Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

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Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  Peterthinh on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:09 pm

Hello all , Do any one know which soil mix is best for Japanese maple Bonsai ? Thanks

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  0soyoung on Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:29 am

Buy some Turface MVP - available at Ewing Irrigation and maybe elsewhere in your area.

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  Auballagh on Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:51 am

I agree that Turface MVP provides a really good Bonsai soil component for pot-growing Japanese Maples in. But, it isn't the only soil component I grow my own maples in.
thinhpeter: you only say "Japanese Maple Bonsai". That's a good start, but that isn't enough of a description for me to help provide a good recipe for you. For one, do you have little seedling sized trees you're growing out? A massive, old specimen tree that's been potted up for years? Or, maybe something special you are going to dig out of the ground this spring?

If you could provide a bit more info about the Japanese Maple Bonsai you are working with, it would certainly help in recommending a good soil mix for you. Smile

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  augustine on Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:43 pm

One does not have to make the soil issue complicated.

Get some turface, chicken grit (pure granite without oyster shell) or haydite or lava and pine fines. Mix it 1-1-1 ratio and it will be fine. I only use one half pine bark in my region but you may need more in GA to keep the tree from drying out.

I find my supplies in a farm supply store.

Don't let your maple dry out. Keep it in morning sun and afternoon shade.

Best,

Augustine
central MD 7a


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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  Peterthinh on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:25 pm

Thank you for all advice

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  PeacefulAres on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:14 am

I'll agree, I like the addition of some grit to the substrate, especially considering how wet it can become in Florida. If they have Tractor Supply co. in GA, you might want to check them out. They sell 25 pound bags of Manna-pro poultry grit for about 8 bucks. It may not look like a lot, but the volume of sifted material is comparable to what you get from sifting a 50 pound bag of Turface and the particle size is fairly large. Also, it's purple, which is gives the substrate an interesting, southwest kind of feel to it.

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  marcus watts on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:36 am

maples want to be kept on the dry side - research the species properly and you will see that as a bonsai they only need a fraction more water than a juniper. Soil components that retain to much moisture are not necessary - you just get sappy growth extensions, long internodes and larger leaves. Have an experiment - see how long it takes to wilt...you will be very surprised.

bark in soil..........bit more research for you....ask yourself why you are using it first, people think or get told they want an organic component in the soil when the only one needs to be the actual fertiliser used. All bark slowly decomposes in the pot and when doing so it depleats nitrogen...this is a simple easily checked fact and not a theory, so why put something into your potting mix that is taking away elements of the fertiliser ?

Free draining, even particle size, good ionic exchange properties, oxygen rich and 'warm' are the key things to look for in a soil mix so for me granite and stone chips are never used (too cold, too heavy and solid rather than porous, no of no use what so ever to the tree). try to find people with excelent quality acer bonsai and a similar climate to yours - that will be the persons soil mix to use. (it may be akadama based Wink )

cheers Marcus


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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:34 pm

Well Marcus,

when my new maples arrive, I am testing all that you have written.

Once again, from my friend. an experienced grower in the US, bark soon turns to mush. How does that fit into the ball bearing theory ?

And thanks again Marcus.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  augustine on Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:54 pm

Keep in mind that there is a big climactic difference between the UK and Georgia. The mid-Atlantic and southeast portions of the US have plenty of warmth.



Best,

Augustine,
central MD 7a

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:08 pm

Augustine,

last year for reasons then unknown I lost my 18 year old Trident maple. It just died. It cam from the UK as a pencil thin whip, and I loved it. When it died I could not bring myself to get rid of it, it just sat in it's pot until January 2013, when I turned him into ash to become a glaze for bonsai pot.

I kept the soil very moist and last year we had abundant rain at the wrong time of the year.

So now I can try it Marcus's way.
He could handle sun until 11 a.m. and then dappled light until 4.30 a.m. with no leaf burning.
Later.
Khaimraj

* I also lost a small of leaf fukien tea this year -- she was 20 years old. I am having the same feelings.

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  maraga on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:10 pm

pomice 70%, Kyriu 20%, pine tree bark 10%

I use this mix for my japanese mapple trees, they seem to appreciate Wink

for my other mapples (trident, campestris) in use akadama instead of kyriu.

I live in France, in the northern part, it's quite cool and humid up there. I guess if I was living in Spain or so, I would add more pine tree bark. it keeps the soil humid without risks for the roots Smile

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  Dave Murphy on Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:50 pm

I personally don't use pine bark as a component...totally inorganic mix for my potted maples (and everything else). If you are growing them out in a big pot, I might consider adding 1/4 pine bark to the mix, but no higher. During the heat of summer, the maples get watered once and my mix of turface, lava, and grit never dries out. Sure, it gets hot here, but the humidity goes up, too, which seems to decrease water demands.

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  JimLewis on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:31 pm

One does not have to make the soil issue complicated.

Whew! Now I don't have to say it.

If nothing else the Monastery's packaged bonsai soil should be fine for maples in your climate. Otherwise, just something that doesn't dry out 10 minutes after you water.

In Georgia you have long, HOT summers and (especially lately) schizophrenic, but usually not too cold, winters. My climate is much the same (and it was when I lived in Tallahassee, too). I use 80% Turface, and 10% granny grit and 10% composted conifer bark. In years I may be planning to display one of my little maples, I keep them in light shade all summer. Otherwise, they're in morning sun. In summer, I water twice a day.

But in actuality they'll grow fine in whatever your other trees are in.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

Post  augustine on Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:05 pm

I agree that there are many soil mixes and approaches that will work and normal rain levels are a big factor.

Anyway, success to all!

Best,

Augustine
central MD 7a

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Re: Best soil mix for Japanese maple Bonsai

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