The Best Bonsai Soil For Sale Online

There are many people who feel you can plant a bonsai tree in any type of soil and it’ll grow well. While it may survive, it won’t thrive. There are different consistencies and minerals, and you’ll need the correct bonsai soil to suit the species.

In this article, we’ll look at the following topics:

In this article, we’ll look at the following topics:

Top Three Bonsai Soil For Sale

10 Cups Inorganic Soil Mix Bonsai Soil

DaSu Bonsai Studio Professional Bonsai Soil

Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American Bonsai Pumice

10 Cups Inorganic Soil Mix Bonsai Soil

  • Editor's choice

DaSu Bonsai Studio Professional Bonsai Soil

  • Editor's choice

Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American Bonsai Pumice

  • Editor's choice

Reviews Of The Best Bonsai Soil

We don’t want to waste your time reading through endless paragraphs before getting into the products. We’ll start by showcasing the best bonsai soil we found online before stating how we analyzed them. You’ll also see why selecting the right product is essential for the health of your bonsai.

10 Cups Inorganic Soil Mix Bonsai Soil

Review of the Unique Qualities

This bonsai soil mixture has an excellent blend of pumice, lava rock, and turface. It drains well, so you won’t have to worry about the roots drowning in water for too long. It also retains enough water for those hot summer days.

The one issue is that dust may form if you let the substrate dry out. The only way to prevent this is to ensure that it remains wet daily. You can use it as part of your container mixture to place it above pebbles to aid with enhancing drainage.

  • Excellent drainage for most bonsai types
  • Incredible water retention
  • Mixture for three types of substrates
  • Use it as a top layer or entirely in the pot
  • Causes slight dust when drying out

Summary

We love the mixture in this blend, while you’ll receive enough in the packet to place your bonsai in. There’s also a tie on the bag for storing any remaining substrate for future use.

It’s ideal for the summer and winter months, as you can play around with the layer design for more or less drainage as you need it. The stones also have a mixture of colors to catch the eye.

DaSu Bonsai Studio Professional Bonsai Soil

Review of the Unique Qualities

Akadama is one of the most preferred bonsai soil types for beginners and experts. It’s beneficial for transplanting every few years, and there’s less chance of the tree going into shock. Also, it suppresses bad bacteria and fungi pretty well so you don’t have to deal with fungicide.

Besides a consistency of 22% Akadama, some of the other ingredients include chicken grit, screened lava, fir bark, Canadian sphagnum moss, and a hydroponic medium. It holds nutrients for longer than most products, and it supports fast drainage with adequate water retention.

  • Has 2.5% pore space
  • Contains 22% Akadama
  • Consistency allows for maximum nutrient retention
  • Fast water drainage
  • Aids transplanting without too much shock
  • No indication of pH level

Summary

While there’s a massive list of ingredients in this soil, we’re overjoyed about the Akadama. If you’re into hydroponics, there’s a small portion of the medium included too. However, it’s not enough to really benefit you.

Still, this soil is ideal for most bonsais, especially where you need to retain as many nutrients when watering. We’re also impressed with the drainage rate so that the water doesn’t linger too long.

Professional Sifted and Ready to Use American Bonsai Pumice

Review of the Unique Qualities

This pumice has been mined in the heart of California, which means you’re buying a locally supported product. While it’s already been sifted, there’s no harm in getting mesh pads to remove any more finer particles hidden in between. The particle size is 0.28 inches, making the substrate incredibly micro-porous for efficient water retention.

We recommend placing the pumice on top of your bonsai soil instead of filling the container with it. Sure, you can do so if you want to, but you may need to water more often than with a standard bonsai mix. You can reseal the bag when you’re done so that you can use more of it with other pots in the future.

  • Micro-porous design
  • Already sifted to remove most of the finer particles
  • Large volume bag to keep you longer
  • Improves aeration and excellent water retention
  • May need to water often in summer

Summary

We love the size of the bag, as it means we can use it for several seasons on our smaller containers. We prefer using it as a top layer to protect the rest of the soil, but no harm will come from filling the entire pot. You’ll enjoy the white color in contrast to the normal brown.

Voulosimi 4.4 Pounds Cactus Bonsai Succulent DIY Rocks

Review of the Unique Qualities

If you’re looking for a more natural look, you can try these natural Maifanitum stones to place above the soil or fill the container. You may want to give them a good soak before planting your bonsai, just to make sure there are no finer particles. Also, it’ll help keep the roots well watered and fed.

One of the benefits of Maifanitum granules is that it purifies the water that passes through them. You can use it outside or indoors, as it’s suitable for both environments. The substrate will last you until the next repotting, and may even be used again if well looked after.

  • Ideal for its water drainage and retention
  • Use as decoration or fill the container
  • Suitable for bonsai terrariums
  • Perfect for succulent bonsais
  • Indoors and outdoors
  • May contain fine particles

Summary

You’ll often find beginners using this medium, as it’s easy to look after and maintain in the long run. Some stores recommend it as decoration, but there’s no reason you can’t place it as the only substrate in the pot.

Patches of Green Bonsai & Succulent Garden Pumice Rock

Review of the Unique Qualities

This pumice substrate has naturally occurring volcanic rock that many bonsai trees thrive in. You can use it for many other purposes too, such as in your garden, cacti, and succulents. That’s why we recommend the volume presented in this product so that you can use it for more than just your bonsais.

It has a porous and rough design, making it suitable inside and outside. In summer, you’ll love how well it holds the moisture. There’s enough aeration and space for the roots to develop well, while excess water drains quickly.

  • Retains water incredibly well
  • Ideal for species that love volcanic rock
  • Locally sourced
  • Massive volume
  • Stunning white color
  • You might find large granules in the mix

Summary

Besides the resealable, stunning packaging, we love the texture of the volcanic rock pumice. We didn’t merely use it for our bonsais, and we were quite generous with our outside plants. It’s yet another product you can use as a top layer if you don’t want to fill the container with it.

CARURBODY Red Lava Rocks

Review of the Unique Qualities

These red lava rocks are absolutely gorgeous, giving your bonsai pot a stunning appearance if you layer it at the top. However, we recommend using it at the bottom, as it’ll help with the drainage of excess water. It’ll prevent root rot and other diseases resulting from stagnant liquids.

Besides deciduous and coniferous bonsais, you can also use them for the succulent variety. It creates additional aeration when you have soil that’s tightly packed. You can reseal the bag to maintain the freshness of the rocks and not let anything contaminate them.

  • Resealable bag
  • Dressing for top or bottom layers
  • Natural lava rocks
  • Large particle size for extra aeration
  • Incredible drainage
  • Not suited for filling the whole container

Summary

Lava rocks are always welcome to bonsais, as they love the consistency and minerals contained within them. Many Japanese enthusiasts rely on this material for their miniature plants, giving the container sufficient drainage and a beautiful appearance.

The quantity is enough for a small collection at home, whether held inside or outside the house.

Horticultural Lava Rocks - Black Decorative Landscaping Pebbles

Review of the Unique Qualities

The color of these pumice lava rocks is absolutely beautiful. What makes it more incredible is that the black doesn’t fade after constant watering. However, you may need to contend with some fine dust after it’s transported to your home, as the rocks will rub against each other.

We recommend you use this as the top or middle layer in your bonsai pot. It’s not suited for the bottom layer, even though it doesn’t deliver adequate drainage. The reason we say so is that it neutralizes the pH level, which provides the greatest advantage at the top of the soil.

  • Color doesn’t fade away
  • Helps with the pH level
  • Holds the roots and upper structure in place
  • Resealable zip back for safe storage
  • Can use it for several bonsais
  • You’ll need to wash the finer particles away

Summary

When you water the black lava rocks, they’ll glisten in the sunlight, which is one of the reasons we love it so much. It gives the surface a slightly obsidian appearance, which contrasts well with lighter barks and light green leaves. You may also want to combine it with a bonsai that has white flowers.

CARURBODY Black Lava Rocks for Indoor Plants

Review of the Unique Qualities

Here’s another product that contains black lava rocks that’s well suited to most bonsais. This selection we’re recommending for terrariums, as they hold the water well without forming fungi or other diseases. You may need to give it a good wash beforehand to ensure that there aren’t any lingering impurities from where it was collected.

Once in your container, it will act as an agent to absorb any impurities from the water you provide. You can relate it to the activated carbon filters found in some air purifiers or conditioners. Feel free to mix it with other substrate types, such as granite grit, bark fines, or calcined clay.

  • Beautiful black color
  • Works well as a dressing on the rest of the soil mixture
  • Absorbs impurities
  • Ideal for terrariums
  • Retains water well
  • Needs a good soaking before planting bonsai

Summary

If you’re looking for black lava rocks for the top of the soil that looks stunning and also cleans the water, this product will suit you well. We recommend placing it in your terrarium to keep your bonsai roots healthy. You’re not likely to run into any issues with mold or diseases.

Hoffman 14452 Volcanic Lava Rock

Review of the Unique Qualities

These bright red lava rocks originate from China, but you won’t pay too much for them. It’s mostly used for decoration and moisture retention, so you’ll want to place this as the top layer. The only downside is that the bag is quite small, so you’ll only be able to use it for a few of your bonsais.

The material is excellent for absorbing impurities, and you’ll find that it drains well. It’ll help with the pH levels, ensuring that your bonsai remains happy. If you’re keen on having red lava rocks with all your trees, we recommend you order more than one of these bags.

  • Bright red color
  • Lava rocks clean water
  • Neutralizes the pH level
  • Incredible drainage
  • Beautiful as soil decoration
  • Small quantity

Summary

While we prefer the black lava rocks, these bright red stones from China are sometimes hard to find in local stores. You can have a lovely contrast with colors in your collection, but we wouldn’t place them in the same container.

Mother Earth Perlite #3

Review of the Unique Qualities

Finally, we turn to a siliceous rock that expands when heated. If you apply 1600° F to it, it can increase to 20 times the original size. Of course, that’s not what you want when you use it with bonsais, so it’s best to steer clear of these with terrariums. We recommend it if you’re aiming for a hydroponic medium, though.

It has a pH of 7, which is perfect for any bonsai species. There’s no lingering odor, and you can use it to remove bad scents from water or if the roots were in foul soil before. It has a porous application, so it improves aeration when mixed with other substrates that are densely packed.

  • Neutral pH level suitable for most bonsais
  • Ideal for trees and succulents
  • Removes foul odors
  • Excellent drainage
  • Expands when heated
  • Not suitable for bonsai terrariums in summer

Summary

Perlite is an excellent addition to any bonsai pot, except when it comes to terrariums. You’ll love the white color, but it’s best if you place it at the top due to its expanding nature. You can also use it at the bottom for drainage, but it depends on the container material and how much room there is to move.

bonsai soil

Comparison of Different Bonsai Soil Components

As you can see, most of the bonsai soil products come pre-packed with several mixtures. Some are more popular than others, and there’s a wide spectrum available worldwide. Here’s a quick comparison to show you which ones are suitable.

Akadama

This item originates naturally in volcanic sub-soil that you can only find in Japan, but it’s made available locally by some suppliers. There are different grades, indicating the particle size you can expect. Drainage, water absorption, and pH levels are phenomenal, which is why bonsais love it so much.

Pea Shingle

While this name may be foreign to beginners, it’s been around in bonsai culture for a long time. It has outstanding drainage, but it’s doesn’t perform too well with holding moisture or nutrients. We’re not saying you shouldn’t use it, but there are better products available.

Ezo Grit

Ezo Grit is volcanic pumice from Japanese that has an attractive buff that looks amazing with bonsai trees. It has an outstanding defence against frost while it also retains moisture well. However, it’s expensive and heavy, which is why many people aim for European pumice.

Kiryu

This pumice is dense with neutral pH levels. It absorbs water well and has a long lifespan while being excellent for protection from frost. If you buy higher grades, you’ll pay more for fewer fine particles and dust. It’s ideal for pines or other bonsais that you don’t plan to repot regularly.

Fuji Grit

If you’d like to add jet black volcanic ash to your container, Fuji Grit has an incredible appearance and absorbs water well. However, it’s very heavy and may cause strain on the roots. It’s also expensive, and you can easily find more affordable alternatives at a local store.

Perlite

Imagine you heat volcanic glass to between 850 and 900°C, and you’ll have perlite. It’s incredibly light and retains water well, which is why many bonsai experts love to use it. You can also mix it with other soil types if you want to reduce the overall density and weight.  While it’s cheap, it’s considered a non-renewable resource.

Bark

Bark products are the easiest to come by. If you ask your local nursery for bonsai soil, the chances are you’ll end up with composite or chipped bark. To ensure that your tree doesn’t struggle with harmful products, ensure you only buy from bonsai specialists and not a standard hardware store.

Compost

Another common product at local garden stores is compost. While you can add a bit for nutritional purposes, it’s not recommended to fill the pot completely. There are ultra-small fibers that will do more harm to your bonsai tree than anything else.

Peat

The reason gardeners love peat is that it does an incredible job at holding water. The problem is that bonsais need good drainage, and peat doesn’t provide the optimal solution. It’s basically sphagnum moss that has been densely compacted. If you do decide to use it, place it as a small portion of your layers in the pot.

bonsai soil

The Advantages of Growing Moss on Bonsai Soil

When you think of bonsai soil, your mind will inevitably turn to moss. You’ll see many photos on social media of this gorgeous green patch around or on the tree’s base. Let’s take a look at what the benefits are of growing or obtaining some.

Insulation

In some countries around the world, the winters are incredibly cold and summer blistering hot. It can be challenging to maintain temperatures in the soil, which can damage your roots. Also, warm soil soaks up water quicker, so you may end up with a thirsty bonsai.

If you have a coat of moss on the soil, it helps in both situations. In winter, it works like a blanket to keep the warmth in the substrate, ensuring the roots don’t freeze. It also cools the soil in summer and prevents too much moisture loss.

Moisture Retention

While moss also drinks some water, the quantities are so small that it’s negligible. However, it does retain most of the liquid in the soil when it’s hot, preventing evaporation or drying out. It is especially helpful if your bonsais are outside in the sun all day and tend to drink more due to the heat.

Surface Protection

Sunlight can burn soil and roots too and not just the leaves. If you live in extremely hot climates, you still want light, but not at the expense of the substrate. It’ll shorten the lifespan, and the roots may not be able to absorb nutrients as easily.

Moss covers the soil and roots to defend against too much light. What’s more, it actually loves as much light as it can receive. The trick is to get the right balance of water and sunlight to get it to thrive while ensuring your tree has enough nutrients.

Decoration

The greatest appeal of moss is how stunning it looks. The greener the carpet, the more attractive it is. It has a similar appearance to short grass, which adds to the stunning landscape of bonsai. You can create so many scenes with moss, as long as you care for it and cultivate it correctly.

Another fun fact is that you can use it with most styles. It’s particularly popular with root-over-rock, exposed root, cascading, and rocky cliffs. You can grow the moss on soil, trunk bases, and rocks, as long as it has enough water and light. Just ensure that it doesn’t overtake the tree.

How We Picked Our Top Selection

When deciding which bonsai soil should end up on our list, we worked through a few factors. These are just general considerations and shouldn’t affect which ones you choose. You can use these as a basis, but remember to look at which ones will suit you best.

Mixture

Obtaining the right mixture is essential if you want your bonsai to remain healthy and strong. There are different types on the market, and we try our best to see if the products indicate what they contain. If not, then we move on to other ones that help us make a decision.

Amount

How much you’ll buy will depend on how many trees you have and the size of the containers. We tend to aim for larger quantities when it’s the potting season so that we’re certain we have enough to go around. We’d rather have too much than too little.

Value

We don’t always aim for the cheapest products here at Bonsai Alchemist. We prefer quality and value, especially where the health of our bonsais is concerned. You may find that having the best mixture means you’ll have to fork out more money. That’s alright, as long as it presents value for money.

Customer Remarks

Finally, we actually pay attention to what other customers have to say. While we trust our own judgment, it doesn’t mean everyone has the same experience as us. If we see there are too many complaints about a brand or product, we prefer not to include it.

bonsai soil

What Factors to Consider When Buying Your First Bonsai Soil

If you’re wondering how to determine which bonsai soil to buy, we have you covered. We’ve only chosen a few, but there may be a few that are unique to your requirements. We hope that this will help you decide on the right one for your beautiful, small trees.

Nutrients

Some soil mixtures already have some minerals and trace elements in them. Of course, they’ll deplete over time, which is when you need to add fertilizer. However, it’s good to know if you’re getting any to start with to judge what’s lacking. Most soil also has more of one mineral than another.

pH Levels

It’s essential to know whether the bonsai soil is acidic, basic, or neutral. You can get away with neutral soil, and there are some species that like it slightly acidic. However, most of them aren’t fond of alkaline levels, so try to avoid it as much as possible.

Strength

One of the purposes of soil is to provide stable support for the upper structure. Some styles can add extra pressure, such as cascading and slanting. You’ll need to ensure that you have a suitable substrate to keep everything in place, as the tree will fall over if it’s too loose.

Bonsai Species

It’s a bad idea to assume that all species love the same soil. Sure, most of them are similar, but there are some finicky ones that can only survive under specific conditions. It may entail more nitrogen or acidic levels, or a substrate that holds the water for longer.

Final Thoughts

Obtaining the right soil for your bonsai is essential if you want to maintain its health for several decades. It also needs to be strong enough to support the weight and style you intend to grow. We hope this guide has provided valuable insight into how to pick the correct one.

bonsai soil

FAQ About Bonsai Soil

New and expert bonsai enthusiasts often ask questions about soil, especially when the tree doesn’t seem to be growing well. We’ve found a few online which may answer any queries you may have. Also, you can email us or comment on our article if there’s something else you want to know.

Bonsais don’t like regular soil, as they need air and proper drainage. Normal soil might not have adequate nutrients, especially if the species loves nitrogen over other minerals. Also, there’s an increased risk of developing root rot with normal soil.

Bonsai soil consists of a proper mix of different elements. It needs to aerate and drain properly while holding sufficient support for the upper structure. Some recommended mixtures include pumice, lava rock, potting compost, and Akadama. It’s best to try various mixtures appropriate for your bonsai to find a suitable fit.

If having a bonsai is a casual hobby for you, then potting soil will be fine. We don’t recommend it, though. Since the tree will be in that substrate for a few years, you should regularly inspect the roots to see if they’re looking healthy. If not, you should aim for a proper bonsai mix.

Since you’re planting the bonsai tree in a pot, it’ll only have access to the nutrients you provide. While you can add fertilizer, placing some compost with the soil is a good idea. It helps with drainage and ensures that the tree has all the food it needs.

In most cases, you’re looking for a balanced pH level with enough nutrients for the seasons ahead. There are some species that prefer more acidic levels or more nitrogen, so you should always do your homework before repotting a bonsai tree. Many people add pumice, lava rock, potting compost, fine sand, and Akadama.

Yes, as it’ll retrieve the water and nutrients it needs from the soil. People often use this approach when they want to turn a bonsai into a fully-grown tree. Others do so for a year or two to thicken the trunk before placing it back in the pot.

Potting soil for cacti is designed so that it remains dry for as long as possible with super-fast drainage. There’s also more aeration for the small roots. Of course, you can also use it for bonsais that need sufficient space to grow and quick drainage, but it’s not suitable for all species.

Bonsai soil retains most of the moisture that passes through it for the roots to drink. When it comes to cactus soil, the water runs through quickly and keeps the contents dry. The succulents drink as much as is needed and the rest drain away.

First, you need to study your bonsai species to see how much water it likes, which nutrients it needs the most, and what pH levels are best. You’ll need to do your homework for each tree to ensure optimal growth and health. Once you’re aware of what you need, study the specifications of the bonsai soil you find available online.

Moss adds beauty to the soil, giving the tree and landscape a more natural appearance. It also adds to the health of the soil while protecting it from harmful elements. While you can buy small moss packets, it’s generally easy to develop them at home.

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