Since its inception, in the world of bonsai they have worked with certain species that, meeting a series of requirements , have gradually become authentic works of living art. One of these species is the elm , a deciduous tree that has proven to be a real gem for those who enter this world for the first time.
On this occasion I am going to explain how to take care of an elm bonsai , discovering all the virtues of this wonderful tree plant.
What is an elm?
When we talk about elms, we can refer to either of these two genera: Ulmus sp or Zelkova sp. Although they are very similar, in fact they are part of the same Ulmaceae family, there are subtle differences that should be known.
- Ulmus sp : This is the true elm. They are deciduous trees native to the Northern Hemisphere. In the Spanish urban flora, it is common to find Ulmus pumila or Ulmus minor in parks and/or botanical gardens . However, it is a genus that is being seriously affected by graphiosis , a fungus that, once inside the trunk, weakens the plant to the point of killing it.
- Zelkova sp : Deciduous, it is native to southern Europe and eastern Asia. It is also one of the most used for bonsai, especially the Zelkova serrata species .
Elm Bonsai Care
Now that we know what an elm is, let’s know how to care for it when working as a bonsai:
- Location : the elm is a plant that resists cold and frost very well, and therefore can -and should- be kept outdoors throughout the year.
- Irrigation : for a correct development, it is advisable to always keep the substratum slightly moist.
- Pruning : training pruning, that is, the one whose objective is to give our tree a design, will be carried out in late autumn or early spring. However, small pruning, as well as pinching, can be carried out throughout the vegetative season, allowing about 4 pairs of leaves to grow and subsequently leaving two leaves on each twig.
- Transplantation : it is recommended to change the tray every two years.
- Substrate : Will grow wonderfully in 70% akadama mixed with 30% kiryuzuna. If you have trouble getting any of these materials, you can use volcanic clay -in the form of gravel- mixed with clay balls or even with very small pieces of ceramic.
- Fertilizer : it is essential, not only for the good health of the tree, but also to prevent it from being affected by any disease, to pay from spring to late summer using a specific fertilizer for bonsai, or natural release fertilizers. slow.
With these tips, you will have your elm bonsai in perfect condition 🙂 .