Magazine article Sunset

Plant a Jade Forest, Bonsai-Style

Magazine article Sunset

Plant a Jade Forest, Bonsai-Style

Article excerpt

Taking inspiration from the art of bonsai, Sunset designer Dennis Leong made this miniature forest in a dish. For the "trees," he chose jade plant (Crassula argentea) because it is easy to find and inexpensive, it grows well indoors, and it doesn't mind having its roots crowded. The approach we show isn't true bonsai, but many of the techniques and materials are the same.

When you shop for jade plants, you'll find that some have bigger leaves than others. Choose plants with smaller leaves, since they'll be more in scale with the grovelike arrangement.

The materials you need are shown on page 23. We used a 9- by 13- by 2Y4-inch ceramic bonsai dish, which is in scale with the four small jade plants chosen for the project.

The most time-consuming step is preparing the dish for planting. Jade plants have to be wired in place initially because they tend to be top-heavy and have very small, fibrous root systems for support. …

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