Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

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Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:36 pm

I wasn't able to find a thread on this. If has already been covered, please aim me in that direction.

I, for the most part, use liquid fertilizers and for the most part I find it easier to control. Where I run into my bigest problems are with acid loving plants (many conifers, Rhododendruns, Azaeleas, etc.) Part of the problem is identifying which trees fall into this category and how much to adjust the food for ech.

Thanks,

forbey

Jay Gaydosh
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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Alan Walker on Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:05 pm

Forbey: Here is a list of pH ranges for a variety of trees used in bonsai:
TREE pH range
Acacia 6.5-7.5
Apple 5.0-6.5
Arborvitae 6.0-8.0
Ash 6.0-8.0
Azalea 5.0-6.0
Barberry 6.0-8.0
Beech 6.0-7.0
Birch 5.0-6.0
Bougainvillea 4.5-5.5
Boxwood 6.5-7.5
Camellia 4.0-5.5
Cedar 6.0-7.0
Cherry 6.0-8.0
Cotoneaster 6.0-8.0
Crabapple 6.0-7.5
Cypress, bald 5.0-6.0
Deutzia 6.0-7.5
Dogwood 6.0-7.0
Douglas Fir 6.0-7.0
Eleagnus 6.0-8.0
Elder 6.0-8.0
Elm (Ulmus) 6.0-8.0
Eucalyptus 6.0-8.0
Euonymus 6.0-8.0
Euphorbia 5.5-6.5
Ficus 5.0-6.0
Fir 5.0-6.0
Firethorn 6.0-8.0
Forsythia 6.0-8.0
Fuschia 6.0-8.0
Gardenia 5.5-6.5
Geranium 7.0-8.0
Ginkgo 6.0-8.0
Grape (Vitas) 6.0-8.0
Hawthorn 6.0-7.5
Hazelnut 6.0-7.0
Hickory 6.5-7.5
Holly (Ilex) 5.0-6.0
Ivy 7.0-8.0
Juniper 5.5-7.5
Lantana 5.5-7.0
Larch 5.5-6.5
Lemon 5.5-7.0
Lilac 6.0-8.0
Mimosa 5.0-7.0
Magnolia 5.0-6.0
Maple (Acer) 6.0-8.0
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia) 5.0-8.0
Myrtle 6.5-7.5
Oak (Quercus) 5.0-7.0
Oleander 6.0-7.5
Orange 5.0-7.0
Oxalis 6.0-8.0
Pine (Pinus) 5.0-6.0
Podocarpus 5.0-6.5
Pomegranate 5.5-6.5
Poplar 6.0-8.0
Privet (Ligustrum) 6.0-8.0
Prunus 6.0-8.0
Quince 6.0-7.5
Redbud 6.0-8.0
Rhododendron 5.0-6.0
Rose 6.0-8.0
Rosemary 5.0-6.0
Sage 6.0-8.0
Spirea 6.0-8.0
Spruce (Picea) 5.0-6.0
Sumac 6.0-8.0
Sweet Gum 6.0-7.0
Tamarix 6.0-8.0
Tuliptree 6.0-7.0
Viburnum 6.0-8.0
Willow (Salix) 6.0-8.0
Wisteria 6.0-8.0
Witch Hazel 6.0-7.0
Yew (Taxus) 5.5-7.0

Alan Walker
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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Rick Moquin on Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:08 pm

forbey wrote: how much to adjust the food for ech.

Thanks,

forbey

Alan already answered thr first part, I will address the last. You don't treat them all the same.

Rick Moquin
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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Norma on Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:02 pm

Good question forbey!

Thanks Alan ! I have a much shorter list and now can add more to my "acid" chart which I've taped on the shelf holding bonsai fertilizer. My "rule of thumb" is a PH under 6.0 will be an acid loving plant.

What do those people do for acid PH, who feed their bonsai only organic fertilizer? Shot of vinegar now and then?

Norma

Norma
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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:04 pm

Now we're getting somewhere!

My pH science could use a dustoff.

I have 2 Rhododendrons, 2 Azaelias, 8 or 10 Junipers (of various species).

Do I want to sprinkle a little lime on the surface of each ALP and let it soak in or do I want to add "X" amount of vinegar to a gallon of water once or twice a month so that I can give them all a shot?

OR...

Do I need to get a soil test kit or meter and test the soil iin these posts once a month?

I really haven't found any sound guidance on how to regulat this, other than what has been given here.

forbey

Jay Gaydosh
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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:15 pm

Lime on what? Never on Azaleas and Rhodies. They are calcifuges (lime haters) so it would very likely kill them. What is the ALP?

Rhododendrons and Azaleas need an ericaceous feed. I do mine fortnightly in the growing season and ease off if I see any leaves looking a deeper green than usual. I've never bothered with soil testing in pots as it is not the sort of environment where you would get a reliable result. I let the health of the tree tell me what to do. Just don't overfeed. Overfeeding can kill in a matter of days. So it is definitely more dangerous than underfeeding, which will just slow down growth a little. Several years of no feed might make it sickly, but is unlikely to kill it.

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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:54 pm

Sorry...ALP...Acid Loving Plants!

Thanks for the info.

I do use an azaelia/phododendron food on all of the acid loving plants. This should meet their requirements and avoid the lime.

I believe alternating regular fertilizer with acid fertilizer shouldn't hurt, do you agree? I tend to use Miraclegrow for both.

forbey

Jay Gaydosh
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Re: Bonsai Fetilizer: Regular vs acid loving

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:55 pm

And with azalea and other ericaceous plants, the addition of 20% peat to the soil mix will also help maintain the acidity of the soil. Don't use more than that, though, or you will begin to have problems getting your soil to take in water.

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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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