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Best Chinese Elm Bonsai Soil and Fertilizer.

The right soil mixture for your Chinese elm bonsai is crucial and so is the fertiliser. Both of these elements will work as a supplement and will ensure healthy growth which will last forever. Your fertiliser is the supplement and the soil is the medium through which you can deliver it to the bonsai. As both of them are connected we will discuss both best Chinese elm bonsai soil and best Chinese elm bonsai fertilizer in this article.

Chinese Elm Bonsai Soil:

Many people ignore the quality of the soil and go on to use garden soil, but for optimal health, your soil has to be well-draining, provide enough aeration, and keep it moist at the same time. These features will be available when there are different substances mixed with them. You can buy premixed soil from online or gardening stores, but preparing the soil is not that hard as well. Let’s see how;

Necessary Chinese Elm Bonsai Soil Substrates:

Your Chinese elm bonsai soil needs to have three primary qualities;

  • 1) Adequate Water Retention:

Your Chinese elm bonsai soil has to have good water retention qualities. If the water drains quickly it will not be able to supply water in the bonsai between each watering session. But if the water stays in the soil for too long it will rot the root and kill the tree. 

  • 2) Good Drainage:

The extra water should drain as quickly as possible. Keeping the Chinese elm bonsai soil wet for longer means the soil doesn’t have aeration as well. The water-logged situation will rot the roots and kill the bonsai. 

  • 3) Good Aeration:

The components used in your Chinese elm bonsai soil should be big enough to create small air pockets. Not only the air pockets will supply the much-needed oxygen in the roots but also will give space for the good bacteria. 

The Most Common Components Of Chinese Elm Bonsai Soil Mixture Are;

  • Akadama: It is used as a well-draining substrate. Keep in mind that Akadama will lose its aeration power after a couple of years so you need to replace it. 
  • Pumice: This is a rock that absorbs water and keeps the soil moist for longer. 
  • Lava Rock: It also helps to retain water. 
  • Potting Compost: This is a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and sand. 
  • Gravel or Grit: Used as a bottom layer of the soil for good drainage. 

As Chinese elm bonsai is semi-deciduous bonsai it will benefit from the mixture of 40%-50% akadama, 25%-33% pumice, and 25%-30% lava rock. 

DIY Chinese Elm Bonsai Soil:

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect bonsai soil;

  • Step 1: Take the akadama and sieve it. 
  • Step 2: Remove the dusty particles by using a wide-gaped strainer. 
  • Step 3: Now add pumice.
  • Step 4: Then add lava rock. if your soil is more on the dustier side use it in a larger amount. 
  • Step 5: Add all those ingredients by following the percentage we mentioned before. 

Note: You can buy premixed bonsai soil from our huge collection: https://abanahomes.com/collections/bonsai-soil/

Chinese Elm Bonsai Fertilizer:

Bonsai are different from ground-grown plants and they are confined in a shallow pot with limited soil. You have to add supplements to the soil so that your bonsai will thrive and get the necessary vitamins. Fertiliser will also enhance the bonsai’s cell division process and photosynthesis. 

For bonsai, it is advised to use a well-balanced fertilizer, but there are differences in forms and applications. Let’s learn a bit more about Chinese elm bonsai fertilizer it;

Types of Chinese Elm Bonsai Fertilizer:

There are two types of bonsai fertilizer- granular and liquid. 

Granular fertilizer: These are solid fertilizer that comes in different shapes like pellets, cakes, and spikes. You just have to spread it over the soil and with each session of watering it will slowly get into the soil. 

Liquid fertilizer: As the name says it comes in liquid form. You have to dilute it with water and spread it on the soil. These fertilizers take quick action. 

Organic vs. synthetic bonsai fertilizer:

Organic fertilizer:

This type of fertilizer is made from animal or plant waste;

  • Manure
  • Seaweed
  • Bone meal
  • Blood meal
  • Feather meal 
  • Fish emulsion
  • Cottonseed meal

They are softer in the root and cause less harm to the tree. This is perfect for Chinese elm bonsai. 

Inorganic Fertilizer:

Inorganic bonsai plant food is also referred to as “synthetic” or “chemical” fertilizers. That’s because they’re chemically created.

Some of its non-organic sources include:

  • Urea
  • Granite dust
  • Phosphate rock
  • Potassium sulfate
  • Anhydrous ammonia

It’s advisable to avoid inorganic fertilizers as they are harsh on bonsai and can easily burn the bonsai. 

When To Apply Fertilizer On Chinese Elm Bonsai?

Chinese elm does best when they are fertilized during their growing season (Spring through autumn). You should start fertilizing your bonsai from the beginning of the spring when the tree is about to sprout new buds. Do not fertilize your Chinese elm bonsai when they are on winter break. Also, avoid fertilizing when they are under stress or ill. When they are under stress or ill they will take little amount of fertilizer and the excess fertilizer will build up in the soil. 

How Often Should You Fertilize Your Chinese Elm Bonsai?

The frequency will depend on the type of fertilizer you will use. Solid fertilizer will last for weeks or months, the frequency will depend on how frequently you are watering the bonsai. Liquid is supposed to be used more often. It can be weekly or bi-weekly. 

Bonsai fertilizer usage does not have any specific rule. You can determine the frequency on the basis of the type of fertilizer you are using and the amount will depend on the instructions of the package. But for liquid fertilizer, I will recommend you dilute it in a 1:10 ratio with fertilizer and water and then use it. As liquid fertilizer is supposed to be used more frequently it’s better to decrease its strength. If you have any other questions you can ask in the comment section, we will happily guide you through it. 

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