Fluffy
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Does the Bonsai Soil Normally Grow Moss?

Does the soil in the pot normally grow some type of moss on it, as it look like mine is i was just wondering.

I love my little bonsai, and i don't want it to die so i want to make sure it is ok.

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ep_fluffy/DSCF0633.jpg[/img]

Apart from the leaf litter which got cleaned up is the greeny stuff on the soil which i think is moss supposed to be there or is it natural?

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Gnome
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Fluffy,

No the moss is not a good sign. I don't think that it actually represents a threat to your tree but rather consider it an indicator that the soil is being kept too moist. With soil like that you will find it difficult to maintain a consistent level of moisture.

Peat based soils are notorious for remaining wet too long and then being difficult to re-wet once dry. The soil should be changed but there are other issues. We have not yet determined the species of this tree, this is important because timing can really be important.

Furthermore there is little point in re-potting until you have acquired or made some decent bonsai soil. I'll have a look through my books and see if I can find anything as far as an ID goes.

Norm

tommywing
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I'm guessing by the pot that you got that in homebase?

I have two trees from there and all the info I've got from this site tells me that the soil they sell the trees in is rubbish, you'll probably have to repot your tree in spring, if you really love it!

That's what I'm going to do anyway!

PhilC
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Tommy, those pots with that soil can be bought from many places, not just B & Q.

Here is my Fukien Tea, similar pot, same Chinese soil:

[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5293[/url]

tommywing
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I see, I guess it's still no the best soil though. I'm convinced thats the cause of most of my problems!

Fluffy
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B&Q do sell a bonsai soil would that be any good?

https://www.diy.com/diy/jsp/bq/nav/nav.jsp?action=detail&fh_secondid=9380699&fh_location=%2f%2fcatalog01%2fen_GB&fh_search=bonsai&fh_eds=%c3%9f&fh_refview=search&ts=1183723505468&isSearch=true

ynot
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:shock::shock: :evil::evil: = Side scrolling :!:
Fluffy wrote:B&Q do sell a bonsai soil would that be any good?
Lets review:

Gnome said:
Peat based soils are notorious for remaining wet too long and then being difficult to re-wet once dry.
Which is absolutely correct in both my opinion and experience.

Your next post is of this 'soil', This is the description included in your link:
Product Description:
B&Q Bonsai Compost is a potting formulation combining well composted bark, top quality Irish peat and other ingredients such as perlite and grit to provide enhanced root development.
fluffy wrote:B&Q do sell a bonsai soil would that be any good?
The answer is 'NO', It answers itself.

ynot

Fluffy
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Is there any good bonsai composts on sale?

ynot
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fluffy wrote:Is there any good bonsai composts on sale?
Where?

I am in a different country than you and I make my own soil so I really have no way to answer that.

But I would imagine so - Google it, Or find a local bonsai club to ask about sourcing some soil [They may even sell it].

ynot

Fluffy
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What do you make your own from and how long does it take?

ynot
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Fluffy wrote:What do you make your own from
Have you read the soil sticky? Including the links within it? If not please do.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422
Please read this as well:
https://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_Soils.html

A simple question with a complex answer:

Components vary widely due to location [IE: I have no idea where Gillingham is so I cannot say that my available materials are the same as yours.]

Rather than listing the specific ingredients, [Which may or may not be available to all parties & there are many different things that will function in similar ways.] It is more important to understand the importance of the particle size and how the ratio of inorganic to organic components affect how your soil functions wrt moisture retention, Aeration, Drainage, And the structure of the root growth.

Please review the stickys at the top of the forum as well as the link above to get a general overview and then we can address any specific questions you may have.
and how long does it take?
Well...Just like anything else, It depends on how much you are making at once.

I am not sure exactly how to address this question because it's not a long complex physical process or anything. It's just mixing the components together.

When you review the soil sticky please take note of the pictures as I suspect your visual impression of 'bonsai soil' may resemble 'garden soil' or 'potting soil' and you will see that this is not what we refer to at all.

The suggested reading will hep you to understand the reasons for the differences.

ynot

Fluffy
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I bought more soil just to keep the roots well covered it is wrong type as ynot said but i cannot repot as it will die, so i am going to watch the bonsai very carefully.

I believe my tree to be a Ligustrum Sinensis as the leafs look very similar! When i find my camera will post the comparison.

ynot
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Fluffy wrote:I bought more soil just to keep the roots well covered it is wrong type as ynot said but I cannot repot as it will die, so I am going to watch the bonsai very carefully.
I might be missing something but judging from the pictures so far I cannot discern exactly what you were trying to fix.
Please explain the root issue you refer to in more detail.

I think it is entirely possible and likely that the addition of this inappropriate soil is only going to complicate matters further as opposed to helping you in any way.
I believe my tree to be a Ligustrum Sinensis as the leafs look very similar! When I find my camera will post the comparison.
Please do :)

ynot

Fluffy
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Well there are patches where the roots show through the soil i thought they needed to be covered?

Not to sure though still have to look for my camera.

ynot
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Fluffy wrote:Well there are patches where the roots show through the soil I thought they needed to be covered?
[Other than issue of changing the soil itself]...

I don't see any 'roots that need to be covered' in the picture in the original post in this thread, Is the problem you refer to visible in that picture?

Any thoughts on the soil issue after reading up a bit on it?

ynot

Fluffy
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I seem to find alot of people seem to use a 60-40 mix of a few things, that is what i found a few times.

Some of the soil pics you guys have posted show what appear to be bark and small stones, but on closer inpestion look like the japanese soil sometimes used.

Here is a better picture of one of my leaves and it is not the tree i thought it was.

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ep_fluffy/DSCF0636.jpg[/img]

Not the spikey like parts that come from the serated edges, diffinatly not and chinese elm, the leave are shiny and the vein of the leaf it curved and they are very shiny, hopefully this might one of you guys to possibly know what type it is.

I am greateful for you help.

ynot
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Fluffy wrote:I seem to find alot of people seem to use a 60-40 mix of a few things, that is what I found a few times.
Sorry? This ratio tells nothing of which is the organic or inorganic [the 60 or the 40? Some species are a bit picky about this due to the water retention properties of the organic components.] You will run across any number of ratios for soil as everyone has what works for them {as I mention in the soil sticky this is due to the number of variables in any set of circumstances. No one else has an environment just like you.}

Again, It is about how the soil functions as a whole - The components mix is just how you get something that works for your particular set. I myself have a fair portion of my trees in 100% inorganic but some are70/30 IO/O

There is a broad range of what is survivable but to get the best growth from your mix often takes some observation and tweaking.
Some of the soil pics you guys have posted show what appear to be bark and small stones, but on closer inpestion look like the japanese soil sometimes used.
That is essentially what the Japanese soil is [Some has no bark at all & It's fired clay though - Not small stones]... Both descriptions in the quote above [On either side of the comma] describe the same thing

This is exactly what I referred when I said:
ynot wrote: Rather than listing the specific ingredients, [Which may or may not be available to all parties & there are many different things that will function in similar ways.] It is more important to understand the importance of the particle size and how the ratio of inorganic to organic components affect how your soil functions wrt moisture retention, Aeration, Drainage, And the structure of the root growth.
The similarity you note above is intentional. The soil you see in the pictures functions the same as the Japanese soil even if the ingredients are not precisely the same....The specific materials make no difference because they get the job done in the same manner.

This is why I am constantly telling people to learn to understand the aspects of bonsai soil that are beneficial to the tree and how to achieve that [Yes I will say it again: Functionality] as opposed to simply buying the bag with the right name on it and saying this must be good because it says 'bonsai soil' on it. We see terrible soil with a pretty label all the time.
Here is a better picture of one of my leaves and it is not the tree I thought it was.

Not the spikey like parts that come from the serated edges, diffinatly not and chinese elm, the leave are shiny and the vein of the leaf it curved and they are very shiny, hopefully this might one of you guys to possibly know what type it is.
I am honestly still at a loss for a species for you... Great picture though! :D
I am greateful for you help.
Your welcome.

ynot

Fluffy
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I think it is going to be a problem as i still cannot find a bonsai tree like it anywhere i have been searching alot and doesnt look like it is anywhere lol.

https://www.thebonsaistore.co.uk/inc/sdetail/2072

This is the main soil that i can see that most people seem to use.

This one doesnt sound to bad but it the whole whats in it
https://www.thebonsaistore.co.uk/inc/sdetail/2073

ynot
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Fluffy wrote: https://www.thebonsaistore.co.uk/inc/sdetail/2072

This is the main soil that I can see that most people seem to use.

This one doesnt sound to bad but it the whole whats in it
https://www.thebonsaistore.co.uk/inc/sdetail/2073
Do you mean in the UK? [or on site].
Beats me how you can tell anything at all about the soil from the pictures I see in those links..?
I find it really hard to feel I have an informed opinion about something I am only seeing the packaging for. It gives no info on the contents either.

Having only barely heard of this I can tell you I personally am not using it, Just because it is visually similar does not mean it is the same name brand product at all.
A quick google shows that some folks do use it neat, It is not a common product here as of yet [In fact it's barely known here as it is commonly marketed in the uk - Not the usa] so I don't have any experience with it.
From what I am seeing on google it is obviously similar to akadama.

Species ID: Any chance the retailer might know? or perhaps their vendor.

Ynot

Fluffy
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The same website has the akadama soil, https://www.thebonsaistore.co.uk/inc/sdetail/134

Does anyone here have any more knowledge on the kadama soil being used need or mixed?

I have also contacted the place i bought it from to see if they can give me some info, they do have small chinese elms there but they didnt look that good.

Here is another site with some picture of the different soils,
https://www.greendragonbonsai.co.uk/BONSAI_SOIL_AT_GREEN_DRAGON_BONSAI.htm


I believe at last i have a match look at the pics,
[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y23/ep_fluffy/DSCF0636.jpg[/img]
[img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/ca/Sageretia_theezans.jpg/800px-Sageretia_theezans.jpg[/img]
If you guys thing these look very similar and my does have the dark coloured spine like pertrutions from the leaves so i believe that it is a Sageretia or (Sageretia Theezans)

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Gnome
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Fluffy,

Congratulations on the ID, I looked through my books but could not locate it using the picture of the leaf. I think there is an excellent chance that you are correct. I will try to remember this for future reference, thanks.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Sageretia.html[/url]

Most tropicals are potted with at least some percentage of organic components so Akadama straight may not be appropriate for this species. I don't use it at all due the fact that it is imported and I have other inorganic components available locally.

Norm

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