Microclimate undergrowth bonsai

Microclimate undergrowth bonsai

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Question: microclimate undergrowth bonsai

Hi, to create a microclimate for my bonsai ficus retusa I am using in the saucer of gravel and sand for aquariums, it is a NON porous stone. Or is expanded clay, pumice or akadama preferable? thanks for your attention.

Answer: microclimate undergrowth bonsai

Dear Alessandro,
the use of gravel, clay, or other materials in the saucers of plants that love humidity is only due to the fact that we try to keep the vase raised by the layer of water that must constantly remain in the saucer itself; if we did not put this layer of inert material, the result would be that the roots of the plant would macerate constantly in the water, favoring the development of rot and mold. So, you put sand, gravel, expanded clay, pumice stone, lapillus, vermiculite, perlite, it doesn't matter; clear that if you put the clay, the material will absorb a little water, allowing the saucer to contain a little more; but by doing a couple of counts, in a saucer containing about 400 ml of water, what changes if the clay absorbs about 30ml allowing you to add them to the saucer?
If you wish, you can also use other methods to lift the vase from the water, such as placing bricks in the center of the saucer, on which to place the vase; but honestly, using a granular material is certainly more pleasing to the eye; there are also on the market colored glass grits, which can be used in this way, or very particular decorative gravels; clear that before using any material you should check that it is well washed: the expanded clay and the pumice stone to be used for gardening are not usually wrapped in earth or dust, and if added to the water they leave it more or less clear ; if you decide to use another material, check that it does not release too much dust in the water. In addition to creating a damp environment, leaving plenty of water in the saucer, which will slowly evaporate in the air, it is also good to periodically vaporize the leaves with demineralized water; demineralized because if you use tap water for a long time for this operation the leaves of your ficus will tend to get stained with limestone. Vaporizations are particularly useful when the climate is very hot and dry, but also when the heating or air-conditioning system is active at home, which remove large quantities of humidity from the air. In essence, the water in the saucer performs the same function as the water that is put into the humidifiers to hang from the radiators, which should also be used when there are no plants in the house, because dry air does not do much good even to humans.