Repotting season species order

I’m thinking ahead to repotting time, and I’m wanting to plan out who gets worked on first, next etc.
I’m thinking deciduous-(maples) would be first, but Who is next?
Then Pines?
Then elongating species?
Then azalea?

I do have a small greenhouse, and last year I repotted an arizona cypress in January and it did well in the greenhouse. I think I got the idea from the dwarf or monterey cypress video, I also have an unhappy sequoia that needs potting too. anyway, getting sidetracked. I’ve searched the forum for a list like this but have not found an answer quite like what I’m asking for.

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Should also depend on the individual tree and when it is starting to break dormancy / pushing buds.

I think they do junipers and pines pretty early (Like Jan-feb) at Mirai, but that’s because they have so many trees and can provide extra protection post-repot.

For the most part, I do them as the buds are pushing for all species.

I agree with you @nmhansen. There is no hard and fast formula. I usually start with Larch, normally Feb as the first hint of green shows, as they are normally first to push here in the UK. Then I’ll move onto whatever calls my attention which depends mainly on how the weather has been, Then I’ll finish with the junipers at the beginning of May when they have moved into energy positive mode.
That sounds perfect doesn’t it? What it usually boils down to is a mad scramble from February onwards as the weather warms up and they all start needing my attention…

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I just did the math in my head. I have 28 trees to pot up. :weary: All but six of them are nursery stock. I’m gonna start and just keep going until they’re done.

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My first reaction was that if you average that out over a few months it’s just a few trees each week, but then I remembered it won’t work like that: There will be a week with half of them are all ready to go. Be ready to knock out 14 in a week!

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This is the forecast for my area. It’s tempting to go ahead and start potting some things.

WOW! Is that the average temperatures for your area in winter? We often get cooler summers than that in the UK!
It has to be really severe weather before I consider stopping repotting once I’ve started. I’ll usually continue whatever and stick them in the greenhouse until the bad weather is over.

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It’s been kinda like this for the last few years. Around February to mid-March or so we’ll have a few days in the upper 30’s. Maybe 1-5 days total of below freezing. Even 5 is rare and that’s just overnight.

So for you, I suppose it’s just a case of watching individual trees and reacting when they indicate it’s time for repotting. I think the weather around the world has gone weird. It’s been really mild (by UK standards) here and exceedingly wet. Another storm is about to batter us with 70mph winds and rain, meaning more protection and tying down than usual…

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I honestly struggle with the idea of ideal time and good enough time when it comes to repotting. Ideally we’d like to pot as the buds swell. However, how detrimental is it to pot before bud push? How detrimental is it if it’s flushing out? I get that there’s an ideal time, but I just wonder if ppl would rather wait another year because they missed that window or just do it and deal with it.

I bring this up because I have a new tree destined for the ground. A chocolate mimosa. I’d like to put it where I’ve got a star magnolia that’s sitting on the ground. I’m debating on going ahead with the potting of the magnolia. There’s very little soil in its nursery container, so there’d be very little root work. I’d be cutting the trunks back pretty hard though. That’s what I’m mainly concerned with. Perhaps I leave one trunk because it makes me feel better.

I have a blueberry that’s already pushing buds. Do I do it now or wait? What’s more important? The season or what the plant is telling me? Idk, I think sometimes we overthink things in bonsai and allow perfect to be the enemy of good.

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In my experience with deciduous, you can wait a little after bud break. But you don’t want to wait too long, because you can’t do hard root work after that.

Also if the blueberry is pushing buds now, you should repot sooner rather than later, even if it’s the middle of winter by the calendar. You will have to consider protection though, if a cold front comes in.


My contorted quince started budding. I went ahead and potted it. Now I see why Ryan uses props. Setting the angle without one sucked. I’ll be doing the blueberry next. Deciding whether or not to use kanuma since they like it a bit acidic.

It doesn’t take much for a quince to bud early.

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Top dressing ingredients :+1:t5:


True, my other one that’s already in a pot has also budded.

I’m going to start at the beginning of February if the weather stays like this. I have similar weather to what you are seeing. It is tempting to start now, But I think by the time we get to Feb 1st and I see a 14 day forecast I can feel better about taking the plunge or not.

We’re getting our first dip below freezing one day next week. High 30’s to low 50’s after that.

I tend to wait until just before bud burst. It can be frustrating to watch a tree as the buds swell, then a period of freezing weather comes along and halts potting progress. Things like Monterrey Cypress can be potted a lot earlier than most conifers. Even here in the UK they visibly grow over the winter and begin to speed up from the end of January.
@Bonsai_Bentley I would check the soil before you plant the Chocolate Mimosa. As I understand it, Magnolia like acidic soil whereas Mimosa likes alkaline. Just a thought…


I actually did a soil test recently. It’s slightly alkaline. Don’t remember the exact number. Just remember that I want to make it a bit more acidic for my centipede grass. Magnolia is in the ground in that I dug a bit of a hole and set its nursery pot in there. It’s not in a grow bag as I plan to work on it this year.