The Best Bonsai Soil Mix

Choosing the right soil is crucial for the success of your bonsai tree because the correct soil provides your tree with all the essential minerals it needs to grow fast, healthy, and strong. There is no one-size-fits-all solution because the type of soil you need depends on the kind of tree you are growing – which is why we have compiled this list of different types of bonsai soil mix and where to buy it.

Different types of bonsai soil mix

There are specific characteristics you have to look for when choosing your bonsai soil mix. The best soil provides proper aeration and minerals for the roots as well as sufficient water drainage without compromising on water retention. No single type of soil can provide all of these characteristics, which is why it’s best to use bonsai soil mixtures.

Typical components of such mixtures are organic potting compost, diatomaceous earth, akadama, lava rock, fine gravel, and pumice.

Organic potting compost: Quality organic potting soil is rich in nutrients and bonds the other components used in your mixture together.

Diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring, nutrient-rich, soft rock that crumbles easily. It’s sometimes used as a bonsai soil mixture because it effortlessly absorbs and holds large quantities of water while allowing for sufficient air to travel through.

Akadama: The Japanese word akadamatsuchi translates to red ball earth and is a red-colored hard-fired clay that is found naturally in Japan near volcanoes. Although being the most expensive bonsai soil additive, it’s loved for its ability to absorb and hold water while providing adequate drainage. The only downside to using akadama, apart from its price, is that it breaks down after a couple of years, which means that the bonsai will have to be repotted.

Lava rock: Lava rock, also known as scoria, is a favorite among many bonsai enthusiasts because it adds sufficient spacing while the rock pores absorb moisture and other nutrients. It also adds a certain element of beauty, which is why you will often see these lava rocks at bonsai exhibitions.

Fine gravel: The best fine gravel you can use in your mix is river rock, which can be found just about anywhere. It’s mostly non-absorbent and allows for proper aeration.

Pumice: Pumice is air-filled rock that forms during volcanic eruptions. It’s great as a bonsai soil additive, thanks to its ability to absorb water and nutrients while allowing aeration.

Peat moss: Peat moss, a natural dark brown fibrous material, which forms when dead plant matter, moss, and other organic matter decomposes. It’s usually used as a seed starter, an ingredient in potting mixes, and even in hydroponics.

Peat moss can hold several times its weight in moisture, and when dry, it becomes extremely hard and compact – which is why it’s always best to mix it with aggregate material for proper drainage and aeration./p>

The best soil solutions for your bonsai tree

Sure, you could purchase each component separately and make your own bonsai mix, or you could save yourself the trouble and get these bags of ready-to-go, nutrient-rich mixtures for a strong, healthy tree.

Japanese kiryu bonsai soil additive

Kiryu is porous volcanic rock taken from the ground near volcanoes in Japan. It’s ideal for use as a bonsai soil mix additive because it’s great for drainage and does not break down over time. The 2 pounds of Kiryu comes in a resealable bag and has already been sifted from impurities, so it’s good to go as is. The product also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the item.

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All-purpose bonsai tree soil

Not sure which soil mixture to use on your bonsai tree? Use this bag of 100% organic all-purpose bonsai tree soil mixture from tiny roots. It’s been specially formulated by professionals to provide any bonsai tree with nutrients while offering sufficient water retention and drainage.

The 4-pound bag contains turface, high-quality akadama, compost mulch, vermiculite, and the perfect blend of 28 FRIT minerals and vitamins for a strong, healthy tree.

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Tropical blend bonsai soil

This 8-pound bag of tropical blend bonsai soil mixture, also from Tinyroots, is perfect for tropical bonsai trees such as Fukien tea, tabebuia, bougainvillea, ficus, buttonwood, Brazilian rain tree, and others.

Included within this tropical bonsai soil mix are thoroughly sifted river sand, compost mulch, trace elements, minerals, akadama, shredded pieces of pine bark and turface.

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Bonsai soil trace elements

If you already have your mixture but would like to add vital minerals and trace elements for your bonsai roots, then add this product. It contains all the necessary 28 nutrients missing from your fertilizer. To use it, add one teaspoon per gallon of water when watering once a year.

Upon adding it to your bonsai, 30% of the nutrients will be immediately released while the remaining 70% gets undergoes a slow release over a year.

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