Mica bonsai pots. Do they get to hot? Mushroom compost?

Gatorade

Yamadori
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Hello To all! Took my bald cypress to bonsai club today for repotting Class. I brought mushroom compost for repotting and planned just to use the same mica pot for the repotting. The class instructor today who is very experienced did have some recommendation. They said they were not familiar with mushroom compost and did not recommend it. Just said use more acadama for moisture. Also they thought mica pots get to hott in summer especially here in Texas and Said clay is much better at staying cooler which is better for the tree. just wondering for input before I got buy more stuff! Lol!

picture of bald cypress work today. long way to go!
 

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Wires_Guy_wires

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Compost in wet conditions gets anaerobic fast and will be a cesspool of bacteria. I'm sure some trees from swamps can handle that, but why risk it?
Clay pots do stay cooler. So I think your class instructor is spot on.
 

Gatorade

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Compost in wet conditions gets anaerobic fast and will be a cesspool of bacteria. I'm sure some trees from swamps can handle that, but why risk it?
Clay pots do stay cooler. So I think your class instructor is spot on.
Right on! Thanks! Glad to know I have a good instructor! Back to Amazon or eBay I go!
 

Gatorade

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What its made of?
Mushroom compost is a type of slow-release, organic plant fertilizer. The compost is made by mushroom growers using organic materials such as hay, straw, corn cobs, and hulls, and poultry or horse manure.
 

Cofga

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Most mushroom compost that is sold commercially is usually what is left over after the crop of mushrooms have been gown on it for a while and it is exhausted of significant nutrients. It often is high in salts and I would not use it for bonsai. I bought a truck load once and found a horshoe and an old condom in it among other debris.

As for the mica pots they are generally 80% mineral mica, 15% plastic, and 5% graphite. Anything dark in color is going to absorb sunlight and reradiate it as heat. I know that Brian Van Fleet uses mica pots for training and I bought a bigt one for a forest I am building this spring. I have read a lot of statements from folks who made what they called “educated guesses” and said mica should be hotter than ceramic but I have never seen any side by side measurements to support these guesses and I suspect they are just that.
 

Shibui

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Mushroom compost varies a lot from batch to batch and from one place to the next. Generally it seems to test high pH so alkaline. Very few trees really like high pH so mushroom compost is not recommended for potting soils.
@Wires_Guy_wires assessment of stays too wet and anaerobic agrees with my info too but as for bacteria, pretty much all soils are a cesspool of bacteria and plants can cope. Quite a few of those bacteria are beneficial and some are actually vital to the health of the plants.

If you do some research on potting soil for bonsai you'll find most good growers do better with a larger particle size so the soil has better drainage and air around the roots. Even wetland trees like bald cypress appreciate some air in the soil.
 

bunjin

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Mushroom compost is really used mushroom media and is not fully composted. I would not use it for bonsai, but if one obtains a truckload of it, the best thing to do is to apply some water and let it complete the composting process. It will produce an amazing amount of internal heat and later be useful as a garden amendment. And yes, I have found things like used syringes in it.
Mica pots - maybe someone should do some internal temperature monitoring comparison tests. A lot of variables here to consider. I don't think mica pots conduct heat very well, but haven't really done any real tests.
 

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