Finding the right bonsai soil mix is one of the critical success factors when you plan to grow a bonsai plant. In fact, this is the first step that you should consider when you start growing bonsai from scratch. There are many factors that you should learn in relation to bonsai soil mix and this has become one of the hottest topics among bonsai fanatics. When you plan to mix your own soil, there is a wide variety of soil ingredients that you can choose. This can become a very daunting process, especially if you are still relatively new in this bonsai growing field.
Understanding the basics
As you can observe, a bonsai plant is confined in a small quantity of soil throughout the year. The existence the bonsai depends on this soil and thus it is important to provide good bonsai soil mix so the plant can get sufficient amount of water, nutrients, and gases to survive and grow.
In general, good bonsai soil mix has two different qualities. The first is good water retaining and nutrition absorbing capacity and the second one is good drainage. The second quality is very important because if water cannot drain properly from the pot, it can rot the root system.
There are generic rules in preparing bonsai soil mix, but you should also understand that each bonsai plant has different requirements in term of water and nutrients. When you make your own soil, you should always consider about the ratio of water-retaining material to grit. This ratio will always differ depending on the type of tree that the bonsai soil mix is intended for.
50:50 in the basic ratio for bonsai soil mix. These days, some people have shifted to inorganic soils to grow bonsai plants. This is because they have superior quality than organic soils even if they are more expensive and not easily available in some locations.
Inorganic bonsai soil mix has one major advantage because it can hold its open structure for a long period of time without breaking down. It also can retain a sufficient amount of water while at the same time also has good drainage quality so excess water can flush quickly from drain holes on the bottom of the pot.
A general bonsai potting mix would be 30-30-40 of Akadama/peat or bark/gravel, grit or sand.