The Popular Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree
The Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) is amongst the most well-known trees readily available for producing bonsai. Even though there are plenty of great trees which you can use for bonsai, the Chinese elm is always a favorite. Experienced bonsai artists sometimes suggest this particular plant to novices in the hobby. The growth pattern of the Chinese elm is fairly predictable which is a good reason to be a very good tree for the newbie. It is a slow growing tree and for that reason it makes it possible for the novice to become familiar with caring for it and training it.
The Chines elm is native to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and China, where it might grow as tall as 60 feet. The smaller leaves of the Chinese elm are ideal for bonsai. The leaves have a dull serrated edge, and they are dark green and almost leathery in appearance. One more reason for this plant’s reputation is that it may be grown either outdoors or indoors. If grown inside it will be green year-round.
Fortunately the Chinese Elm bonsai is not at risk of Dutch elm disease. Because of this, the Chinese Elm makes an outstanding plant for people only starting out growing bonsai.
How to Water Your Chinese Elm
Bonsai plants tend to dry out significantly faster as compared to other potted plants because they are mainly potted in shallow pots with coarse dirt. In certain instances, you may want to water the tree every day.The easiest method to tell if your Chinese elm bonsai requires water would be to feel the soil. Put your finger a half inch or so into the soil; when the top half feels dry then it is time to water your bonsai. The most efficient way to water your bonsai is to put it in the sink, or in a shallow container, and allow it to remain in the water a couple of minutes until it has soaked up enough from the drainage holes in the bottom. Remove the pot from the water after 5-10 minutes and let it drain fully.
Another thing you want to continually be conscientious of is to never permit your bonsai plant get completely dry. Your bonsai plant’s watering schedule is established through checking the moisture level of the soil inside your bonsai pot. It’s easy to check the moisture level every day. If you can feel moisture, then you may not need to water. However, in case your bonsai is in a very small pot and/or it’s a hot or breezy day, or if your bonsai is pot-bound, you may then need to water. Check in several areas of the pot. If an area is dry then water it.
Getting the Best Levels of Sunlight
The Chinese elm tree can adjust to quite a few diverse surroundings. Not all hardy deciduous trees may be grown indoors, but since the Chinese elm is so adaptable it can survive indoors and will stay green all year round. If hardened off to the cold little by little, they will drop their leaves in the fall and be regarded as deciduous trees, so you have a couple of options. Your Chinese elm will thrive in full sunlight, and lots of sun will result in the tree producing smaller sized leaves, which are appealing with bonsai. It is crucial to be certain that the leaves are used to sun before you place the tree in strong sunlight. If the tree has been indoors, you should expose it to sun gradually so that the leaves don’t burn. Your Chinese elm bonsai will benefit from very good air circulation too. If grown indoors keep the Chinese elm bonsai in a well-ventilated location.
Your Chinese elm might not be accustomed to cold environments if it came from a warm environment. It is probably not smart to keep these Elms too cold the first year or two. Even if grown in the house your Chinese elm may drop leaves through the winter time and this is due to the decrease in natural sunlight since the days are shorter. This is ordinary. Even though your Chinese elm bonsai is a hardy plant it could still be damaged by harsh winter conditions of extreme cold and wind so take measures to guard it from injury.
How to Get Started in the Hobby of Bonsai
If this fascinating hobby sounds interesting you can get a free 7-day introductory email mini-course on how to grow all different types of miniature bonsai trees by signing up at My Japanese Bonsai.
Another great resource is Ruth Morgan’s e-book, "Beautiful Bonsai Secrets". As Ruth explains in her book, getting started in the hobby of bonsai is easy and affordable.This e-book is, dollar for dollar, the best, most practical, easiest to follow, step-by-step how-to book on growing miniature bonsai trees and is a "must have" guide for every beginner bonsai grower. It will increase your enjoyment and almost assure you of success with your first tree.