Inorganic bonsai soil

Inorganic bonsai soil DEFAULT

Inorganic "soil"

Zappa said:

...Im looking for a soil mix that will have less water retention.

Click to expand...


Look for a soil mix with optimumwater retention. No doubt any of the mixes listed will have less water retention than say garden soil or compost. I think the key to a good soil mix is keeping just the right amount of water available for the tree and allowing it to dry down rather quickly so the process of watering (and aeration) is repeated frequently. So another key to the mix is good aeration. You have got to get the air to the roots while keeping them moist. Best way to do that? Free draining soil. As you water and flush water thru the soil you pull in a fresh exchange of air. That's why watering thoroughly is important - you want to see that water run thru the pot so you know the air is being pulled in.

No wonder the Japanese say it takes three years to learn how to water. You need to understand the soil function first then learn how to apply the water. In hindsight I guess it did take me a few years to finally get the concept of soil and watering.

See what components you can find locally. Soil can get heavy and UPS is not getting cheaper. Here's a list of common inorganic components to look for :

akadama (be aware this is the component most likely to break down faster that the others)
kanuma (more acidic than akadama and holds a bit more water)
lava
pumice (Japanese or agricultural grade)
haydite
pearlite
turface
coarse sand (pool supply company - #2 or #3 filter sand I believe)
granite (decomposed)

You want to do your best to get all of the components to roughly the same size. This allows for good aeration. If the components varied in size they could settle and effectually almost block out drainage. An illustration to this concept as explained to me is take a jar and fill it with marbles. Now pour in water - it passes right thru the mesh of even sized marbles easily. Now take a jar and add marbles. Now add fine sand. Notice how it easily fills the spaces between the marbles? Not so good for allowing air thu is it? Even size is accomlished by screening with several sizes of mesh.

As the others have noted be ready to water as needed as well as feed it well. There is no nutritional value to any of the soil components.

 

Sours: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/inorganic-soil.468/

Bonsai soil

Bonsai substrates

The quality of soil used directly affects the health and vigor of your tree. It’s our experience that unhealthy trees that lack vigor, are very often planted in poor Bonsai soil. Or worse, planted in normal garden soil. These types of soil harden easily when it gets dry, which is very harmful to the growth of Bonsai trees and makes proper Watering very difficult.

The soil requires several qualities for it to be considered a good soil mix for your bonsai:

Good water-retention
The soil needs to be able to soak in and retain sufficient quantities of water to supply moisture to the Bonsai between each watering. However, too much water retention will damage your tree.

Good drainage
Excess water must be able to drain immediately from the pot. Too much water-retention will rot the roots and kill the bonsai tree. Soils that don’t drain well enough also lack aeration and are prone to a buildup of salts.

Good aeration
The particles used in a Bonsai mix should be big enough to allow tiny gaps, or air pockets, between each particle. Other than providing oxygen for the roots, these air pockets also allow for good bacteria and mycorrhizae. This allows the processing of food to happen before being absorbed by the tree’s root-hairs and sent to the leaves for photosynthesis.

Organic or Inorganic Soils

Soil mixes are described as being either organic or inorganic. Dead plant matters such as peat, leaf-litter, or bark are described as being organic soil components. The potential problem with organic soil components is that organic matter breaks down and reduces drainage over time. Some organic components deteriorate at varying speeds, so it’s hard to say how quickly organic soil becomes harmful. If you’re adamant about using an organic soil mix, we recommend choosing a mixture that uses pine bark. Most potting composts absorb water very poorly once they are completely dry. This is one of the biggest problems for cheap indoor Bonsai trees purchased at garden centers. You’d think you watered the tree but the water runs past the soil into the bottom of the pot!

Inorganic soil components contain little to no organic matter such as volcanic lava, calcite, and baked/fired clays. They absorb fewer nutrients and water than organic soils but are great for drainage and aeration. The limited absorption capacity also gives us more control over the amount of fertilizer in the soil.

A particle-based, well-structured, inorganic soil allows water to drain quickly and fresh air to continually enter the soil. A compacted organic soil that lacks structure also lacks aeration and drainage which deteriorates the overall health of your tree, and without swift action, will eventually cause root rot and kill your bonsai.

Soil components

The most common components for Bonsai soil mixtures are Akadama, Pumice, Lava rock, organic potting compost, and fine gravel also known as grit.

Bonsai soil components

Akadama is hard-baked Japanese clay specifically produced for Bonsai purposes and available on all online Bonsai shops. If you purchase Akadama, keep in mind that It needs to be sifted before use, and after about two years it does start to break down which reduces aeration. This means that regular repotting is required, or that Akadama should be used in a mix with well-draining soil components. Akadama is rather expensive and is therefore sometimes substituted with similar fired/baked clays that are easily available at any garden center. Even cat-litter can be used as a substitute, check our Bonsai forum to see which brands are available in your country.

Pumice is a soft volcanic rock, which can absorb water and nutrients quite well. When used in a Bonsai soil mix it helps to retain water and allows the roots to ramify very well.

Lava rock also helps retain water and create a good structure when part of a Bonsai substrate. Roots can't grow into the Lava rock.

Organic potting compost is made up of peat moss, perlite, and sand. On its own, it retains too much water and doesn't allow for proper aeration and drainage, but as part of a soil mixture, it can work very well.

Fine gravel / grit helps to create a well-draining and aerated Bonsai soil. It is also used as a bottom layer in Bonsai pots to enhance drainage. Most experts have stopped using it, as they tend to stick with a mixture of Akadama, Pumice, and Lava rock.

Recommended Bonsai soil mixtures

Different tree-species demand different soil-mixtures, so make sure to check our Tree species guide to find the optimum mixture for your specific trees. However, we can describe two main mixtures we use for either deciduous or coniferous trees. Both mixtures consist of Akadama for water retention, Pumice for good substrate structure, and Lava rock for aeration and drainage.

Note that both mixtures can, and should, be adapted to your circumstances and/or location. If you know you won’t have enough time to check on your trees twice a day, then add more Akadama or organic potting compost to your mix for increased water retention. If you live somewhere with a wet climate, add more lava rock or grit to enhance the draining qualities of your mixture.

Deciduous Bonsai soil

  • 50% Akadama
  • 25% Pumice
  • 25% Lava rock

Coniferous and Pine soil

  • 33% Akadama
  • 33% Pumice
  • 33% Lava rock
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Requirements
of Bonsai Soils

One of the most widely debated subjects for most Bonsai enthusiasts is soil composition. Good Bonsai is not merely on the design, but a good Bonsai should portray a healthy tree that grows in a small container and this strongly depends on the soil used.

It is the fact that still many people have misperception that Bonsai is being tortured to be small, and this is absolutely wrong. Bonsai need extra loving cares and suppose to be healthier than a tree living in the nature due to the limited space it grows. Either the misperception or the unavailability of good quality soil, there are still many Bonsai are planted with poor quality soil which consequently affect the slow growing, unhealthy foliage or even sudden death of the tree.

Because Bonsai is planted in a relatively small quantity of soil throughout the year on which its existence depends. Through the soil in the pot, the tree must be able to obtain water, nutrients and air in order to grow for very long time. For this reason, a Bonsai must be planted in a good quality Bonsai soil.

The quality of the soil that is used, directly affects the health and vigor of the tree. It is my experience that unhealthy trees that lack vigor are very often planted in a poor (often organic) Bonsai substrate; or the worst some are planted in normal ground soil. Such soil easily harden when get dried which give no advantage to the growth of Bonsai. contrary it is very harmful to the tree.

There are a number of qualities that are required in a good soil mix

  1. Good water-retention. The soil needs to be able to hold and retain sufficient quantities of water to supply moisture to the Bonsai between each watering.
  2. Good drainage. Excess water must be able to drain immediately from the pot. Soils lacking good drainage are too water retentive, lack aeration and are liable to a build up of salts. Too much water-retention will also cause the root rot and kill the tree.
  3. Good aeration. The particles used in a Bonsai mix should be of sufficient size to allow tiny gaps or air pockets between each particle. Beside the need of oxygen for the roots, it is also important to let the good bacteria, mycorrhizae to live so the processing of food will take place before being absorbed by the root-hairs and send to the leaves for photosynthesis.
  4. A particle-based, well-structured inorganic soil allows fast drainage of water and allows fresh air to continually enter the soil. A compacted organic soil that lacks any structure also lacks aeration and drainage and this can lead to ill health in the roots and tree and root rot.

Organic or Inorganic Soils

Soil mixes are described as being either organic or inorganic. Dead plant matters such as peat or leaf-litter or bark are described as being organic soil components. Inorganic soil mixes contain little to no organic matter such as volcanic lava, calcite (baked) or fired clays.

Organic Soil

In past decades, Bonsai enthusiasts tended to use organic soil mixes, using a large proportion of peat, bark and leaf-litter mixed with grit to aid with drainage. As time passed, the knowledge and understanding of Bonsai increased, it is now acknowledged by most enthusiasts that organic soil components such as peat are not conducive to the good health and vigor of a tree.

Peat and other organic soil components have many disadvantages; they can be too water retentive, leading to the soil being continually sodden, particularly during periods of rain in Autumn, Winter and Spring. Conversely, during periods of high temperatures, dry peat can be difficult to thoroughly water, leaving dry spots inside the root ball of the bonsai; and this will be harmful for the growth of root-hairs. Tree without healthy root-hairs will never have healthy foliation; and tree without healthy foliation will grow very slow and easily die.

Possibly the most serious problem with organic soils is that though they may consist of appropriate sized particles when the Bonsai is first planted, they continue to break down in a Bonsai pot and become compacted. As the soil compacts it becomes airless and drains poorly. Such waterlogged and airless soils soon suffocate the roots and can lead to rotting roots and ill health in a Bonsai. Furthermore, the compacted soil will cause problem when repotting because it is difficult to wash out the old soil or will damage the root-hairs which may lead to the death of the bonsai.

Inorganic Soil

The advantage of inorganic materials is that they hold their open structure for a long time without breaking down into mush. Inorganic materials retain a certain quantity of water and any excess is immediately flushed through the bottom of the pot; Akadama is Japanese baked clay, Akadama is the soil of choice for many Japanese Bonsai Masters and enthusiasts. This is partially due to its relatively low price in Japan where it is also easily obtainable, but very expensive outside Japan. However, while Akadama might be considered a good quality soil, but in fact no better than the cheaper and more easily obtainable fired-clay soils that are available in some countries. Furthermore, Akadama can break down into a solid mush within 1 or 2 years. This old soil must therefore be washed out of the roots every one to two years. For this reason it is not recommended for species that will not tolerate regular bare-rooting (Pines for instance).

Advantage of volcanic lava soil

  • Another inorganic soil considered as the best for Bonsai is volcanic lava, but not easily obtained in some countries where no volcanoes found.
  • Originally natural. From volcano containing natural nutrients which benefit to trees.
  • Porous. The porosity is beneficial to the growth of root-hairs. Healthy root-hairs will give healthy foliation that lead to healthy tree.
  • Good water-retention. Water-retention is important to maintain the sufficient quantity of water in the soil to keep the moisture.
  • Good drainage. Good drainage will maintain the quality of the soil, avoiding too much water that may cause the root rot and kill the tree.
  • Good aeration. Good oxygen flow in soil is important for the living of good bacteria, mycorrhizae to live which is needed to process the food in the soil.
  • Not easily break down. Break down will form the soil to solid mush and disturb the drainage and aeration. The compacted soil will also disturb the growth of root-hairs and damage the root system during repotting.
  • Neutral in ph. The neutral ph around….is suitable for all kind of bonsai.
  • Inexpensive. Volcano lava is much cheaper compare to other inorganic soils and costless in comparison to the benefit.
Vulcanic soil
Bonsai soil
Soil
Soil shaking

The root system is perfectly maintained with the root-hairs undisturbed. This is the condition expected by Bonsai enthusiasts when doing the repotting to make sure the Bonsai will be healthily survive after repotting.

Root System Condition Of Using Different Soils

volcanic bonsai soil
Normal soil
volcanic
normal

The sticky soil can only be washed out by high-pressure water spray; but this will damage the root-hairs. This is the result of poor drainage, poor aeration and the easy break down of the soils. Bonsai will never grow well in such soil condition. Although this Bonsai has been growing for more than 3 years, but the root system does not grow well with very few root-hairs; and the worst is that all the root-hairs will be destroyed and washed out with the sticky soils during the cleaning. This can easily kill the trees if this happens to conifers (pines and junipers). By changing to use volcanic lava soils, will make this Bonsai grow much faster and healthier.

Tips For Bonsai Potting & Repotting

The best season for Bonsai potting or repotting is early spring or early autumn and NEVER in winter. The reason that most of trees are giving new shoots starting spring and autumn. The best time to repotting Bonsai is when the Bonsai is still in healthy condition and do not wait until the Bonsai starting getting weak. The reason is when we do repotting, the tree will get disturbed and a weak Bonsai may not be able to challenge the stress and can get worse.

The repotting interval depends on the tree species; some trees (broad leaf / deciduous trees) need more frequent repotting than conifers (pine and junipers). For conifers, do not repotting right after severe styling process or right after the carving of jin-shari. It is better to wait for one year. When repotting conifers, try not to disturb the root system especially the root-hairs; but on some deciduous trees, root pruning can be done. Any root pruning during the repotting is better followed by some pruning on the foliage, especially on deciduous trees.

Written by: Robert Steven, Indonesia - "Bonsai artist, collector and teacher who is traveling intensively around the world giving lectures, demos, workshops and judging. Own his permanent Bonsai display center in Jakarta, Indonesia with over 500 Bonsai collection and has won more than 200 awards in national and international contests. Well-known with his aesthetic and artistic approach in Bonsai art. His books “Vision of My Soul” and “Mission of Transformation” have become best-sellers Bonsai books. More information on his profile and Bonsai creations can be viewed at his Facebook account or here in his Bonsai artist profile; Robert Steven."

Sours: https://www.bonsaiempire.com/
Bonsai Soil, April 2015

Bonsai forum

Not so much a 'vs' type question, rather a 'I'm a bit confused' type question.

I have been reading up on the subject of soil and it appears that moving to inorganic is considered best practice. I understand the pro's for this, particularly in that there is a greater element of drainage and fewer risks of pests/diseases due to there being no (traditional sense) soil.

If I were to switch to inorganic, then there are fewer minerals and nutrients within the substrate, and I would need to provide these for the bonsai.

But I do this anyway at the moment, as the tree sits in the original soil mixture it came in two years ago. My understanding is that even in compost-type soil, the good stuff is soon depleted or washed away, hence the need to feed and fertilize it.

Is it correct then that organic soil is of no greater benefit? My confusion comes in when I see people talk of mixing inorganic soil with some organic soil, albeit in a smaller quanitity: is it not one or the other?

I am planning to repot my ficus this year and just wanted a bit of clarification on this.

P.s: sorry if the question is a bit garbled, but I did say I was confused!

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Soil inorganic bonsai

An Introduction to Bonsai Soils

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Page 1 of 2:

One of the most widely debated subjects for most bonsai enthusiasts is soil composition. Over recent years, the quality and ease of availability of such soils available for bonsai has improved vastly. It seems the days of peat- and grit-based bonsai have thankfully now passed us.

Ready-mixed soils can be bought from bonsai nurseries and garden centres but these tend to be relatively expensive and particularly with the latter, will vary greatly in quality.

There are a large number of soil ingredients that can be used to mix your own soil; different mixes are used by different enthusiasts with varying degrees of success. For the beginner, choosing which soil mix to use can therefore be a daunting choice.

This article is written as an introduction to Bonsai soils, it does not discuss every soil ingredient or mix that is available or possible, nor does it tell which soil mix is the 'best'. The individual enthusiast can only answer that question after experimenting over time with his own trees and care routines.

bonsai soil

The Basic Requirements Of Bonsai Soils

A bonsai is confined to a relatively small quantity of soil throughout the year on which its very existence depends. Through the soil in the pot, the tree must be able to obtain water, nutrients and gases in order to grow. For this reason, a bonsai must be planted in a good quality bonsai soil.

The quality of the soil that is used, directly affects the health and vigour of the tree. It is my experience that unhealthy trees that lack vigour are very often also planted in a poor (often organic) bonsai soil.

There are a number of qualities that are required in a good soil mix;

Good water-retention. The soil needs to be able to hold and retain sufficient quantities of water to supply moisture to the bonsai between each watering.

Good drainage. Excess water must be able to drain immediately from the pot. Soils lacking good drainage are too water retentive, lack aeration and are liable to a build up of salts.

Good aeration. The particles used in a bonsai mix should be of sufficient size to allow tiny gaps or air pockets between each particle. It is important to the health of the roots that they have access to oxygen.

A particle-based, well-structured inorganic soil allows fast drainage of water and allows fresh air to continually enter the soil. A compacted organic soil that lacks any structure, also lacks aeration and drainage and this can lead to ill-health in the roots and tree and root rot.

Varying Soil Mixtures To Suit Different Tree Species

Though all Bonsai require free-draining, water-retentive soils, different species vary in their requirements for water and nutrients and this should be reflected in their soil composition. Pines and Junipers for instance require less water than most other species; this in turn means that they require a less water retentive soil mix.

Alternatively, flowering and fruiting species have increased water requirements and tend to be planted in soil mixes with relatively high water retaining capacities.

When mixing your own soil, the ratio of water-retaining material to drainage materials is varied according to the tree that it is intended for, as is the size of individual soil grains. Smaller (1-3mm) grains will be more water retentive, very large grains (7-15mm) will be much faster draining.

By increasing the grain-size and reducing the organic material (bark) in the mix, the soil becomes increasingly free-draining; by increasing the amount of water-retentive material and reducing the grain-size, the greater its water-holding capacity becomes.

Organic or Inorganic Soils

Soil mixes are described as being either organic or inorganic.

Dead plant matter such as peat or leaf-litter or bark are described as being organic soil components.

Inorganic soil mixes contain much less organic matter than organic soils; instead, they are made up of specially-formulated soils such as volcanic lava, calcined (baked) or fired clays.

These materials are more difficult to locate than organic materials, but can be found in bonsai nurseries, and online.

>>An Introduction to Bonsai Soils: Page 2 of 2

 

Related Article: Soil Mixes for Weak and Newly Collected Trees and Yamadori Aftercare

Sours: http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Soils.html
Bonsai Soil, April 2015

It's so cute. Let me change and feed you. What for.

Similar news:

Everything is open there, wet, slippery and uncleaned after love pleasures, so it is not difficult for the core of love, having been in one hole, to jump. Abruptly into another, without encountering the slightest resistance on the way. - "Well, that's enough, give it to me, you sucked that you can't tear it off," I hear Vitin's voice through.

The drowsiness.



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