JoeLewko
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soil question

what type of soil should i plant my bonsai in? i recently planted it in a mixture of mostly regular potting soil, with some miracle grow potting soil. If this is no good, when should i replant it into the proper soil? Should i wait until next spring, or just do it now, as the plant isnt too used to its pot anyway (i planted it saturday)?

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Gnome
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Joe.

The mix you describe is not ideal, it should be much more free draining than prepared potting soil is. You have not said what species you are growing. How long have you owned the tree? Is it outside like it should be? What was the health of the tree like before this. Since it has been repotted so recently you may get away with changing soil again.

In a nutshell you are going to need some type of inorganic material. I have used two different fired clay products and small lava rock. Most people also include some percentage of organic material as well, usually pine or fir bark. The ratio varies with species, your location and personal preference. These materials are usually sieved to remove small particle that tend to clog things up.

If all of this seems daunting to you I have seen ready mixed bonsai soil bagged at nurseries. It is a little on the expensive side but if you only have one tree to transplant you can avoid the hassle for now. See the information posted at the link below, It is a lot to get through but important if you want to be successful.

[url]https://www.fourseasonsbonsai.org/allthereis/soil.htm[/url]

Norm

JoeLewko
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i am raising a ficus, i have owned it since saturday when i potted it, and it is outside. It was healthy when i got it. there are pics of it on this thread:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2614
thanks for your help with the soil, i have noticecd that the soil i have retains a lot of moisture, and that didnt seem healthy, but i didnt know what to use. I was browsing the internet, and i found a website that sells by the pound. they have pumice, turface, #3 gravel, and horticultural charcoal, which is sold by the quarter pound. What would you say is the best mix for a ficus bonsai?Thanks for all the help.

Petra26
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Location: Chicago, IL

not to hackjack your thread, but i have the same bonsai, and i was wondering if i can use "Schultz: Cactus & Succulent Potting Mix" to pot ficus? i currently bought this from walmart when i potted some cacti and succulents, can this soil mixture also be used with ficus?

JoeLewko
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i have the same soil.....

oh and will the bonsai survive a year in normal potting soil? id rather repot it in the spring, as i don't think its healthy to repot it so many times...what do you recommend?

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Gnome
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Petra,

I am not familiar with this product but an online retailer describes it as providing good drainage with organic material. if this is the case it would seem to be superior to conventional potting soil.

Joe,

I am confused, did you already use this product? Pumice, (lava rock?), and turface are both good additions to your soil. If you order some turface be sure to specify the MVP grade, the size is more appropriate for bonsai. Both will probably require sifting to remove the fine material. Shipping costs may be an issue though.

Ficus will suffer from root rot if kept too wet. Nor should they become bone dry. If you adjust your watering practices to accomodate your soil mix you should be able get by for now. Although I seem to remember reading that some prefer to transplant ficus when they are actively growing. Do a little research on the web. Look here -- [url]https://www.bonsaihunk.us[/url]

Jerry meislik is highly regarded in the area of tropical bonsai.

Norm

JoeLewko
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i did not already use the cactus product, i have some though, because i used it to plant some cacti i have. You said to petra that this is superior to potting soil, so maybe i will use that. thanks for the help norm. To me, finding the right soil and watering schedule is the hardest part of raising this bonsai.

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