Bonsai soil elements

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This is my first winter doing bonsai. I plan on repotting several trees in the spring; most of my trees were collected on private property near the highway and are a mixture of common junipers and eastern red cedars. I was just reading that a good mix for deciduous trees is; 2 part Akadama 1 part organic soil 1 part grit...and for confierous; 3 part akadama, 1 part soil and 1 part grit. I plan on using MVP turface instead of Akadama, with potting soil and small pebbles as the grit (good idea?). I also want to include pumice into my mix. Should I mix pebbles with the pumice and use them combined for the 1 part grit? Any suggestions are much appreciated!


Deleted member 21616


in post 88 of the following thread i summarized what Walter Pall uses. This will be a very reliable place to start for your deciduous trees.

There have been MANY discussions about bonsai soil on this forum. In addition to knowing WHAT to use, it is even more important to know WHY you are using it. Therefore, i would read through as many discussions as you can find, in order to be able to make an informed decision.

The mirai video on soils may also be of interest:

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Ok, thank you Derek! Ill keep reading and watching, thanks for the input. Still only scratching the surface and definitely need to dive deeper!


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Sacramento, CA
0soyoung shared this link on bonsai soil that makes a lot of sense to me:

Bonsai soil opinions are like belly buttons - everyone has one. And the majority of them are right.

I use lava and pumice because they are convenient and cheap for me to get. Other folks use 100% Napa Auto Parts Oil Dry 8822 with equal success for the same reason. So I’d suggest that you choose a soil mix that’s cheap and convenient for you to purchase.

Also consider the moisture retention that you need. If you live in a hot, dry place, get a mix with more water retention. If you live in a cooler area with more rain/humidity, you might need less water retention.

It never hurts to contact a local bonsai club and ask them what soil mix works better in the area where you live.
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