Boonyarat Manakitivipart (Bonsai Boon), Colin Lewis, Harry Harrington, Morten Albek and Robert Steven were kind enough to share their personal opinion about Akadama, answering five questions about Akadama and its use in Bonsai soil mixtures. Once extracted its dried and sifted to various grain sizes. Hard Premium Akadama Bonsai Soil. That's why I add volcanic cinder, adsorbent and pine fir to the mix to help hold more of the moisture. If using River or Propagating Sand, sieve out the finest particles. - Robert Steven. Akadama and Kanuma. Kanuma. You didn't ask me, but looking at the soil you linked to, it contains sand. Kanuma is a Japanese soil that is a volcanic soil from the Kanuma region in Japan. And then learn how to water and fertilize properly. I believe you can get it in Australia but it is very expensive. This means that extra care must be taken when working a lava-rich soil between the roots. Enjoy reading! NOTES: This type of soil also has the benefit of being a free-draining type, meaning that it is easy for Akadama to drain unnecessary water given enough time. For many species native to my area (picea, larix, abies, native acer) I am resorting to organic and sand, with about 25 percent recycled akadama/lava/whatever. That's it. Orchids: Kanuma 6 parts, Matured pine fines (leaf mould) 2 parts, Coarse River Sand 2 parts. The cheaper grades break down more quickly than the better grades, and the surface breaks down quicker than lower in the pot, but it still drains well and performs as it should. I used to suggest and argue on the soil subject. In Japan it rains for the month of June (Northern hemisphere) and the temperature is about 30°C; July is around 35°C with about 99% humidity. One does not have to make the soil issue complicated. Imported from Japan. Used principally for acid-loving bonsai - Azaleas/Rhododendrons, Camellias, etc, Satsuki in particular. When repotting do not jab too hard with the chopstick as this will break the granules down. So I go two parts Akadama/Kanuma to one part everything else. Cat litter is a similar product to turface, but may contain contaminants, so I avoid it. Generally you will put a shallow layer of soil in the bottom of the pot, put your bonsai in the pot and add the same size soil on top of the roots. For each sample, 11.6 g of soil, 5 μmol ETBE, and approximately 2.8 mg of strain ET10 were added to each 60-mL vial. For native pines I use one part of the above recipe with two parts sand. Best for acid loving plants. Maples: Akadama 8 parts, Sphagnum Moss 1 part, CRS 1 part. To obtain a substitute for Akadama soil stably securing soil of soil quality like Akadama soil in heavy usage as soil for flowerpots and planters of home gardening. Akadama is a premium bonsai soil used by Japanese master gardeners. If you are growing them out in a big pot, I might consider adding 1/4 pine bark to the mix, but no higher. I have noticed that turface gives good results for a year, possibly two years when used for newly collected plants, but during year three there is a deterioration in vigor at the time when one would normally expect an improvement. Red Pine: (1) Akadama 6 parts, CRS 2 parts, Japanese Black Soil or Coco Peat 2 parts. Have tried it and it doesn't do its job here. Rainy periods often are in autumn, and summer showers shows too. Buy and sell almost anything on Gumtree classifieds. 2. Allow greater control over fertilisers in the potting medium. Akadama; Kanuma; Local Stockists; You are here. Ficus: 100% Akadama. Bulbs: Kanuma 5 parts, Akadama 2 parts, Matured pine fines 3 parts. Zelkova/Elms: Akadama 8 parts, CRS 2 parts. The use of pumice for bottom layer drainage (5/16 “) is recommended.For conifers from the desert and high mountains use medium size mix (3/8” – 5/16”). It is on the cool side in summer here in San Francisco Bay Area. The most important thing for Bonsai soil is all the characteristic features, and we found them all better in Volcanic soil. Climate does not affect my choice of soils since I can control watering during hot dry weather and it never rains so much for so long that excess water becomes a problem. We have an average _total_ snowfall of 2.5 meters. But for the Kanuma (for Azaleas) I use more Kanuma and minus the volcanic cinder. Quite often, however, the new hobbyist asks all the questions but the really important ones. Zelkova/Elms: Akadama 8 parts, CRS 2 parts. It’s often a hobby people pick up to get in touch with nature if not themselves. The proportions of organic and sand varies according to species. After only one or two seasons the akadama will break down and begin decreasing its value is the experience I have. Perlite and vermiculite are two inorganic You need to learn how to repot and remove and add soil properly. Soil For Your Red Maple Bonsai. Small gravel of a uniform/graded size could be used instead. - Boonyarat Manakitivipart (Bonsai Boon), No other mineral component is a substitute for Akadama because roots can penetrate each grain of Akadama but cannot penetrate other minerals. Unless the Akadama can be completely removed (the tree bare-rooted) every two years, it should quite simply not be used. It is simply because in Japan it is, or at least was, a relatively cheap and freely available to enthusiasts. Following these simple instructions a perfect very open free-draining mix can be achieved - ideal for bonsai culture. - Robert Steven, I use Akadama because it is one of the best ingredient to use. Either for protection for cold winds or for heavy raining periods. Unfortunately price and unreliability of supply in the USA means that this is not always possible. The thickness of the moss layer should vary according to climate and watering habits.This soil mix has been used successfully throughout North America. For deciduous, use small size mix (1/16”-1/4 “) and add 1 extra part of Akadama. Highest temperatures varies from 60-90°F (15-32°C). Our trees grow slower in the cool summer. All ingredients must be bone dry, screened and sized. Introduction to Soil. I use less akadama on the tree in training (25% or less). - Boonyarat Manakitivipart (Bonsai Boon), This depends on what is currently available. Large (Used mainly for drainage) They are light and therefore easier for pot handling, but most importantly they have the following useful properties: 1. I have used lava a lot, and I am impressed by the results I have seen with newly collected plants. to adjust transpiration and drainage. In summer we have cold fog coming in from the ocean. For deciduous, use small size mix (1/16”-1/4 “) and add 1 extra part of Akadama. Australian Natives: This is currently an open field but Akadama has been used 100% on its own, mixed with Kanuma and/or gravel and other media with remarkably good effect. Satsuki/Azaleas: 100% with a little charcoal (In a dry summer climate such as South or Western Australia 5 - 10% Sphagnum Moss may be added.) But you need to know how to use use it. And understandably, they will not have reason to question its use. At Bonsai Empire we receive questions about Akadama, and its use for Bonsai soil, quite a lot. Rainfall is no more no more nor less than the European average. - Colin Lewis, Akadama breaks down over 1 to 2 years, depending on the quality of the akadama, freeze/thaw cycle in your climate and frequency of watering. One season can present temperatures as low as-10 to -20 degrees in periods with snow, and some winters shows between 5 - 10 degrees above freezing, with minor periods with frosts. The experts answer a few questions that Bonsai Empire asked them about Akadama, and its use as Bonsai soil. Home. Bottom line, make your own experiences and do not use money at a advertised "quality" akadama because it is Japanese, or because your Bonsai dealer tells you to use a Japanese soil, because Bonsai is Japanese. Akadama soil is mined in Japan from volcanic soil. My Bonsai are always stowed in a cold frame greenhouse. Some experts endorse the use of Akadama, while others (the majority of experts we interviewed) prefer different types of Bonsai soil. 10$ Also available in larger quantities of 3L -25$ and 5 L- 40$ Also have specialized bonsai mix If interested. 家庭園芸の鉢土やプランターの土として多用される赤玉土のような土質の土を安定して確保出来るようにする。 - 特許庁 - Morten Albek, We are truly tropical with only warm and raining season; and we are mostly working deciduous trees, not much on conifers. Akadama (赤玉土, akadamatsuchi, red ball earth) is a naturally occurring, granular clay-like mineral used as 2. All ingredients must be bone dry, screened and sized. With Kanuma: After repotting, the pot should be watered copiously until the water runs out clear from the bottom of the pot. Bonsai Mujo is a bonsai nursery in Adelaide. - Boonyarat Manakitivipart (Bonsai Boon), Back in the dark ages before Akadama was available in Europe I used a combination of coarse organic matter (sifted peat, pine or oak leaf mould, genuinely decomposed bark) mixed with coarse sand and a handful of turface. This ships in original 3.2 Quart Bag with mixed size granules From the Kanuma region of Japan. Note : Proper repotting technique needs to be applied, otherwise this mix is not recommended. Hopefully enough information for you to decide for yourself what's best for your trees! - Colin Lewis, I live in the UK, typically the climate has highs of around 30C in the Summer and lows of -5 to -10C in the Winter. I also use recycled Akadama as a partial ingredient in general purpose soils. And you will never know what the good healthy roots look like. For conifers from the desert and high mountains use medium size mix (3/8” – 5/16”). I have been using Diatomaceous Earth or 'Diatomite' (Catlitter) on my trees for around a decade now. Akadama Website to find out the full details on the product, Current pricing and availability http://akadama.com.au/?q=node/1, Website for details of Kanuma is here http://akadama.com.au/?q=node/2, Please call or email me for availability but I usually can supply most orders from stock on hand. 4. Would this mix do as a substitute? - Harry Harrington, Akadama is a Japanese soil, located in Japan, and useful in Japan. IMPORTANT: PLEASE NOTE As I don't consider myself an expert at Bonsai soil, but do like to be able to provide my website visitors with an answer, I decided to ask a few people that I personally consider experts at Bonsai. I've had a few different types that have survived over the past few years but they have always been in regular potting soil. Sydney - Enfield Produce / Pet and Garden Supplies Some bonsai enthusiasts prefer to make their own bonsai soil. 4. 1 liter bag. Akadama does break down. Trees grown in pure Akadama seem to require repotting less often than those grown in other purely mineral soils (see 4, below). Whether you are newbie or advanced succulent grower, I am sure that you know the succulents are desert plants which mean they strive for soilless mix. Trees are paced under the sky from midd March to November. It's parent material was derived from arc volcanics, probably andesitic in composition like those in the Cascades. A lot of our experienced customers use Akadama soil for their conifers and deciduous trees, but it's also recommend for novice gardeners. It provides a full range of bonsai trees, pots and tools. Frankly, in the USA Akadama is becoming so expensive that a cheaper, viable alternative must be found. If this is adopted the resulting growth, particularly in the second year after repotting, is strong yet controllable. These mixes have worked very well in Japan for 100 yrs or so and if used correctly achieve wonderful results. An additional problem with lava is that the surface has sharp edges that can easily damage tender roots during repotting. Shohin Bonsai gets a mixture with up to 80 percent soil, and 20 percent drainage pebbles or small stones like lava pebbles.For large trees that doesn't want a free draining soil, a app. Several other types of soils will do exactly the same job, with differences in handling its job, primarily depending on climate conditions and the growing demands of the tree it serves. Corrections of calculations below. Summers may vary from long hot and dry periods, to rainy periods. Mobile : 0414983880 (2) Akadama 8 parts, CRS 2 parts. The moss will keep the soil in place during watering. Akadama is a clay soil, and will be very compact and poor of oxygen, harming the roots when broken down. Buy a good soil in a garden centre, and not the cheapest one, because they break down too fast. 5mm kanuma soil. (Ordinary peat repels water if it dries out in the mix.) 3.2 Quart Bag Kanuma is a granular Japanese Potting Medium for Acid-Loving Bonsai. 3. - Harry Harrington, I mostly use sphagnum peat (not to be confused with the fresh mosses used for air layering i.e.) - Morten Albek, No experience other than volcanic material. Pines and Junipers cannot have a complete soil-change to remove Akadama and repotting is infrequent; it stands to reason that any akadama introduced into the soil of a Pine or Juniper will become very compacted before there is an opportunity to remove it. it broke down after 2 years or something, and I didn't find any better than our volcanic soil but very expensive, then I stopped. - Harry Harrington, The climate in Denmark, Northern Europe, shows sometimes very shifting conditions. I got a pallet of Akadama and Kanuma shipped over to secure my/Canberra's supplies in the the short term. Even the harder akadama types are not resistant over longer time spans. The Akadama used for bonsai potting purposes is HARD Akadama. Local Stockists . As discussed in my Beginner’s Guide to Bonsai, anyone can bonsai by meeting a few conditions.Anyone new to bonsai or to any hobby tends to have many questions. - Robert Steven, I live in USDA zone 10a (with a range of 35 to 40 F). - Morten Albek, I believe Akadama is good, but just not better than our volcanic soil. Mail : ken@poolez.com. For example, if you are planting a black pine in a rectangular pot 12" x 8" x 2" deep, you would start with a layer of 3/8" size soil that's about 1-inch deep. Imported from Japan. Whatever soil type you may prefer, make sure it is heat treated to solve any issues with diseases or pests, and therefore it is advisable newer to use any soils from the garden. For lower elevation conifer and water loving conifer, use small size mix (1/16” – 1 / 4 “). Trees imported from Japan growing in akadama soil have all proven very big problems surviving. Pumice is an improvement on both turface and lava. 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