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General information about the Chinese Elm Bonsai Tree
The Chinese Elm Bonsai, also known as the Ulmus parvifolia, is a very popular tree species used for Bonsai. The Chinese Elm develops a fine ramification with small leaves, which makes it a very suitable Bonsai plant.
So how do you care for your Chinese elm?
The Chinese elm is a deciduous tree species, which usually means it needs to be placed outdoors, year round. Often the Chinese elm is sold as indoor bonsai, and keeping it indoors year-round is possible and it will keep its leaves in winter.
Can Chinese elm bonsai be grown indoors
When kept outdoors it will shed its leaves in winter. The Chinese elm prefers a sunny position, if kept indoors this means you have to put it right in front of a window. When kept outdoors, protect your Elm from strong frosts of around 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or -10 degrees celsius.
How often should you water a Chinese elm bonsai
Water the Chinese elm generously whenever the soil gets slightly dry. Best is to water your bonsai, then wait a minute and water it again, to make sure the entire root mass is watered. Observe the tree closely and make sure it never dries out, the Chinese elm really dislikes short periods of drought.
Daily misting will help raise the humidity around your Bonsai. You can also place your tree on a humidity tray filled with water. Fertilize your Chinese elm during the entire growth season, from early spring till fall, using a liquid fertilizer when watering.
Are Chinese Elm trees messy
Regular pruning is required to maintain the shape of your Chinese elm. Simply prune shoots that extend to 3-4 leaves, back to 1-2 leaves, using a sharp scissors. Pruning thick branches should be done in fall.
Bonsai are kept in small pots, and therefore we repot the trees every two years, in early spring. If you see the roots circling around the root system, your Bonsai needs to be repotted. If the roots are still contained within soil, leave it and check again the following spring.
You can propagate the Chinese elm using cuttings, or buy them online as these are widely available at bonsai retailers. If your Chinese elm is losing a lot of leaves, this is often the result of improper watering or not enough light.
How much sun does a Chinese elm bonsai need
Again, make sure you place your Bonsai at a very light spot right in front of a window when kept indoors. And water it generously as soon as the soil gets slightly dry.