Using Quality Soil for Your Bonsai

Having a good bonsai soil is a vital part of keeping your bonsai healthy. For the beginner, selecting a good bonsai soil is a daunting task. For the experienced bonsai grower, a good soil makes the difference between a thriving, healthy tree and one that will only survive a few months to a year.

Bonsai trees require quick draining soil that maintains its shape in order to stay alive. Due to the small amount of space that a bonsai has to work with, if you do not have good soil, root rot is much more likely to occur.

This can be particularly damaging to pine bonsai trees, as well as junipers. If you want to use soils prone to breaking apart or decomposing, such as organic soils, you will need to make certain that the tree you use this soil type with is able to handle root bearing at least once or twice a year.

One of the most popular types of bonsai soil available on the market is inorganic soils. This type of inorganic soil is acceptable for many varieties of bonsai trees.

Acquiring good bonsai soil can be difficult if you do not know where to look. Bonsai soil can be found in the most unusual of places, including hardware stores, auto parts stores and pet supply stores. Bonsai resellers online will typically acquire their soils from these types of places and make blends suitable for certain types of trees.

When you purchase bonsai soil, it is important that you test the soil prior to use. Good quality soils will not break down easily. You should not be able to crush it in your hand easily, or break it when doused in water and then frozen.

Bonsai soil that breaks down like this will typically not last a long time and can cause some problems with certain varieties of trees.

Wire Training Your Bonsai Tree

Using Wire to Train Your Bonsai Tree

Bonsai wire is one of the most common tools used in the design of a bonsai tree. As bonsais do not typically grow in the fashion that is desired by those making bonsai designs, bonsai wire is used to train the branches of the young tree how to grow. There are some things that you should consider before you begin to use bonsai wire to shape the branches and trunk of your tree.

When you use bonsai wire, you are effectively damaging the tree. When you bend the branches of the tree into the desired shape and secure them with wire, you are damaging the cells of the tree. The branch or trunk is trained to its new location by having the damaged cells heal. When they heal, the tree branch will grow in the shape you want, as that is how the cells are now formed. When you secure a branch with bonsai wire, it is important that you do not damage the tree so badly the branch breaks or the wire cuts into the bark of the tree. Both of these problems will permanently damage the appearance of the tree.

Bonsai wire should only be left in position long enough for the tree to be trained to the proper form. Once it is in the design you desire, the wires should be carefully removed. If you wired your tree properly, there will be no evidence that the tree had undergone bonsai wire design.

The hardest part of using bonsai wire is knowing which size wire to use. The wire can come in various sizes, from thin wires suitable for small dwarf seedlings, to thick wire designed for outdoor trees. Knowing which type of wire to use can be one of the most challenging aspects of bonsai tree design. If you do not have wire that is strong enough for your size of tree, it is very easy to rectify. You can use a smaller wire that is double layered. This will provide equal strength to the thicker bonsai wire and do no extra damage to the tree. This is extremely convenient, especially if you already own wire for a smaller tree and want to work on a tree that has since matured.

You can purchase bonsai wire from specialty stores and nurseries. Some hardware stores will also supply the bonsai wire you are looking for. Bonsai wire can come in either silver or brown, depending on whether you want to still be able to show your bonsai while it is being trained.