Repotting following initial styling on nursery stock

Hi everyone,

New to Mirai but loving it so far! What Ryan and the team have set up is nothing short of AMAZING!! I’ve learnt so much already and i’ve only been on here for two days! Sorry if this is old news but…

I recently styled some juniper procumbens (4) from nursery stock. The styling involved a significant reduction in foliar mass with all of the plants. They are all currently in large (7ltr) nursery pots with very dense, peat-heavy soil. I was planning to repot them all into training pots come spring and use a much more appropriate and soil composition andI wasn’t planning any significant root pruning at this time.

Having listened to many of the lectures and pod casts on Mirai it seems that repotting the spring after a significant foliar pruning is not advised. I was wondering if this still applies if you are not planning on pruning the roots during this repot…

Thanks guys!


If your not touching the roots or just slightly your ok to repot

Generally the rule for nursery stock is to repot first and then style. You’ll probably be fine, but without pic of before and after it’s hard to say. Strength in junipers is in the foliage, so if you didn’t cut down too much you’ll be fine. Need pics though.

1 Like

Hey Bentley,

Thanks for replying! Here are a couple of examples:

I tend to go for quite large stock to get the trunk size but this invariably means lots and lots of foliage that ends up getting removed!

1 Like

Cheers for the reply Matt! I was literally planning to tease the edge of the roots out, leave the original soil around the central root ball, and repot in relatively deep training pots in an Akadama/pine bark/pumice mix (2:2:1)

1 Like

If that’s all you’re doing you could probably do that now. Doesn’t look like too severe a reduction. You should be good to go for spring. If not, it’s not a big deal. As long as the current soil is percolating. If they were my trees though I’d go ahead and remove as much of the original soil as possible when it’s repot time.

From here… that looks like a pretty heavy reduction.
Juniper strength is in the foilage. They appear happy in the soil they came in.
I would let them grow another summer… repot in 2 springs. Plan ahead, pick up nice bonsai pots for later.
Or, get excited and roll the dice?


They’ve all been pretty heavy reductions but that second one was massive! Started with basically 5 large whips coming out and pretty much ended up with 1.5 (at best!). Am a little worried that i went a little too far…was over embracing the “less is more” bonsai philosophy :smiley: Have constructed a cold shelter for the winter which i’m hoping will protect them from what i’ve done to them!

I wasnt planning any root pruning with the repot in spring, just to get them into some better soil as i’ve noticed that the quality of the roots in nursery stock isnt always that great

1 Like

I would not repot. You never know what you might see when you pull up the plants! What if there are tons of roots and there is no way to do anything without removing roots? From those pictures, if you want to move this plant forward into a bonsai container, you probably need to reduce the root ball. That can go hand in hand with putting it in better soil.

If you do a hard prune and repot, you are removing the capacity for any part of the plant to remain vigorous. Leave it alone, let it recover, and you’ll thank yourself later.