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Repotting Guide

Key Points To Keep In Mind

By Estella Flather
  1. Only the root tips known as feeder roots take in moisture and nutrients. Trimming roots promotes more feeder roots.
  2. Leaf growth reflects root growth. For healthy tree tops there must be healthy active roots.
  3. Bonsai don't need large anchor roots. Wire holds tree in pot.
  4. Organic material in soil breaks down over time leaving only drainage material.
  5. Soil of root bound plants cannot absorb as much water. Drainage is slowed as roots take up air space in soil.

Repotting Schedules Ranked by Growth Speed

(These are recommendations only. There are lots of differing opinions about this.)
Repot every 2 years <==
<= After 3-4 years =>
==> Repot every 5 years
Fast growing deciduous trees:Medium speed growers:Slower growing conifers:
(Long running roots)(Many have mat like roots.)
ElmsJuniperPines
MaplesYaupon hollyOlder collected junipers
HawthorneFicus
Boxwood

Yearly Timing for Root Pruning

Winter
Summer
Fall
Deciduous treesTropicalsAfter summer dormancy
ConifersJunipers
Most trees except extreme
heat lovers like buttonwood
Broadleaf evergreens

pH Sensitive Plants

Acid (soft water)
Neutral
Alkaline (hard water)
pH6pH 6.5 ==> pH 7pH7.5 ==> pH8
Azalea
Japanese Maple
Camelia
Dogwood
Most plantsButtonwood
Native trees from calcium rich soils

admin 11/16/2019 71 reads Print