An essential part of keeping your bonsai healthy and happy over a long period of time is periodically repotting your tree. That is a little different from transplanting your plant from a vegetable garden or your flower garden where we take it out of one container and put it in the ground or for instance, on a patio where we take it out of a small container and put it in a large container. Most of the time, we want to keep the bonsai in the same container over a long period of time.
So, to keep the tree healthy and growing we, here we go, first thing we do is take the tree out of the container and we can see that it is very; it’s been in there a long time. The container is in good shape, a ceramic container, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t use it again. Throw away the old screen. Let us take a brush and clean out the loose soil. The first thing that we do before we disturb the root ball is we prepare the pot with a new screen and a new tie-down. Some pots will differ in their shape and the number of holes. This one has just one hole in the bottom and others have several holes.
It’s important though that we put a screen across that large hole to keep our new soil from washing out. Then you just put that in there nice and tight. This particular pot has what we call tie-down holes, and not all pots have those. It’s very nice feature, it allows us to have a special place to put down a safety wire, if you will, to hold that tree in the pot once we transplant it. This particular tree is a Fukien tea and they do flower, there’s a flower on the tree, and they do fruit. Sometimes the fruit falls to the soil and it germinates and so we have a small Fukien tea growing here. We’re going to try and see, as I open up this fruit bowl, that the roots are very very compacted here.
So we take this bamboo stick and go around very carefully and loosen the soil. We’ll put some soil, fresh soil, at the bottom of the container, the bottom of the bonsai container. The little trick here is to add enough soil so that our bonsai tree is back up to the same height as it was when we started the repotting. And then I’ll add some soil along the edges. And we’ll take the bamboo stick here and work this fresh soil here with the remaining roots. We’ll put some water here and leave it sit here for about twenty or thirty minutes to soak up this dry dry soil that I just put in the pot.
It looks pretty healthy. And that’s it, that’s all it takes. .