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Chinese yew (Podocarpus) Bonsai Care: Tips for fertilizing, repotting, cutting
Podocarpus bonsai care - General:
The Chinese yew (or Buddhist pine, botanically Podocarpus macrophyllus) resembles, as the name suggests, the common yew (Taxus baccata). Especially with regard to the needles and fruits, you can quickly confuse Chinese yew and Yew bonsai. Both are evergreen and slow growing. When it comes to care, the Chinese yew is rather undemanding: Keep the tree bright, moderately moist and not too warm in winter. It can be maintained in the apartment if the location is bright enough.
Podocarpus bonsai care - Location, temperature:
Podocarpus bonsai (as one of the few conifers) can be kept in the room all year long. Here a very bright and sunny location at the window is necessary.
Nevertheless, an outdoor location is preferable from spring to autumn. There it can stay until the frost line. If you get adapt the Buddhist pine to the sun outdoors in the spring then this should happen gently (otherwise a sunburn can happen). Simply put outdoors for 14 days, but partially shaded. Thereafter, the Buddhist pine can be placed in a full sun.
Although Chinese yews in the mountains can reach a height of up to 1000m, Podocarpus bonsai are not absolutely hardy, but can withstand temperatures below freezing for a short time. If the soil in the bonsai shell is frozen for a long time, they dry up (the soil can no longer provide water). As an indoor bonsai, they must be cool in winter. 10-15°C are acceptable, cooler is better.
Buddhist pine care - Repotting, bonsai soil:
Young plants of Podocarpus are repotted every 2-3 years. They tolerate a moderate root incision. For older Chinese yew bonsai you can wait longer, depending on the size of the root growth. 4-5 years without repotting is then not unusual.
Chinese yews need a well-drained substrate. Here is a bonsai soil like Akadama perfekt. Many Buddhist pine bonsai are still in a loamy soil after purchase, in which they were cared before the import. This should be replaced at the latest by next spring gently by new substrate. If you want to use Akadama as a bonsai soil, it is good if you sieve the dust from the earth before repotting.
Podocarpus bonsai care - Fertilization:
Young, faster-growing Chinese yews are fertilized in the spring with mineral fertilizer, later with organic fertilizer (for example, with Biogold or Hanagokoro) every 4-6 weeks to about September. Older Chinese yews Bonsai get a little less.
Chinese yew care - Pouring:
Water well in well-drained soil and keep the substrate moderately moist during the growing period. Short-term dryness they tolerate quite well, but should be avoided. In the room must be poured much less. It depends strongly on the temperature and the air movement in the room. In the summer in the apartment about every 1-2 days to be poured. In winter it may be that only once a week must be poured.
Chinese yew - Bonsai styles:
It can be styled freely upright (Moyogi style), strictly upright (Chokkan style) or inclined (Shakan style), as a multi-stem or group. a Podocarpus tree is suitable for small to large bonsai. However, you should stay with a Chinese yew in a bonsai pot at the existing size, as Podocarpus grows slowly.
Podocarpus bonsai care - Pruning, wiring:
Older, already finished bonsai are cut back or plucked more often. As a result a lot of new shoots you can see after 4 weeks and thus a finer branching is achieved. In young bonsai, which should gain some strength, the branches, especially the lower, are left longer. Let it grow to 10-20cm and then cut back to the desired length. Growing larger sacrificial branches to obtain a broader trunk is not necessarily recommended. The later interfaces of such large sacrificial branches do not close so easily. In general, when cutting branches, bonsai wound sealant should be applied to improve wound healing.
Due to the slow growth, the risk of ingrowth of the wire is low. For young branches normal, brown anodized bonsai wire can be taken. Older and stronger branches should either guyed or aligned with copper wire (much more dimensionally stable than aluminum wire).
Chinese yew care - Propagation
Cuttings propagation is possible. Condition: ground temperature should be high. Sowing out is possible. For this purpose, the seed after harvesting either immediately or after stratification in the refrigerator (over the winter) applied.