basket to let other sides of the plant face sun. This is a standard process for almost every plant that you grow in hanging basket to ensure that basket gets covered evenly.
Step 4: Bonus Step: Propagate Jade From Cuttings
Once you have a jade plant growing, you would never need to buy a jade plant again :). Here is how you can propagate a jade plant using cuttings :
- From a healthy and grown mother plant, cut a soft branch of about 6" long (Honestly smaller branches works too)
- Remove the leaves from the bottom to leave about 3" of stem.
- Put the stem in water, may be in small cup or a bottle.
- After a few weeks, the cutting will have roots, let the roots grow for about 1/2" to 1" and then transplant.
You may ask that you are propagating a succulent in water? I will say that I have tried other methods too like this one here but I ran out of patience before the roots appear, but somehow for me this method worked always.
Step 5: Final Thoughts
I am not an expert gardener but I do love to have lots of plants around. That's why I prefer plants that are easy to grow and last all seasons. Jade has been my all time favorite. I have propagated a lot of them (See picture above). I am attempting to make these little plants grow in the form of trees.
Thank you for your time to read this ible. Should you have any questions or feedback, please share in the comments below.
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