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The Difference is the soil in Bonsai

A bonsai tree



When it comes to growing bonsai you have to pay very special attention to the soil. It is critical to what happens with your bonsai, how they grow and how well they do.

The following picture shows two bonsai plants (Japanese Pagoda) from the very same batch of seed. They are both about 11 months old.


How the Soil Affects growth of Bonsai

The bonsai on the left is planted in MiracleGro Potting soil. And the bonsai on the right is planted in professional bonsai soil.


Two bonsai


Bonsai soil is poor in nutrients and this is by design. It is also designed to retain a lot of water. The whole point behind bonsai is to limit the nutrition so the tree stays small. This is part of the art. But, you don't want to limit it in a way that makes the tree unhealthy. The health of the tree is of the utmost importance. You want it to live for a hundred years!

Aside from the sheer size difference between the plants you should also make note of the difference in leaf size. This is also very important in bonsai growing. You almost always want your leaves to be small so the illusion of a miniature tree is maintained. Although this is of course a matter of personal preference. It is something to consider though.

Tips and More Thoughts

Every two or three years you should be transplanting your bonsai into a slightly larger container. And you should consider the type and condition of the soil when you do this. If you want your bonsai to grow a bit bigger, or maybe have more and bigger leaves you might want to consider using a potting soil, or you might want to consider mixing some potting soil with your bonsai soil. It's all part of the art.


Bonsai Soil

Bonsai Soil Mix - 2 Quarts - Excellent for all Bonsai!

Hoffman Bonsai Soil Mix
Professionally formulated to provide optimum growth for evergreen and other bonsai plants. Provides the plant support, moisture and drainage bonsai need. Pre-mixed, ready to use. Excellent for repotting. 2 Quart Bag.