What is kiryuzuna and what is it used for?

Kiryuzuna substrateKiryuzuna Substrate

Image – Bonsainostrum.com

When you start in the world of bonsai there are a few words that will simply sound very strange to you, especially those that refer to substrates. Although now that you are starting it is likely that more than once mobs will be recommended to you, the reality is that there are species that will have better health if they are planted in other types of land and / or sands.

The Kiryuzuna is one of them. In recent times, its popularity is gradually increasing, and its characteristics make it very appropriate for a wide variety of species. But, What exactly?

What is kiryuzuna? Composition and properties

Bonsai are sensitive to overwatering

Bonsai are sensitive to excess watering

It is a zeolite of Japanese origin that is obtained from mountain sand. It comes from the decomposition of volcanic gravel and has a pH between 6.5 and 6.8which makes it especially interesting for acidophilic plants such as japanese maples, camellias, azaleas, etc.

Its granulometry is between 1 and 6mm, so makes water drainage much easierallowing the roots to always be properly aerated. In addition, it contains some iron that the roots can absorb as it decomposes, which is why it is widely used in conifers for example.

Its composition is as follows:

  • Silicon: 16,84%
  • Aluminum: 14,52%
  • Magnesium: 0,10%
  • Iron: 0,83%
  • Calcium: 8,47%
  • Oxygen: 53,84%
  • Titanium: 0,10%
  • Carbon: 3,58%
  • Manganese: 0,01%
  • Sodium: 1,52%
  • Potassium: 0,11%
  • Phosphorus: 0,09%

Types of kiryuzuna according to their granulometry

Depending on the size of the grain, we have:

  • Small grain or Shohin: between 2 and 4mm thick. This is very interesting for plants with fine and / or delicate roots, like Japanese maples, for example.
  • Medium or normal grain: between 2 and 6mm thick. It is recommended for growing practically any type of plant.
  • Coarse-grained: between 6 and 12mm. It is little used in plants; although for the autochthonous it is a highly advisable option.

How is it used?

The kiryuzuna is, so far, one of the best substrates for bonsai that currently exist (at least, of those that we can find in Spain). As it is harder than the akadama and that kanuma, does not decompose. Of course, you have to know that you can not replace them. Because, always used mixedThe most common mixture being the following: 70% akadama with 30% kiryuzuna.

Where do you buy?

The fastest way to find it is by visiting a specific bonsai shopbut if we do not have any nearby then the ideal will be to acquire it in online stores, or by clicking here!. The price is around 26 euros for an 18-liter bag of normal grain.

Are there inexpensive alternatives to kiryuzuna?

Japanese substrates, as they are imported, can be quite expensive. This, if you only have one or two floors, or a high budget, it will not be a problem for you; But if you want to have a lot of plants or save a little, it may be interesting to look for alternatives.

And fortunately, there is a very, very advisable that is the pumice. This substrate, like kiryu, takes a long time to break down, and it also releases nutrients such as silica, albite, sodium oxide, aluminum sesquioxide, and calcium oxide. But unlike kiryu, the price is much lower: a 20-liter bag is around € 18, as you can see for yourself by clicking here!.

Akadama and kiryuzuna, how are they different?

Kiryuzuna is a substrate that is often used mixed with others, such as akadama. But what is akadama? Well, it is a type of clay originally from Japan. Its color is light brownalthough it turns dark brown when wet, and is inert, that is, it has no nutrients.

Being a clay, over time it decomposesbut the truth is that it takes a long time. From my own experience, I will tell you that it may take a year or two even. But you have to bear in mind that from a handful of akadama you will not be left with anything after a year, as the grains decompose little by little, each one at its own pace.

The pH is similar to that of kiryuzuna, between 6.5 and 6.9, and there are different types depending on the size of the grain:

  • view: between 1 and 4mm thick. Being so small, it is used mainly in aquariums or to grow aquatic plants.
  • Standard grain or Santard Extra Quality: the grain size is between 2 and 6mm thick. It is the one used for all plants, including bonsai.
  • Coarse-grained: between 6 and 12mm thick. It is the most recommended for native plants and, also, for those that have strong roots such as Ficus or Eucalyptus for example.

Where is akadama bought?

Akadama is a substrate that you will find in bonsai stores, but also in online nurseries and clicking here!. The price of a 14-liter bag is priced at about € 23.

Conifer bonsai with kiryuzuna

Coniferous bonsai with kiryuzuna

Did you find it interesting? I hope you have learned a lot about the kiryuzuna.

What is kiryuzuna and what is it used for?

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