Repotting Pre-bonsai

New to bonsai and have several “Pre-bonsai” from various online sources (Brussels bonsai, Evergreen Nursery, etc.) that I recently purchased. Could these be repotted into larger pots using inorganic mix instead of the mostly organic soil they are currently in?

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Depends on the species, the time of year, and the stage of development. It could also depend on how much money you want to spend on expensive soil components.

I suggest posting each tree here. Tell us your current and long term goals.

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I will take some photos of the trees tonight and post them.

Here are photos of my trees. My goal is to grow the smaller ones out a little before styling and style the larger ones next spring. Probably make the small ones ‘shohin’

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Why do you want to put them in larger pots? Is the goal to have them in bonsai container eventually? All I have learned says to put them into small container to reduce internode and to scale roots and foliage. Am I missing something? :thinking:

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Unless the pots they’re currently in are too small?

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@Bonsai_bob, different stages of a bonsai’s development require different potting (or planting) strategies. Over-potting a tree is best for enlarging the trunk. I’m having trouble thinking of any other reason to over-pot a tree, come to think of it. Maybe someone else can chime in.

I’m using over-potting as opposed to up-potting. If you’re simply up-potting, then that’s done because a tree has reached a point where smaller pots no longer work.

RECOVERY! Whew! I knew there was another reason to over-pot a tree. Some like to show their trees in undersized pots at a show. Makes the tree look “beefier”. So, a year ahead of a show, the tree is repotted, but instead of trimming the roots to encourage more root ramification, you’re trimming the roots to get the tree into a smaller pot. After the show, you put the tree back into it’s training container. It’s not the same as being over-potted, but it’s a stage where you go from a smaller size to a larger sized pot.

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Yes, my goal is to grow larger trunks on the smaller ones.

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Mostly to grow them out and to get them in inorganic soil instead of the organic soil they are in now. May wait till spring to repot in to inorganic. I know fall repotting is risky.

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That curly hinoki is cool. Where’d you get it?

I think I got that From Brussel’s Bonsai

I over-pot also, using a tile, usually an ups-a-daisy (sealing the 2 big holes), or stone. The roots grow laterally along the ups-a-daisy then down the pot or fabric pot.
I experimented on Miracle grow potting soil and pumice 50/50 up to half the height of the pot then miracle grow potting soil-lava rock-eco complete aquarium substrate 1:1:1 ratio on top of the ups-a-daisy and around the root mass. Here’s my 1.5 yr old trident. It was about the same diameter as a sharpie.



I did the same to my sumac now 2.5 inches in diameter from 3/4 of an inch for 2 years. Just miracle grow soil only.

This year, I potted a crab apple and southern beech and added granular humic acid, rock phosphate and kelp meal to the potting soil. Let’s see how it goes. Still on an ups-a-daisy.

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@ThienXiang that’s pretty cool. About how high in the pot do you put the barrier? 50% of the way? I’m going to do the same, but I was just going to use a cheapo plate from Walmart. I imagine that there’s room for the roots to grow around the ups-a-daisy and down to the bottom half of the pot?

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What is an ups-a-daisy? Familiar with placing a tile beneath the terr to make the roots spread, just never heard of an ups-a-daisy.

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It’s a name brand planter insert.

https://www.ups-a-daisy.com/

You can “float” the ups-a-daisy in the pot to allow roots to escape below, much like a tile, instead of how it’s intended (which is to effectively to make the pot shallower but keeping the same pot size).

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I didn’t use a barrier. That was a deep ceramic pot. I drilled extra holes for drainage. I used hydroponic clay pebbles for drainage, single layer.
You can also use the clay saucers, or the paint bucket lids. Just drill holes around the periphery/rim for drainage and wire tie downs or screw.

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The ups-a-daisy often goes on clearance with additional discount at fred meyer here in Washington. So I buy a bunch. Ends up like $2-3 a piece. Sturdier plastic than bucket lids that i used to use.

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Apologies. The ups-a-daisy barrier is about halfway to the rim for shallower and wider pots, 1/3 to the rim for deeper pots like the usual nursery black pots or fabric pots.
By the way, I use an ups-a-daisy that’s smaller than the pot. So the roots can grow out and down instead of a snug fit.

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