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Bedding plants

Cultivating the stone yew as a bonsai - notes on cutting, care and design


Many hobby gardeners try to grow a bonsai. The stone yew is best suited for this in Germany. You can find out what is important here so that it succeeds here.

The so-called stone yew - also known as podocarpus - is particularly popular with bonsai. It not only looks very similar to the real yew tree, but also resembles it in its properties and characteristics: the evergreen trees love moist, nutrient-rich soil and grow very slowly. The stone yew, like the yew tree, is very easy to care for as a bonsai since it does not make any great demands. But how do you use the stone yew as a bonsai? And what should you watch out for when maintaining the stone yew as a bonsai?

Making a bonsai from the stone yew - what are the arguments?

There are many reasons for the stone yew as a bonsai: The conifer provides a beautiful look due to the needles standing upwards and can be cultivated as desired, i.e. brought into any shape. Whether strongly upright, inclined or freely upright - the stone yew cuts a good figure in every way and is also very appealing thanks to the bark with its rustic, wild appearance. Yet another reason speaks for the stone yew as a bonsai: Since it is easy to maintain, you cannot go wrong with it when cultivating and gain important experience. In addition, the stone yew is considered a bonsai that can be maintained in the room all year round - which is anything but a matter of course for a conifer.

How do you start cultivating the stone yew as a bonsai?

Cultivating and cultivating bonsai was brought into the world in Asia, but has long since been carried out worldwide. The process is considered true art by many lovers because the owner has to take care of his pupils and maintain them with discipline. Before you can cultivate a bonsai, you must of course choose a tree that suits your own climate zone - the stone yew is a conifer that likes it moderately moist and does not need too warm temperatures in winter, which is why it is also used in ours Can be used ideally. As already mentioned, the big plus of the tree species is that it is one of the few that can be kept in the house all year round.

Now it is time to decide on the type of procurement of the bonsai material. There are many possibilities here: firstly, you can grow the bonsai from cuttings or seeds - but this takes many years and patience before the tree can be shaped and shaped as you wish.

Another way is to collect material such as small trees from nature, which is called Yamadori in Japanese - but this method can also be disadvantageous. An easy way to get started is to buy small trees from nurseries that are already tall enough to be worked on.

Cultivating a self-collected stone yew

If you have accidentally discovered a small stone yew in nature, you may be able to use it to make a magnificent and impressive bonsai. The first thing to do is to prick the tree with a spade, keeping a sufficient distance from the root system of the plant. Now the sapling has to be lifted out of the ground, although it may be that the spade has to be used again in one or the other place. The tree should be planted in an appropriate pot as soon as possible and kept moist so that its roots do not dry out. To do this, mix part of the earth from the location of the tree with bonsai substrate, fill a perforated bowl with gravel and akadama until a quarter of the bowl is covered, and insert the tree together with the soil mixture. Now you have to water it liberally, but gently. The stone yew should be protected outdoors, if possible, but placed in a bright place and requires a constantly moist earth - this can only be worked on next year.

Design for bonsai

The processing and design of the stone yew into a bonsai of your own choice is done by cutting and bending with wire. First, with a concave pliers - the cuts on the bonsai heal better than with other pliers - the branch is trimmed so that it can develop as close to nature as possible, but perfected as you like. There are various techniques to follow, but many users do so entirely at will. In addition, each tree often develops very differently despite the cutting technique.

As a rule, the procedure is such that no branch is at the same height on the trunk of the tree as the other. Unsightly growing, crooked or unnatural branches should also be removed. The branches in the upper crown area should run finer - so branches that are too thick are also trimmed here. Wire is used to wrap branches that are to be bent in order to grow in other directions. The wire is wrapped around the tree and light force is applied to secure the branch as you wish - then the wire can be attached to the trunk or to an attached stick in the ground to keep this direction. However, the wire must be removed after six months at the latest, otherwise it can grow in - it should also be checked regularly whether the wire leaves traces on the thickening branch.

Cultivate nursery stone slices

If you were able to purchase a young stone yew from the tree nursery, it can be worked on in the same spring - working in the summer is not recommended. First, the tree is planted in a pot with a drainage hole, as described above, and lightly fertilized, as well as kept moist. To edit, proceed as described above with cutting techniques and wiring to turn the young tree into a bonsai.

Maintain bonsai

However, bonsai care is just as important as working on the bonsai itself. The stone yew should be placed in a bright location, but not outdoors in the direct sun - otherwise sunburn could result. Leaving the stone slice bonsai outdoors can endure sub-zero temperatures for a short time, however sub-zero temperatures should be avoided over a long period of time. It is important to repot the stone bonsai about every three years to give the roots new space. With this conifer, conventional ground with a little Akadama is used, clay soil is to be replaced by the enriched soil. Fertilizer can be used about once a month if it is younger stone yew - older ones, on the other hand, need a little less. The slow-growing stone yew always needs moist soil, but waterlogging should be prevented and the soil should be made quite permeable.

Advantages and disadvantages of the stone yew as a bonsai

advantagesdisadvantage
✔ is very uncomplicated when it comes to maintenance, you only need to pay attention to moist floors, little sun and a bright, not too cold location✖ grows rather slowly, so cultivation from seeds or seedlings can take a long time
✔ offers a beautiful look thanks to its raised needles and rustic bark
✔ As one of the few conifers, it can even be kept indoors all year round