Repot bonsai

Why repot bonsai

Repotting bonsai is a very delicate operation that must be carried out several times during the life of our plant: it must be carried out carefully so as not to subject it to excessive stress. The reasons for repotting the bonsai are many: if the plant has been purchased recently, most likely the soil will be suitable only to ensure its survival during transport on a refrigerated truck, so better run for cover and change it. In addition, the soil, in the long run, becomes depleted of nutrients or can deteriorate and compact too much, causing poor water drainage. Generally, then, the need for repotting is signaled by the exit of the roots both from the drainage holes and from the edges of the pot. This happens because,

Repotting: preliminary operations

The best time to repot the bonsai is spring.Once the need for repotting has been established, it is necessary to be careful to do it in a shady and not ventilated place: the roots extracted from the pot, in fact, must not dry out but remain humid. If necessary, it is good to have a nebulizer with which to spray a little water on the root system. To carry out the flaring you can help yourself with a knife with which to detach the earth from the edge of the container, being careful not to pull the bonsai from the trunk. In this case there would be the risk of breaking too many root hairs, rather it is better to extract it by turning the pot upside down and tapping lightly on the bottom. Then the roots are freed from the soil bringing them bare, an operation that can be done by hand or with the help of a stick to untangle them. To make this step easier and avoid damaging them by accident, you can soak them in a container with water and disinfectant and let the soil dissolve. At this point we intervene with scissors on the taproot and the largest roots, eliminating the dead ones and taking care not to damage the capillaries.

Repotting bonsai: the importance of the pot

The container that will house the bonsai must be sterilized from parasites and germs as well as having the right shape and size. On the bottom it must have one or more drainage holes that will be covered with a thin mesh of plastic or metal, in such a way as to ensure the dripping of excess water without causing the soil to leak. The choice of the vase is an important step because it affects the value and beauty of the final composition. It can be of different materials: the terracotta one is the most breathable but breaks more easily than the others; the one in porcelain is the most elegant and should be chosen for repotting “important” specimens; finally the one in stoneware is the most used and with the most varied shapes. There are some parameters to follow when choosing the container: the width should be equal to 2/3 of the height of the plant, while the height equal to the diameter of the base of the trunk. A decisive factor for the choice is the style of the bonsai: it determines the choice of the shape of the pot, which can be square, rectangular, round, oval, hexagonal, octagonal or tray.

Repotting and final operations

Once we have proceeded with the pruning of the roots, let’s put the bonsai in the new pot. Covering the drainage holes with the net we can, if we deem it necessary, anchor the plant in the pot using a metal wire that is passed through the holes in the container and hooked to the larger root, or to the trunk. This operation allows us to anchor the bonsai to the pot and limit the risks of overturning. Subsequently, the root system is covered with soil, making sure that it penetrates all the intersections between the roots and the capillaries; finally water abundantly with a nebulizer or a watering can equipped with a diffuser, so that no holes are formed in the ground. After that the plant will be placed in a shaded area and sheltered from the wind for about twenty days.

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