page contents The Little Bonsai: Chinese Elm Bonsai

Growing and Caring for Bonsai Trees

Growing and Caring for Bonsai Trees

Chinese Elm Bonsai

Chinese Elm Bonsai on display


This type of tree is the most common kind of bonsai and generally the first one most people will own. Without some information on how to look after them they are also usually the last one they will ever have after it struggles and then finally gives up. Bonsai in general symbolise peace, harmony, order of thoughts and balance. Known as 'The tree of harmony', the Elm symbolises inner strength, intuition and wisdom. A beautiful bonsai which signifies love, balance, calm and a peaceful energy. Here an illustration from the popular channel Bonsai Empire;



They are tough and able to survive the hazards of life indoors, difficult for any tree. Chinese Elm have very small leaves, rugged bark, fine branches and nice roots. Large trees have real charisma and the wow factor. Small ones can be bought cheaply. The tree is semi-decidious and will either keep or partially loose its leaves depending on the conditions in which is it kept. Branch protection is vital for Bonsai's to survive in the long run. Efficient would be tree raffia which can be found here --> Bonsai Tree Raffia

Positioning
The Chinese Elm is an easy bonsai to care for. It is not overly fussy about positioning but prefers a position with good natural daylight but out of direct sunlight, especially during the hottest summer months. We recommend a position away from radiators if possible. A window sill would be great but avoid south facing window-sills in mid summer.

Temperature
As an indoor bonsai the Chinese Elm is not fussy about temperature. If you are growing your bonsai outside, please place in a sheltered position in the garden. Outside this bonsai is semi-evergreen so you should expect the leaves to drop. For very cold nights (below freezing) we would recommend that you bring the bonsai into a shed, glasshouse or cool room. Once nightly lows begin approaching the 40 degree mark, it is time to bring your indoor bonsai inside. The ideal indoor location is on a window sill facing south. An east or west exposure is second best. A northern exposure will work, but will necessitate the use of "grow lights" to provide sufficient light to keep your bonsai healthy. Four to six hours of sunlight per day should suffice. If you can provide more, so much the better.

Watering
Aim to maintain an even level of moisture. The species is quite thirsty especially in hot or sunny conditions. Pot emersion watering can be done or the tree can be watered from above. It largely depending on when the tree was last re-potted and what mixture of organic or inorganic soil medium was used.

Pruning 
Chinese Elms can be very vigorous growers which can resemble fluffy bushes in as little as a couple of weeks. the leaves group alternatively on straight shoots.If you seek simply to maintain the existing shape of a pre-made bonsai, cut the shoots back to the first set of new leaves after the shoot has got an inch or two in length. It also responds will to finger pinching of small shoots on an ongoing basis.

Growing Chinese Elm
We are frequently asked for bonsai seed kits but the reality is that thee kits are rather a disappointed. They frequently don't germinate and it is not the best way to propagate indoor bonsai trees. You are far better to purchase a bonsai, so you can enjoy growing it, and propagate new bonsai by taking cuttings. These are best taken in spring. Allow new shoots to grow 8-10cm and then prune with clean pruning scissors. Pop these cuttings into some fresh multipurpose compost in a small pot. Water them and then keep misting to maintain humidity.







More Bonsai articles can be found here:

Please click here for more information on --> Chinese Penjing Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Origins of Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> The Art of Saikei Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Japanese Tanuki Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> How to Water a Bonsai
Please click here for more information on --> Bonsai Healing Methods


Japanese Snacks


Interesting Books on Bonsai can be found here:

The Complete Book of Bonsai --> I've been into bonsai for 25 years and this is the basic Bible for beginner and intermediate bonsai enthusiasts. It has an excellent section on techniques, including pruning, wiring and whatnot, and it has a large species-specific tree guide. If you're into bonsai and want only one book, this is it.

Indoor Bonsai The Great Selection --> Creating beautiful, healthy bonsai is a wonderful skill that anyone can learn, with a little time, patience, and this all-inclusive manual. With color photos and drawings to illustrate the points, it introduces all the cultivation techniques; offers expert advice on location, soil types, watering, and pest control; and provides intricate instruction on training the bonsai--including pruning, wiring and stretching it.

The Secret Techniques of Bonsai --> In The Secret Techniques of Bonsai, the author of the groundbreaking Bonsai With American Trees teams up with his son to offer not only the basics for creating perfect bonsai, but also secret techniques they’ve developed over years of careful work and observation.

Bonsai Survival Manual --> Problem solving when your Bonsai get sick. Expand your gardening repertoire as you create a captivating and exquisite miniature world. In this introductory guide, Colin Lewis covers everything you need to know to design, grow, and successfully maintain attractive bonsai.

Bonsai and the art of Penjing --> Bonsai & Penjing, Ambassadors of Beauty and Peace describes how Chinese penjing and North American bonsai were later added to the Museum, making its collection the most comprehensive in the world. Stories of individual trees and forest plantings are featured, as are the roles played by the skilled and talented creators of these living art forms people such as John Naka, Saburo Kato, Yuji Yoshimura, Harry Hirao, and Dr. Yee-Sun Wu.

Bonsai with Japanese Maples --> With their delicate foliage, seasonal color changes, and intricate pattern of branching, Japanese maples are among the most popular and suitable plants for bonsai design. In this long-awaited book, internationally renowned expert Peter Adams discusses both the specific horticultural needs of Japanese maples as bonsai subjects and illustrates proven techniques for creating and maintaining beautiful specimens.

The Modern Bonsai Practice --> The most current, useful information on growing Bonsai. Fresh, practical, definitive, comprehensive reference guide to the finest art of horticulture: growing miniature trees. Common sense bonsai answers separating myth from fact with depth and detail. Appropriate for both bonsai hobbyists and experienced practitioners.




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