Pruning Advice For Three Succulent Bonsai

Pruning Three Succulent Bonsai, The Bonsai Zone, Jan 2022

Great to see these plants taking the next steps. Some Crassula are quite cold hardy as it can get quite cold in their natural habitat. Some (like the C. sarcucaulis) can even take temperatures below 0 Celsius.) Those that come from the winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape even grow during the winter when temps are quite low.

hi everyone nigel saunders here today i’m going to be working on three succulent trees that ashley from england sent to me last summer here’s a look at the plants i’ll be working on today this one is a crassula ovata the hobbit variety over here is a crassula tetragona and behind that is a aeonium it’s a tree house leak and it’s the green goblin variety so very interesting plants sent to me by ashley the trees are looking really healthy now and they’re growing really well let’s go back in time to last summer and i’ll show you what they look like when i first planted them i got this package in the mail yesterday and i opened it up right away because ashley he told me that there’s live plant material in here so i thought i’d better give it some light i think this package has been in the mail for at least three weeks and it looks like customs opened it up inspected it and thought yeah i guess it’s okay ashley’s from portsmouth hampshire in england so thanks ashley i’ll take good care of these and try and get them growing with vigor some of them they’re looking pretty dried up but hopefully when i plant them they’ll spring to life again so i’m going to do that today i’m going to get some fresh bone sized soil stick the cuttings in it and see what happens in the package i’ve got eronium arboreum tree mouse leek green goblin for those uh three crassula tetragon tetragon ghana tetragon tetragon i think tree pine succulent and five crassula ovata hobbit hobbit jades so that’s kind of cool it’ll go nicely with my golem jades these succulents came in this little styrofoam box which is a cool little box so i’m going to put some holes in the box and i’m going to plant some of them right in the styrofoam box all right here i go with a light misting i better put this on kind of mist and i think that’ll do into the greenhouse they go so there’s the succulents all of them i never expected these tree house leaks to grow and survive they look pretty miserable when i got them out of the mail but look at them now they’re looking really really nice all of these varieties of succulents can be grown in a tree-like form as a bonsai i’m going to start today by working on my hobbit jades i’ll start the work by cleaning up some of these leaves that have fallen off there’s not too many of them in fact no there’s another one back here dried up one and then i’m going to remove the leaves you can see there’s a leaf right at the base of the soil here i’m going to remove that take that out there’s another one on the other side right here that just popped off keep my soil in there and then i’ve got some lower leaves down here i’m going to take some of those off also just so i get a bit of a trunk there’s another dried up leaf back here so this trunk comes up and then it divides it has a branch off to the right has a branch out the back and it’s got some leaves down low which would probably develop into branches too so i’m going to cut it back i’m going to cut this one back to here like that and the rear one branch i’ll cut back to here making that plant very compact so now i’ll do the plant in the middle here i’ve got a low branch here that’s developing well so i’m going to remove some of the lower leaves on this makes it a little easier to get in there to water if there’s not leaves so close to the soil line and then i’m going to prune this branch back to here keeping everything compact getting taper and movement and i’ve got a branch developing on the inside here so i think i’m going to prune this tall one right back to here like that taking the whole top off next i’ll move on to the tree on the left hand side up front here so i’ve got a little branch coming off the inside i have a branch developing here so i will take this one off here there’s one growing up here i can reduce that back and then i’m going to take off some of these lower leaves you can see there it’s interfering with the plant behind it there i go there’s a weed in there i can take off this lower leaf and this one i think that’s got that little one pruned up so now let’s go around to the back there’s two around the back here again i’ll just prune the height down and this one too prune it back and this one i will prune back to here quite quite a hard pruning and and then i’ll remove all these lower leaves a lot of leaves down low so these plants have been in the basement just chilling down there but even at those temperatures around 10 degrees celsius the jade seem to grow really well they’re amazing plants and we’ll take some of these leaves off too raising the canopies up a bit okay i think that’s quite good now i need to prune this one back like that okay i’ll clean up these leaves and there quite a difference you can see it’s gone from quite a tall forest down to quite small hobbit size so that will do so i’ve just got to let them grow again thicken up keep them pruning to try and get lots of tape or movement into the trunks and i don’t know what they’ll end up looking like in the far future but i’ll just keep pruning clipping growing them trying to get movement and taper and branching so it’ll be interesting there’s a look at the amount i took off today quite a bit next i’ll work on my jades my crassulas my pine tree crassulas they call these these can grow quite large uh you can get them over a meter tall or three or four feet tall so they can grow quite large most jades can they can grow into quite quite large woody plants here’s a look at my needle jades or pine tree jades they kind of look like a spruce tree or something when they get mature and so i think i’ll probably grow it in that kind of a style um like a coniferous tree so i’m going to obey most of the basic bonsai rules here we’ve got a plant that comes up it divides from one into three and generally on both sides you want to divide from one to two if you divide from one to three sometimes you get a swelling at the junction point of the branches that’s why we always try and go from one to two so i’m going to prune off this inside one here like that so i’m dividing from one to two there’s a lot of dead kind of branches there’s an aerial route there now these trees are just in the basement you know at 10 degrees celsius they’re actually lower right now it’s about i don’t know six or seven degrees celsius and it’s growing aerial roots in the basement which is amazing just cleaning off some of these older leaves so i’m coming up i’m dividing the main trunk here again i have a trident i’ve got dividing from one to three so i want to pick my best branches and i’ve got to decide do i want this trunk to continue going straight or should i prune the center one off keep my outside two so it divides from one to two here interesting um i think i’m going to go for the division i’m going to take out the middle one like that so now it divides from one to two here this one continues to grow up as one and i i don’t want this side branch to be taller than the main trunk line so i’m going to prune it back and i’ll prune it back to an outward facing leaf there are buds in here i could prune it back just above there and i will to there i’ll prune the main trunks back also so i’m going to prune it to here and to here that gets this tree all pruned up [Applause] now i guess this is the main tree here you can see there’s aerial roots forming so it it has quite a clump it has the main thickest trunk here there’s an auxiliary branch or tree growing closely beside it that’s connected with an aerial route somehow it’s amazing um boy do you keep that or do you prune that away i don’t know it’s a good question you can see it there’s a new branch here coming out on old wood they do back bud very easily you can see there’s buds all over the trunk here huh so i’ve got to decide do i want branches this low on the trunk you know this tree my first branch is this height and this tree it’s even lower i’m thinking i don’t so i’m going to prune off that lowest branch like that um now here i’m coming up with the main trunk i’m dividing into one two three four divisions so that’s two too many and i’ve got to decide which ones i want to keep the one if i keep the ones in the middle they’re the thickest and there’s less of a fork if i were to move one of these then keep the outer two the fork would be very wide and i think it would look not so good so i’m going to remove the outer ones ariel roots and all and i’ll remove the outer one here come on oh there’s an aerial root attache okay so now i’m dividing from one to two i should remove this lowest branch and then i got to decide about this one um i’m thinking i don’t want like a multi-trunk tree for my main tree so i’m going to remove it it’s an interesting feature but you know it as it grows it just becomes an unusual feature it won’t contribute to the overall styling of the tree so it’s going to go and i can plant this as a cutting so that’s gone so now i’m dividing one to two and we’re getting higher up in the tree here i’m dividing again from one to two so that’s good and i’ll prune this one back maybe even more to there and then my next division is up here i’m dividing this branch from one to two so i’ll keep that division and prune it back this branch i’m coming up dividing one to two here there’s another division up top so i’ll keep that one and i’ll prune it back to here and this one i can prune back a little lower so maybe to here like that so that’s got this main tree pruned up just cleaning out some of these old leaves in here dried up old leaves okay so that one’s cleaned up let’s go to this back one now which is actually what is it it looks like a clump of two trees um it may come off one root system i don’t know so this one’s going to be quite a bit shorter because they’re very tall and skinny so i’m going to take it off actually i’m going to go right down to here and here like that so that’s got that little forest all pruned up now ready to grow once again there’s my pile of pine jade cuttings that is a lot so i could create another forest with all those cuttings just one more succulent to work on today and that’s my tree house leaks so i don’t know where as the front of the planting is but they’ve certainly grown from those miserable looking cuttings i got in the mail these were in the mail for like three weeks so i don’t know how they survived but they look really nice now here’s a look at the house leaks so i’m going to start removing some of these lower leaves you can’t get in here to water at all so i’m just going to snip them off i can see it’s branching already just kind of cool so i’ll take soft some of the lower leaves on the branches too keeping green on my growing tips yeah there’s another branch right here there’s two branches one here and one here sure likes to branch that’s good and these can be grown into a nice bonsai too and succulent bonsai they’re awesome because you know you don’t have to water them every day you just gotta kind of keep them in good light give them some water and fertilizer when the soil becomes dry and generally they grow really well as long as you don’t over water them you’ll keep them alive for a long long time and most succulents do get some kind of a woody trunk on them now it’s not like a regular tree but it’s a they’ll get like a a rough kind of woody bark texture which is pretty cool another advantage of these succulents is they you know in the hot summers they do really well where most trees suffer in the heat these things just bring to life yeah and if you want to you know have worry-free bonsai where you know you don’t have to be home to water them every day succulents are excellent for that so i’m starting to see all the trunk lines now looking quite nice just keep removing more leaves these lower leaves get shaded out eventually anyway and they’ll dry up and fall off as it grows so you can start to see some of the structure of the plant now i’ve got to remove some of these bigger ones and these lower leaves from this one they’re quite large and these leaves will reduce as you get more branching they’ll become a little bit more miniature looking with time i obviously must be taking too good a care of these because the leaves are quite large so you can see some more branching happening here this branch comes up and there’s two shoots coming off of it now so that’s pretty exciting okay i would say that is pruned up i can get in here to water now you can see the branches you can see they taper from thin to thick but that’ll change over time as they mature and starts developing a root system it’ll that inverse taper on the trunk will change i think it’s looking quite good exciting to have a strange new species like this underway and this styrofoam growing pot this is what it was shipped in these so i just put some holes in the bottom of the styrofoam and i’ve been growing these you can see roots coming out the bottom i’ve been growing these in the styrofoam pot and they’re doing really well i think it’s a good pot for growing trees and kind of insulated yeah awesome here’s a look at all the leaves i took off today quite a bit but now i can see underneath the trees i can see the branches and i can get in to water them properly so that’s awesome and they’re starting to look a little more tree-like i don’t have any room in my plant room to grow more trees however i can plant more jade cuttings in the same pot increase the density so i’ll do that today all right here i go so i’m going to prune these cuttings back you can see this cutting is quite long so i don’t need it that long so i’m going to take the top off both of these and then i’ll plant it in the soil so i’ll just make a hole down through the soil here i’ll plant the cutting fairly deep there’s one planted like that and i think that’ll do that’s planted quite densely i could fit one more on the outside maybe i’ll do it one more on the outside right in like that there i go looking quite nice today is quite a warm day it’s two degrees celsius two degrees above freezing but tonight it’s going down to minus 17 degrees celsius so there must be cold weather blowing in and then the next night we’re going down to our lowest temperature yet minus 23 degrees celsius that’s gonna feel awfully cold here’s a look at the three plantings now all pruned up and ready to grow once again we’ve just got to wait for the warm weather to come so that’ll be exciting once spring hits so thanks very much ashley for sending me the plants all the way from england it’s always exciting taking a cutting and slowly developing it into a bonsai watching that process over the years that’s what i like about bonsai is watching that progression and that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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