Advice for the New Beginners of Bonsai

Just Starting Your Bonsai Journey?

[WATCH VIDEO] Advice for the new beginners of Bonsai: an art in gardening and a relationship with each plant. Not typically a product! I really have learned a lot from masters like Peter, however I find that gaining knowledge and experience with wild plants is far more important for understanding how nature interacts with itself (ecology!).

Give it a shot if you can everyone it’s so rewarding! Just get out there and do your best to understand (with some very light research) why each type of organism is doing what it is and I promise you will at least find a few wonderful insights into the world around you!

Rescued Cotoneaster Bonsai Emergency Repotting

Long read, but if I can help even one person along the way I’ve done it, happy hunting out there

Video Transcript

i felt i should do this very special video for some of the beginners who buy and acquire new indoor bonsai because we are such a large nursery we have lots of people buying online and people who come to the nursery and apart from always wanting the indoor trees they are so enthusiastic that they tend to do the wrong things either they’ve got the information wrong or they have been told by some people that they should do certain things so what i want to correct this misinformation is about repotting i find that when people buy a bonsai they are so eager to get their hands on it that they can’t keep their hands off it and the first thing they do when they get a bonsai is that i want to repot the tree now i don’t like to use expletives but why the hell do they want to re-pot the tree and especially in the middle of summer today is the near the end of june and we’ve had one customer say oh i my tree is dying so we asked him what did you do i repotted the tree i said why did you have to repot the tree he felt no one told me but i felt that that’s the thing you have to do with the bonsai you don’t have to do that with a bonsai you don’t have to repot the tree i have always said that you only re-pot a tree when it needs it just because the roots may be coming out of the pot that’s not a sign that it needs to be repotted it’s just a sign that the tree is growing well bonsai grow in pots and because they grow in pots the root restriction keeps them small you also keep it small by pruning the shoots off now let me show you when um and how this misconception arises okay i’ve said that you repot a tree when it gets pot bound okay now let’s have a look at some of these trees this is a typical chinese elm and you look at that this tree has lots of roots lots of roots and this although the roots coming to the edges is still a bit soft it’s not entirely pot bound so i wouldn’t repot it even if it was pot born i would not do it at the end of june this is right in the middle of summer you do it now you will kill the tree repotting is usually done in the early spring february or march in this country just before growth starts and that is when the tree is bursting with new growth so that is the only time and the optimum time you should do it if you’ve broken a pot and you want to replace the pot that’s well and good you can put it in a slightly bigger pot let me show you what i’ve done to some of the other trees now this tree we put in a bigger pot and this was done i think in march so there was no problem with this i will find one that i did even more recently i will show you stay there because we do that from time to time okay this is a very good example if you have a look you see the original root ball is there so all we did was add some soil to the edges but we did not cut any of the roots so you can do this if you’ve broken the pot or you want to put it in a bigger pot outside the repotting season but on no account should you be cutting the roots especially if you are a beginner let’s look at another example this is a pistachio mediterranean plant and if you take it out of the pot the roots have gone right around and again although the roots are going round and round it is not entirely pot bound but even me for the spot barn i would not do it at this time of the year another tree this is the japanese holly you see the roots have gone there but it doesn’t mean you have to repot it it will stay in this quite happily for another two years so if you see a tree that you feel is pot bound for goodness sake do not repot it in the middle of summer and do not report it because you feel that all bonsai have to be repotted they do not the best analogy i can give you is that if you are a healthy and fit person why would you cut your stomach open to see what’s going on you don’t have to do it you do that to a healthy tree you do that to a healthy person it won’t come to any good let me just give you a quick tour and see what else we do in the summer i may have done this before in the summer all you need to do is to keep the trees trimmed for instance here you are this is a pomegranate you see all these long shoots coming out all you do is to prune the ends but again with pomegranate because it’s a flowering tree i wouldn’t be too enthusiastic because if you prune too hard you won’t get the lovely flowers the flowers on pomegranate let me show you one example you see these lovely flowers they’re born on the tips of the shoots so if you keep pruning the tips of the shoots off you won’t get the flowers so go easy on the pruning of flowering the trees same with this dew ranter here you see the duranta the flowers are born on the tips of the shoots so if you prune the tips all the time you won’t get the flowers and of course ficus they’re so vigorous look at our fighters in one or two weeks you keep getting these long shoots so you just prune them off and again i’ve noticed something during the summer and spring insects are very active so this is a type of fluffy white insect scale just spray it with a chemical or insecticide and you will keep control of it if you don’t want to use insecticide then just spray it with the jet of water but you must get rid of these insect pests during the summer they’re very very active and they can suck the sap from the trees and damage the trees but you see how well our trees are growing just keep them well watered and you should be okay so you please remember do not repot your trees outside the spring season and don’t feel you have to repot every indoor tree they don’t okay so good luck with your trees [Music] you

With this, a question arises…

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