A few months ago a coworker dropped a humungous jade tree off on my front porch, saying something about how it probably needed repotted. I scratched my head in puzzlement how I would accomplish such a feat. Honestly, this thing was HUGE. I should have taken pictures of it. It seemed to be fine in it’s current pot so after much deliberation I hauled the thing upstairs to keep it out of the direct sun.

A few months later the poor guy seems to be dying from the outside in. I thought, crap now I’m going to have to figure out how to repot this. I had a large pot on reserve for whatever needed it so I did some research and ordered a couple of bags of bonsai soil.

In the meantime the tree’s health rapidly declined. Half of it was dead. The inside of the branches was a slimy and brown instead of crisp and green. This was quickly becoming an emergency room situation. I found myself begging the tree to hold on just a few more days.

Then last night the soil arrived!

Bonsai Soil LabelBonsai Soil Texture

It has a very course texture made up of volcanic rock and tree barks so it has good drainage. I began repotting by pulling the dead side of the tree out of the pot. It broke right off at the root and the roots were all dried out. I know I watered this thing.

On the dead side, I found some living jade so I planted them in their own little pots.

Baby Jade Plants

The Babiest of the Jade Babies

Succulents like jade are awesome because you can break a piece off, put in some moist dirt, and it will root.

While I was digging around in the pot trying to get the good side of the jade out safely, I found all sorts of clumps of clay and other debris suggesting my coworker simply dug soil out of her garden to repot this tree. I’m not sure that was such a good idea. Succulents (and all potted plants) need good drainage. This garden soil was all compacted in the pot making it hard for the moisture to escape. I think this is what was happening and causing the roots to rot and then shrivel.

Anyway I pulled the good side out in tact and repotted it with the bonsai soil and a bit of potting soil to give it a nutrients boost. And here he is! I’m going to keep a close eye on him and all the babies for a long while.

Repotted Jade

Salvaged PieceThis is another salvaged piece of the dead side. t was still green and has tiny leaves growing from the top. I’m hoping I can coerce it into become a tree. It’s planted in the clay pot to my VitaClay slow cooker that cracked. An example of reusing something that most people might throw away.