The Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) ranks high on the list of preferred trees for bonsai. It is a perennial favorite among bonsai enthusiasts year after year. A specialized bonsai nursery will frequently suggest this particular plant to first-time bonsai owners. The growth pattern of the Chinese elm is kind of predictable which is amongst the reasons it is just a very good tree for the novice. In addition, the tree is slow growing and for that reason makes it possible for the rookie to master and become familiar with training and caring for it.
The Chinese elm can easily reach up to 60 feet tall in its natural environment. The leaves of the Chinese elm are dark green in color, and have a rather leathery appearance with blunt serrated edges. The leaves are small, and so are ideal for bonsai. The Chinese elm is adaptable to either an indoor ecosystem or an outdoor environment. It is a hardy deciduous tree and will drop its leaves in the fall and spend the winter in a state of dormancy. If grown in the house it is going to stay green all year round.
Unlike other elms, the Chinese Elm bonsai is not vulnerable to b
eing infected with Dutch elm disease. For all of these reasons the Chinese elm makes a excellent tree for the novice bonsai grower.
Watering Your Chinese Elm
Given that bonsai are planted in coarse soil and in shallow containers they might dry out quickly. In some cases, you might need to water the tree daily.The best way to tell if your Chinese elm bonsai requires water is to feel the soil. Put your finger into the soil to about a 1 / 2 in . deep: you need to water your bonsai if the top 1 / 2 inch of soil feels dry to the touch. The most effective method to water your bonsai is to put it in the sink, or in a shallow container, and allow it to sit in the water a couple of minutes until it has soaked up enough from the water drainage holes in the bottom. After it has been soaking for 5-10 minutes take it out from the sink and place it wherever it may drain totally of any surplus water.
Make sure that you never let your bonsai plant become completely dry. It is a sure way to kill it quickly. Decide your watering schedule on how the soil feels. You must check the moisture level each day. If the top half inch of soil feels moist then you donâ€™t need to water yet. However, if your bonsai is in a very small pot and/or itâ€™s a hot or breezy day, or if your bonsai is pot-bound, you may then need to water. Many times you should just water one area of your bonsai pot if only one section of the soil happens to be dry.
Getting the Best Levels of Sunlight
The Chinese elm tree can adapt to many different surroundings. In contrast to some hardy deciduous trees, the Chinese elm tree can be successfully grown inside. Your Chinese elm will prosper in full sun, and lots of sun will result in the tree producing smaller leaves, which are attractive with bonsai. If your tree isnâ€™t accustomed to all day full sun you can get it accustomed to it by placing it in the sun for a short time in the beginning, and then slowly increasing the amount of time you expose it to full sunlight. When you expose it to too much sun too soon you run the risk of sun burning the leaves. Your Chinese elm bonsai also requires good air circulation. If you are growing your Chinese elm bonsai indoors then you need to make sure it is kept in a very well ventilated area.
Some Elms originate from warm climates, and have never experienced cold conditions. It can be dangerous to keep these Elms too cold the first year or two. Even if grown in the house your Chinese elm may drop leaves during the winter time and this is due to the decrease in natural sunshine because the days are shorter. This is not unusual. As with most bonsai trees, your Chinese elm bonsai must be guarded from intense winter conditions like cold and wind.