Pine Garden Bonsai Co.

20331 S. R. 530 NE
Arlington, WA 98223
phone (800) 746-3281, (360) 435-5995; fax (360) 435-4865

CARE GUIDE: Zelkova sinensis (Tropical)

Copyright ©1997 Pine Garden Bonsai
Indoors, place your Zelkova where it gets strong bright light, and good air circulation. The cold emanating from the window is less of a problem for Zelkova than for more temperature sensitive trees; nor are drafts a problem. Just be sure it gets plenty of light for vigorous growth, plenty of water and food.

The small Zelkovas can be the basis for a variety of forests and landscapes. We are eagerly planning to try them out as extensive landscapes in our new “Island Pots”. (See container page.)

Zelkova Among the very easiest trees to care for, these Chinese grown Zelkovas can withstand severe temperature variations, even when too wet or too dry. Excellent for beginners, Zelkova can go outdoors in summer, or stay indoors the entire year round. Their finely ramifying branches suit them especially well to be miniature trees; Zelkova particularly lends itself to bonsai in the Chinese style, including Chinese stones, and figurines.

Care: Zelkova will go dormant in winter, if the temperature drops below the low fifties, but if kept suitably warm the tree will remain active and green all year round . They can take some freezing weather, but not long periods below 20 degrees F.

Although Zelkova can withstand unintended fluctuations in soil moisture, it is best to keep it evenly moist. Water by immersion, once a week in the summer, covering the entire pot with water until the bubbles of air stop, but keep an eye on the soil in between waterings; if it dries, water as needed. Hot weather, and air currents, can dry even a substantial tree quickly; the higher the temperature, the more quickly the pot will dry out.

Feed this fast growing tree with liquid plant food diluted to one fourth the recommended concentration each time you water. A 20-20-20 household plant fertilizer is fine. If possible switch fertilizers every once in a while. Alternatively a slow release fertilizer, most easily obtained in the form of grow sticks, provides continuous nourishment.

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Our 1997 Ficus all have excellent shapes and good roots. They have been pruned to bonsai shapes and can easily be transformed into bonsai, even by beginners. Received as bare root stock from our Chinese nursery at the end of April, the plants have been potted in soil and moved into our propagation house where they are regularly misted and bottom heated until substantial roots grow.

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Copyright ©1997 Pine Garden Bonsai. Last updated 21 May 97 eb

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