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Chinese Elm

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

Ulmus parvifolia

Chinese elm is fast-growing, semi-deciduous species that forms a graceful upright rounded canopy with its dark green leaves. Chinese Elm produces a fine network of twigs and branches helping them turn into impressive bonsai in a short time.

Chinese Elm, Ulmus parvifolia, Golden Chinese Elm Bonsai
Chinese Elm, Ulmus parvifolia, Golden Chinese Elm Bonsai

Styles & Sizes: As bonsai, they are practically available in every tradition style, and many others too. Their small leaves and fine branches help with creating very small to very large bonsai styles.

Position: The Chinese Elm can be grown Indoors but thrives outdoor. When grown outdoors should be grown in full sun. At the peak of summer, when grown outdoors, it is best to move it to a partially shaded spot. In winter protect from hard frost and snow. When grown Indoors place in a well light cool area during winter. Keep away from warm draughty areas, provide a tray to maintain humidity around the plant. Kitchens or Bathroom window sills, if bright, can be ideal locations as they are often areas of high humidity.

Feeding: To retain and produce small leaves, do not feed high nitrogen fast-acting fertilizers. Feeding three or four times a year is sufficient to maintain good colour and healthy growth without enlarging the size of the leaves. Loves frequent watering, but avoid letting pot waterlog. Water only when the surface of the pot is dry to touch. Do not let the pot dry out completely. During extremely hot weather - water regularly.

Repotting: Repot younger plants every year and older plants every 3-4 years. It can deal with most types of soils as long as they are well-drained. Use a deep or larger than a normal pot as the tree is well-rooted and likes room to grow. Soil Mix: 2 Part Akadama, 1 Part Pumice.

Pruning: Most shaping can be done by pruning. Heavy pruning is best left to when the plant has gone dormant from Late Autumn to Early Spring.

Wiring: Not normally necessary, most shaping is done through pruning. If wiring is required, be wary as the branches are quite brittle and the bark scars quite easily.

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