Bonsai soil material hard to find. Alternatives?

Tamer

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Hi everyone

I'm Tam . Moved from Montreal Canada to saudi Arabia recently and have been introduced to the amazong world of bonsai recently. I bought a ready chinese elm bonsai tree which I am taking care of and have completed work on a red juniper yesterday. Wired bent and pruned and styled it. Feel proud to have accomplished all of that but I'm facing a problem. There is difficulty finding material like akadama, pumice, turface in Saudi Arabia and it's too expensive to keep ordering online. I work in a road construction company and we use a lot of aggregates for the asphalt and basecoarse. The aggregates available here are mostly sandstone and limestone. Can I use any of these or are they too acidic for bonsai soil. If not, what alternatives do you guys suggest I can use? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I posted videos of me working on my last bonsai but not sure if I can post links or the name of my YouTube channel as I haven't read the rules of the forum yet. I'll try to post a picture of what have done so far
Any help would be amazing

Thanks everyone and hope I will learn a lot from this community :)

Tam
 

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sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Welcome to Crazy!

Crazy = No rules!

Post em up!

I'd love to see em!

Nice juniper!

Sorce
 

Tamer

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Thanks sorce

Well this is my YouTube channel it's a personal page that I post videos of my gardening updates and bonsai experience as well.

Tambasel is my username

Thanks
 

sparklemotion

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If anything, I would imagine that limestone would be too "basic" (high ph, aka "alkaline"), not too "acidic" (low pH). That could be countered by adding sulphur, I believe.

Do people keep indoor cats in Saudi Arabia? If so, what do they use for cat litter? Some cat litters are an absorbent clay product, like a bentonite clay, which can sub for Turface and/or Akadama (though the particle size might be smaller than ideal). Basically a water retaining product. Bonsai Iligan uses crushed clay pots for the same purpose.

Lots of people like to hate on perlite, but if that (or another expanded rock product, like Haydite) is available, it seems to have similar properties to pumice.

I might be tempted to see what could be achieved with equal parts (by volume) of crushed clay (pots/tiles), sandstone aggregate, and some sort of bark/compost. Ideally all sifted to 3/8" inch (or at least all about the same size).
 

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