Growing bonsai from a toadstool

Almost everyone is familiar with the Thick plant – this plant gets along perfectly with even the most irresponsible owner, firmly tolerating penumbra and bright sun, heat and cool. It is popularly known as the money tree, according to the superstition, which brings wealth to the house, abroad – as a jade tree – for the rich color of its leaves, but scientifically – crassula ovata. And it is also notable for the fact that over time – rather quickly for a succulent – it displays a resemblance to a real tree: a strong and hardy trunk, a small and hardy root system, willingly branching shoots, easily formable crown – what a plant for bonsai!

Preparing material for bonsai

Of course, in order for the bonsai tree from the Thickwort to become a real decoration of the interior, it is important to give it enough attention. In itself, the plant does not require either frequent watering or regular spraying and can easily tolerate dry air in the apartment in winter. However, this does not mean that the existence in extreme conditions will benefit at all.

Incorrect pruning, excessive or too infrequent watering, sunburn or keeping in a lack of light will make your Thick plants look unnatural and unattractive – which is unacceptable for bonsai culture. So if the specimen you got is not aesthetically pleasing, you can do the following:

  • Do a dramatic pruning of the money tree to encourage the emergence of new branches for later crown formation;
  • Take a scion from an adult plant and set it aside to form a crassula bonsai from scratch.

The first method will require less time, but I would recommend that you take your time and still prefer the second method for a number of reasons:

  • Perspective. If the trunk is curved, you can’t straighten it anymore. As the trunk grows and the green mass increases, the load on the trunk will only increase. As a result, one day it may not be able to withstand the weight of the crown and break.
  • Adaptation. It is quite possible that before forming the bonsai, the crassula was growing in a large pot, where its roots developed in contentment and spaciousness. Switching to small containers after such conditions is stressful for any plant. If, however, you start your journey with a small sprout, it will be adapted to small pots from the start.
  • The idea. By growing bonsai from a sprout, you will form exactly the style you are most interested in. This is especially true for beginners who are just starting to work with the crown. In the case of an adult specimen it will be exactly the opposite: you will have to subordinate your idea to the original parameters of the plant.

Shaping the crown of a thistle

Bonsai, no matter what style it was grown in, is subject to certain canons of form. However, thanks to them, the harmony of the composition and the natural appearance of the tree is achieved.

Money tree bonsai

The key to maintaining miniature size is annual pruning of new shoots.

Breaking the symmetry of the crown and giving the branches of the crassula the desired direction can be done by removing excess branches. The shoots of this plant are thick and brittle, so the use of wire is not recommended. In addition, it will very quickly grow into the bark of the money tree.

When pruning 5-10 cm branches, shorten them to one or three pairs of leaves, depending on their position in the crown. This procedure should preferably be done in spring, when the growth of new green mass is most active. To prevent the plant from becoming deformed, remember to turn it regularly on the window sill.

If you follow these simple rules, in a couple of seasons you will be able to call yourself the proud owner of a money tree bonsai. Who knows, perhaps it will become the first and honorable specimen in a future collection!