Species Specific > White Pine Bonsai Discussion

White pine in akadama

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I just got a Japanese white pine planted in an akadama/lava/sharp gravel mix and I've never used akadama in a mix before. I realize that my climate will be different than someone elses, and that there's no exact schedule, and that it will need watering when it needs watering, but was just wondering, generally, how often others had to water their white pines in a similar mix?

Well, of course the first answer will be "it depends". 

Everything I own (except for azaleas) is in Boon mix (akadama, lava, pumice), including several JWP in all stages.  For the smaller trees and seedlings it just in the regular size mix.  The medium and larger trees are in a larger size mix with perhaps a little more lava or pumice, but not always.

I took a workshop at Brussel's last year and brought home a nice JWP.  I've only replaced the front half of the (rather poor, imo) Brussel's soil with (good) soil.  With some of the old soil still in the pot it's still holding a little more water than I would like, so I don't water it as often or as much as others.  How often?  Well, that depends.  ;)

By adjusting soil size and components you can control how much water stays in a particular pot.  I know some do, but I don't typically adjust how I water.  For the most part everything gets watered the same amount/frequency, with the rare exception noted above.

Got any pictures?

John Kirby:
Are you a member of the Dallas or Fort Worth Bonsai Societies? I know of several people who do well with JWP there, I would get with the clubs and seen what folks like Howard and Sylvia Smith are doing. Like Matsu, I would assume that they are maintaining their trees in an akadama based mix (Boon's Mix) but the strategy for managing the extreme summer heat is something that would be good to hear from someone experienced in that climate.  John

I agree with John. Japanese White Pines normally don't do well in the southern part of the US, however if there are local bonsai enthusiasts who have been successful for many years definitely make it a priority to contact them.

I keep my JWPs in pure turface and they love it. I think the soil's ability to provide excellent drainage while maintaining moisture out ways the soil's actual contents.

Good luck with your pine.

Well I got this tree knowing I'm heading to the Northwest as soon as my house sells, so hopefully won't have to worry about the heat. Right now it gets eastern morning sun only and misted daily. I've just not been able to tell how wet the soil is with a chopstick. The large particle sizes are somewhat dry on the outside and slightly damp inside. The tree looks very healthy now, but I am concerned the clay nature of the soil will hold too much moisture. Generally do you guys water daily or less? I'll get a pic up soon.


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