Bonsai succulents

by Lee Norman
(South Australia)


Great site, very informative!!!

I just wanted to share an idea I have been tinkering with for my Bonsai trees.

Basically, in bonsai, the trick is to match the container to the tree, and with some succulents, they can look amazing in a specially designed pot. By pot I mean a basic container which you can make yourself.

I have a Jade Bonsai - otherwise known as a Money tree that has really thick succulent leaves. Great for retaining water and therefore watering is not a huge requirement - the Jade is, as you say, a drought-smart-plant!

To match the Jade and give it a true Bonsai feel (Succulents do not sit in Bonsai as 'true' Bonsai) I have begun creating pots using plain breakfast bowls, chicken wire and paper mache'.

What you do is use a bowl and create a shape around it with chicken wire. Don't forget to drill the bowl's base to create drainage!!!

With my Jade I gave it an oriental feel by creating a shape that looks much like the steep part of the roller coaster - much like a crescent half moon shape. Steep on one side, tapering off at the other, at the lip of the bowl. The whole structure is about a foot high.

You then create a paper mache' mix and mache' the structure. Let it dry.

Grab some oil paints and paint the whole thing with different shades of grey (white/black mixed for those who are artistically challenged!!). If you do it right this gives the impression that the structure is a big rock.

You then line the bowly part of the bowl with plastic sheeting(holes in it of course) and then with 1/3 grit and 2/3 soil.

You will have a cool home-made 'pot' that will suit the look of your more oriental trees!!!

Once again great site!!!

Hi Lee,
Thanks for visiting!
Just to be clear, the Bonsai Jade tree is planted in your paper mache' bowl, right? This would give a similar look to hypertufa. I would love to see a picture of what you have done with this!

For more information on Bonsai and the techniques for making them, go to Lees Bonsai Made Easy website.

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