At work I received a "mallsai" (mass produced bonsai from a mall). The ones with the rocks glued to the top of the soil. It was a nice looking mini-jade. It is putting out new growth, but it is also dropping a lot of healthy leaves so today I decided to repot it and see if it helps with the leaf drop.
I took it out of the pot and noticed it was mixed in with a black soil and woodchip combo. The roots weren't quite potbound and there wasn't any kind of odor or visible issues.
I decided to also test a theory I've been reading on several bonsai sites that you don't need to use any organic matter in your soil as long as adequate fertilizer is used. I decided to make this part of the project. I planted the bonsai in about 70% perlite and 20% sand. I mixed in time release fertilizer pellets in the "soil".
I didn't need to do any root pruning as most of the roots were already feeder roots and there was enough margin between the root ball and the pot edges. I placed a small mound of my soil in the center and placed the bonsai on top. After, I worked the soil in between the roots by working the end of my root rake in between them.
Last, I watered it in and placed the bonsai on the back patio where wind and rain wouldn't disturb it. The picture at the top of the post is how it ended up. I am going to get some decorative gravel or something to top the soil with.
Comments are welcome :)