kusamono potting medium

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kusamono potting medium

Post  DJSEND on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:05 pm

Hello all,

I know this is probably a very basic question but I am trying to learn more about accent plants for my trees. I'm curious to see what most of you are using to pot your accents in, soil wise. I have had some success with mine but they really seem to loose vigor after 1 season and I'm curious to see if it has something to do with the soil I am using. Also if anyone has any recomendations for books on the topic I would appreciate it.

Cheers,
~ Jay

DJSEND
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Re: kusamono potting medium

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:59 pm

Well, what kind of plants and what kind of soil are you using? Maybe it's a "one size fits all" soil problem, or maybe your plants are just tired, underfed and pot bound. For me some plants seem to be able to go for years in very little soil and small pots, while others stress in just a few months. I use a fine bonsai soil mix, but sometimes add soil regular potting soil just to beef it up a little. Again, it depends on the plant/planting.

This probably doesn't help much, but maybe it gets the ball rolling...

R

Russell Coker
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Re: kusamono potting medium

Post  dick benbow on Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:06 pm

Willi Benz does a decent job of discussing soil needs for "grass things" beginning on pg 120 of his bonsai, kusamono, suiseki book By your "cheers" greeting, I suspect a UK location and the Coopers who post here,
might be perfect for comment on the topic.
As Russell has pointed out, keeping plants in small containers is a challenge and in my limited experience I find
annual repotting is a must.

dick benbow
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Re: kusamono potting medium

Post  marcus watts on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:09 am

many of the weeds and grasses used at displays are not in the tiny show pots all the time - the better growers i know have several of each species growing in bigger plant pots, annually they increase the collection by dividing, propogating etc and they just pot down for the show. If an accent plant then sulks a bit or goes into decline it isnt the end of the world as it can be put back in the bigger pot to hopefully recover.

even at the best shows some of the accents are very skillfully potted and created in the days beforehand so they look perfect

marcus watts
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Re: kusamono potting medium

Post  dick benbow on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:09 pm

Interestingly enough, I'm beginning to see the importance of what the difference between the nature of individual bonsai keepers has, on their customized personal soil mixtures .

There are those who live and breathe this hobby DAILY and dote on everything they own. water needs or shade/versus/sun, they're on it. fertilizer, repotting etc.

There are also those who have other "obligations", and things like work and family can cut down/unexpectantly on their daily connection. This tends to make many turn to more moisture retention from organics in their mix and less drainage. things like drip systems during heat seasons, grouping small pots on a gravel waterfilled trays etc.

I really feel strongly that a person needs to look at the type of keeper they are and adjust accordingly. If you must pattern yourself after a sucessful leader in their field ( Mark and Ritta ) It may be worth it to get a sense
of what goes into their effort to be so sucessful. If your nature and lifestyle is not as compatible, you may have to make adjustments .

Like with so many things, ONE size does NOT fit All. Knowing who you are and where you are in available time
can help you to make the adjustments needed to enjoy this part of the hobby.

dick benbow
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Re: kusamono potting medium

Post  Mark Cooper on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:43 pm

As a general rule, Ritta and I use sieved Akadama/ Kiryu mixes for our Kusamono / shitakusa plantings (same size granules as we us for our larger bonsai).
Some plants may have more specific soil requirements though....so you need to understand a bit about the horticultural requirements of the plant(s).

Don't forget that Kusamono/ shitakusa need feeding too, just like bonsai. You can use slow release fertilisers like "Osmacote" mixed into the soil mix for kusamono/ shitakusa if you prefer that to regular liquid feeding.

Many plants do need to be regularly split/ divided (usually in the Spring) so as to keep their vigour and to encourage flowering.

Mark Cooper
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Re: kusamono potting medium

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