Important Basic Bonsai Soil Knowledge
Always these things are important:
- water drainage
- water absorption
Bonsai Soil Components
- decomposed granite (hard, less water absorption)
- seramis (grains of crushed red brick)
- haydite (Extended shale)
- potting soil
- pumice (good water absorption ability)
- perlite (good for seedlings and cuttings)
Japanese Bonsai soils:
- akadama (similar to seramis)
- kanuma (pumice)
- fujisuna (pumice)
- hyuga (pumice)
- kiryu (sand)
- keto (similar to peat)
Green moss is nice and makes bonsai more artistic, but there are a few things you need to know about green moss.
- green moss can keep the water inside the pot and prevents the water from getting dried out fast.
- green moss takes more time to absorb water so if you are watering through green moss you should make sure that a lot water comes out from the bottom of the pot when watering.
- doesn't have much of nutrient thus rarely used by itself.
- maintains good dryness levels, drainage and the humidity of the soil.
- comes in basically three size, small, medium and large, and often used for many kinds of plants as well. (decorative plants, potted flowers and gardening trees, fruit trees and vegetables in planters)
- usually used to mix with other soils. Small size akadama soil is good for small (mini)bonsai.
- often used for grass kinds of plants(e.g., wild grasses) and potted plants as well.
- works well for keeping water inside and water absorption
- often used with a mix of akadama soil.
Keto soil (peat soil):
- has many nutrients so often used for various bonsai trees
- is a clay type soil and it's not good at taking air and water in and out, so using this soil by itself can spoil the root of the plant.
- often used for attaching bonsai to rock(adding water to the soil and make it a clay and use it as a glue. Ex, rock-grown bonsai)
- used in the bottom of the pot for good water drainage and aeration, and to prevent the main soil inside the pot from coming out of the bottom.
- usually large akadama soil is used for this.
- helps the water to drain
- large and hard soil that keeps its shape for long is recommended for coarse soil (for water drainage and it keeps the rooms at the bottom of the pot,which is important for bonsai.)
Akadama soil being used as coarse soil:
Picture by NICOGUSA.