5 year old Chinese Elm - just a few questions

andrewclimbsAugust 26, 2013

Hello there,

Firslty, I am new to Bonsai and just recently bought a 5 year old Chinese Elm. I have situated the bonsai next to my window (so indoors) where it gets pretty much a full day of direct sunlight.
I have attempted to read through the web on tips and tricks but there seems to be a fair amount of junk out there. If you could answer these few questions that would be very much appreciated.
1) I water it 2-3 times a week, mainly via spraying it but also some directly in to the soil when I feel the soil is too dry. does this seem right?
2) My Bonsai does not seem anywhere near as mature as other 5 year old bonsai's, have I bought a dud one? (if possible), and how do I promote growth, particularly a thicker trunk?
3) If you could check out my photo that I have posted, do you think this is a decent enough set up for an indoor Chinese Elm, I am filling the bottom tray with water on most days to keep the humidity in the local area optimal which I have read is useful...so, is it?
as you can see I am very new to this so any help would be lovely.
p.s I posted as I live in Sydney, Australia and can only really find information about other parts of the world

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Since you are keeping water levels in the tray rather constant, you might not need to mist as much. As for watering requirements, it varies on many factors. If you are a little worried you can check by poking it. Insert a twig, or wooden chopstick, or other long and slightly absorbent tool into the soil until you feel that tool has reached the bottom of the pot. Wait a little, and remove it. I am sure you have probably figured out the point of this, or read it somewhere else during your research conquests.
It most certainly is not a "dud", which I assume you mean to say "broken". "Bad" is a subjective word, and you would need to decide that for yourself; so I won't go into that. However, it is living and therefor not "broken". You can care for it, shape it, train it, throw it at a passerby, whatever you fancy.
Thickening the trunk can be done through many techniques. Do a little research though, to find what would suit you best. Planting your tree directly in the ground is often recommended, but this option can be limited by things like your hardiness zone, or space. I live in an apartment, and don't have a yard; which makes it hard to grow things in the actually Earth they were born from.

Do some research on your plants species, as well as general bonsai techniques. You will certainly find a plethora of information on the internet, but also at your local library or book store. Talk to people at some local nurseries.

I hope you enjoy your newly found tree, and find the answers you seek.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:11PM
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