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Bonsai Pots

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:49 am
by Tokyo27
My bonsai has been in its current container for atleast a year. It is a 5 x 7 x 3 plain black plastic pot and is mighty boring. I have been in the market for a new container for quite some time but yet I feel like I know nothing about what kind I need! I don't know what makes a container good or bad; I just don't know what makes a good container.

Even with my abyssmal lack of knowledge, I still went and bought a bowl made out of bamboo with hopes of making a pot out of it. It has the natural bamboo color on the inside and a red glaze on the outside. My plans were to drill a few holes in the bottom to allow the water to drain, but then I run into my soil problem again.

First of all, is this bowl made of bamboo even a wise decision for a pot? Even if it is or isnt, what makes a good container? Secondly, what kind of soil is recommended for bonsai and how can I keep it from seeping out of the drainage holes?

Thank you for your time,
Tokyo27

Posted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:21 am
by The Helpful Gardener
The bamboo pot won't stand up to the watering regimen for more than a year or three, but if you are ready to replace it in that time frame, it's a good one for repotting (every two or three years is about right, although pines should go to maybe five years).

Grading containers can be as picayune as grading diamonds; good Japanese pots are WAY expensive, but look great and are VERY hard in substance; very little water soaks in the pot itself, making watering easier and more consistant).

I find myself using Chinese red clay pots quite a bit; very porous, but I sbmerge pots once a week or so, sop it works for me. Frost-proof, which is a big deal for me (glazed pots can pop the glaze off in fast freezes and that really stinks), lots of styles, and reasonably inexpensive. My tendency to natural pots is also reflected by using Korean mud pots; sometimes the red of the Chinese pots is too much and the dark brown of the mud pots is a good neutral foil. Glazed pots are really only used for tropicals that won't need overwintering outside; color selection is more a matter of personal taste, but some of the colors I see today are garish; if it is not a color found readily in nature, I'd shy away...

One ALWAYS needs to put screens across the drainage holes when repotting; Look for the repotting primer on the site proper for a blow by blow description...

HG