Repotting season species order

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…

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.

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.

Yay, top dressing.
Lessons learned:

  • Don’t super compress your shredded moss bag as you’ll have to pull it apart again later
  • Definitely apply top dressing in an area with no wind. :weary:
  • Spray bottle misting to set it at first is a sweet pro strat taught to use by @ryan

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Can’t wait for the repotting season to start. :blush:


Nice pots…
My wife doesn’t let me keep bonsai pots in the dining room.
That’s where the weaving loom goes… yarn in basement; along with the dobby loom…
Still 25F ish, foot of snow here. Expect two more months till I can think about repotting. Preliminaty priority sequence-- new nursery pines into bonsai pots, big ponderous refresh, Japanese larch (when it flowers purple / almost green), large alpine fir, large Jaquie Ellerman elm (as it greens up-- major root reduction!), yada, yada, yada; until I run out of spring… big stuff first, then shohin and mame. Save beech for last.
This winter is odd. I expect spring will be early, summer hot and dry. Planting date palms for this spring…

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I hear you. My girlfriend was away for a week, so I could for once get away with working on my trees in the living room. Now it‘s back to the basement For me too. :sweat_smile:

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My juniper is pushing new growth. Should I go ahead and pot it up? It’s currently in a nursery pot.

Larch buds popped before I even noticed that they were swelling. Time to put it in a root maker pot.

Added top dressing to it after this pic