Bonsai Soil and Potting Mix: The Right Blend
Your bonsai soil or potting mix is the most important ingredient for
growing healthy plants. A good bonsai soil mix provides a balanced medium in which
your trees and plants live and grow. It will also provide the initial
nutrients plants need to grow rich colored leaves and flowers. A high
quality bonsai soil and potting mix permits moisture retention while
any excess water to drain away.
Types of mix: conifer, tropical and sub-tropical
bonsai soil. Professional bonsai soil in 10 and 20 lb bags
Click to View Details
Its unique properties help provide free passage of air and water
to root systems while significantly reducing soil compaction.
Maintaining your topsoil on your bonsai tree is as important as
maintaining your roots and pruning. These tools make it easy to repot as
well as aerate and increase water absorption in your bonsai tree.
Every ingredient in bonsai potting mix has a purpose
For most bonsai gardeners, buying a package of prepared potting mix
is the most efficient method of selecting house plant soil. Bonsai
potting mix is sold in varying sized packages, so you can purchase only
the amount you need at the time.
Use a commercial mix specifically formulated for house plants. It
temporarily provides the nutrients that plants need; you can replenish
these nutrients when necessary with a house plant fertilizer. I
recommend the packaged bonsai soil mix which has been sterilized to eliminate any
pests or diseases that might be present. If you prefer other potting
soil mixes are readily
available at nurseries, indoor plant stores, or other stores where
garden supplies are sold.
Some lightweight mixes need to be moistened before planting. Squeeze a
handful of soil in your fist; the mix should be damp enough to form a
compact ball when you release it, yet not be dripping wet. If the mix is
dry and crumbly, add enough water to the mix to make it cohesive.
If purchasing a
bag of bonsai soil
or potting mix in a plastic bag isn't your idea
of natural organic gardening, you can make your own. Blend equal
amounts of coarse washed sand, garden loam or a good garden topsoil and
peat moss, leaf mold or fir bark.
Garden loam or
topsoil contains particles of clay that hold fertilizing materials in an
available state for plant roots. Sand, perlite, and leaf mold hold air
around the roots, which is essential to good plant growth.
Leaf mold also provides some nutrients. Charcoal bits keep the soil
"sweet." These ingredients are usually available at most nurseries,
garden supply stores, or indoor plant stores. With any new soil, you
should add a a small amount of a high quality
Making your own bonsai soil mix
Any potting bonsai soil mix that you make yourself which contains garden soil must
be sterilized. Garden loam or topsoil may contain pests, weed seeds, or
plant diseases; sterilizing the mix eliminates these problems.
An alternate method is to cover the soil-filled pans with kitchen
foil or clear baking wrap and seal. Insert a cooking thermometer through
the center of the covering into the soil but not touching the pan. Place
in the oven and heat until the soil temperature reaches 180'; keep the
temperature at that level no higher for 30 minutes.
Prepare yourself for the nasty odor of baking soil. Luckily this odor
isn't lasting. Remove the sterilized soil from the oven and let it air
for a few days. Store it in sturdy paper or plastic bags.