How to repot a Bonsai Tree
As with any houseplant, to ensure growth is not restricted, regular repotting is very important. It is a key part to caring for a Bonsai tree and repotting will help with healthy and strong growth.
When to repot?
Repotting a Bonsai tree should not be done on a routine but basically when the tree needs to be repotted. This can vary massively depending on the species of bonsai, size of the original pot, age and growing conditions. However, in general the younger trees will need repotting every 2 years while for older trees it is more every 3 to 5 years.
To know when it is time to repot, the key indicator is to look at the roots. When the roots circle around the root system the plant needs repotting. In the early spring, check the roots and decide whether it needs repotting. If the roots are still well contained in the soil, you can leave the repotting until the next year.
How to repot?
- Remove the Bonsai tree carefully from the pot using a root hook. Look at the roots and decide whether repotting is necessary depending on the formation of the roots.
- Whether the plant needs repotting or not, tease out the old compost using a chopstick. Ensure that you do this carefully so that you do not damage the roots. It is also a good idea to trim the roots that have grown too long.
- Again, even if you are not planting into a new pot ensure that the drainage holes are covered with mesh. These pieces of mesh are normally held in place by a piece of wire.
- If the bonsai plant does need repotting, select a pot that is suitable. In general, the pot should be the same height as the width of the ground root. This is normally 1 to 2 thirds of the trees height.
- Place a layer of soil in the bottom of the pot before positioning the plant. We advise using Westland Bonsai Potting Mix as the growing medium to repot the plant. This is because it contains unique Seramis granules for optimum water and nutrient availability. It also has added wood fibre which creates an open structure for improved aeration, drainage and water management.
- Once you have put a nice layer of growing medium in the pot, position the tree and add more of the growing medium around the tree. Ensure the growing medium reaches the bottom edges of the pot.
- Water the tree thoroughly and within a couple of weeks you should have a tree that is growing beautifully.