Kanuma Bonsai Soil

Kanuma bonsai soil
March 2, 2022 0 Comments

Choosing Kanuma soil can have a positive impact on your plants’ growth from making their roots stronger to better foliage. This is the reason why you should know all the details and the benefits about Kanuma soil to grow your bonsai, kokedama, and acid loving plants.

Where Does Kanuma Come From and How is it Made?

Kanuma is a region located in Japan, known for its volcanic mountains, kanuma soil is made from volcanic rocks that are first mined in this region then sterilized, baked, and sifted into the right size. 

Kanuma acts as a great soil mixture for plants that prefer slightly acidic conditions or lime hating plants

It promotes the development of fibrous roots and increases the absorption of minerals. Making it perfect for trees with fast growth rates or ones who need repotting often. Kanuma bonsai soil is a dusty materials and doesn’t need much maintenance once added as soil to your plants and lasts for years. Make sure to know your plants pH needs before deciding to use kanuma soil.

What is Kanuma Used For?

Kanumas’ porous pebbles are similar to pumice soil in terms of their physical properties, so they can be used as an addition to the soil mixture for both bonsais and kokedamas.

First of all, it allows roots to grow through it which helps to make a fibrous root ball. Healthy roots are better at absorbing nutrients which results in an overall healthier plant.  

Secondly, Kanuma promotes good drainage and good aeration in the soil and that will reduce harmful fungus’s that might otherwise grow in the soil if it remains damp for long periods of time.  

In addition, it offers an acidic pH which makes it great for certain species of bonsai plants, orchids, or cactus that prefer it.

Its great for ericaceous plant species which prefer acidic soil.

When mixed with other potting mediums, Kanuma is able to lower the pH level of the soil. Kanuma’s pH is on average 5 to 5.5 and it should be used alone only for acidophilic plant species. For plants such as succulents, it should be mixed (adding up to 30% of it) as their ideal pH is around 6. 

Acid Loving Plants:
  • Azalea / Rhododendron (Azalea & Rhododendron are in the same genus but the azalea comes in a smaller size)
  • Gardenias
  • Camellias
  • Fothergilla
  • Holly
  • Magnolia
  •  Oak
  • Scots Pine
Small Flowering Plants
  • Cyclamen
  • Heather
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Periwinkle
Fruit Crops that can be grown in bonsai form
  • Blueberry bush 

It’s also important to note that Kanuma soil can last up to 2 to 3 years. Needless to say, this is another advantage and will allow you to reduce how often you have to repot a bonsai or kokedama. As a whole, Kanuma is one the best soil for plants that require a potting media with lower pH and that also promote drainage.

Kanuma vs Akadama – Which One For Your Plants?

Both akadama and kanuma is a great bonsai soil that can be used alone or by mixing it with other mediums. Let’s go through the main differences and similarities between both.

First, Akadama is not a lightweight as Kanuma and it’s not going to float when watering them, unlike the latter. 

Kanuma has an acidic nature which Akadama does not have. You can use either type of soil to grow succulents and they will turn out great. However, using Kanuma is an advantage for the species that need a lower pH level.

Based on where you live, Akadama is usually more readily available to buy compared to Kanuma.  

Akadama and Kanuma soils both change colors when wet. When dry Akadama turns a darker brown; while the light beige color of Kanuma will change into a darker yellow. This can help determine when you plant needs water.

Kanuma can reduce water use by up to 20%

Last but not least, Kanuma does break down over time (2-3 years) similar to Akadama (2-3 years). 

To sum up, Kanuma is a great soil when mixed with other mediums to lower the pH level or in pure kanuma for acidophilic plants. However, if you want a more versatile solution, Akadama is the right choice for many other type of plants. To learn more about Akadama, click here

In Conclusion

The Kanuma soil is a great investment for anyone looking to grow bonsais, kokedamas, and ericaceous plant species. It is a great addition to other potting media, and lasts for a long time. It is one of the best soils you can get for your plants, whether they need a lower pH or not.

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