Japanese Holly best type of soil

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#1
Hi,
im new here and still learning. I have a Japanese Holly and i was wondering the best type of soil to re-pot it in. ive seen loads of different mixes on ebay but im struggling to find good into online as it seems to be all over the place. ideally id rather stick to using a pre-mix rather than mixing my own. any help would be great. thanks :)
 

0soyoung

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#3
Just about any well draining (i.e., high AFP) soil, substrate, or mix of stuff will do. In the ground, they are prone toward chlorosis, meaning they require more acidic root conditions than most plants. Use fertilizers like Miracid, or 'for azalea' stuff, or whatever you choose. If new growth is yellowish, apply a pinch of iron sulfate and slowly increase the size of the 'pinch' until new growth is dark green. You may not need to acidify if your water is somewhat acidic (more commonly tap water is alkaline), just keep an eye on the color of new leaves.
 
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#4
Japanese Holly is a semi marsh plant. I detests drying out even for a few hours and you can severely damage the plant that way. The best soil in my area (hot dry summer) is one part a very fine clay say 2-3mm, (akadama or similar), one part composted material like bark about the same size and a little sand. You may even use a little sphagnum peat in the mix which will help counter any alkalinity problems. Mulched with a moss layer. The main point is that you want plenty of WHC along with AFP. The same kind of medium that quinces thrive in. I would avoid lava, pumice etc.
 
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Worthing UK
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#5
Hi,
thanks all for the responses. im trying to get the hang of Bonsai. Sorry im on the south coast of the UK so can get cold at night even in summer.

I got some advice from a shop that this tree should be outside ASAP. I originally had him inside all last summer and last winter. he hasnt done any growing but hasnt died either so i was happy with that. is outside best?

i re potted him last year in just generic bonsai soil and in a bigger pot. should i leave him in the crap soil in the big pot as the roots havent filled out yet or put him in something better?

thanks guys
 
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#7
For having spent most of the last year indoors, your holly looks relatively healthy. This is a compliment, your horticulture is pretty good.
Yes, holly is a temperate forest tree. It needs a cold winter rest in order to stay healthy. In the south of England, your winters are mild enough that it should be outdoors all year round. Bring it in to display just before company arrives, but it back outside when the dishes are done, after guests leave.

Actually it will tolerate more than a few hours indoors, but the idea is, it should be outside to grow and only brought in temporarily for display.
 
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Wyomissing, PA
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#9
Interesting. I was just wondering about my super dwarf Japanese holly that I planted in my little dwarf conifer forest last summer. It did great but was, of course, unprotected all winter and I noticed recently that it had lost all its leaves. This is concerning since it is evergreen but the twigs don't look withered so I am hoping the little guy pulls through.
 
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#11
For having spent most of the last year indoors, your holly looks relatively healthy. This is a compliment, your horticulture is pretty good.
Yes, holly is a temperate forest tree. It needs a cold winter rest in order to stay healthy. In the south of England, your winters are mild enough that it should be outdoors all year round. Bring it in to display just before company arrives, but it back outside when the dishes are done, after guests leave.

Actually it will tolerate more than a few hours indoors, but the idea is, it should be outside to grow and only brought in temporarily for display.
Thank you I never really thought of the trees like that. I'm really good with plants somehow and my house is like a jungle which is why I thought I'd try bonsai. I'm disappointed he has to live outside as I love to look at them but a happy tree is important. I'm going to try and find some good indoor trees to live inside year round
 
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#13
Flowers only-
florist's azaleas these are hybrids bred for floral trade, no frost tolerance, usually sold next to the potted orchid plants, not in the landscape shrub section of the store.

Bougainvillea, great flowering woody vine.
Ochna genus, popular for bonsai in Vietnam, yellow flowers. Mai Vang is the transliteration of the Vietnamese name.

Potentials are unlimited.
 

Bonsai Nut

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#15
I'm going to try and find some good indoor trees to live inside year round
Yaupon Holly aka Ilex vomitoria is an evergreen semi-tropical native from south-eastern US. It can probably live indoors assuming you have a sunny window. As @0soyoung and @MichaelS pointed out, it does not like alkaline soil (or water). I had a large but very weak specimen, and as soon as I started using acid fertilizer, its decline was immediately reversed and it is now thriving.
 
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Worthing UK
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#16
When you say acid fertilizer you mean like yellow sulphur? I do live in a hard water area so wonder if that is causing the issues?
I've already got yellow sulphur on order for a different tree....

Could I use filtered water?
 

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