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Bonsai Products

Good Choice For Beginners!

chinese elm bonsai tree, bonsai elm tree, bonsai gift, gifts

A Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree Makes A Very Special Gift For Someone

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More Attractive & Cheaper Than Akadama!

Moler Bonsai Soil

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chrysal bonsai food, bonsai fertilizer

Chrysal Bonsai Food   

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akadama bonsai soil, clay granual bonsai compost

Akadama Bonsai Soil  

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rainbow bonsai 
 fertilizer, health booster

Rainbow Flower,Bonsai Fertilizer 33ml    

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Chinese Elm, Ulmus Parvifolia Bonsai Tree Care Sheet

Hardy/Deciduous or Semi-evergreen/Easy to keep/Good for beginners


This Bonsai tree care guide describes how to look after a Chinese Elm Bonsai tree.  The Chinese Elm is part of a genus of 45 species of Elms, the Chinese Elm is the most popular Elm used in the art of Bonsai, but there are other members of this genus that are also suitable for Bonsai cultivation.  The Chinese Elm is arguably one of the top three best beginner Bonsai trees available, the only other species even better suited for indoor Bonsai would be Ficus and Crassula (Money Tree) but with proper care the Chinese Elm can do well indoors and is considered an easy beginner Bonsai tree.  

Where To Keep Them/Watering.

Chinese Elms are most commonly sold as indoor Bonsai trees, however the Chinese Elm is fully frost hardy and it can be kept indoors or outdoors.  However your Chinese Elm Bonsai must be acclimatized to the cold before placing it outdoors, and needs to be outdoors all autumn to be able to gradually get used to the drop in temperature, you should never place a Chinese Elm Bonsai tree that has been grown inside straight outside in winter.  If you do place your Bonsai tree outside for the winter it is a good idea to place it in a greenhouse, as cold winds can cause some of the finer branches and twigs to die back, if you don't have a greenhouse you could also place some special fleece over your Bonsai tree to help protect it from cold winds, placing your Bonsai in a sheltered spot in the garden will also help.  It is also a good idea to put some sort of mulch, (straw/ soil or bark) around the pot to help protect the roots of your Bonsai tree.  You also need to keep checking to see if your Bonsai tree needs watering as even in winter you shouldn't let the Bonsai soil dry out, however waterings in winter will most likely be few and far between.  Chinese Elms will enjoy spending as much time outside as possible in summer and as mentioned above can be left outside all year, however with the right conditions Chinese Elms can also do well indoors.  To keep your Chinese Elm Bonsai tree indoors, you should place your Bonsai tree on a cool bright window sill that is well away from a heat source, a humidity tray is also strongly recommended for an indoor Bonsai tree, the tray should be a few inches larger in width and length than the Bonsai pot, and the Bonsai pot should not come in to direct contact with the water in the tray, the feet of the Bonsai pot should be placed on some small stones to raise the pot above the waters surface, or you could place fine gravel up to the rim of the tray and place the Bonsai pot on top of the gravel.  Make sure the humidity tray has the water topped up at all times and as the water evaporates it will rise up through the leaves of your Bonsai tree and help to keep the local area more humid.  Watering of indoor and outdoor Chinese Elms is similar in the fact that you should never let the Bonsai soil completely dry out and you should never keep it constantly wet.  However an outdoor Chinese Elm may need more frequent watering especially when it is exposed to hot sun and warm winds, it is often necessary to water outdoor Bonsai once sometimes twice a day during summer, in both situations check the soil daily and only water when the soil is slightly dry on the surface, if you are not sure, you can check to see if there is moisture lower down in the pot by sticking a wooden chop stick in the soil down to the bottom of the pot, then leave  it for few minutes, if the chop stick comes out fairly dry then it's time to water, if it comes out fairly moist you may be able to leave it a day or so longer.  Both indoor and outdoor Chinese Elm Bonsai trees will need less water during winter, this is because the tree wont be in active growth and also the temperature will be lower so moisture wont evaporate out of the Bonsai pot as quickly.  The amount you will need to water your Bonsai tree will also depend on the size of your Bonsai tree, the size of the Bonsai pot and how moisture retentive the Bonsai soil is, but if you follow the advice above you should be ok.

Repotting/Wiring/Feeding/And Pruning.

You should aim to repot your Chinese Elm Bonsai tree in spring before the leaves are fully open, although indoor specimens can be re-potted pretty much any time of year.  If your Bonsai tree has a good root system you should be able to gently lift it out of the pot in spring (you may need to snip the Wire underneath the pot if the Bonsai tree is wired in) and take a look at the roots to see if they are pot bound, if so you should repot your Bonsai tree, if the roots seem ok then leave re-potting till the following year. when it does become necessary to repot your Chinese Elm, you should use a good quality free draining Bonsai soil.  Akadama Bonsai soil is an excellent choice and can be used on it's own or if you require a more moisture retentive Bonsai soil you could add some fine potting bark to it, Moler Bonsai soil is another good choice, again you could use it on it's own or add some potting bark, you can also add pumice granules to your soil mix as this aids drainage but also holds moisture for your Bonsai tree.  It is important not to fertilize your Bonsai tree for around four weeks after re-potting as doing so can burn the new roots that your Bonsai tree will be developing, after this period carry on fertilizing as usual.  You should fertilize your Bonsai tree from spring onwards with a balanced fertilizer such as Chempak, you will usually fertilize your Bonsai tree once a week but feeding guidelines will differ from brand to brand so it is best to refer to the instructions on the particular brand you decide to use.  Outdoor Chinese Elms wont need feeding during winter and indoor feeding can be reduced to once a month. If you need to wire your Bonsai tree the best time to do this is between late spring and mid autumn although indoor Elms can be wired at any time of year, healthy Bonsai trees can be defoliated to enable easier wiring, you can then leave the wires on for up to a year, but keep checking them to make sure they don't start cutting in to the bark of your Bonsai tree, if this problem occurs the wires will need to be removed and replaced if necessary.  Allow new growth on your Chinese Elm to extend to three or four sets of leaves, then trim the new growth back to one or two leaves as required.  If it is necessary to remove a large branch it a good idea to remove it in mid summer, as the sap inside your Bonsai tree will be flowing well at this time and this will aid in faster and better healing of the wound, large wounds should also be covered in Bonsai cut paste to aid the healing process. 

 The best way to ensure you keep your Bonsai tree healthy is to do as much research as possible(Internet and or books) on the particular species you own and also Bonsai in general as this will give you a broader understanding of the subject and will give you a far better chance of success with your Bonsai tree.

I hope this care sheet has been of interest and helpful to you, if so you might want to read the other care sheets on this site.  It is up to you to use the information given here responsibly and Bargain Bonsai holds no responsibility as to how you use it.


























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