It's time to repot!

How, when and why to do it

by Valentina Addante

Are you constantly hearing about repotting but don't know where to start? We help you!

Let's start by explaining that repotting in bonsai consists in pruning the roots, an essential operation for the formation of a beautiful and healthy plant!

Repotting allows the roots to have more space to multiply and spread; which translates into a greater capacity for the assimilation of nutritional elements for the plant.

How do you know the time has come? It's easy, just observe.

If when you water, the water does not penetrate as it should and you notice that the roots are starting to emerge from the ground, most likely it is time to act!

Ok, now we realized we have a problem, but don't get carried away by the impulse, because you can't repot in any season!

In general, you have to wait for the so-called "vegetative rest of the plant" which changes between botanical variants.

Here is a brief outline:

  • Stripping -> in the period between when they lose their leaves and before they put the new ones
  • Evergreens and conifers -> close to the vegetative start
  • Tropical -> late spring

Know when it's time to act and the most suitable phase for your kind of plant, get the right tools to operate!

You cannot not have:


  • Three-pointed rake , to "comb" the roots of your bonsai, freeing them from the old and hardened soil

  • Root pruning shears , to cut excess roots, effortlessly, thanks to its sturdy blades and comfortable handle

Now to work!

Here are the essential steps:

  • Attach a drainage net to the holes under the pot with processing wire

  • Create a drainage layer with pumice or akadama at the bottom of the pot

  • Place the plant inside and anchor it to the pot, using wire for processing

  • Make sure you have compacted the soil well under the root ball with the help of a rod


And repotting served!

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