peat*

anonymous asked:

Does bioactive substrate have to have a drainage layer? I feel like if there are no live plants that need to be watered, moist substrate with a cleanup crew of springtails and isopods should be fine, right? This is for a juvenile leachie bin with a mix of peat moss and coco coir and layer of leaf litter

As long as you don’t have plants in there it doesn’t really need a drainage layer. 

Some people may disagree; there are various systems and opinions on bioactive, just like other animal keeping subjects.

Many people don’t use them for arid bioactives either, as long as they’re using the proper substrate mix, even with plants. 

I don’t have them in any of my bug bioactives, or even my crestie bioactive, as they’re not planted. I am not planning on one in my leopard gecko’s bioactive, either. 

I do, however, have it in my heavily planted tropical bioactives.

The substrate will wick moisture from a drainage layer and stay evenly moist, which is ideal for high-humidity setups. It is not good for arid setups, however, as you want moist microclimates and drier areas. 

It is definitely perfect for tropical, humid, planted vivs, because it allows the plants to get the moisture they need without getting too soggy. Most of my vivs have plants that have shot their roots down the edges into the drainage layer, as well.

If you don’t have a drainage layer, you may have just a bit more upkeep. Without a drainage layer in a setup for a higher humidity animal such as a leachie, you’ll likely need to do some substrate stirring from time to time to keep it at the right moisture level. You don’t want to disturb the mycelium (fungus) too much, as it is part of a healthy decomposition web in your setup, or hurt your CUC, so there’s a balance that must be maintained.

Peat and coco fiber alone is not an ideal substrate for a bioactive. It is better to have a mix of substrate particle sizes, which will allow beneficial bacteria and mycelium to grow, keep the mix more aerated, and allow a healthy environment for the clean up crew. If you wish to mix your own, here’s a suggested recipe for a humid tropical or subtropical viv:

2 parts Ground Tree Fern Root (also called bark)
2 parts Fine Orchid/Fir Bark
1 part Peat Moss
1 part Milled Sphagnum Moss (not long-fiber)
1-2 parts Fine Horticultural Charcoal

There are many other recipes online, using coco fiber, and so on. NEHerp’s substrate is a good choice which uses coco fiber, if you want something pre-mixed!

Then place a layer of leaf litter over that. 

For a leachie, that has such messy poop, keep in mind that you will need a strong, diverse, and healthy CUC, and a large area of substrate proportionately to “manage” the waste. Think of it like cycling an aquarium – some fish need a proportionately stronger filter and area because they are high bioload. 

CUC do not usually clean anything above substrate level (though I have some giant orange isopods that are quite industrious).

tom hiddleston seems like he was murdered with arsenic in like 1798 and lived as a ghost in a peat bog for awhile before just like arriving on set to film thor. i dont mean this positively or negatively its just how i feel 

The Grauballe Man- In 1952, explorers where walking in Grauballe, Denmark when they stumbled across a peat bog which they thought had an animal trapped inside. Upon closer inspection, they discovered that the bog was in fact the final resting place of a perfectly preserved adult man. 

Researchers have determined that the man is from 3 BC, during the Iron Age. Due to the nature of the find, it has been described as one of Denmark’s most spectacular discoveries in it’s prehistory.

His was not the only bog body to be found in the peat bogs of Denmark. The Tollund Man and the Elling Woman were found in the same area, which leads to an interesting possibility: Is this an example of a traditional sacrifice at the time? It is commonly thought that these killings, including that of Grauballe Man, were ritual killings, possibly an important rite in Iron Age Germanic paganism.

🌱Green Witch Tips🌱

I get a lot of asks about plants; what dried herbs to start with, what kind are good for beginners, what I would recommend new witches own, how to grow them, etc. That’s totally okay because you guys know I love helping you out but to make things easier I’m just going to talk about plants for a while, okay? Enjoy!

Let’s Start At The Beginning🌿

“What should a beginner witch have in their cabinet?”

I get asked a lot what are some good herbs or dried flowers to have for people who can’t grow their own. Just remember, it’s not necessary to have herbs in your practice, all you need to be a witch is a desire to be a witch! But these are the herbs I recommend and/or are my personal favorites.💜

  • Orange Peel - This is great for uplifting energies and bringing happiness into your life, they can help with intuition, bring prosperity and abundance, and they can help strengthen friendships and relationships. They’re loaded with Vitamin C & A, it’s a powerful antioxidant and great for relieving congestion(add it to your bath!) You can eat them, burn them, make a tea, add it to your bath, whatever you see fit!
  • Basil - This is great for bringing in money and prosperity, love, flying/astral work, exorcisms, and is great for protection. Basil has potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. It is also an anti-inflammatory.
  • Mint - Mint is probably one of my favorite healing herbs, it can help bring you strength, luck, money, and safe travels. Mint is an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic. Ideal for treating indigestion, flatulence, varicose veins, headaches, migraines, skin irritations, rheumatism, toothache, and general fatigue.
  • Chamomile - One of my favorite meditation plants, it also aids in centering and finding peace, protection, self-love and healing! It’s great for fevers, indigestion, it works as an anti-inflammatory for wounds, and makes a good insect repellent.
  • Rosemary: It’s often used for protection, love, purification, healing, sleep, and youth. When burned it emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations and is used to rid a place of negativity. It provides anti-inflammation, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antisepticproperties. And research provides ample evidence that rosemary not only improves memory, but helps fight cancer. 
  • Onion: It is used for protection, exorcism, healing, money, and abundance in life. Grown in pots or in the garden they repel negative energy and evil intentions. You can cook onions to attract money and luck. Onions are high in vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and are good for regulating blood pressure.
  • Thyme: It can be used for good health, healing, sleep, courage, love, purification, psychic powers. It can be burned for good health and purification and can be used in healing spells. It can be used to help bronchitis, whooping cough, sore throat, colic, arthritis, upset stomach, stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bedwetting, intestinal gas (flatulence), parasitic worm infections and skin disorders.

Growing Your Own Indoor Plants 🌿

These are what I recommend for beginners(inside) I tried to include a variety of herbs, succulents, and houseplants because I know some people prefer one of the other. This includes generic care tips like storage needed, how much light, water, etc. If you’re looking for magical plant care tips scroll down to the next category! All plants picked are cat and dog friendly.

  • Spider Plants - absorb negativity while improving both the energy and air quality of your home. They’re great for low-key daily cleansing. The pot does not need drainage, moderate sunlight, during growth water once or so a week, at adult(one year) water more frequently, during the summer do not let the soil dry out, keep it moist! Generic garden soil is fine.
  • African Violets - ruled by the planet Venus, promoting spirituality and peaceful vibrations. Their five-petaled flowers are protective and link the plant with the pentagram. Keep them in a warm location where they get plenty of light, and these darling little plants will happily bloom for you all year round. They’re roots are very fragile so over watering can definitely kill them, make sure the soil is completely dry to touch before water. They do best with soils that include peat moss or vermiculite.
  • Succulents - bringers of love and abundance and can be among the easiest of house plants to grow.  Succulents are ruled by the moon. Succulents definitely need plots that have drainage holes, the soil should be a mix of rocks and soil or just buy premade cacti soil! Water two to three times a month depending on size. Full sunlight is best!
  • Swedish or English Ivy -  are protective as well as decorative, and never more so than when trained to grow outside on house walls. Potted and brought indoors, they serve the same function, for their curious stems and leaves drive away evil and negativity from their dwelling place. They are also though to promote fidelity and fertility. Medium light, simple garden soil, they do like moss, ivy’s prefer to be on the dry side when the soil has been dry for 2-3 days then water!
  • Catnip - can bring love into the home, works for cat magic or dieties, helps promote happiness and aids in sleep/astral travel magic. It can be successfully grown on a sunny windowsill, providing you give it enough water and remember to pinch out the flowers to encourage leaf growth. You can start pinching off leaves as soon as the plant hits about 6 - 8 inches.
  • Basil - it can help steady the mind, brings happiness, love, peace, and money and protects against insanity. Keep basil in direct or medium sunlight, keep soil moist, make sure to pick the leaves regularly to encourage growth throughout the summer.
  • Lemon Balm - associated with the moon and neptune, can be used to dispel melancholy and depression, it is traditionally used for compassion, fertility, happiness, healing, longevity, love, mental health, prosperity, and divination. Lemon balm likes a steady supply of water, but good drainage is a must.The plant recovers quickly from wilt, so it’s best to err on the side of dry rather than too wet, which will encourage root rot. Any good, fast-draining potting soil will likely do.
  • Thyme(a personal favorite) - planet venus, it’s good for clairvoyance, cleansing, courage, divination, dreams, exorcism, faeries, happiness, healing, love, money, prevents nightmares, protection, psychic development, aannnddd purification. It’s a pretty useful little plant and it’s super cute if you ask me! Water completely each time but allow the pot to dry before watering again. Fertilize thyme with a weak solution of fish emulsion or liquid seaweed once a month - I swear by it! Trim off flowers and dry them for a sachet or use them in tea, bath, etc!
  • Rosemary -  It’s often used for protection, love, purification, healing, sleep, and youth. When burned it emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations and is used to rid a place of negativity. Same grow tips as thyme!
  • Orchid -  it can be used for elegance and beauty, concentration, strengthening memory, love, intuition, harmony, focus, and will power. I personally love having my orchids around during self love magic and glamour spells. It needs ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between watering - make sure to not over water it. Some orchids can be air plants!

Magical Tips For Growing Plants🌿

Just some tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years, some of these may not be super witchy but still definitely helpful for strong plant babies!

  • Sing or talk to your plants daily! Not only will the positive energy they receive help them grow strong, so will the more direct source of Carbon Dioxide. 💕 
  • Use rain water or moon water to water your plants! You can really use any kind of water but I advise against sea water unless you boil the salt out first.
    • Bonus! Charge your water with crystals. I like to leave mine out under the moon with moss agate, clear quartz, and rose quartz to encourage growth into a strong, beautiful plant.
  • If you smoke weed, ashes are lovely to give to plants once a week, most ashes work to be honest. You can also use left over tea leaves to compost as well, you can infuse/encourage your plants with energies of the tea!
  • You can also include eggshell powder or water from when you boil eggs in your waterings once a week to help aid it’s growth. 
    • I wouldn’t suggest feeding them plant food until their adults though just because it’s really simple to over feed them. But it’s okay to throw some eggshells in the beginning.
  • Sigils! Put sigils on everything, your watering can, the containers your plants are in, on the window they receive their sunlight from! Have fun, gardening is a great time to explore yourself and your craft.
  • Leave your plants under the moon to let the charge. Or when they’re in the sun let that charge them to bring energy and happiness into your home and life.
  • Leave crystals next to your plants or create little spell jar to keep in your garden. I have one of citrine, clear quartz, bay, oak, and a little love letter to Freyr because he’s my patron god and a god of nature.
  • This may sound weird but I swear my little green guys love jivin’ to music, play some and dance around with them, let them be lively and included in your life. We’ve been listening to a lot of Janis Joplin lately.
  • If your plant indoors you don’t have worms!! Oh no! Poke little holes in your soil (after their healthy sprouts) to make sure the soil isn’t compacted.
  • Understand how much space your plants are going to need.  It’s a common mistake for gardeners to get too small of pots. Research the type of roots your plants have - not all grow down some grow wide and need wider more shallow pots.
  • Look for the best place in the house for each plant, and don’t be afraid to try different locations until you find the best spot. Some plants are picky and that’s a-okay!

I hope this is able to help someone with their little green babies. Gardening can bring such joy to ones life, I hope it can for you!🌿

flickr

Good Morning from Scotland. 

Early morning light on a Peat Cutter’s Hut near Stornoway by Adrian Fretwell

Via Flickr:
Early morning sunlight, blue sky and an approaching storm

In Honor of Earth Day 2017: PBS Nature’s Ask Box is now open for the next round of Tumblr’s IssueTime on Conservation and Climate Change!

NATURE  is so excited to work with Tumblr and the wonderful scientists, biologists and filmmakers who’ve agreed to be on our panel so that you can learn more about the environmental issues we’re currently facing.  Dig deeper into the issues with full episodes of NATURE, now streaming!

The Panelists:

Arnaud  Desbiez  is a conservation biologist who has been conducting research in the Brazilian Pantanal since 2002. He has worked on topics ranging from sustainable use of  resources  to  species  ecological  research and community  development  programs. In  the  Brazilian  Pantanal,  his  work  focused  on  the interaction  between  native  and alien  species, the sustainable  use  of  forage  resources  and  the  ecology  of  several mammal species.   In 2010 he started and now coordinates the Pantanal Giant Armadillo Project. Arnaud is featured in our most recent episode, Hotel Armadillo.

Patrick Gonzalez is Principal Climate Change Scientist of the U.S. National Park Service and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. A forest ecologist, he conducts applied research on climate change and works with national parks to adapt resource management to climate change. Patrick has conducted and published field research on climate change in Africa, Latin America, and the United States and has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization awarded a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Watch our recent episode about the challenges facing Yosemite, now streaming!

Chris Morgan is an ecologist, conservationist, educator, TV host/narrator and film producer specializing in international bear research and conservation. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a wildlife researcher, wilderness guide and environmental educator on every continent where bears exist. Chris  has narrated 13 films for Nature and was host and narrator for Siberian Tiger Quest as well as being the featured character in Nature’s three-part series ‘Bears of the Last Frontier.’ In 2015, he was also host and narrator for Nature’s Three-part ‘Animal Homes’ series and was featured in ‘The Last Orangutan Eden.’ Learn more about Chris’ story with this interview we conducted with him.

Learn More about Chris

Joe Pontecorvo is an award-winning producer, writer, and cinematographer. For the past two decades, he has traveled the globe; tracking Siberian tigers in the Russian Far East, living among grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska, and following orangutans through Indonesia’s peat swamp forest. All told, he has produced 14 broadcast documentaries for multiple networks, including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS. For his most recent project before ‘Yosemite,’ PBS Nature’s ‘Snow Monkeys,’ Joe and his wife, Nim Pontecorvo, spent nearly two years filming a troop of Japanese macaques in Japan’s Shiga Highlands. Go behind-the-scenes into the making of that film here.

Learn More about Joe

Happy Earth Day! Check back Saturday for answers! 

“Broken and Rotting” Curse Jar

Originally posted by crowszx

A powerful curse to bring ruin and turmoil to your enemy.

⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦

What You’ll Need:

  • A Jack of Spades playing card (this represents the target as a sort of poppet, and for the sake of the curse, the jack is gender-neutral)
  • A Peat Pot Planter (The peat pot is eco-friendly and more powerful for this particular curse, but a jar can also work)
  • Old Parsley, to represent financial ruin
  • 1 Big, Rotting Strawberry, to represent romantic ruin
  • Rotting Banana or Carrot, to represent sexual ruin, if target has a penis, OR Rotting Peach or Red Apple, if target has a vulva (If you don’t know what genitalia the target has, use one of each)
  • Crushed Egg Shell Powder
  • 1 Black candle
  • 1 other candle: pink if target ids as female/transfemale/transfeminine, yellow if target ids as male/transmale/transmasculine, purple if target ids as agender/genderfluid/bigender/etc.
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Legally obtained animal bone(s) (I recommend chicken bones, you can get them out of pieces of fried chicken, so they’re easily available and more importantly, LEGAL!)
  • Storm/Rain Water
  • (Optional) Cursing sigils
  • (Optional) A slice/half/whole rotting onion, to represent their health deteriorating

⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦

What to do:

-BEST DONE DURING A WANING CRESCENT MOON-

STEP 1: Place the peat pot down on your working space. Place the black candle above it and the other candle below it. Light both of the candles. (Be sure to practice fire safety!)

STEP 2: Take the Jack of Spades and write the targets name over the card, as big as you can. (It can be any name you knew them by, their full name, a nickname, their “witch name” if you’re cursing another witch, etc.)

STEP 3: Place the animal bone(s), egg shell powder, and old parsley in the peat pot. Next place the Jack of Spades in. (If you have any cursing sigils, add them here.) Then put in the rotting strawberry and the rotting banana/carrot/peach/red apple. (If you add the onion, do it here.) Sprinkle the black and cayenne pepper over all of it, saying:

  • I call upon the forces of dark,
  • fulfill the curse, I’ve done my part.
  • My reasoning sound, my logic tight,
  • bring [TARGET’S NAME] suffering on this night

STEP 4: Cover the peat pot with another peat pot or a piece of another cut to fit as a lid. (You can draw cursing sigils all over the pot if you so choose to.) Bury it somewhere close, like your garden or backyard. Pour the storm/rain water over the burial site.

⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦⛧⛦

TO BREAK THE CURSE:

STEP 1: Dig up the spot where you planted the peat pot. Try to find what you can of the jar. If it’s been a while, parts of it will ave started to decay. Try to find the Jack of Spades. Take it out and rebury the rest.

STEP 2: Cross out the eyes and the hand(s) on the card with a dark colored marker. DO NOT MARK OUT THE NAME OF YOUR TARGET!

STEP 3: Place the card into a fire-safe bowl, and sprinkle a little salt and a little sugar over it.

STEP 4: Light the card on fire and let it burn until it’s nothing but ash. While it’s burning, say the chant:

  • The curse is lifted, thus I have said,
  • my curse is lifted from off your head.
  • But be ye warned, should the need arise,
  • I’ll recast the curse, and ruin your life.

Originally posted by lovegoodemporium

aynmoss-deactivated20141018  asked:

Wow. Your blog is amazing. Any advice for a beginner succulent collector? :)

Thank you! :)

One of the best lessons I’ve learned since starting is if you’re buying plants from a big retailer, they usually come potted in a mix which is mostly peat. Ideally, you want to remove as much of that peat from the roots are possible. Bare-root it if you can. Otherwise the peat will slowly strangle the life out of your plants and eventually lead to their demise. Might seem strange, but this picture might be more illustrative. (Picture taken from this old thread on cactiguide: Here)

The plants were bought at the same size and were originally potted in peat. The plant on the right was transplanted out of the peat when it was bought and put into a proper cactus soil, while the plant on the left was transplanted into a bigger pot with the original peat left in tact. Later on the plant on the left succumbed to being in the peat and died. The plant on the right won second place in a plant show! :)

So yeah, peat is horrible stuff. Bad for succulent plants and for the environment. Once you’ve removed the peat from your plant you can pot it into a soil mix which will be better for it. I strongly suggest mixing your own cactus/succulent soil mix, since the ‘Cactus, Palm and Citrus’ garbage is generally atrocious. A good beginner mix is 50/50 aggregates/organic matter. Aggregates are stones and stony things basically. Horticultural pumice is great, but perlite works too. Grit is another good aggregate to use, but it’s very heavy (which has it’s pros and cons, but let’s keep it simple). Organic matter isn’t necessarily organic (in the fashionable way, or the chemical way), but a general term for ‘brown stuff which holds water and nutrients’ or dirt. Top soil, sandy loam and coir are all good for this purpose. When potting up your plants, try to use dry soil mix, certainly not very wet soil mix. Wet soil on damaged roots is likely to cause rot.

Once you’ve potted up a plant given the above treatment into your lovingly prepared special soil mix then you can give it about 2-3 weeks without water to rest and recover. 

The above advice is indispensable in my opinion, but the second key piece of advice I have is a little simpler. Don’t be afraid to withhold water. That’s probably most applicable if you’re used to growing mesic plants (plants which don’t like being dry for very long). Overwatering is the biggest killer of plants. Most succulents are quite happy being dry for months or even years. :)

Anyway, I think I’ve probably scared you off with a wall of text by now. Feel free to ask more questions if you need anything clearing up.

Happy growing!

How’re Ur Roots?

- Succulent Edition -

A few weeks ago someone asked me to post some pictures of healthy vs. unhealthy roots. I assume they meant succulents so that’s what I’ll be covering today! My mom recently got a really cute hanging succulent planter, but OF COURSE the damn thing was an overcrowded, peat moss hell. But it was PERFECT to photograph for this post…

^ Let’s start with some dehydrated roots. You can see that they’re completely wizened. They’re usually a dull brown or greyish-brown color. They are dry and sometimes crunchy to the touch. These roots here are completely dead, and incapable of taking up water. At this point, I had no choice but to cut off the entire root ball and start over again.

^ Here’s an example of the direct opposite: overwatered roots. Note how limp and squishy this big ol’ root is. It’s mostly a sickly brown, but in some spots is turning dark with the beginnings of rot. Advanced rot due to overwatering will turn roots black, gooey, and will sometimes have a bad odor. This particular plant was rescued before all of its roots were affected. In this case, I was able to simply cut away the two or three mushy roots. If ALL roots were squishy, I would have AGAIN had to cut off the entire root ball and start over.

^ Here we have an ADORABLE baby nubbin. A new, healthy root will be firm and white, with a touch of green or pink. You should be able to bend them gently and they’re usually lightly moist.

^ Remember the first photo of dehydrated roots? This is the same kind of plant with some healthy roots. Note the arrow pointing at the nice, fresh white. This is helpful in judging whether or not mostly dry roots are still capable of taking up water. If you can spot any white, those roots are okay. I ended up leaving about 50% of the roots on this guy.

BONUS! Some examples of different types of roots. The outside two are echeveria and the center is a pachyveria. These needed very little trimming – as you can see, plenty of robust, white roots.

I hope this was helpful! <3

The mist was down again. There had been a few clear, sunny days earlier in the week, and Algy had even seen some bright blue sky at times, but such conditions rarely lasted long on the wild west coast of the Scottish Highlands, for the north Atlantic weather systems ensured an almost constant supply of clouds and rain.

Algy found himself a damp perch on a clump of soggy grasses and heather, and gazed into a spontaneous bog pool which was strewn with last year’s grasses, tossed about by the wind. Despite the cold, grey wetness of it all, Algy could detect a change in the air. The rain and the mist and the wind might not stop, but Algy knew that the winter was almost over, and any day now the skylarks would start to sing again, announcing the beginning of a new spring. So Algy peered into the water, wondering whether any frogs were sleeping down below, and murmured one of his favourite silly poems in case they might be listening:

The moon came late to a lonesome bog,
And there sat Goggleky Gluck, the frog.
“My stars!” she cried, and veiled her face,
“What very grand people they have in this place!”

Algy wishes you all a very happy weekend :)

[Algy is reciting the short poem The moon came late by the 19th century American writer Mary Mapes Dodge.]

The Domestic Garden Witch: Bonsai!

So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.

For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.

This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!

Mini Trees, Patience and Meditation

When it comes to container gardening, we often jump straight to pots with flowers, herbs, maybe even little shrubs. Or even to terrariums and the like. But rarely do we consider incorporating bonsai into our lives. This could be because these miniature trees, as beautiful as they are, seem fairly daunting to cultivate, or possibly because many view them as expensive ornamental plants.

The truth is, however, that the art of bonsai is one which is not only very DIY but also a very helpful exercise in patience and meditation. And it is currently undergoing a bit of a revolution. Traditionally, bonsai has a lot of fairly strict rules regarding the shape and type of pot used, what plants can be used, and the proper ways to shape and trim the plant. However, in more recent movements, various pot shapes and types are being used, as well as varying plants (especially native species) so as to embrace a more personalized view.

You could either acquire traditional materials, or you can create your own container using a ceramic bowl or other type of dish. Select plants that suit your view and personality. And be aware that bonsai is still an art that requires some effort in order to grow a successful plant.

You’ll need a container with a drainage hole, gravel or volcanic rocks for drainage, plants, metal wire, and bonsai soil (either premixed or you can make your own by mixing peat clay, potting soil, and fine volcanic gravel). Place a gravel layer in the bottom of your container, and fill the rest with your potting mix.

Remove the starter plant from its container and gently remove the soil from its roots, and rinse them so that most of the soil is removed. Trim the roots, leaving the larger roots. Starting from the top of the plant and traveling down to the roots, wrap the wire around the stems of the plant. Run the remaining wire down through the mix and gravel and out of the drainage hole. This will anchor the plant and provide a training frame - alter the shape of the wire to shape and train the plant’s growth. Plant it in your container and provide ground cover on the soil either in the form of moss or gravel. Water and mist daily.

Training your plant is part of what makes this a meditative experience. Avoid over-trimming, but remember to prune large leaves and extraneous branches. As the plant gets a bit stronger and naturally grows to the shape you’ve established, you can carefully remove the wire. Keep in mind that it can take decades to get a bonsai to look like the stereotypical gnarled trees that we typically see in the media.

How Can I Witch This?

The possibilities for incorporating bonsai into your practice are nearly endless, both from the standpoint of container material and decoration and from the standpoint of tree choice. But the kind of magick I want to focus on here is “slow burn” spells.

Slow burn magic centers around working a spell that is low-energy, but takes effect over a long period of time and in much more subtle ways. Great examples of this are spells that are geared toward helping keep a house cleansed and protected over extended periods of time, nurturing a spell for health or self-confidence, et cetera.

So in addition to adding decorations or crystals, and choosing plants which correspond to your intent, shape your tree with intent, love, and compassion. These trees invite care and nurturing, while adding an appealing and cleansing atmosphere to any room. When grooming and shaping the tree, hold your intent in your mind, and also request help for realizing that intent from the plant as you care for it.

In addition, bonsai can be a great way of inviting faeries or other nature spirits into the home, much like a faerie garden. This is a form of aesthetic spellwork that can help encourage long lasting and positive effects in your home!

May all your harvests be bountiful! )O(