This question is regularly asked by beginners in bonsai. The answer given is usually along the lines of ‘repotting deciduous species must be done as the buds swell and before the leaves open.’
For many years I have stuck with this repotting rule but recently have started to question its validity. Sure it works but is it entirely accurate? Some new information has indicated that this rule may be far more prescriptive than necessary. Continue reading
- buds opening on Chinese quince
I am seeing the first signs that winter is finishing at Shibui Bonsai. The Chinese elms are the first to bud up and some now have fresh new leaves. A couple of small Chinese elms have also produced new shoots but no sign yet on the older elm bonsai.
Bonsai grow in the confined space of a relatively small pot. The roots of all plants keep growing to renew the active root tips that actually do the work of absorbing watera nd nutrients. After a couple of years these constantly growing roots have so filled the spaces in the potting mix that vital air and water cannot enter the mix and the tree will not stay healthy. It is very important to repot bonsai (and indeed, all potted plants) regularly to keep them healthy. Root pruning does not keep a bonsai small. In fact just the opposite. After rootpruning and repotting in fresh mix with new nutrients and room for new roots to grow we usually see an explosion of growth for the first year. The picture in this post will give a good idea of how I root prune and repot deciduous bonsai. Continue reading
It is June at Shibui Bonsai and that means winter. We have had a few light frosts so far this season but this morning was probably the coldest yet.
Frost on a trident maple
Here in Australia we do not have to contend with really severe cold that growers in some other areas get. My cold hardy trees stay outside without any protection all winter without any ill effects, in fact I think it might even be good for them. Low temperatures help to induce some trees to flower better and I hope that some of the pests and diseases will also be killed during cold weather. My ficus, which are NOT cold hardy, live in the unheated poly igloo which provides enough protection to get them through the winter here. Continue reading
Nebari is the Japanese word meaning the lowest part of the trunk and the visible part of the roots. In Japanese bonsai good nebari is deemed a very important aspect of the tree. Continue reading