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TOPIC: Real akadama?

Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29815

Hello,

I recently bought some premixed soil from eBay. The description says it's 50% akadama, 25% volcanic rock and 25% bark chipping.
It's just arrived and it's looks more organic than I expected and the element which I assume is the akadama is easily squashed between my fingers, which isn't what I imagined when I've read about akadama.

So my question is, does akadama squash when squeezed between ones fingers?
And should I trust that I've bought what I intended to?

Would really appreciate some insight from someone who has handled real akadama!

Many thanks
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29817

do you have pictures of the soil?
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29823

Yes I'll try to upload it but I've failed to do so on this site in the past.

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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29824

looks like akadama to me but something seems not right with this soil, not sure..
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29825

spacewood wrote: something seems not right with this soil, not sure..


It looks perfectly OK.
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29826

I expected akadama to be hard , closer to a gravel texture? This stuff crumbles so easily, I can't see how it would last two years.

Shall I try it ? I'm repotting my sagerethia theezens.
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29827

Hazeltree wrote: Shall I try it ? I'm repotting my sagerethia theezens.


Does it need repotting?
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29829

I believe so. It has been in some very low quality compost for a year now. I didn't realise akadama existed, I just bought " bonsai soil" from my local garden centre and unfortunately its all organic and has poor drainage , holds onto water for days and has become very compacted and hard.
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29832

Checking the tree species guidelines I see:

Repotting: Once every two years, but only when fully root bound. Use a normal potting soil and remove up to 30% of the roots.

Not sure why you think you need akadama.
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Real akadama? 11 months 4 weeks ago #29834

Checking the repotting guidelines I see:

"Bonsai soil mixture

Choosing the right soil mixture is crucial for the health of your trees, it should be draining enough to prevent the roots from rotting, while absorbing enough water to supply the tree with water. Although some tree species need special soil mixtures, the following mixture is suitable for most trees:

Mix Akadama, pumice and lava rock together in a ratio of 2:1:1. When you do not have time to water your trees regularly, choose a more water absorbing mixture (use more Akadama), while you should choose a more draining mixture (use more lava rock) when living in a wet climate. Read the Bonsai soil article for more detailed information on soil mixtures."

And checking the bonsai soil article I see

" Deciduous tree Bonsai soil

50% Akadama

25% Pumice

25% Lava rock

Coniferous / Pine Bonsai soil

33% Akadama

33% Pumice

33% Lava rock"

This is what made me think that by saying " use a normal potting soil" the guidelines on this site imply the above mixture is in fact "normal potting soil" when bonsai are concerned.

But whether I need akadama or not was not my original question
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