The Bonsai is more than a small tree in a pot. It is a work of art. It is an elegant labor of love. It is the centerpiece of any room. Provided, of course, the pot was chosen with the same care that is taken in sculpting the Bonsai. Here are some tips to help you choose the right bonsai pots for your prized small trees.
The Age of the Tree
How recently your Bonsai was transplanted into a pot will impact the size pot that can be used. An old Bonsai, fully trained, is well adapted to living in a small container. After being repotted and root-pruned over the course of several years, these trees will survive nicely in small pots.
Younger trees, however, have not yet adapted to the compact living quarters they are being trained for. They still want to spread their roots and demand more space. Putting a young, untrained tree into a small pot will result in the tree withering and even dying. Allow them the space they need at first, gradually working your way to smaller pots as the tree ages and adjusts to its new surroundings.
Bonsai Pots Progression
Bonsai trees will start out in larger pots to allow the tree time to grow accustomed to life in a pot. With each root pruning, the tree can be transferred to a smaller vessel. In the early stages of the process, you will want to choose inexpensive pots. Look at the price and the size without worry too much about the actual aesthetics. Think of these as training pots. They are not the end goal, but rather they are temporary vessels that will soon lose their usefulness for that tree.
As the root prunings encourage a more compact root system, the pot used can become smaller. Now is the time to begin choosing pots based on their beauty and individual elegance. This is the moment when you can begin investing in more expensive pots that will truly showcase your magnificent Bonsai.
General Bonsai Guidelines
Which pot is right for your tree will depend largely on your personal tastes. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow. Many people choose to put conifers and pine trees into unglazed pots. Deciduous trees can be placed in pots that are glazed or unglazed. However, it is recommended that you save pots with bright colors and a beautiful glaze for trees that will bear fruit or flowers and provide balance to the pot.
Bonsai Pot Sizing
Many people wonder what size pot they should use for each Bonsai tree. Keep in mind that you are encouraging the root system to grow more compact and live in smaller quarters. For this reason, try to choose pots that are smaller than the tree seems to need. A general rule of thumb is that the pot should be 2/3 of the tree’s height. The depth should be only one to two times the diameter of the tree’s trunk at the base.
Consider The Shape Of Your Bonsai Pots
A pot with sharp angles and solid lines will create a masculine look. Choosing a pot with rounded edges and graceful curves will create a more feminine feel to the Bonsai tree.
Bonsai is all about balance and the tree. The careful trimming is meant to create a tree that flows and moves in a controlled manner. The pruning that is done with such patience and care sculpts an artistic design that lives, breathes and changes over time. The pot is secondary to the tree, always. While you want to choose something attractive to compliment the tree, Bonsai pots themselves should never be the focus.
Bonsai is a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. An excellent stress-reliever, the tiny trees and graceful shapes add elegance and refinement to any environment. Choose your new bonsai pots carefully, always keeping the tree in mind. Choose pots that you love and that your tree will be able to thrive in.
Photo source: OpenEye