The Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra) is a needled outdoor evergreen that is native to Southern Mediterranean Europe from the Iberian Peninsula to the Eastern Mediterranean, on the Anatolian peninsula of Turkey. This bonsai can withstand many environmental conditions of an urban environment, such as pollution and salt sprays in the air. While young, the Austrian Pine forms a special pyramidal shape and with time, will develop a rounded flat or dome-shaped top as the crown.
All Pines dislike permanently wet soil, though, ensured with proper care, the soil should never dry out completely. Pines are happy when they are in the sunlight during Spring, Summer, and Fall. Insufficient sunlight will result in extended needle length or even dieback of shaded branches. These branches tend to droop as the tree ages so a little pruning is necessary to raise the canopy where the branches overhang. Late winter or early spring is the best to do this pruning.
These are not seeds - But Actual Bonsai Tree
Please see our Choosing a Bonsai page, for the age and dimensions regarding the different stages of our Bonsai (Baby, Young, & Mature).
It is important for the soil have good water retention while also draining well, along with very good aeration. The quality of the soil directly affects the health, size and growth of your tree. One of the worst things you can do to your tree is plant it in regular garden soil. Garden soil hardens when it drys and can often lead to a disadvantage when growing a Bonsai.
Soil mixtures can be purchased here, but given their weight and cost of shipping, you can also easily make your own.
Depending on the type of Bonsai you're growing, here are the general formulas for successful mixtures.
Deciduous Tree (Leafy and looses leafs in the fall)
10% Potting Compost
Coniferous Tree (Evergreen like Juniper, Cedar)
If you are not able to check on your Bonsai's moisture levels daily, add more Akadama to the mix.
Given how these soils erode over time, repotting every 2-3 years is required.
Here are some suitable replacements if you cannot find the recommended types of soil.
- Akadama - fine fired or baked clays, some even recommend cat litter as a substitute.
- Pumice - fine crushed aggregates, expanded shale and vermiculite.
- Lava Rock - This can be replaced with fine gravel or you can also look into purchasing a larger lava rock at a hardware or gardening centre and crushing it.
One of the best and easiest ways to fertilize your Bonsai, is to add a liquid fertilizer mix when water your Bonsai's once a month during the spring/summer. If your Bonsai looses leaves in the winter there is no need to fertilize it then. If you have a coniferous tree, fertilizing the tree once in the beginning of winter and once in the middle of winter should be sufficient.