Bonsai Soil vs. other mix for Pre-Bonsai

I just got my hands on a Dawn Redwood sapling, its about 1-2 years old. I have it in a larger pot so it can put on some growth this season, but I was curious if it makes more sense to use a different soil mixture for promoting growth or does bonsai soil (2:1:1 Akadama/pumice/lava rock seems to be what works for Dawn Redwoods) do the job just fine?

It’s all up to you but if you are looking for big growth something like 50/50 pumice and bark (or other organic) is usually better than an akadama mix.


pumice and Sphagnum peat seems like it would work well to meet those conditions, since it would add some acidity as well, I know they like that

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I agree with this approach. I slip potted a hand me down dawn redwood into pure pumice (bringing original soil that appears to be mostly decomposed bark) and it is doing quite well. Grew about 2 feet last year and is now a spindly 4.5’ and trunk increased to about an inch at the base. Only question now is…how high to let it go before cutting it back. It is only in a 1-gallon pot…so may go bigger this year.