Community Questions Podcast Episode for Asymmetry: Repotting Questions

Get immediate solutions to your repotting dilemmas with Ryan. Share your most challenging repotting limitations, pressing questions, or the trickiest aspects of repotting. Submit your repotting queries below and be part of the conversation. We’ll address as many questions as possible in an upcoming segment of Asymmetry dedicated to repotting!

How long do you typically put the tree on a heat mat post re-pot and are there any signs your looking for to know when to transition it off?

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I know this is a super broad question but instead of the every X years to repot are there actually things we should be looking for to repot? I know this is probably a topic that can span hours with the intricacies between deciduous and conifers not to mention species specific details but are there rules of thumb to look out for during the year to say, “OK this needs repotting next season”

Hello Mirai Team,

Thank you very much for this new way of interacting with you. I love the podcasts especially because i get to listen to them on my way to and from work. Which usually is unproductive time in the car but with the podcasts i can do bonsai while driving :wink:

Thank you for the chance to pick your brain! Here are a few of my questions.

How do you determine if you can style and repot a tree in the same year? Usually one says to just do one major operation/action to a tree per year but what if during the repot you removed only a minimal amount of roots? What are the signs that you can style a tree after repotting?

What takes priority with new material especially nursery material? Styling or repotting?

When creating a raft, how do you determine at what depth to pot the trunk for ideal root growth?

Thanks a lot for your help and i wish all of you at Mirai a great week!

Best regards


I am not even sure how to phrase this as a question but if Ryan could explain thoughts around approaching old root bound nursery stock that have a large percentage of large structural roots circling all the way down? I understand both concept of starting with the point of greatest limitations and finding the nebari but these types of situations create a theory of tradeoffs so how does he think through this situation?

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Hi team,
A good new development! I like Ryan going offtopic with a story from the past and this gives him time to rant freely:)

My question is about watering post repot. I remember you talking about waiting for the top dressing to dry. But I recall that being on a heatbed. Does that rule still apply in a non-heatbed situation? And how long would you dare to go without watering after a report?

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A week after repotting the soil mix and the spaghnum is still wet.what should I do?

Please talk about any nuances you find in the repotting of Doug Fir.

I have a newly acquired Ginko which has been either airlayered or has the stump of a taproot (fully healed) all the way to the bottom of a relatively deep pot. The nebari isn’t great but workable. In a future repot should I reduce the stump and create a new wound or accept the limitation in pot dimensions? Also will this impact the health of the sheen there are limited roots at the bottom of the stump?

When was the last time you messed up or made a mistake in a repot and how did you respond to that?

Hi Mirai Team!

Is it ok to repot a deciduous trees in the spring and then air layer that tree the same year? Specially in this case, a Chinese quince (already in bonsai pot/substrate) and a Japanese maple (repot from nursery can/substrate to training pot/bonsai substrate).

Thanks so much for all you do!

Hi Ryan and Mirai Team!

assuming that everything is in order regarding the health of the tree and that the plant responds with vigorous growth during the spring, can I proceed with partial defoliation and pruning in June after repotting or would it be wiser to go hands-off and let the plant recover completely?

Thanks for all the knowledge!