Fabian Stump Aralia bonsai

durmariet

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Hi! I was given a Fabian Stump Aralia Bonsai as a gift. Upon looking it over I notice that at the end of several stump branches is some sort of black wax (?) It feels like wax. I was wondering if this will prevent it from sprouting any growth, because it seems to me that it is unbalanced. I would love any advise on training and shaping this bonsai. Thank you!
 

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Shinjuku

Mame
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The black wax is likely some kind of cut paste. You can google “Bonsai cut paste” to read more about it. In short, most people recommend applying it after you cut off a large branch to help seal the wound and promote good healing. Think of it like a band-aid for trees. The cut paste itself won’t prevent new growth from sprouting.

The first step for a new bonsai is keeping it healthy and alive, so I’d focus your effort on that for now.

2 questions for you:

Is the soil glued together or not?

If you gently move the soil with your finger, is it the same kind of soil underneath, or is there a top layer of small rocks with dirt underneath?
 

durmariet

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Hi! Thank you for replying to my post. I checked the soil and it is not glued together. The soil underneath the rocks is really moist. I read that the soil should dry out before watering again. (?) Thank you for explaining about the cut paste. I will go ahead and google that~
 

Myka

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Those leaves don't look like my Ming Aralia. I'm not sure if they come in different leaf shapes or maybe you have something else?
 

Shinjuku

Mame
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It’s good that you checked the soil underneath for dampness since it’s different than the soil on top. It’s extra good that the rocks are not glued together.

I’m not familiar with Aralia, other than that knowing that they’re less commonly used for bonsai. So I can’t offer specific advice for that plant.

For beginner’s advice, I’d suggest the Reddit bonsai wiki here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Bonsai/wiki/index

After that, the search function and asking questions is a great way to learn more.
 
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