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Liquid fertiliser for Chinese Elm

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:19 pm
by Netts
I live in the mountains in Northern spain and have purchased a Chinese elm about six weeks ago,thankfully it´s doing really well at the moment having come out of dormancy about three weeks ago with a mass of small buds/leaves appearing all over the place!

I keep it on a very wide window sill in the kitchen (above the sink!) .I spray it each morning with atomised rain water that i keep in the same room at room temperature,and have been watering it using the immersion method roughly once a week depending in the temperature.I´ve been adding a liquid Bonzai fertaliser to the water that i immerse it in which i bought from a shop specialising in Bonzai trees.The label says to add a specified dose once a week to the tree´s water.

My questions are whether you feel that these kind of commercially available"Bonzai fertilisers" are a good thing and also what your feelings about spraying with a small quantity of atomised water each morning are?

i know the immersion method comes in for mixed support but so far my tree seems quite happy with it-i haven´t as yet changed the soil in the pot that it came with as the tree seems pretty happy and i didn´t want to shock it too much!However the soil does seem to be a more organic type ,than the very granular type described in some of the posts here.

Once the weather warms up a bit i´m planning to put it outside on nice days to catch the morning sun,but our weather can be extremely changeable with sudden cold nights arriving unexpectedly.

thanks in advance and best wishes to all -Netts

Re: Liquid fertiliser for Chinese Elm

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:05 pm
by ynot
Netts,
Welcome to the site.
I live in the mountains in Northern spain and have purchased a Chinese elm about six weeks ago,thankfully it´s doing really well at the moment having come out of dormancy about three weeks ago with a mass of small buds/leaves appearing all over the place!

I keep it on a very wide window sill in the kitchen
I am a bit confused here, If the tree lives indoors- how/why did it have a dormancy?...Something there just does not gel quite right to me.

(above the sink!) .I spray it each morning with atomised rain water that I keep in the same room at room temperature,and have been watering it using the immersion method roughly once a week depending in the temperature.I´ve been adding a liquid Bonzai fertaliser to the water that I immerse it in which I bought from a shop specialising in Bonzai trees.The label says to add a specified dose once a week to the tree´s water.
I am absolutely not in favor of submersion as a regular watering practice.

Continual submersion risks an excess accumulation of unwanted salts and chemicals in your soil, Particularly since you are never flushing the soil with strictly water.

My questions are whether you feel that these kind of commercially available"Bonzai fertilisers" are a good thing and also what your feelings about spraying with a small quantity of atomised water each morning are?
FYI - There is no such thing as a fert that is specifically for bonsai, The only difference is the writing on the package.
IMO Misting [no matter the type of water] has some marginal benefits [I do it also :) ]but the amount/duration that it raises the relative humidity in the vicinity of the tree is often exaggerated, A humidity tray does a better job.
I know the immersion method comes in for mixed support but so far my tree seems quite happy with it-I haven´t as yet changed the soil in the pot that it came with as the tree seems pretty happy and I didn´t want to shock it too much!However the soil does seem to be a more organic type ,than the very granular type described in some of the posts here.
Post pictures please, It is generally accepted [Examples abound from pros and hobbyists alike] that a courser well draining soil is more beneficial.
Once the weather warms up a bit I´m planning to put it outside on nice days to catch the morning sun,but our weather can be extremely changeable with sudden cold nights arriving unexpectedly.
What temps [low range] do you refer to? Many chinese elm bonsai winter outside [in snow] with no ill effects. If acclimatized properly your tree would have no difficulties.

Good luck,
ynot

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:47 pm
by Gnome
Netts,

Welcome to the forum.
I spray it each morning with atomised rain water that I keep in the same room at room temperature,
IMO Misting [no matter the type of water] has some marginal benefits but the amount/duration that it raises the relative humidity in the vicinity of the tree is often exaggerated, A humidity tray does a better job.

Something else to consider, in my area and it may be different where you are, Chinese Elm are susceptible to a fungal disease known as black spot. It usually is a problem only on tender new growth until it has hardened off a bit. In the spring I have found it necessary to ensure that the foliage is never wetted, I even go so far as to shelter the tree if rain is expected. If you find small irregular, dark patches on the leaves you must take action. Not to alarm you but forewarned is forearmed.

Norm

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:10 pm
by constantstaticx3
Ynot,

I believe that Netts says his tree has just come out of dormancy because I used to keep mine inside in the summer and it would drop and regrow its leaves several times. He may have bought it from someone who kept it inside and had just started to grow its leaves back. It probobly didn't have a real dormancy.

Tom

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:38 pm
by ynot
constantstaticx3 wrote:Ynot,

I believe that Netts says his tree has just come out of dormancy because I used to keep mine inside in the summer and it would drop and regrow its leaves several times.
Tom
Tom,

I find your entire first sentence confusing... Why keep it inside in the summer?
He may have bought it from someone who kept it inside and had just started to grow its leaves back. It probobly didn't have a real dormancy.
If it did not have a dormancy [I think that is most likely correct though-Purely conjecture there.] why would it be leafless?

The first answer I think of is possibly leaf drop due to stress [Improper care?]
:?
We will have to wait and see I guess.

ynot

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:59 pm
by constantstaticx3
ynot,

Im sorry it was confusing i wrote that completely wrong, I meant that it was outside for the summer but before the weather got too cold in the fall it was brought inside, basically it was kept as a tropical. Thats how I kept my tree for the first two years and it seems that it attempted to go into dormancy and lost its leaves but because it was inside and was warm it grew those leaves back as soon as the old ones had finished dropping.

I believe this is how the former grower had kept the tree and this is why Netts believes his tree just came out of dormancy, this is only if he bought the tree in the leafless fase, then it could be stress.

Sorry, again for the confusion i should proof read my posts more often.

Tom

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:27 pm
by ynot
constantstaticx3 wrote:ynot,

Im sorry it was confusing I wrote that completely wrong, I meant that it was outside for the summer but before the weather got too cold in the fall it was brought inside, basically it was kept as a tropical. Thats how I kept my tree for the first two years and it seems that it attempted to go into dormancy and lost its leaves but because it was inside and was warm it grew those leaves back as soon as the old ones had finished dropping.
Ah, That makes more sense..lol.
constantstaticx3 wrote:I believe this is how the former grower had kept the tree and this is why Netts believes his tree just came out of dormancy, this is only if he bought the tree in the leafless fase, then it could be stress.
A possibility indeed...

Thanks for the clarification Tom. :)

ynot

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:51 pm
by constantstaticx3
Thanks for the clarification Tom.
Yup no problem, i read it back myself and i didn't even understand it.

Tom

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:37 am
by Netts
Thanks to all who´ve responded so rapidly !Yes,i´m afraid i did leave out some details-the Chinese Elm i bought came from a garden center near to where i live-and although it´s Spain,because we´re so high it´s pretty cold here in the winter.I found the tree underglass but in a large part of the garden center that felt pretty much un-heated,so it probably was easily cold enough to go into dormancy-certainly colder than my kitchen window sill.

The Bonzai fertiliser was simply the off-the shelf bottle that the girl behind the till gave me when i asked if they had anything specifically for Bonzai trees-i´ve since seen the same product (with a nice pretty picture of a lovely healthy Bonzai on the label!) in lots of other shops in my area.

I am a bit worried about my soil quality -would you say that i´m probably better off erring on the safe side and simply changing my soil for something that i can be absolutely sure is right?I´ve read that Spring is a good time to do the job-however i also have in the back of my mind the old adage that"if it ain´t broken then don´t fix it!" i.e my tree does look very healthy at the moment and i´m a bit nervous of putting it into a worse state.As a novice to the subject ,what i´d most like to do is get through this year without re-potting ,simply to get more familiar with it all and gain more confidence.Would this be a mistake?-or are there any tips i could bare in mind when i water my tree that would perhaps temporarily make amends for the possibly poor soil quality and in so doing give me time to get my feet on the ground?

many thañks for the help -Netts

Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:09 pm
by Gnome
Netts,
so it probably was easily cold enough to go into dormancy
I suspected as much but felt that you would probably get back to us and clarify.
having come out of dormancy about three weeks ago with a mass of small buds/leaves appearing all over the place!
would you say that I´m probably better off erring on the safe side and simply changing my soil for something that I can be absolutely sure is right?I´ve read that Spring is a good time to do the job
Had you been prepared It would have been preferable to re-pot it just as it was breaking dormancy. You could probably do it now, Chinese Elms are pretty resilient and it's still early.

Your other option is to learn how to manage watering it in the soil it's in for this season and re-pot next year. You have not posted a picture of the soil or described it in any detail. If you don't have the proper soil on hand or access to the proper components then talk of re-potting now is a moot point. The one thing I would not consider is re-potting into a conventional potting soil, as there would be no advantage to doing so.

Look here for information regarding [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3557]taking and posting pictures.[/url]

Norm