Bonsai Zelkova (Japanese Elm) (4)
The Zelkova or Japanese Elm Bonsai is the ideal plant for beginners as it is the easiest plant to grow. It is also known as Japanese elm, and in nature it is a medium-sized tree, with brown-gray bark, with small, serrated oval leaves of a beautiful dark green. It is a very resistant bonsai to diseases and pests, making it easy to manage.
In Autumn, as temperatures decrease, Zelkova loses most of its leaves, but if grown indoors and protected from excessive temperature changes, it can become evergreen.
It loves exposure in full light, but not the direct rays of the sun, so indoors it should be placed in a very bright spot while outdoors it should be kept in partial shade. In winter it must be moved indoors or repaired with non-woven fabric as it does not like low temperatures.
All Bonsai need periodic repotting, Zelkova is no exception. Depending on the speed in development,
Like all bonsai, the Zelkova Bonsai should be repotted at most every two years in the young plants, every three years for the adult plants. With the occasion of repotting it is good to shorten the roots a little.
For professionals it is advisable to use the Akadama fine, which is a Japanese clay, which allows excellent drainage, but low in nutrients. With this type of soil, if you forget some watering or neglect fertilization, you risk sending it into suffering. For the less experienced it will be the case to prepare your own mix consisting of 70% of ready-made soil for Bonsai and 30% of coarse-grained sand. The important thing is to insert a little draining clay on the bottom of the pot.
This type of bonsai requires constant irrigation, abundant in the spring / summer seasons (once a day), every two days in the colder seasons.
It does not want water stagnation, so as a rule you have to wait until the substrate is dry before irrigating again. Saucers must not be used.
Fertilization: must be constant in the vegetative periods, normally from spring to autumn, every 10-15 days, with specific liquid fertilizer for Bonsai. In the case of very hot summer, fertilization can be suspended from July to mid-August. If the plant is grown indoors, you can fertilize less.