They next talk about the soil because with bonsai we are not going to use typical pine bark that would have been used in a nursery and what the plant has most likely been growing in to this point. Instead use a media with better drainage and great nutrient holding capacity. We want the plant to be very healthy and hearty, so utilize a mix that is top of the line. It should have three main elements, one part is lava stone, it traps air, meaning the air will stay in. The second part is pumice. Pumice holds moisture. The part that we can't get in this country yet, although it's being worked on, is akadama. Akadama means red dirt in Japanese, it holds nutrients. And one can't do that with pine bark. So between the three you've got water, air, and nutrients. Everything is covered in three products. The pumice and lava stone can be grown or produced in this country so they can be found but the akadama is difficult to find, you're most likely going to have to go on the internet for it.
By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
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