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Terri656
Aug 13, 2020 8:02 AM CST
Hi I am just starting to grow plants Indoor plants to be exact. And of course I had to start with the hardest so I'm growing bonsai plants from the seeds and my instructions don't help once it's grown so I planted 5 in each pot and pretty much all grew in really nice I did thin out one but it just hurts my soul to kill the other ones that are thriving so well what can I do to save all 4 that are left because I'm guessing it is not safe for them to stay in the same pot for long
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Aug 13, 2020 8:24 AM CST
Pot them all up individually.
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Aug 13, 2020 9:42 AM CST
Welcome!

What kind of seeds did you plant? They won't be bonsai until they are old/big enough to prune. Bonsai is a pruning method, not a particular plant. Yours won't be ready to turn into anything for at least 5 years or more. If you have a number of seedlings together, you can keep them as a group and plan a future miniature forest. Hopefully, you planted them in a larger pot, not the bonsai pot, as they need to grow before you can start to train them. That won't happen in a bonsai pot.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
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MD
Terri656
Aug 13, 2020 9:55 AM CST
So I have 3 pinus thunderbergis
Pinus aristata and pixel Mariana I have them in the biodegradable pots I haven't done the next step of replanting them in bigger pot yet because I wasn't sure what next step should be if there was a way to separate the them without harm or if they where safe growing together like that for long
Thumb of 2020-08-13/Terri656/5e24dd

Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
He who dies with the most toys wins
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Aug 13, 2020 10:06 AM CST
I don't think pixel Mariana is a plant. Check label.
The sooner you split them the better off you are. The older they get, the more entwined they become.
Daisy makes a great point. Bonsai is an Art Form, keeping plants miniaturized. You actually have seeds of trees that can be readily trained into bonsai. If you don't take care of them from the beginning, you will end up with issues as far as Bonsai goes!

Have you read any books or articles on Bonsai? Attended any classes?
The key to orchid growing is to match the orchid to your conditions.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 13, 2020 10:33 AM CST
But Pinus Mariana is. Yes, read up on bonsai or take some classes.

I would pot them into large pots now. The roots of plants can't grow out of those cardboard pots and, if the roots get widespread enough to glue themselves to the pot inside, you will be ripping roots.

Soak the pots then carefully peel off at least some of the cardboard and put them into 1 gallon pots. You can separate them into fewer numbers if you like but, they can be forever together also. I would have to separate the pots with 4 trees (but maybe one will die in the transplant) because, in true bonsai, you can't ever have 4 trees. The kanji for 'four' and 'death' are very similar so in Japanese culture there is never 4 of anything.

Here are a couple photos of 'future bonsai' I started this spring: First photo is a pair of Jeffrey Pines (Pinus jeffreyi). Second photo is a group of single-leaf pinyons (Pinus monophylla). I gathered the seed for both last fall as both are native to my area. The greatest source of seed are locally growing plants - you know they will survive your weather.

Thumb of 2020-08-13/DaisyI/2f4fdf
Thumb of 2020-08-13/DaisyI/ffd854




Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: tropicofcancer
SW-PA (Zone 6b)
tropicofcancer
Aug 13, 2020 10:39 AM CST
You probably already know this but just to be sure: These plants need to be outside all year round. It will not survive indoors. They need full Sun and need winter dormancy. If you have not move them outside and for now keep them in a very bright location but out of direct sunlight for two weeks.
I will also suggest plant those peat pots, pot and all, in a larger pot. It will be easier to winterize. Either bury the pot in ground and drop a good amount of leaf mulch to protect the sapling, or put in a unheated shed or garage. If in shed or garage you may need to water every 2-3 weeks to keep it just moist.
No need to separate them now. In fact separating them now may kill some of them. April is the best month to do any root work on conifers. You can separate them then. If you truly want to pursue bonsai the plant needs to be in proper bonsai soil too. Then it will need regular pruning (both root pruning and branch/leaf pruning). You have the whole winter to be prepared and get all the materials.
Remember these grow very slow. Next year it should start looking like a pine. If you still have seeds left, then plant them next April. They will have the whole season to grow and be more ready for the winter. Yours were planted a bit too late but keep your fingers crossed and hope they make it through the winter.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 13, 2020 11:07 AM CST
One of the 'tricks' I learned in my Bonsai class (about 40 years ago) is pot big and let nature take care of the rest. If you don't disturb them once they are in a bigger pot the trees will grow bigger while the soil amount dwindles. Repot every couple years until the trees approach the size you want them to be. If you don't repot, in 5 years you will have pretty decent sized trees growing in about 2 inches of soil. I'm sure tropicofcancer is squirming in his chair because this doesn't show up in any of the books. But, my bonsai teacher, a very elderly Japanese man, did it this way and it has always worked for me. I am not a constant trainer/fiddler so allowing the trees to do their own thing is great for me.

I don't bother with specifically bonsai soil. I am using regular potting soil but, if you want bonsai soil, cactus soil is about the same thing. Except for pots (Luckily, I inherited a large number of bonsai pots from my father-in-law), this is not an expensive hobby. The pots needn't be expensive either if you choose other containers (bowls with holes drilled in them or succulent and azalea pots for instance). I gleaned wire from a construction site dumpster and use a bit of plastic mesh canvas (from the craft store) cut to size to cover the holes in the bottom of the pots.

Bonsai is the art of miniaturizing a tree so, do what works. It can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: tropicofcancer
SW-PA (Zone 6b)
tropicofcancer
Aug 13, 2020 11:57 AM CST
DaisyI said: One of the 'tricks' I learned in my Bonsai class (about 40 years ago) is pot big and let nature take care of the rest.

That is a very well known technique - nothing new. Growing first in the ground is preferred since they will be bigger faster. Even then it is desirable to start pruning and training for shape and form early enough. Timing and methods depend to some extent on the species.
In 40 years many things have changed. Our understanding of the science has changed a lot and many new techniques have been developed over the years.

DaisyI said: I'm sure tropicofcancer is squirming in his chair because this doesn't show up in any of the books.
I find your unwarranted remarks aimed directly at me childish and amusing. I am aware your feathers got ruffled a few times by tapla (another member here) and me and since then you have been taking these potshots. You have something to debate in a reasonable adult manner I am game.

FYI and others, I have been practicing bonsai for over 30 years originally trained by a master. I cannot call myself one and neither do I pretend to be one. It is a hobby for me and I have acquired substantial proficiency and knowledge. I am a member of my local bonsai club where I regularly give lectures and demos. My collection is over 200 plants covering conifers, deciduous and tropicals.

DaisyI said: I don't bother with specifically bonsai soil. I am using regular potting soil but, if you want bonsai soil, cactus soil is about the same thing.

That is your choice to use whatever you want. Cactus soil is not the same thing as bonsai soil although if made properly can be substituted. Commercial cactus soil is a poor choice. There is a whole science behind soil choice. You do not think 1000's of practicing growers are all idiots - do you?

DaisyI said: Bonsai is the art of miniaturizing a tree so, do what works. It can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.

Bonsai is primarily a science of intimate knowledge of how soil, nutrition, environment, plant species and botany come together when growing plants in a container. The art is in attaining the proper shape, proportions and looks to give the illusion of a mature majestic tree in a much smaller size.

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 13, 2020 1:53 PM CST
Calm down TofC. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
MD
Terri656
Aug 21, 2020 9:12 AM CST
Thank you so much for all the help... it's all helped me sooo much.. this is all new to me but it's a hobby I think I'm enjoying and want to continue..: does anyone have any advice about fertilizing them because online there is a bunch of confusion so I've honestly had to just do trial and error..: two of my picea Mariana plants didn't seem to do well two days after using 1–1-1 miracle grow liquid now it could have nothing to due with fertilizer and could be something else
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 21, 2020 10:30 AM CST
I wouldn't fertilize them this year. When you do fertilize, mix the fertilizer at 1/4 to 1/2 strength and use at most 3 times a year. I only fertilize once a year in spring. This year's seedlings (in the photos) will be fertilized for the first time next spring. But, I use potting soil with added nutrients. I don't know if you mentioned what soil you used but, if it had added nutrients, its easy to over-do the fertilizer the first year.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
MD
Terri656
Aug 21, 2020 11:12 AM CST
When I repot them, which I'm going to do soon now that I know a little more about the repotting I have good dirt potting mix which I believe doesn't have any fertilizer in it because I heard it could harm the plants I also have miracle grow but that one has fertilizer in it: my soil that used before was just peat expanding pellets
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Aug 21, 2020 11:50 AM CST
Peat doesn't have any nutrients at all. Potting soil will have some nutrients just because of the makeup of the mix. I do use potting soil with added nutrients because it also has a wetting agent. If I let the pots get too dry (I tend to do that D'Oh! ), the wetting agent allows the soil to rehydrate with little effort. I haven't had problems with the amount of added nutrients.

Make sure to soak the pots and peel off as much of the peat pot as you can (definitely take the bottom off) as your little trees may not make it through to the new soil unless you do.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
MD
Terri656
Aug 21, 2020 6:38 PM CST
Thank you so much I had no idea about the pots I thought (or the soil) you just took the top off and replanted them so that's great to know you saved me from a lot of stress

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