Wednesday, October 4, 2023
HomeBonsaiWhen to Re-pot Bonsai - Graham Potter

When to Re-pot Bonsai – Graham Potter

Presently of yr I get lots of people asking when they need to start re-potting their bonsai. Sadly I can’t give a straight reply to a query like that as a result of, as with most issues regarding bonsai, it relies upon upon many components. Nevertheless there’s a easy reply….

If you see indicators of life.

The notion of re-potting bonsai within the dormant interval is a carry over from the previous horticulturalists’ BARE ROOT SEASON. November to April. Now in case you are planting a hedge, and your backyard will not be underneath water, it will work simply positive and has performed for generations. Nevertheless bonsai bushes will not be planted within the floor and fairly often they’re slightly extra unique varieties from international climes. assuming you could deal with a range from southern Japan the identical as one from the darkish chilly and moist shores of Blighty, upon cautious consideration, is solely not possible. Nevertheless standard knowledge primarily based upon the ‘naked root’ season means that early spring is the time to re-pot all bonsai. The authors of these previous books have lots to reply for!

Merely suggesting that early spring re-potting fits all bushes is like saying everybody ought to drive the identical automobile, stay in the identical home or eat the identical meals no matter whether or not you’re a humanoid biped, a canine or a giraffe. That sounds silly proper? So does doing all of your re-potting in early spring, that’s as silly as suggesting we must always all stay on cake! Go exterior and try your bonsai benches. You’ll almost definitely see bushes native to your quick space in addition to these from Japan, China, Korea and any variety of international shores. Additionally the plant varieties you’ve there might have originated anyplace, now we have been very environment friendly at shifting plant species across the globe during the last 200 years.

One other concern is the way you outline ‘early spring’. In my early days at native bonsai golf equipment I used to be informed it was March. From a long time of expertise I can say that early spring varies from yr to yr and place to put. For our functions we are able to say that early spring has arrived as soon as plant progress begins in earnest. I stay by the coast and our winter lows are not more than -2 Celsius. Go 6 miles in land and the temperatures are usually 5-7 levels decrease. When you stay within the north, spring is far later than it’s within the south. When you stay at altitude spring can be later than in the event you stay on a south dealing with slope at sea stage. Every thing we do in bonsai ought to be dictated by our vegetation. Get the timing proper and you may expertise dramatically higher outcomes than in the event you get it fallacious.

Phenology is the research of the timing of organic occasions and their relationships to local weather and each other. Such occasions embody chicken migration, animal hibernation and the emergence of bugs in addition to the germination and flowering of vegetation. Our nice grandparents had been way more carefully in tune with these occasions. Again then a number of what went on in our nation was dictated by the farming yr. College holidays for youths had been primarily based on when additional assist was wanted within the fields and gardens. These days most folks get their details about local weather and the climate from TV. When you imagine what you see on TV, particularly the BBC, it may be time to contemplate your sanity.

Re-potting bonsai on the fallacious time could cause a substantial amount of stress and is a quite common reason behind failure. With the proper aftercare it’s doable to do virtually something at any time however few folks have the amenities or talent to get away with such actions. Selecting the most effective time ensures we’re working with the plant and giving it the most effective probability of rising strongly. Re-potting bonsai is a wierd operation. Bushes rising in pots grow to be careworn over time because the pore area of their soil decreases past a vital level. Some bushes are happier than others in a pot certain situation. As an illustration Japanese 5 needle pine (Pinus pentaphylla) NEEDS to be pot certain to be able to do effectively and develop nice bonsai traits. Then again Chinese language elm will undergo very badly certainly if not re-potted each one or two years. So we take a tree that’s already slightly underneath stress and improve the stress extra by re-potting to be able to scale back the stress ranges of the plant. However, unusually, it really works as a result of bushes are powerful and WANT to develop and thrive. Re-potting bonsai too early means lower roots in moist soil in chilly climate that results in rot and fungal an infection and extra die again of the roots left behind after pruning. The soils we have a tendency to make use of are additionally very open and imply chilly can get to the roots a lot simpler inflicting additional harm. Additionally little has ever been mentioned concerning the actions of helpful fungi and micro organism inside soil. Usually these useful allies can be severely compromised after re-potting.

So, upon getting determined to re-pot one among your bonsai how DO you realize when is the most effective time?

Basically, and with few exceptions deciduous bushes ought to be re-potted as soon as the buds start to crack open and present inexperienced (or pink in some species). The images under hopefully illustrate when this level has been reached.

For evergreens the topic is a extra complicated one however once more, as a normal rule when you see indicators of real progress you possibly can bounce in.

Residing within the UK spring may be elusive. Most bonsai folks are very eager to see their bushes rising. Round February we emerge into the nice outside hoping to see indicators of life. Nevertheless wishful pondering and a magnifying glass gained’t deliver the spring any nearer. It’s common to see heat sunny days at 12 Celsius in February the place I stay however then it’s not unknown to see snow at easter or frost in Might. The truth that your tree is displaying indicators of life doesn’t imply spring is right here. Crops are dictated to by the climate and specifically prevailing temperatures. So, don’t be too eager to get on the market, spring is at all times additional away than you suppose. Additionally keep in mind that a chilly snap can do immense harm and January or February within the UK, even March, can throw up some very chilly climate. These durations may also proffer heat spells lulling us right into a false sense that the spring all of us lengthy for is nearer than it truly is. Out right here on the east coast the place the climate is gentle and, by UK requirements, dry we don’t start re-potting till the tip of March on the earliest despite the fact that our common is near 450 re-pots yearly. Keep in mind the previous folks lore of 12 levels for 12 days earlier than planting.

Only one ultimate tip I can go on. When you use a moist, NOT WET, soil during which to re-pot your bushes it’s not essential to water within the tree after completion of the work. That’s one other of these previous ‘naked root’ concepts. Puddling in a hedgerow works positive however puddling in a bonsai doesn’t. Use a barely damp soil combine, pack it into your pot and bushes roots within the regular means and assuming you possibly can maintain the plant underneath cowl solely give a lightweight sprinkling of water as soon as the soil turns into dry on the floor. Over the next weeks attempt to preserve the soil simply damp however not moist. As soon as the tree has leafed up deal with as regular. Extra moist after re-potting is the largest reason behind failure. Consider it like this, would you need your naked ft in that soil combine? A moist claggy soil is chilly and roots is not going to develop in it. An open soil that’s simply damp is a significantly hotter and nicer place to be and can encourage the formation of latest roots and quick therapeutic. Which means earlier progress, an extended rising season with extra growth alternatives and higher high quality bonsai bushes and that’s what we’re all right here for proper?


Lonicera ready for re-potting.

Lonicera displaying new shoots & prepared for re-potting.

Siberian maple buds opening.

Siberian maple buds opening. The proper second to re-pot

hawthorn ready to re-pot

hawthorn able to re-pot

Crab apple budding up.

Crab apple budding up. Good timing for a re-pot

Quince ready to re-pot.

Quince able to re-pot.

Chinese elm ready for re-potting

Chinese language elm prepared for re-potting because the buds start to open.



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