How to repot a bonsai

The repotting of a bonsai

The roots of every tree grow to find the necessary water and nutritent which is inprescindible for their lifes. Therefore when a tree grows in a pot, the roots grow till they ocupate the totality of the limited space.

On the same time the soil degreases and looses the faculty to proporcionate the nutration necessary for the tree. When we water, we will notify that the water penetrates every time with more difficulty the soil. The soil is over and therefore it is now the moment to repot.

How to repot a bonsai


The most favorable time to have a bonsai repotted will be on the final of the winter, just before the tree iniciates its period of growing.

How do we have to repot?

1. To have well prepared the pot, tools and earth that we are going to use, so that we do not have to constantly interrupt the transplant in search of the lost tool.

2. Lift the pot tree, remove the old soil by unraveling the roots helped by a kumade (small rake) and even the water jet from a faucet or hose.

3. Cut approximately one third of the roots.

4. Replant the tree with new soil that we will enter between the roots with the help of a stick, trying to keep “air pockets”.

5. Water well, until the water comes out clean through the holes in the bottom of the pot.

Bonsai soil mixture

Bonsai live good in granulated soil like the Akadama (Japanese yellow soil, especially for Bonsai) mixed with a drainage like volcanical or sand of a river. The proportion variates for any specimen, but principally the normal mixture is about the same parts of drainage and Akadama.

How often should I repot?

The frequence variates for any specimen. In general young Bonsai grow more than the old ones, and therefore they need a more frecuent repotting.

The frecuence for the repotting of fruit trees which is realized normally one time per year, to the coniferous which could be repotted aproximately every 4 or 6 years.

This numbers are orientatively because we have to observe individually every tree to see, when it needs a repotting.

What do we have to consider after a repotting?

An adecuate repotting in its correspondant period of time doesn’t suppose a great difficulty for the tree. But till the roots begin to work again, we will protect the tree against wind and sun. This will be done by pulverising the blades frecuently.

In Mistral Bonsai we have prepared a basic maintenance kit for your bonsai: manure, watering can, scissors and a small guide for bonsai work. All the essentials!