Taking care of your Bonsai Tree – Repotting
The activities that are involved in taking care of a pot plant or indoor plant are the same activities involved with Bonsai tree care.
Making sure that it has well developed and healthy fibrous roots is vital for the sustained good health of your Bonsai tree and one way of aiding this process is by repotting your Bonsai tree.
The frequency of repotting a young Bonsai tree is generally once a year. Although repotting can be done as infrequently as once every five years for less productive growers or older trees.
During late winter or early spring when the buds just begin to swell is the best time for carrying out your Bonsai repotting.
Bonsai tree care – Repotting
You should take seriously the method of repotting when carrying out your Bonsai tree care by following these simple directions:
- The first thing to do is to make sure that the tree is neatly shaped by cautiously clipping off any unwanted, long branches.
- Also, if your tree is an outdoor Bonsai, make sure that the soil is relatively dry, sometimes after over wintering the soil can become quite moist so by ensuring that the tree has been under a protected area for a few weeks and out of direct contact with the elements should ensure better control.
- You will be able to observe if your tree really needs to be repotted the moment you remove it from its pot.
- You should repot it if it is root bound.
- If the roots are matted or have become so vigorous and strong to actually lift the tree from the container.
- Also if you notice the roots continuously spiralling around themselves in a way that looks like they have been searching for a way out. Then re potting is needed.
- However, you can carefully put the tree back in its original pot if there are extra few inches of space for the roots to grow a little longer.
Either by hand or by using a fairly stiff bristled brush, surface soil from the roots should be removed.
You should do this by brushing away from the trunk and at the same time making sure that the roots will not get damaged.
By getting rid of the loose soil around the roots you will have a chance to carefully investigate for any signs of weak root growth or disease damage.
There are plenty of specialist Bonsai Tools on the market, one is a Forked instrument and is used to comb out the roots from underneath. After this process then trim up to about a third of the roots by means of a pair of Bonsai clippers or scissors.
Now you are ready to replace in the pot, at the bottom of the pot, add a layer of grit and then add your preferred Bonsai compost.
Place your Bonsai tree in the pot and slowly and carefully add the new soil around the roots, making sure there are no air pockets. Carefully push a little more soil into the difficult to get at places.
Once the tree is firm in the pot and the desired soil level is reached, normally around one centimetre down from the brim, water in well and place in a shady area, out of direct sunlight for a few days, whilst always making sure to not let the soil dry out.