What is up bonsai mirai. Coming from cronulla Australia. My question is in regards to substrate ratios. Now that bonsai-en is selling akadama and auspearl has pumice and Ken is back from Europe so I can get my lava I have stocked up. Trees that need more water like our natives am I better increasing the ratio of akadama and pumice or just pumice or just akadama. It is mainly for my figs as I can’t water anything else enough to keep them alive so they are in leons mix. Thanks guys. Happy bonsai
Hi… Ozzie…Ozzie… Ozzie!
I would say that if you are trying to increase water retention, then more Akadama is the way to go. Pumice and Lava hold some water, but not as much as Akadama. Here in Canada, I pot up deciduous trees in a 3 part Akadama, 1 part Pumice, 1 Part Lava. In a 1-1-1 mix you have to water a lot more.
I’m not a Bonsai expert so maybe some of the more experienced members have better advice.
Stay healthy. Stay safe!
Here’s an interesting video on the water retention properties of various organic and inorganic substrates.
Yeah I would have to agree, if you need more water retention then adding akadama is the way to go. If you have access to alternative substrates these would work as well; pine bark chips and diatomaceous earth. Long/medium grain sphagnum as a top dressing will also help retain a little more moisture.
Thanks for the input guys happy bonsai and stay safe
It was evading me yesterday, suddenly it came to mind. Horticultural charcoal has excellent water absorption as well. Some people use it to clean, filter, or “sweeten” the water, I don’t personally believe any of these (inside a bonsai pot). It definitely can absorb a lot of water and will release it back to the plant.