Selecting the right pot for your Bonsai is more important than most beginners realize. When displaying your Bonsai, the pot is essential for the overall presentation and also has a lot to do with to the health and well being of your Bonsai.
Bonsai Pot Design Basics
Bonsai pots have at least one hole at the bottom in the center, and often multiple holes distributed evenly on larger pots. The large holes are to allow the proper drainage of your Bonsai during watering. Without proper drainage, water will remain in the pot and cause root rot which will eventually kill your Bonsai. The smaller holes are used to string wire through the bottom of your pot and anchor it so it will not be move around in a pot.
It is essential for your Bonsai remain anchored to the pot so it can established healthy feeder roots; especially after a transplanting. If not the Bonsai will be moved around by wind and other external factors which will prevent the feeder roots from developing. This can lead to a sickly or dead Bonsai.
Bonsai Pot Design and Color
When choosing a pot for your Bonsai, follow these basic rules.
Height: Pick a pot with a width of about 2/3 the height of your tree.
Depth: The depth of the pot should be equal the thickness of the trunk. If you have a very young tree or one still being developed, this rule can be ignored.
Shape: Square or rectangle pots are used for powerful, masculine trees while round pots are used for soft and gentle designs. Very tall pots should be used for cascading Bonsai.
Color: For pine trees and conifers use unglazed pots brown or a beige in color. Deciduous trees can be displayed in either glazed or unglazed pots. Very light and white or pots with colorful designs should be reserved for trees with bright flowers.
Quality of Bonsai Pots
Bonsai pots vary greatly in design, quality, cost and value. There are three main categories for Bonsai pots.
- The rarest and most expensive pots are handmade, Antique Chinese pots. These types of pots are almost never produced any more and are therefore very expensive and hard to find.
- Japanse Tokoname pots are made in the costal city of Japan, long know for its exquisite Bonsai pottery. These pots come in various sizes, shapes, designs and are still manufactured today. Tokoname pots vary in price, but are still quite affordable.
- The most common and least expensive Bonsai pots are factory. China is the largest producer of factory made Bonsai pots and they can be purchased quite inexpensively at many nurseries and discount stores.
Follow these guidelines when choosing a pot for your Bonsai, but also make sure it is a Bonsai pot that you like and and that compliments your Bonsai. When first starting out in Bonsai, also make sure to not blow the budget when purchasing your first few pots. As you experience you will learn finer details about Bonsai pots and will be able to get the best value for your Bonsai pots.
Above photo by: The Greenery Nursery and Garden Shop