Keep the cake tree in the bucket - notes on substrate & fertilizer

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With the certain know-how, the cake tree can be kept relatively easy in the bucket. Important for the growth is an optimal substrate, some fertilizer and regular pruning.

Keep the pie tree in the bucket - notes on substrate and fertilizer

The cake tree comes from Japan and is a true rarity in our latitudes. Especially the attractive foliage color and the intensive gingerbread scent of the autumn leaves impress the hobby gardeners. Since not every plant friend has enough space to turn the small tree into a large tree, there are alternatives.

The plants are sold at a height of about 50 centimeters and can therefore be cultivated in the bucket. In young plants, which are planted as a shrub, one will enjoy some years. Eventually, however, comes the day when the cake tree in the bucket is too narrow and you should look for an outdoor location.

Which substrate does the cake tree need?

In the substrate, the plant is quite demanding. Bucket plants is correspondingly less substrate available, as the cultivated in the field sapling. Therefore, put the main focus on a good growth basis in the tub. The biggest enemy of the pie tree is waterlogging. This can best be prevented with tub plants with a drainage. For this purpose, gravel or potsherds, which are designed on the bottom of the planter. You should spread garden fleece over the drainage holes of the vessel.

This is what the ideal floor looks like:

compositionA sandy or loamy soil is ideal. The plant tolerates a neutral to slightly acidic soil.
fertilizationIf the substrate is mixed with compost during planting, the plant receives a long-term fertilizer, which is generally sufficient.
PH valueThe ideal growing conditions provide a soil with a pH between 5 and 7.
soil qualityThe soil should be loose and permeable, so that the moisture can flow off well. Waterlogging in the planter can quickly become dangerous to the cake tree.

Plant a cake tree

  1. Do not choose planter too small
  2. If necessary, upgrade the potting soil with clay or loam
  3. Add compost as slow-release fertilizer
  4. Do not plant rootballs too deeply
  5. Shake the plant lightly and fill up with soil
  6. Press substrate
  7. Pour the cake tree well

For the attitude in the bucket the small trees offered in the specialized trade are suitable. Even seed-grown pie trees, grown to about 40 centimeters, can be kept as potted plants and have a sunny, outdoor location. Older trees are not suitable for the Kübelhaltung and should be cultivated as a specimen plant in the field.

Pour potted plants and fertilize

A potted tree in the field will prove to be much more robust and easy to care for than a potted plant that has a much higher fluid and nutrient requirement in a relatively small area. Lack of water indicates the cake tree by hanging the leaves unmistakably. If reacted and immediately poured, the plant will not be damaged and will develop well. Prolonged lack of water is often acknowledged by the potted plants with a radical leaf fall.

" Danger: If the plants have become bald, do not throw it away! If you water thoroughly and continue to pour regularly, you will quickly find new shoots.
On particularly hot days, the cake tree also does a shower with the garden hose. This should be done in the morning or evening hours and not in the blazing sun, as the leaves can easily burn.

The nutrient requirement of the plant can be covered by the incorporation of compost. This should happen in spring, during transplanting. Compost acts as a slow-release fertilizer and will provide the cake tree with all the essential nutrients. If the planter has been chosen to be particularly small, or if the plant is in a remarkably nutrient-poor soil, fertilizer can be applied every 14 days during the growth phase. Here you can use commercially available liquid fertilizer.

Hibernate the cake tree in the bucket

While the cake tree in the field turns out to be hardy and comes through the cold season without our intervention, the gingerbread trees in the bucket require some precautions to defy the frost.

The cake tree needs a bright and sheltered location. The bucket should, for example, be moved to a wall or house wall. Cold winds do not tolerate the plant. Since the cold preferably rises from the ground and causes damage to the roots, the bucket should be placed on an additional surface. For this purpose, a wooden block or a plate made of styrofoam are suitable. Finally, the entire plant tub is wrapped with garden fleece.The soil can be protected with a layer of foliage or brushwood.

" Tip: On frost-free days, the cake tree can receive water, so that the earth does not dry out.


The attitude of the cake tree in the tub is quite possible, provided it is young plants of small size. If the cake trees are cut into shape every year, a small cake tree can be kept for several years as a container plant. It is particularly important to pay attention to waterlogging when cultivating as a container plant. While the water in the field flows well, provided that the soil is permeable, the water accumulates in the plant pot and ultimately leads to the death of the plant. Therefore, a drainage of pottery shards or other porous material should be laid.

" Tip: The drainage should not come into direct contact with the roots.
Even if regular cutting is done, the pie tree will increase in size and size over the years and should then move to an appropriate outdoor location.

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