Why Bonsai Soil Is Different?
Bonsai soil is not your everyday garden or house plant soil. When one grows a bonsai plant, often a miniature tree, in a very small container, it becomes critical that the soil the plant is growing in meets its needs for water and nutrition. Ordinary soils are generally not good for a bonsai plant’s health. Not only is it necessary to understand what goes into the makeup of basic bonsai soil, but one needs to take into account the type of plant involved, which can rapidly make things complex.
In general, there are two types of soil, organic bonsai soil, and inorganic bonsai soil. If you were to ask a room full of people (who knew little about caring for a bonsai plant) which type of soil is best, chances are most would respond “organic soil of course”. That would seem to make sense, but in reality, is not really the case. Both types of bonsai soil have there pluses and minuses, but overall, an inorganic soil appears to be the most advantageous and is usually the soil of choice for advanced bonsai hobbyists. There are two fundamental requirements a bonsai plant has.
It requires adequate nutrition, and it requires an adequate, but not excessive, amount of water. It is the water factor that tilts things towards inorganic soils as a better choice.
Organic Bonsai Soils
Most bonsai plants require a soil that will retain a certain amount of water but will at the same time allow an excess of water to drain away. This means the soil must have the proper structure, light, and full of air pockets as opposed to being heavy and compacted. The trick is to find the proper mix of materials that will yield a light, structured, easily drained soil that still retains sufficient water for the plant’s needs. For many plants, peat moss is ideal. However as far as bonsai is concerned, peat moss has a tendency to hold too much water once it is moistened, and insufficient water if it is allowed to dry out, without reaching a happy medium. Composted bark is considered to be about the best organic growing media one can find. A mix of bark, peat, sand, and perhaps one of two other materials may do, but getting things just right may be a challenge. Since different plants do best in different soils, there is no “best” bonsai soil.
Fired Clay And Diatomaceous Earth
Where inorganic soil shines lies in the fact that, if the right medium is chosen, it will not break down and will provide both water retention and adequate drainage over a long period of time. There are two important factors to take into account. First, the medium must not break down easily, especially when exposed to moisture, and all the “fines”, or small particles, need to be removed so they won’t eventually clog up the open spaces or pores in the soil, causing its drainage capability to degrade. A good choice is fired clay, which generally holds its structure well. Another good choice is diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossils of algae, and is readily obtainable, having many uses beyond that of potting soil. Other choices include perlite and vermiculite. Whatever the choice, the fines have to be shaken out. If you purchase a box of perlite or vermiculite you may find a significant percentage of the contents consists of fines.
An alternative to the above inorganic materials, which can be expensive, especially if one is repotting larger bonsai plants on an annual basis, is cat litter. A little research may be needed here, but cat litter is enjoying fairly wide usage as bonsai soil. One does need to purchase litter that consists of pellets made of either fired clay or diatomaceous earth. Many brands of cat litter contain both. Avoid cat litter made from paper products. Paper-based products will tend to break down when they become moist and create a very unhealthy environment for the bonsai plant.
Nutrition, A Secondary Factor
A few words should be added regarding nutrition. Most people, in the example given, would vote for organic soil, having nutrition in mind. A bonsai plant needs to be fed fairly frequently, and whether the soil is organic or inorganic really makes little difference. It’s really water retention and drainage that makes the case for using inorganic soils.
Choosing The Right Kind Of Bonsai Soil
One of the most asked questions in Bonsai is whether Bonsai soil or normal soil should be used. you can buy Bonsai soil from Amazon Store from here:
The increased popularity of growing Bonsai trees and plants has brought with it many more specialist shops; the Internet being virtually awash with Bonsai supplies. Many beginners make the mistake of buying everything but the kitchen sink – everything they believe would make a Bonsai grow as it should. However, there is a good chance you may not need it. If you decide to go with Bonsai soil, this is priced quite affordable at many specialty stores, and has the perfect formula of soil, with enough grit and nutrients added on to it that could make any Bonsai grow properly – but there are Bonsai purists so devoted to their craft that they wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.
As a beginner, it is important that you do what you can to make your first Bonsai as successful as possible Many people will throw in the towel after just one failure, and when you consider how long a Bonsai can take to reach maturity this really isn’t an overnight hobby. You must get into a regime of regular watering, annual potting and plenty of care and attention in order to be able to enjoy a beautiful Bonsai for your troubles.
How much does Bonsai soil cost?
Bonsai soil shouldn’t be costing you very much more than normal potting compost or bags of nutrient-rich soil that you use in your garden. The best kinds of Bonsai soil, though, have more than just soil in it – they can be mixed with clay or even tree bark. These soils naturally would be a bit more expensive, but the extra cost would definitely be worth it, as some of the additional ingredients include those healthy nutrients your Bonsai would need to thrive.
Regardless of whether you are planning to create your own Bonsai soil or buy from a supplies store, you have to take note of the following things before you plant your Bonsai. Bonsai soil is ideally supposed to drain water effectively, so keep track of how the water seeps through the soil, from the roots of the plant to the bottom of the soil and finally down to your container’s holes. Using two different kinds of soil is an effective technique. The screened variety of soil that you will use would then provide irrigation.
As an aside, you can buy your own nutritional supplements that can be integrated into your soil or added during the repotting process. You wouldn’t always need to do this, though, if your Bonsai is grown in a place where it can thrive.