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Question about custom soil type

I haven't found an answer specific enough to my question when searching the forum; pardons if this is repetitive.

I have indoor bonsai: eugenia, water jasmine, dwarf schefflera, fukien tea, brazilian raintree, ficus benjamina, and am even trying avocado.

I purchased bonsai soil online, and when it came it didn't have near the organic matter that the local nursery sells. It is mostly lava, with some clay and a very small amount of organic. Thus, I decided to make my own custom soil. A ratio of 4 cups of the above, 2 cups commercial compost, 1 cup potting soil.

The ratio was all guesswork, and my thought was that if it held onto more water than it should for some plants then I would just water less often. Is that sound reasoning, or do some of the trees listed not tolerate that much water-holding capacity (such as the brazilian)?

The brazilian was potted up two weeks ago after purchase, and while it is adding new growth above it has leaves yellowing and falling off below. Also it begins to close up about two hours before sunset and I don't know if that's normal to close up before dark. I was instructed to water it daily.

The fukien was potted up about a month ago, and is showing little growth while losing healthy-looking leaves. I water this based on the finger test (mostly dry an inch deep).

The eugenia, water jasmine and schef all seem fine. The first two I water every 1-2 days, the schef by the finger test.

My growing room is 70's day, 60's night. Humidity 50's%. Radiator heat underneath the table, humidifier circulating air in the room. Growlights about 16 hours a day.

Should I keep going and water the stressed ones less? Should I change soil to one commercially proven? Any other thoughts? I am not prepared to post pictures right now, but will be glad to clarify anything.

Green Thumb
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 1:15 pm
Location: NJ

You didn't say what soil the plants came in with. It takes time for the roots to adapt to new conditions. Most bonsai plants will benefit from the open draining soil commercially available. It may help to water less frequent but it's hard to say since u have more than 1 plant

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