Bonsai Soil Basics

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Watch the whole video review from the proof user who explains in detail below.

Mastering Basic Bonsai Techniques by Jason Chan

In this video, we go through the basic factors and essential elements for creating a bonsai soil mix. The video also shows some sample soil components that we use for our general bonsai and show trees.

Soil Mix Components:
Akadama Mix:
Eastern Leaf Organic Blend Soil Mix (Jason’s General Recipe):


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24 thoughts on “Bonsai Soil Basics”

  1. Why don’t these people answer most questions in the comment section? Makes me wary of their customer service and/or if I should do business with them. Great video; poor follow up.

  2. i realize this video is rather old and modern thinking now is that akadama isnt a great choice because it has the ability to break down into clay. I would stick with pumica, lava, pine or orchid bark and possibly sphagnum moss.

  3. What mix would you recommend for Florida ? It's hot and we have alot of rain all summer with dry spells in the winter ter

  4. Would 50% macadam, 50% bark be an ok soil for pine bonsai? If not then why? I would be greatful fΓΆr answer πŸ™‚

  5. This video is very helpful. I just got into bonsai last month after finding a Japanese Mountain Maple or just a Japanese Maple with red tips im not sure yet but its growing in the side of my house. It's a very narrow walkway between my house and cedar hedges. So it's just growing floating roots above black garden mesh but under the pine leaves. The dirty under is so compact. I've bought all this stuff and Im going to pot it next week because its just sitting on top of the Earth. So I really dont think I can damage it because I wont cut any roots there roots are barely there. But one root I placed over a largeish rock and now the tree will have a (in several years) nambae (the japanese term for strong showing roots at the base of the truck) over a rock.

    On the subject of color. I got some Kanuma and I read it has a nicer color when wet. So you can use it on the top. Im not sure if Ill do that. But maybe I will have a tiny bit more at the top instead of Akadame.

    So in a 25L pot around 18 inches wide at the top. I got Akadama, Kanuma, Pumice, Black and Red Lava Rock, And some LECA clay balls. I bought all of this from etsy from this seller called Lulutheherbilina.

    I also got some bigger clay balls from Mountain Nursery and I used that for several inches of the bottom. I was generous with it because the pot is so deep compared to the trees root ball. I'm sure I'll be fine.

    I was looking for some coconut husk or something but Ill just use this Orchid Root Spaghnum Moss instead of Peat.

    So Spahgnum Moss, Akadama, Kanuma, Pumice, Black and Red Lava Rocks, two brands of LECA Clay with one larger for a thick drainage layer for the slightly to deep of a pot. Im so excited to see what happens to this little Japanese Maple that so happy just to be growing in this little ally. But it's not a good place for it, it's not getting direct sun which is fine for it now but later it wont. The soil is so thick. Theres so many pine needles which the acidic-ness isn't so bad but that's all it is. And below that is impact dirt. I've removed the black mesh that was preventing the root from growing over the passed 2-3 weeks. I've cleared some of the pine needles and replaced with peat moss and spahgnum moss. I'm trying not to change it's environment but the roots were literally floating in air under the pine needles, but over this black mesh. And now since I've tended to it the secondary main root I placed over a rock is much happier. It's gripping very tight to the rock and growing down around it into the dirty. It's a very happy little root. So I'm going to dig up the dirt around it and then place that into the pot. Then I'll put my new mixture around it. So the tree will grow into the new mixture from the old. I think It's going to be an amazing tree.

  6. How do you know if you've got the right balance? I Don't plan on working on more then one or two bonsai and I'm worried I might end up over watering it.

  7. I use pumice but I put a top coat of black lava and DE, moss REALLY loves DE and it's a darker color, I just use Pumice/Bark/Composted Manure for my Pre-Bonsai

  8. Good video. Several months new to Bonsai. Zone 9, ca and I am still not quite sure of the basic mixtures. I guess it is up to me to research what that would be for this area. Thanks for the video.

  9. This was really helpful, I just made do with what I could find in my backyard :') I gotta invest more thought into this so thank you!

  10. Black lava rocks cost about twice as much as red lava rocks at Home Depot, but they're much lighter and more porous on average. For hydroponics I break them with a hammer and use whatever passes through a 1/2" screen but doesn't pass through a 1/4" screen. I think a smaller size is more appropriate for bonsai. Anyway you can buy both for $70/cubic yard at Wolfinbarger right there in Chino but the pieces are 3/4" so it will need time and labor to prepare them for bonsai.

  11. I live in Illinois my zone is 5 high humidity so out of the soil what would be best for me in my environment?

  12. Hey there! Will the soil mix be different when i'm going for development of a tree??
    Greetings from Luxembourg! 😊

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