In the world of bonsai, we can find many different varieties since we can now create a bonsai version of almost countless big trees. The art of creating bonsai has been practiced since many ages ago.
Firstly found in ancient Chinese culture, the art of bonsai has turn out to be a very popular hobby or activity in many different countries on the planet. Most bonsai artists, especially the ones who are very new to this miniature world of trees, must be looking for the type of bonsai tree that comes with a tough characteristic and is pretty easy to grow.
Zelkova bonsai, in fact, has become a very popular species among many cultivators mostly for those two excellent properties. In addition to that, many bonsai artists are interested in growing zelkova bonsai because this bonsai tree has great resistance to various infestations and other diseases.
The Varieties of Zelkova Bonsai
Thanks to the resilient characteristics of this bonsai tree, you will not find any difficulty in growing a zelkova bonsai tree in your home. In the world of bonsai, zelkova bonsai is known to have two different varieties.
The first one is the Chinese zelkova which is mostly marked by its brown or black bark.
This type of zelkova bonsai usually comes in a smaller size compared to the other zelkova variety known as the Zelkova Serrata Bonsai.
This larger variety is also better known as the Japanese Zelkova or the Japanese Gray Bark elm.
This type of bonsai has a vigorous growth rate compared to the Chinese variety. In Japan, Zelkova Serrata Bonsai is also named the Hokdachi due to its broom style.
In its natural environment, a zelkova tree can grow up to 30 meters or 1000 feet tall. The short trunk of this tree seems to be its main property. Despite the fact that the growth rate of a zelkova tree is quite low during its middle to the mature ages, it is pretty surprising to see that this particular tree manages to grow very rapidly.
Another unique characteristic of the zelkova tree is alternately arranged deciduous leaves. These leaves come with simple, ovate or oblong-ovate shapes and this is where the name serrata comes from. This time, let us have a closer look at the zelkova bonsai from Japan.
Should you have a great interest in zelkova bonsai care and other information related to this popular bonsai tree, feel free to read the following paragraphs.
Taking Care of Your Zelkova Bonsai
If you like to have a healthy and appealing zelkova bonsai in your garden, it is really important that you make yourself pretty knowledgeable about zelkova bonsai care. Unlike some other types of bonsai trees that require delicate approach and plenty of attention from the bonsai owners, a zelkova bonsai comes with more simple maintenance due to its resilient character.
You need to understand that your zelkova bonsai requires plenty of natural light. Should you care about how to best grow your bonsai tree, make sure that you come up with a perfect placement. Just because it needs plenty of sunlight, it does not mean that you can expose this bonsai tree fully is summer season.
Receiving too much light from the sun will lead you to dried-out leaves.
During summer, it would be best if you can protect the bonsai tree with partial shade. Marsh-reed screens may come in very handy for this purpose.
The Watering of the Bonsai
Your zelkova bonsai also requires good watering. It is very important that you water this bonsai quite often as we normally put it in a small pot. Make sure that you do not water it too often as too much water might lead the bonsai to its death.
This type of bonsai tree does not like to have wet feet during winter. The best thing you can do when the sun is not too strong is watering the zelkova bonsai every morning once in a day. When summer comes, it is about time for you to increase the frequency of the watering.
A zelkova bonsai requires at least two times of watering in a day during the summer. A watering can would be the best tool to help you water the bonsai tree more easily.
Read: Yamadori: Do and don’t when collecting in the mountain
The Best Type of Soil for Zelkova Bonsai
Another important aspect you need to consider is the soil selection. If you can provide sandy loam soil, that would be the best option for the zelkova bonsai tree. This type of land can be easily procured from cultivated land or the mountains area.
Make sure that you have the soil dried out and well sieved before using it for your bonsai.
Once you have dry sand on the pot, you can put the soil into the pot and make sure that it settles properly by gently shaking the pot. Pressing the soil into the pot would be a bad idea.
It is also advised that you pick a deeper pot for your zelkova bonsai and make sure that the soil is fertile.
Once a week, it would be best if you give the bonsai tree half dose fertilization and the full dose fertilization can be given in the alternate week. A natural fertilizer seems like a great option for this bonsai tree from spring to fall.
In the early of spring, it is highly recommended that you can place your zelkova bonsai tree to a new pot. In the early stage of the zelkova bonsai growth, the re-potting process should be done once in a year. When the bonsai is in the later stage of its growth, re-potting it every two years might be sufficient.
In order to help the bonsai resemble the zelkova tree in its natural environment, you can use strings, sticks and bonsai wires. It is very important that you come up with a very careful approach in using these tools in order to prevent any unwanted damage on the zelkova bonsai.