Their relative inexpensiveness is appealing to me, but once Ryan said “Never a mica pot.” and that just kinda stuck with me. Seems like they have their place though such as trees that are still training to be bonsai.
Not in Texas. They get too hot here, hotter that all the ceramics and even plastic… I have been told that from other long time club members and from personal experience. I was given 2 trees that were in Mica. I struggled to keep them both alive over the summer. Glad to have only one left to repot this coming winter, but I know that it will be a trouble tree for the next season. That said I still use the ones I have for starting seedlings, in potting soil.they get moved out of the Mica before the summer heat tho.
Good point about the heat. Summers here are brutal, so definitely a no-go for me then. Thanks!
Conversely in the UK, where summers are relatively mild, they can be quite helpful in development.
I use them for trees in early development but the ones I have seen are not much cheaper than a standard bonsai container.
I’ve stopped using them on any material that has any value. Too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer. Only exception would be to drill a bunch of holes on the sides so that the tree can “breathe”. Otherwise, I put it in a wooden box.
I sometimes use the ones that I’ve acquired from buying trees, but I agree that I would rather build a wood box in most cases.
I have several trees… pines, junipers, boxwood, et al in mica pots. They are all in training, and with our Canadian winters I bury the pots in my back garden. Mica doesn’t crack like a decent/good Asian bonsai pot might.
No problem with them south of Houston- have used them for 30 years.
No problem with them in Houston or San Antonio. Mica is a thermo and electric insulator. Frequently used for insulating coils in kilns and in resistors inside electronics. In a broader sense it is an insulator with a high tensile strength, is elastic, durable and is dense enough to be carved, die punched, or machined. Perfect use in bonsai as a container. Show worthy??? Not IMHO. Costly??? Depends on where you source it. I once picked up 50 containers from a women in Clear Lake, TX who’s husband lost interest in bonsai and literally gave them to me for free. Online I have found reasonable prices, and frequently they can be obtained at auction for pennies at club meetings. I’ve liked them for trees on benches for several these reasons. Namely, on a few occasions several trees were blown off my benches and thrown a few hundred feet about. They remained intact! Some of my trees not so much…
Schley’s sells them fairly cheap. Sounds like you need to better attach you trees to your benches. No more heat stress than if in a ceramic.
Yeah I started tying them down after Ike. Then last year despite being tired down a tornado came through and picked up a bench and flung a few trees. Can’t always stop Mother Nature from doing her thing.
Good point regarding wind. Is there some decent weight to mica pots? I can imagine a hurricane could tip over or lift bonsais in clay pots. How do mica pots fair in normal to high winds? Thanks.
They do have a good weight. Not as heavy as ceramic pots, but plenty heavy enough to resist all but the highest winds.
I started this thread for this very reason. I’ve seen them up for auction for very reasonable prices. Seemed like a good way to get trees into training without having to spend a bunch on pots. I’ve been lucky up to this point because I bought my 20+ pots either through auction or from a local shop that was closing. I’m running out though. Especially low on small and mid-sized pots.
Online they have these pots that are a high density plastic. Not too expensive, but definitely not a pot that could pass off as anything more than a training container. They are on the small/ medium size but they are durable for plastic.
I have a few of the round ones I’m using for some developing shohin, previously they were grown in much larger pond baskets or bulb planters.