Japanese Akadama – Shopleaf Plant Studio

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Japanese Akadama

Japanese Akadama

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Akadama (赤玉土, akadamatsuchi, red ball earth) is a naturally occurring, granular clay-like mineral used as soil for bonsai trees and other container-grown plants. It is surface-mined, immediately sifted and bagged, and supplied in various grades; the deeper-mined grade are somewhat harder and more useful in horticulture than the more softer, shallow-mined grades. Akadama may also act as one component of growing medium when combined with other elements such as sand, composted bark, peat, or crushed lava. The color darkens when moist which can help the grower determine when to water a tree.

While akadama is more costly than alternative soil components, it is prized by many growers for its ability to retain water and nutrients while still providing porosity and free drainage. For all of its qualities, many bonsai growers consider the cost of akadama prohibitive or unnecessary. Still other growers claim that when subjected to cold and wet climates, the granules progressively break down into smaller particles that inhibit drainage, an unwanted characteristic of bonsai soil. This problem can be avoided either by incorporating sand or grit in the soil mix, or by using the deeper-mined, harder grades.

- Coarse Grade 3-6mm (per particle and some find dust around 20%)

- pH 6.9

- packed in resealable paper pouch

- does not expire

- naturally mined in Japan

- Mix as potting mix amendment for plants or used alone.

- Potting mix/soil topper

- Bonsai mix substrate

- changes color depending on moisture content

- holds nutrients well

- does not breakdown easily, very long usability, up to 2 years