Common Name: Chinese Elm
Chinese elm is fast growing, deciduous or evergreen depending on its location forms a graceful upright rounded canopy with shiny, dark green leathery leaves. Elm is moderately salt tolerant. Several dwarf varieties, sports of Ulmus parvifolia, exist which grow slower than the ordinary Chinese elm but it produces a much finer network of twigs and branches. It is these sports which are used for bonsai.
Lighting: Will grow in full sun or partial shade.
Temperature: Zones 5B – 10A. More restricted zones may apply to some of the dwarf varieties.
Watering: Loves frequent watering, but avoid letting pot water log. Do not let the plant dry out. During extremely hot weather – water regularly. In spring and early summer when the plant supports lots of new growth water frequently and keep the soil moist.
Fertilizing: To retain and produce small leaves, do not feed high nitrogen fast-acting fertilizers. Feeding three times a year is sufficient to maintain good colour and healthy growth without enlarging the size of the leaves.
Position: The Chinese Elm can be grown Outdoor or Indoor Tree. If grown outdoors, it should be grown in full sun. During the hottest months of peak summer, need some protection from scorching heat, move into a semi-shaded area. Also, during the coldest months of winter best to protect from severe frost, move into the cool greenhouse or cover with fleece.
Pruning and wiring: Most shaping can be done by pruning. The bark is thin and may be damaged easily.
Propagation: Because these dwarf varieties are sports of another plant, they can only be propagated by cutting or layering. Cuttings may be made from new tip growth taken in early summer.
They transplant well. Any type of soil with good drainage seems to grow them well. They have heavy root growth so must have root room.