Angela

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Hi there!
So I'm not sure if there's a forum for this, so sorry if I'm messing this up ...
This is my first ever bonsai. My parents got it for me. It's an Acacia, though I'm not sure what type -- it has thorns and the bark of the trunk has an almost feathery texture - it's soft and if you wanted (though I would do no such thing!) you could easily peel it. The trunk is also a white / very pale yellow colour (yellow-y when wet).
It's a beautiful specimen, in my opinion.
It seems to be healthy - from what (very) little I know. The leaves are green, no bugs in sight. I rocked (gently) the trunk a little to see if it would move - although it shifted slightly, it was only a little. Is this because it has a very big pot / was it recently potted / are the roots still growing? Is this very slight rocking indicative of a root problem? Please advise?:eek::eek:
My questions are basically all about caring for my little Bonsai:
Right now, it's nighttime. The soil of the bonsai is damp. I don't know if this is a good thing?
When / what time do I water? Currently it's summertime. How much water? And what is this "flushing" of water I hear of? Do I need chemicals or fertilisers to maintain a chemical balance in the soil? If so, what type? When would I use such fertilisers, etc.? How much sun does my Acacia need?
Is it alright if I leave my Bonsai on the patio? There is a plastic roof above it (see-through). If it rains, I will immediately bring my Bonsai in anyway, just in case.
The trunk of the Acacia, at the base, has a veeeery small amount of moss. The moss is --- I think, mind you --- growing on the top soil, and not directly from the tree's roots / trunk. Is moss good or bad --- forget aesthetics, I mean is it healthy for the tree? What about moss proximity to the tree? Does moss "eat" nutrients, depriving my tree of anything?:confused:
The soil of my Bonsai is a dark brown, and covered in small stones. I felt the draining bit at the bottom of the pot and there's some netting. The soil there is wet ... Again, bad or good?:confused:
Please help me. I really want to properly care for my Acacia! What is wrong, if anything IS wrong, and how do I fix it? Any final tips and / thoughts?

Thank you for reading and for all your help. :):p
 

milehigh_7

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Hi and welcome! A few things we need to be able to help. First, if possible it always helps to get as specific as possible species. Next, need good clear pictures of the tree, leaves, and the soil it's being kept in. Next, we need you to put your location in your profile. That way someone who knows something about your climate can help. That will get us started. Enjoy your new life with bonsai!
 

Random User

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Angela may also be younger than the average B-nut, although she certainly seems to be smart.

A "hint" at your age (over 20 or under 20 for example) might help some of the people who are going to reply to help you.
 

MichaelS

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Hi Angela, if it's summer there you're either in Australia or South Africa? There so many hundreds of species of Acacia in both countries we need to narrow down exactly what you have. Generally, many acacias are short lived but there are a few long lived ones. Can you post a picture? They all need full sun for most of the day. Water when just about to dry. If you are down under, that means every day this time of year. (unless the tree is over potted) No tree likes being in a place where there is solid overhead cover, transparent or not. If you can, get it out in the open. If it's rocking in the pot it sounds like it has not stabilized yet (recently potted) Try to stabilize it with a stake or something so the wind doesn't damage it. (they like a bit of wind by the way) When it has firmed up (2-3 months) remove the stake. Acacias make their own nitrogen so you won't need to feed much. A little organic fertilizer now and then is enough. You can use the moss on the surface of the soil as a guide on when to water. When the moss dries out and changes colour from deep green to dull green - water. When you water, pour it on, don't just trickle on small amounts.
That should get you on the right track at least.
 

Stickroot

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Angela may also be younger than the average B-nut, although she certainly seems to be smart.

A "hint" at your age (over 20 or under 20 for example) might help some of the people who are going to reply to help you.
18
 

Potawatomi13

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Angie welcome. Helpful please if you add location to profile. Also if local Bonsai club can get mentoring from is good to join there. Personally have thorny citrus. Any branch you keep(or handle)cut off points on stickers. Getting stabbed and maybe added infection no fun at all. Also vote please to post pics of tree;).
 

Angela

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IMG_4304.jpg IMG_4306.jpg IMG_4305.jpg

Thank you for the welcome, all! :)

Here's some pictures. (The silver-y stringy plant on the left of the tree is an air plant.) The bark of the tree looks a bit darker as I just watered it, as the soil was on the turn of dryness. I watered until water ran from the pot a little bit, then a few minutes later I watered again, as the first watering the roots may not have got wet, due to water running between the soil and the pot, possibly -- is this correct? I felt the soil a bit later and it was damp, but a dry sort. My tiny patch of moss is bright green.

As you can see in the second image, the soil seems to be a basic organic mix (?).
I live in South Africa, for a reference to climate. :) I tried finding out what species it is, but no such luck. The nursery didn't tell my parents, and I really can't tell -- if anyone there is able to inform me, it would be appreciated. :p

(Hopefully I posted the pictures correctly ... I'm not the best with technology, ironically enough ... :rolleyes:)
 

Angela

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Hi Angela, if it's summer there you're either in Australia or South Africa? There so many hundreds of species of Acacia in both countries we need to narrow down exactly what you have. Generally, many acacias are short lived but there are a few long lived ones. Can you post a picture? They all need full sun for most of the day. Water when just about to dry. If you are down under, that means every day this time of year. (unless the tree is over potted) No tree likes being in a place where there is solid overhead cover, transparent or not. If you can, get it out in the open. If it's rocking in the pot it sounds like it has not stabilized yet (recently potted) Try to stabilize it with a stake or something so the wind doesn't damage it. (they like a bit of wind by the way) When it has firmed up (2-3 months) remove the stake. Acacias make their own nitrogen so you won't need to feed much. A little organic fertilizer now and then is enough. You can use the moss on the surface of the soil as a guide on when to water. When the moss dries out and changes colour from deep green to dull green - water. When you water, pour it on, don't just trickle on small amounts.
That should get you on the right track at least.

South Africa -- well done! :):) I posted some pictures. As to the solid overhead cover, I'm moving my bonsai to the veranda now, where there's no cover. The sun is very bright - it won't burn my leaves, will it? As to the rocking, it's minute and only occurs when I gently press. I've been watching it now (there's some wind) but no rocking occurs. No stake needed, then? :confused: I used the pour it on advice about an hour ago, and it definitely think it worked --- the leaves are a bright green. :) Thank you. :p
 
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Angela

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Angie welcome. Helpful please if you add location to profile. Also if local Bonsai club can get mentoring from is good to join there. Personally have thorny citrus. Any branch you keep(or handle)cut off points on stickers. Getting stabbed and maybe added infection no fun at all. Also vote please to post pics of tree;).
Unfortunately, we don't have any Bonsai clubs around that I know of. I'll ask around a bit, though. :)
 

Angela

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The thorns makes it a African Acacia. Will be interesting to see which one, as there are many flaky ones....
Thank you! I'm also interested in seeing what type of African Acacia it is. :D
 

sorce

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Looks healthy.
Has a nice shape too..

The deep pot may keep things wet for longer than you like...

I wonder if you couldn't return to the nursery and do some investigation.

That could also help us help you.

Nice !

Sorce
 

Angela

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sorce:
Thank you. :) Is the wet for longer dangerous? Right now it's in the sun, and it's pretty bright outside, so hopefully the pot dries out a bit (?). The Bonsai is my early Christmas present (my parents said they didn't trust themselves not to kill it) so I'll find out which nursery it is, and when I get a chance I'll go investigate. :)
 

sorce

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Is the wet for longer dangerous?
Probly not.
It's not something to get worked up over.
As the tree seems mad healthy.

However, it looks to be hollow at the base?
I wouldn't water inside there if so.

But I don't know how Acacia handle rot and wet.

A trip to the nursery should put you at ease.

Short having recently bought it themselves, I don't see a scenario where it can be declining in health.

If you are in the rainy season.....
That top cover may be good for you.

Sorce
 

Craigm

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YukiShiro

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that's an acacia Galpinii @Angela

what do you need help with? general care maybe?

have you trimmed the tree, it doesn't look like it grew much for the season up until now if it wasn't trimmed(mine has 30cm and longer growth for the season already), yet the growth on it does not look sick or unhealthy

I would advise you to place the tree in full sun, it doesn't need shade at all, also water it when the top of the soil looks dried out. Rain is very good for a bonsai, especially acacias, mine lives under the sky, nothing covering them, when it rains they really start pushing new growth after the sun comes out.

don't worry about chemicals for now, buy a bag of seagrow and spread a small handfull across the soil surface for now, in about a months time if you can't see the pellets anymore apply the same amount again

also the rocking could mean it was repotted this spring, don't rock it anymore, just water it and give it full sun until it starts growing like it should

if you want to find a club go to http://www.saba.org.za/
you will find an index of clubs on there for each major area of south africa

nice website to learn from would be http://www.bonsaisa.co.za/

best regards
Herman
 
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Angela

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However, it looks to be hollow at the base?
Short having recently bought it themselves, I don't see a scenario where it can be declining in health.
I wouldn't say hollow, per se -- the trunk winds into a semi-circle, so there's a bit of a soil peninsula, if that makes sense. I'll be careful not to water it there overly so, then. The Bonsai was bought yesterday ... Hopefully I keep it alive. ;)
 

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