Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:56 pm

Drainage & Dormancy

My roommate and I couldn't get a pet, so instead we got a great little juniper bonsai. Unfortunately the 10 days of neglect over Christmas seems to have been the end of it. It's brittle and yellow-green, poor thing. Before we deepsix another, I have two questions:

1 - I read the article on bonsai dormancy, but it did not really touch on the characteristics of a dormant bonsai? How can we tell if it is dormant or dying?

2 - We repotted the plant while it was trying to heal itself from the Christmas drought. The wide ceramic pot we put it in only has a single, slightly raised hole in the center. We realized too late that water was pooling in the bottom. Knowing how important drainage is to a bonsai, we considered creating a false floor of wire mesh 1/2 inch off of the real bottom to allow for some drainage. Good idea/bad idea?

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Sounds like a new pot would be a better idea; the wire floor would cause drying of root ends and almost certain death.

The plant would still look good in dormancy so that's not it. Dormancy is hard to define visually and most methods to actually dtermine if it was would be destructive, so it's a matter of trust really (If the temps are right and no new growth is setting it's dormant).


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