Soil Mixes and Tree Species

Let’s discuss what soil mixes work best for your tree species :+1:


Being in UK I devoted with trust to Kaizen bonsai supply. They did try all sorts of mix apparently for years and stick with main 3 ones they offer with specifics about what trees which one works the best with. Still not confident to speak details but you can check it on their detailed website with all info and stories.
My trees are happy and I can see from reviews and blog chats there are many happy customers.
After seeing ‘soils’ stream Im going to repot some of deciduous trees into pure akadama next year and see what difference does it make. Alternatively planning to play a bit myself but with high ratio of akadama purely because UK has certainly different environment compare to NW pacific.
And what about you guys? :slight_smile:


I’m in the UK also and have a great deal of respect for Graham but haven’t tried his own mixes. For some years I used pure akadama on deciduous and things were ‘ok’. I then went over to an akadama/pumice/lave/charcoal mix about 5 years back and feel that it copes with the UK weather better. I use 1.1.1. now on conifers and up the akadama on deciduous a little depending upon species. Charcoal is unmeasured and yes I know what Ryan says but it makes me feel good! My mixes are sieved very carefully. The trees seem healthier than before so I’m sticking with that. I feed organically and use Matsu seaweed products. It’s our unpredictable but generally wet autumn/winter that can cause the biggest issues I feel.


Good to know @Blown55 and thanks for your input. The weather is what I was thinking of too and if my trees are very happy in what they are in I might not experiment much. Maybe I will give it a go with couple of same type of tree for comparison as Im very curious :slight_smile:

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I started using Kaizen soil mixes, but soon wanted to make my own. They are good, and would recomend them if you dont have lots of trees, and you dont want to go down the rabit hole of making your own, but if and when you do your understanding will take a massive jump forward.

I have to say that Graham Potter’s soil mixes alone were responsible for the survival of my earliest trees until I was able to get myself some decent training from the local bonsai community about what actually is best for rain soaked Northern Ireland

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I’m curious what others are using as soil mixtures for their Japanese maples. I live in the SE, HZ 6-7 (TN), and I’m torn. I’ve always used a heavily organic mix based on Peter Adams’ book, but he lives far away from me in a much different climate. Currently, I am 40% organic (bark, compost), 40% japanese clay, 30% lava rock. I’m sure there are some worthy substitutions, but I’m trying to keep my root systems from drying out in the wicked Southern heat. Feedback…

100% Akadama with 1/16 particles left in is what I have success with.

I’m going to try that. I’m curious if I’m wasting money on a lot of other ingredients just to discard them 2-3 years later when I have to repot. Thx for the advice.