Hello everyone! Today they gave me a bonsai, which apparently from the plate should be a Zelkova, for looking carefully at the leaves it seems to me it looks more like a carmona .. also the surface of the leaves is not smooth, but rough with white hairs. . I would also like to know what would be the best shape you recommend for its growth .. thank you very much 🙂

Dear Kellen,

carmona and zelkova are two quite different plants, and therefore I believe that by comparing the leaves with some photos of the aforementioned bonsai, even only on the internet, you can easily understand what bonsai it is; yes, because, until you know if you have a carmona or a zelkova, it will be difficult for you to understand how best to proceed for the health of your bonsai. The leaves of the carmona are not perfectly oval, they are dark in color, and have a thin down on the upper page, generally they are grown as indoor bonsai throughout Italy (or almost), because it fears frost and temperatures below 5C; the zelkova also called Japanese elm, as it is closely related to the elm, even if it fears the frost a little it could be cultivated outdoors for most of the year, covering it during the colder months, it has lanceolate and pointed oval leaves, which have raised veins, thus resulting wrinkled, but without hairs of any kind; they are usually a little lighter than the carmona. The species of zelkova used for bonsai native to Japan, is a deciduous tree, which therefore in spring should be either completely without leaves, or with young leaves recently developed; Carmona, on the other hand, is a small evergreen tree, widely used as bonsai because simple cultivation in pots causes the production of foliage that is already quite small, and even young saplings tend to show the posture of older trees. So, since you are a beginner, perhaps it would be better if you had a carmona, which poses less problems as regards the formation of the crown, wire, repotting; even if in order to cultivate Carmona well, one must certainly work properly. Consider that it is a small tree, or shrub, native to Asia, which loves semi-shady, but bright positions (it can tolerate short periods of direct sunlight, but only in the early hours of the morning) and a humid climate; Unfortunately, in the apartment the climate is always excessively dry, and therefore during the winter months it is important to vaporize the foliage regularly, in order to raise the level of humidity in the room. Watering must be fairly regular, but avoiding always leaving the soil soaked with water, or you will cause the roots to die from suffocation. As for the shape, if you have been given an already formed bonsai it should already have a well-defined bearing; since you are a beginner, perhaps it is convenient to keep the shape that the bonsai has, rather than trying to modify it with massive interventions. You already have many things to worry about, such as pinching the shoots, fertilizing and exposing the plant in the best place, as well as its breeding.

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