How to repot bonsai trees and why we repot bonsai trees. I will also share repotting bonsai tips tricks and the odd secret which no one talks about. Make sure that you watch the entire video. Hey it’s me Iqbal Khan, if you have not yet subscribed to mikbonsai then click the subscribe button and hit the bell icon to subscribe and receive notifications as I upload new videos. After pruning, watering and feeding repotting is one of the most important aspects of bonsai to be learned as repoting has to be done on a regular basis it takes years to get it right.
However, what if you are able to remove those hurdles which setback many bonsai enthusiasts by years, even better if we were to reduce that time scale into a couple of seasons. I will show you how. you are about to discover bonsai tips tricks and secrets which will fast-track the development of your trees starting with repotting and sorting out the roots. Bonsai trees need reporting regularly over a period of time. The bonsai soil mix breaks down into fine particles over a number of years, coupled with this the root growth fills up the pot, making it root bound and difficult to water. When this happens you can use the dunking method and to see how that is done there’s a link in the info card which shows you the dunking method. You can continue watering it, using the dunking method until the next repot. The tell-tale signs which give an indication that the tree needs repotting are as follows: one – take the tree out of the pot and see what the root situation is if you see the roots going round and round in the pot, that is first indication that the tree has become root bound.
The other indication is watering, when watering has become difficult due to the soil having broken down. what is a good time to repot ? Ideally February March, in the spring and one of the things which I would like to mention is the acers and maples must be reported in February March, otherwise you have missed the window. Having said that I am going to experiment during the summer months with a cheap maple to see what reporting in the summer does to these trees and if it dies as that’s the price I will have to pay for the experiment.
Spring is also a good time to repot as the tree responds very well to root pruning and pruning of the branches. It has lots of saved up energy and as the growing season kick starts the pruning also helps with the spurt of growth. The tools that I’m going to be using during the repot, you can see by clicking on the info card and there’s a video on bonsai tools. The tree that I’m going to be repoting today is an acer buergerianum, also known as the Trident maple. This is the tree that I’m going to be repotting today. The first thing to do is to take the tree out of its pot. This is an imported tree it came from Japan few years ago it’s been the same training pot and I think it’s time to repot it. So let’s put the training pot to one side and as you can see the roots have gone ground and virtually taken the shape of the inside of the pot right down to where the pot feet were so I will basically start from the top working my way down and it’s going to take quite some time so I’ll press on with this and we’ll catch up shortly.
I have to removed quite a lot of roots and these are really thick roots, not doing anything for the tree, so remove those and just tidy up a little bit more at the bottom and these are root scissors it’s important to keep the root pruning scissors separate from the scissors used for pruning the tree, as these tend to get blunted because of the particles of soil etc that it cuts through, now there’s another thick root here so I’m gonna just take this out and I’m going to bare root this tree so I’m gonna tidy up and we’ll catch up shortly. I have managed to clear the soil as much as I possibly could it was quite hard. The soil had broken down and become very clay like and it’s virtually like a brick and removing it was not easy and I have tidied it up as much of the roots as I can and this is the root structure that I’m going to retain.
I have prepared this pot, at the bottom you can see the wire mesh is secured that with hairpin bends and then these are the anchor wires to secure the tree and and if you want to see how the pot is prepared then on the right hand side of the screen there is an info card, click on that and you’ll be able to see how the pot is prepared and I’m going to start repotting it and I’m going to put this grit aboue the wire mesh and the holes, the grit also helps with the drainage and I’m just going to continue adding this once, bonsai soil. This is actually cat litter it works very well and I also use my own bonsai soil mi. If you want to see how to make bonsai soil mix and again click on the link in the info card on the right of the screen and it will take you to a video which shows how to make bonsai soil mix.
I’ll place the tree in the pot and I’m going to secure it. Right, that should do for now. let’s have a look, …. looks okay, making sure it’s standing straight in the pot and add more of this cat litter. I’ll put a link in the description for this cat litter. This is available only in the UK as it’s manufactured in the EU but if you are abroad you may have your own equivalent it’s a basically clay which is fired to very high temperatures and it becomes what it is, it turns into solid pieces it’s virtually like lava rock. I’m using the chopsticks to drive the soil in between the roots where I have bare rooted the tree so there’s absolutely no soil left and in the roots so this process will drive the soil between the roots and take out air pockets.
It’s going down quite fast as I work my way around and if the air pockets are not removed the roots in the air pocket can dry and the tree can die. That’s the extreme but it’s best to do this and not take any chances so I have finished securing the tree and will now cut off these excess wires from both sides and hide the wires where the twists are and add more soil and finish it off it does need a little bit more soil and then we’ll water it thoroughly I don’t sieve the cat litter, there is very fine dust and it basically comes out on first watering, it needs very very thorough watering and the dust basically just drains out at the bottom and I’ll just remove some of these surface roots, there aren’t very many but just a few, handful.
Right I’m going to again tidy up and we’ll catch up shortly. Well here it is Aacer Buergerianum Trident Maple repotted and now ready to be given a thorough soaking. I will keep watering until the dust has run clear. That’s enough, the waters running clear at the bottom so we’ll stop and let it drain before we carry on. Its all done ! I’ll give it a quick 360 that’s the front and go around this way and I’ll do an update sometime in late spring when it’s in full leaf and back to where we started. That’s the Acer Buergerianum Trident Maple and I’m glad I’ve done it, otherwise it would have been next year. I couldn’t take a chance with repotting this in the summer it’s fairly pricey so but we’ll have a go with one of the cheaper trees.
The reporting is complete and the tree will be watered normally and it will do well in the in its new soil in the new pot. The pot is slightly bigger and I measured up the tree and the pot at its widest point should be 2/3 of the height of the tree from the top of the soil to the apex of the tree whether it’s an oval pot or a round pot if you measure the widest point it should be 2/3 of the height from the top of the soil to the apex.
That’s the rule for choosing the size of the bonsai pot to make sure that your pot is the right size. Now this is one of the things that not many people speak about. This is one of the little secrets that not many people talk about but here it is and now you know how to get your pot size right every time. If you haven’t subscribed then please do so and also ring the bell icon and you’ll then be able to get notification of my updates and you won’t miss anything and you’ll pick up more bonsai tips, tricks and secrets, which I’m here to reveal.
Until the next time. This is Iqbal Khan for mikbonsai in West London and now for the afterthought. I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59 I like that one too one time. you dig . You dig. .