Chinese Elm Bonsai
A Beginner's Delight
Now you ask
Why is Chinese Elm Bonsai for beginners?
You got to read on for the answer :)
While we can convert many plant species into Bonsai, there are certain species which have become far more popular that the others. The Chinese Elm or Ulmus parvifolia is one of the most popular varieties of Bonsai plant.
This species is found abundantly in the Asian countries of China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea. Chinese Elm is a deciduous tree, which grows up to 18 m in length. It is the most common form of all the elm trees, and is mostly used for landscaping in the most inhospitable of conditions.
Elm is very popular among bonsai enthusiasts. It’s the one to start with for bonsai beginners. There resistance to pruning activities make them the ideal variety for any beginner in the bonsai world.
Chinese Elm can be used both in the indoors as well as the outdoors. When kept indoors they are semi deciduous, but when kept outdoors they stay evergreen.
While the outdoor variety of Chinese elm bonsai is quite frost hardy the indoor variety is more vulnerable. Hence the indoor variety of the Chinese Elm must be kept on a window sill during the winters so as to ensure proper sunlight exposure to the bonsai.
During the summer, that is after May it can be placed out in the sun. Good mulching of the bonsai pot with materials like straw, bark or soil will help the Elm bonsai survive very harsh winters.
Watering the bonsai must be carried out with a lot of care. When kept indoors the compost in the bonsai pot should never be left dry. On the other hand daily watering may lead to sever complications in the plant and could eventually lead to its death.
When the plant is kept outside then you have to water it more frequently depending on the kind of weather. During the spring season when the tree is at its peak growing season it would need more water than normal. So attention must be paid to ensure that the bonsai is properly watered and cared for.
Chinese Elm bonsai can be made to grow with a thick trunk or can be made to have fine growth at the tips of the branches. This could be achieved by proper pruning of the bonsai plant. Generally you should allow the shoots to extend to 3 to 5 nodes and then cut them back to fewer leaves.
You must monitor continuously for any pest attack or diseases. Common disease that affects the Elm species is the Dutch elm disease, although the indoor variety is not generally affected by this disease. Any disease or pest attacks on the indoor variety of this bonsai can be dealt with by proper and judicious use of insecticides and fungicides.
Wiring of the bonsai plant should be generally carried out during the mid-winter seasons when the plant is defoliated.
Chinese Elm bonsai is suitable for any shape, but is specially suited for the broom form of Bonsai.
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