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  • Kimberly Halter

Re-potting your bonsai

How to prepare the pot

Preparing the #pot is the crucial first step in #re-potting. The screen over the holes needs to be secure to prevent worms and insects from entering the pot. The wires need to be straight and flat to minimise entanglement of the roots.


Prepare the pot with wire and screen. The screen can be secured with U-Clip for small holes or Z clips for larger holes.


1. Cut the screen 2 squares either side of the drainage hole.


2. Measure the wire for the “Z Clip”. Choose 1.5 mm wire for smaller holes or 2.0 mm wire for larger holes. Measure the diameter of the drainage hole and triple the length. Cut the wire.


3. Bend the wire into a “Z” shape. Use pliars to flatten one side of the “Z”. Bend the second side to form a “Pelican”, then use pliars to flatten the second side of the “Z”. Bend the wires down. The “legs” of the Z clip should be the width of the drainage hole and fit snugly against the side of the hole. The top of the Clip should extend ½ inch (1.25 cm) beyond the hole. (See “How to prepare the pot”, Bonsai Today 17, page 13.)


4. Place the screen over the hole.


5. Place the “Z” clip in the middle of the hole on the inside of the pot and push the wires through the screen into the drainage hole. Bend the wire underneath the pot to hold the screen in place. The screen must remain flat. The “Z” clip should be tidy. The “Z” clip should be perpendicular to the way the wires will be tied in to the pot.



6. Prepare two wires to tie the tree into the pot. Choose 1.5 mm wire for Shohin trees (trees 6 – 8 inches tall) or 2 mm wire for larger trees. Measure the two wires by measuring the wire around 3 sides of the pot. The wire should be 2 times the length and 1 times the width. Pre-bend the wire, then insert along 2 holes in the pot.


7. Make sure the wire is flat long the bottom of the pot. Bend wires over – flush with the edge of the pot.


All of this preparation is to ensure the tree is placed correctly and securely in the pot.


#Willow-leaf #fig, mid-summer, trimmed, wired, root pruned and ready for planting.


Pot prepared for planting. Shallow oval pot with three holes.








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