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Question: How to recognize my bonsai?
Today they have given me a bonsai, which apparently from the plate should be a Zelkova, but looking at the leaves carefully it seems to me more like a carmona ... besides the surface of the leaves is not smooth, but it is rough with white little leaves ... I would like to know also what would be the best form that you recommend for its growth ... thanks a lot :)
Answer: How to recognize my bonsai?
carmona and zelkova are two quite different plants, and therefore I think that by comparing the leaves with some photos of the aforementioned bonsai, even only on the internet, you can easily understand what bonsai it is; because, until you know if you have a carmona or a zelkova, it will be difficult to understand how it is best to proceed for the health of your bonsai. The leaves of the carmona are not perfectly oval, they are dark in color, and have a thin down on the upper page, generally they are grown as indoor bonsai throughout Italy (or almost), because they fear frost and temperatures below 5 ° C; the zelkova is also called the Japanese elm, as it is closely related to the elm, even if it fears frost a little; it could be grown outdoors for most of the year, covering it during the colder months, it has lance-shaped and pointed oval leaves, with raised veins, making them wrinkled, but without any kind of hairs; they are usually a little clearer than the carmona. The species of zelkova used for bonsai is native to Japan, it is a deciduous tree, which therefore in spring should be either completely without leaves, or with young leaves recently developed; the carmona instead is a small evergreen tree, widely used as bonsai because the simple cultivation in pots causes the production of foliage already quite minute, and even young saplings tend to show the bearing of the older trees. So, since you are a beginner, perhaps it would be better if you had a Carmona, which poses fewer problems with regards to crown formation, metal wire, repotting; even if in order to cultivate the carmona we must definitely work properly. Consider that it is a small tree, or shrub, originating from Asia, which loves semi-shady but luminous positions (it can tolerate short periods of direct sunlight, but only in the early hours of the morning) and a humid climate; in the apartment unfortunately the climate is always excessively dry, and therefore during the winter months it is important to vaporize the foliage regularly, in order to raise the rate of environmental humidity. Watering must be fairly regular, but avoiding leaving the soil always soaked with water, or you will cause the death of the roots by "suffocation". As far as the shape is concerned, if they have given you a bonsai that has already been formed, it should already have its own well-defined habit; since you are a beginner, it is perhaps convenient to maintain the form that bonsai has, rather than trying to modify it with massive interventions. You already have many things to worry about, like pinching the sprouts, fertilizing and exposing the plant in the best place, in addition to its breeding.