Bonsai Heresy’s Chapter 5 and Further Thoughts on Sand

3 months ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

This is the first in a series of blog posts to take a chapter from Bonsai Heresy: 56 Myths Exposed Using Science and Tradition and expand on it to investigate dangling questions. Like all chapters in Bonsai Heresy, Chapter 5 is ironically titled, though this one is the longest title in the book and is nearly a conversation: ‘When I asked if he wanted a fork, he said, “You know, sharp sand makes roots fork too’”. The chapter looks into why sharp sand, used frequently in early bonsai media, was (erroneously) thought to divide roots and create better root ramification. Most of the chapters in Bonsai Heresy relate to older bonsai in bonsai containers, as does Chapter 5, but there is a curious side story here about the use of sand as media for cuttings. Sand is a very popular, and effective, way to root cuttings. And yet—most interestingly—if you leave the cuttings in that sand, after a month or so they are soon way behind the cuttings in other media like perlite, pumice, peat and the like. Why is that? Sand, especially fine sand, does provide a lot of water to the base of the cutting, which initially it needs in high quantities, being bereft of roots. Capillarity between fine sand particles keeps the cutting going, and they root well in sand. But the other more porous media listed above do a better job of providing the other two things roots want: oxygen and nutrients, and which plants trying to…

Go to the source blog (Crataegus Bonsai Blog) to read the full article: Bonsai Heresy’s Chapter 5 and Further Thoughts on Sand