The Thing that Can Make your Tree Thrive: Soil for a Bonsai Tree

soil bonsai

Bonsai enthusiasts often dispute about soil composition. It’s of great importance as the plant’s vigour and health depend directly on the soil. You can easily find a prepared mix in garden centers or bonsai nurseries. It’s quite expensive, though. Those who have to repot more than 3 bonsai trees in spring, usually go for learning to make their own mix.

A suitable soil mix should have the following qualities:

It should be able to retain water so that it could keep the tree moist enough between waterings. It also must drain well. The roots should have the access to oxygen thus one of the requirements to the soil is that it must provide sufficient aeration.

Soil mix can be organic or inorganic. Organic soil ingredients are dead plant matters. They can be peat or leaf-litter or bark. In inorganic soil mixes there are little or no organic matter at all. The components which are considered inorganic are volcanic lava, calcite (baked) or fired clays.

The proper soil mix should include akadama (hard-baked Japanese clay), organic potting compost (it consists of perlite, sand and peat moss) and grit (fine gravel). These components should be mixed in different proportions depending on the species. Soil for deciduous plants should include 50 per cent of acadama, 25 per cent of organic potting compost and 25 per cent of fine gravel. Soil for coniferous and pine trees must consist of 60 per cent of akadama, 30 per cent of grit and 10 per cent of organic potting compost.

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