Bonsai Soil

© Budi Setiawan - Fotolia.comChoosing the right bonsai soil is a very important factor if you want to have a healthy bonsai plant. Bonsai is a plant that has undergone special cultivation process to make it appears small. Bonsai plants actually are the same as their bigger versions, but the roots are pruned regularly so they will only grow to a certain small size.

Bonsai needs a lot of moisture and nutrients to survive. In this case, bonsai soil plays a very important role because it should be able to hold sufficient amount of moisture as well as hold nutrients to be the plant’s food. In addition, bonsai soil needs to be mixed appropriately so it has good air circulation for the roots and able to drain water properly. Since many bonsai lovers need good quality soil, there are many ready-mix bonsai soils available in the gardening stores and nurseries. You should understand that these bonsai soils are quite expensive. Moreover, you will need to spend more because your bonsai will need repotting every year or two.

In order to save cost, some bonsai planters have decided to make their own bonsai soil. Basic materials that you need to make this soil are dead plant substances and several forms of organic matter. These materials are mixed together to make a good bonsai soil mixture. The type of your bonsai plants affects how you should make your own bonsai soil because each has its own needs. For example, some bonsai plants require soil that can retain water, while others can do well without a lot of water.

If you are relatively new in the art of bonsai making, it is better for you to buy ready mix bonsai soil before you try to make one by your own. This is to make sure that you can grow a healthy bonsai first rather than making pig’s food from your soil experiments.


As mentioned briefly, bonsai needs to be repotted periodically. You will need to change the soil during this process so it can supply sufficient nutrients for the plants. In addition, repotting is also the time for you to prune the roots of your bonsai. Some roots grow rapidly, while others grow slowly. In general, you need to repot your bonsai every year or two years.

This is also another reason why bonsai planters make their own bonsai soil. In many cases, it is more practical and economical to make bonsai soil from various organic matters around your house than purchasing bonsai soil mixtures from stores and nurseries. You do not need to buy organic materials to make your own bonsai soil and this is also a good way to recycle your organic matters.

By Cindy Heller

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