Soil for Bonsai Seeds

Vik250

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Hi Everyone,

I am fairly new to Bonsai planting. I always had an affection for it but recently got into planting them from seeds. So, 1st time I did this was at end of October and 5 months from them (even now), nothing grew. Then I did more research and just planted few more couple of days ago and got the LED light and all. [I live in New Jersey, USA - FYI].

Now I want to plant more seeds as spring is upon us but which soil to use for planting seeds? The ones I planted came with soil pellets. But what about the other seeds? Which soil to use?

What do you think is the best way to germinate seeds? [Paper towel, put it in warm water, etc]?

I'll probably have follow up questions but for now, these are the ones coming to my mind.

Thank You all!!
 

Wulfskaar

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Hi Vik250. I've had decent success germinating tree seeds in the peat moss pellets like you got. But once the seedlings grow up a bit, you'll eventually replant them into better soil. Soil type depends on the tree type and also environment.

Many seeds can just be soaked in water for 24 hrs before planting, while others require time (1-3 months) in the cold. Some people will plant the seeds and leave them outside for the winter. Others will put them in a damp paper towel or other medium and keep them in the refrigerator.

You'll have to research what treatment your seeds need to get them to germinate. Once they are growing, you'll have to do more research on how to keep them alive. This is the hard part! Good luck!
 

Vik250

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Thank You Wulfskaar!!!!!! So I just planted Blue Jacardia, Flame Tree, Norway Spruce, and Bristlecone pine Seeds in 4 small pots. I planted on 4th April and am exposing them to LED Full Spectrum lights for about 5-6 hours daily (mostly at night). Any thoughts/opinions? It's in mid 50s in Central Jersey where I live.

Another question - if one can keep these in controlled conditions with grow lights indoors, does it matter if we expose them to sunlight or not at anytime in their life cycle?

I know these are stupid questions but there is so much garbage out there on internet. I found this site today and figured let me ask people who actually have some experience instead of reading promotional lies by vendors online.

Thank You!!
 

Shibui

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I know these are stupid questions but there is so much garbage out there on internet. I found this site today and figured let me ask people who actually have some experience instead of reading promotional lies by vendors online.
Maybe you have not noticed but this is also the internet and even Bonsainut is not immune to differing opinions and ideas. Usually different opinions on a subject just mean there's more than one possible answer. Still we can hope that some members here are talking from direct experience???

Soil is always hotly debated. Soil mix for seeds depends a lot on the species and size of seed. I prefer to use a finer grade for seed so smaller seeds don't fall right through the larger particles some of us use for adult bonsai.
Commercial seed raising mix is a good choice because it is relatively sterile meaning less problems with pests and disease for the tiny seedlings.
Many tougher seeds will grow in almost anything. Generally the rarer and more restricted a species is the harder it is to germinate seeds and keep seedlings alive so use the best soil mix available for these. Common, wide spread trees generally grow much easier and will grow in most soil types.

Another question - if one can keep these in controlled conditions with grow lights indoors, does it matter if we expose them to sunlight or not at anytime in their life cycle?
Some species adapt to indoor care better than others. Conifers in particular seem to do much better outdoors with fresh air and sunlight but most experienced growers find it much better to have trees outside wherever possible. Some of the species you've mentioned will cope very well with cold temps, even when they are small seedlings. Any tree that grows in cold areas or high on mountains is adapted to survive cold and, in my opinion, is much better outdoors.
Light is not the only factor influencing trees and seedlings. Lack of air movement promotes conditions for fungi to thrive and some will definitely attack small seedlings. UV in sunlight is a natural antibiotic and helps keep some infections at bay.
Definitely keep cold sensitive species protected but I find it much better to grow most seedlings outdoors.
 

Mapleminx

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I always have a quick look online and check a few results per seed name to see what the general consensus is when it comes to germinating each species. I search under the common name and also the Latin names.

As has already been mentioned some seeds need cold stratification, some need scarification and for most that are coming from a hot climate just a pre soak in warm water is enough. I always add hydrogen peroxide to the water when presoaking just to help guard against fungus.
Cinnamon also does well to prevent fungus, so if you are germinating in damp paper towels inside a bag…definitely give a generous sprinkle on cinnamon in there.
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Nybonsai12

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After stratification Needs are met I usually use potting soil with a good amount of perlite mixed in for deciduous trees. Moisten everything and cover to keep humidity up. Place on heat mat and wait. This has worked well for me For Zelkova, trident, j. Maple, cork oak, wisteria to name a few.

also, I start them over winter indoors to extend the first season, once temps are warm enough, I move them outside for good.
 

HorseloverFat

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Thank You Wulfskaar!!!!!! So I just planted Blue Jacardia, Flame Tree, Norway Spruce, and Bristlecone pine Seeds in 4 small pots. I planted on 4th April and am exposing them to LED Full Spectrum lights for about 5-6 hours daily (mostly at night). Any thoughts/opinions? It's in mid 50s in Central Jersey where I live.

Another question - if one can keep these in controlled conditions with grow lights indoors, does it matter if we expose them to sunlight or not at anytime in their life cycle?

I know these are stupid questions but there is so much garbage out there on internet. I found this site today and figured let me ask people who actually have some experience instead of reading promotional lies by vendors online.

Thank You!!
I had that same kit... I only got the pines to germinate.


There's alot of fundamental horticultural understanding you are seeking... very similar to many others, when they first start out.

Soak up some threads... LOTS of information here.

Here's 2 to get you started.



 

Vik250

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Maybe you have not noticed but this is also the internet and even Bonsainut is not immune to differing opinions and ideas. Usually different opinions on a subject just mean there's more than one possible answer. Still we can hope that some members here are talking from direct experience???

Soil is always hotly debated. Soil mix for seeds depends a lot on the species and size of seed. I prefer to use a finer grade for seed so smaller seeds don't fall right through the larger particles some of us use for adult bonsai.
Commercial seed raising mix is a good choice because it is relatively sterile meaning less problems with pests and disease for the tiny seedlings.
Many tougher seeds will grow in almost anything. Generally the rarer and more restricted a species is the harder it is to germinate seeds and keep seedlings alive so use the best soil mix available for these. Common, wide spread trees generally grow much easier and will grow in most soil types.


Some species adapt to indoor care better than others. Conifers in particular seem to do much better outdoors with fresh air and sunlight but most experienced growers find it much better to have trees outside wherever possible. Some of the species you've mentioned will cope very well with cold temps, even when they are small seedlings. Any tree that grows in cold areas or high on mountains is adapted to survive cold and, in my opinion, is much better outdoors.
Light is not the only factor influencing trees and seedlings. Lack of air movement promotes conditions for fungi to thrive and some will definitely attack small seedlings. UV in sunlight is a natural antibiotic and helps keep some infections at bay.
Definitely keep cold sensitive species protected but I find it much better to grow most seedlings outdoors.
Thank You so much for this Great Information!!
 

Vik250

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I always have a quick look online and check a few results per seed name to see what the general consensus is when it comes to germinating each species. I search under the common name and also the Latin names.

As has already been mentioned some seeds need cold stratification, some need scarification and for most that are coming from a hot climate just a pre soak in warm water is enough. I always add hydrogen peroxide to the water when presoaking just to help guard against fungus.
Cinnamon also does well to prevent fungus, so if you are germinating in damp paper towels inside a bag…definitely give a generous sprinkle on cinnamon in there.
Thank You 🙏 😊. This really really helps a lot for my new seeds that I will be planting in next few days!!
 

Vik250

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After stratification Needs are met I usually use potting soil with a good amount of perlite mixed in for deciduous trees. Moisten everything and cover to keep humidity up. Place on heat mat and wait. This has worked well for me For Zelkova, trident, j. Maple, cork oak, wisteria to name a few.

also, I start them over winter indoors to extend the first season, once temps are warm enough, I move them outside for good.
Thank You for this great information 👍 👏
 

Vik250

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I had that same kit... I only got the pines to germinate.


There's alot of fundamental horticultural understanding you are seeking... very similar to many others, when they first start out.

Soak up some threads... LOTS of information here.

Here's 2 to get you started.



Thank You 🙏😊. I'll definitely read these threads. Appreciate the help!!
 

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