If you want to raise your golden larch as bonsai, you have two options. We’ll show you which ones are and how to do them properly.
While the golden larch (Pseudolarix amabilis) in its natural size is difficult to reproduce, even in botanical gardens, bonsai breeders are quite successful. If you already have a mini-tree, you can ensure that the young plant brings the characteristics of the mother plant through the direct propagation. This is not always the case when propagating through sowing, for example.
Two possibilities of propagation
The gold larch can be propagated using the following methods:
Cutted propagation – uncomplicated and easy
The Japanese call the cuttings propagation “Sashiki”. In bonsai breeding, the propagation of cuttings is especially popular. Anyone who already owns a plant can bring in such inexpensive and uncomplicated new plants.
Tip: Compared to the seed culture, a cuttings gain a growth advantage of up to one year.
To win a cutt
The cutting is easily cut by the golden larch. Care should be taken to a length of five to ten centimeters. The cuttings can have up to half a centimeter in circumference.
Tip: With larger cuttings the chance of a successful rooting decreases.
Right time for the cuttings propagation
Although it is not a larch in the true sense of the word, but is a conifer, the propagation of cuttings can begin at two different times. Cuttings can be cut both between July and August, as well as in autumn and winter, between October and January.
A peculiarity in the cuttings propagation of conifers is the tearing of the cuttings. The already well lignified shoots on the base are torn from the branch. It is intended that the bark gets cracks. This gives the cutting in the planter more support.
Tip: limit yourself to woody cuttings. If too much sap flows through the branches, they will hardly form roots.
Cutted propagation step by step
2. Insert drainage layer
3. Fill in substrate
4. Insert cutting material
6. Water seedling
7. Wait for rooting
First select a planter. For this purpose, a bonsai peel is just like a conventional flowerpot. However, attention must be paid to sufficient drainage holes for the irrigation water in the bottom of the vessel.
So that it does not come to waterlogging and the cuttings die off, offers a drainage layer on the bottom of the vessel. For this, add gravel, potsherds or other coarse material to the bottom of the pot. The drainage layer is covered with conventional bonsaierde.
Tip: The substrate should be more nutrient-poor. This animates the cuttings for rooting.
Put the cuttings in the ground and press them lightly. Always keep the substrate slightly damp. But make sure that the cuttings do not get too much wetness.
The planter should be warm and bright. Soil heat is particularly important, ie a location near the heating or on the warm south window. If a plastic cover is placed over the planter, a greenhouse effect is created, which stimulates rooting. The cuttings should extend about one centimeter into the ground.
They will have to wait a few months until the first roots form and the cuttings drive out.
What happens to the young plants?
Several years will pass before a bonsai can be educated. The gold larch is cultivated as usual and transplanted every two years. The transplanting is used as an opportunity to prune the roots. These are reduced by about one third. The tap root is completely removed. Then the later bonsai gets a secure hold in the shallow planter. Once the tree has reached the desired shape and size, it is transferred to the bonsai shell and regular shape cuts are made so that the small golden larch retains its growth habit.
Propagation by grafting
Grafting, known by the Japanese as “tsugiki”, is also common among bonsai friends, but belongs to the hands of experienced gardeners. Grafting involves growing a root and root piece together with the rice, the upper stem and branches. This technique is also known from fruit tree cultures to grow two plants in an interesting cross.
In bonsai cultivation, grafting is used to supplement branches, add roots or to breed a new tree.
When should grafting be done?
For most summer-green plants, spring and summer are the ideal time for this technique. Since the golden larch is actually a pine species, the winter months should be preferred for the grafting.
Gold larch grafting – step by step
- Select rice
- Cut base
- Cut rice
- Insert rice
- Connect rice and base
First, the rice is selected. This is in the specific case to a root piece or a branch, which is to grow new elsewhere. The size of the rice should not exceed five centimeters. The pad is now slightly incised. Use a flat and sharp knife, being careful not to cut too deeply into the wood.
The rice is cut wedge-shaped at the bottom and should fit into the incision of the pad. The rice should rest exactly on the surface and touch it with its bark-free side. To keep rice and underlay together, use thin wire or elastic band. After about two months, the rice will start to grow.
The tape should be removed after about a year.
- Select base
- Crop rice
- Fix rice and base
As a base serves in this case a less than five millimeters thick stump. This is cut off horizontally at a height of about ten centimeters. The rice should be thinner and cover only about half the length of the pad. With a cut that is about two centimeters deep, split the backing in half. The rice is cut into wedge shape and pushed into the gap. If the rice and the base touch congruently, the fixation is also performed again with wire or tape.
After about a year, the fixation can be removed. The backing will appear visibly thicker at the site of grafting than the rest of the trunk. This grows over the years largely.
Types of propagation with their advantages and disadvantages
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