Repotting & Root Pruning Bonsai Trees

Repotting & Root Pruning Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees should be repotted every 2- 5 years, preferably in the early spring, although winter jasmine and certain other trees can be repotted at almost any time of the year.
A pot of the same size, or slightly larger, should be used. At the same time, the root ball should be pruned and any dead growth removed if the roots are found to be running around the inside edge of the container.
Soil Mixture:
The soil mixture consists of 7 parts of sterilized loam to which is added

  • 3 parts of sharp sand for everygreens
  • 2 parts of sharp sand and 1 part peat for deciduous trees, or
  • 1 part sharp sand and 2 parts of peat for flowering and fruiting trees

bonsai repotting & root pruningRepotting & Root Pruning:
Remove the tree from its pot by running a knife around the sides and knocking the outside with the heel of the hand.

  1. Clean the pot and cover the drainage holes with smallpieces of plastic netting. Insert holding wires – garden wire used to hold the tree in position – through the drainage holes. Sprinkle sterilized gravel or flint chippings on the bottom for good drainage, and cover with a layer of suitable potting mixture.
  2. After teasing the roots out, remove dead growth and cut back the remaining root ball by no more than 20%.
    If your tree has a single tap root (like a carrot) however, do not cut it as I personally haven’t had much luck with the tree continuing to survive. Only cut the fine roots.
  3. Position the tree and tie it in with the wire, taking care not to damage the roots. Fill with more soil to within 1/4 inch of the rim, firmly working it into every crevice. Finish with a layer of finer soil. Thoroughly water the tree by immersing it to the rim in rainwater. Protect it from harsh sunlight and heavy rain for at least 2 weeks, watering only when needed. Do not fertilize the tree for a month.

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