Bonsai Pot – Get the Right Size for Our Tree

Mar 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Bonsai How To, Bonsai Pots

The size of the bonsai pot is very important for it can affect the overall presentation of the bonsai tree. Small bonsai trees can be potted in large bonsai pots to create a landscape image, and conversely, large bonsai trees can be effectively potted in smaller bonsai pots to appear more dominant and powerful.

If a bonsai tree is mistakenly potted in a bonsai pot too big, the tree may look weaker and less powerful than it potentially can be perceived. And if a bonsai tree is potted in a bonsai pot too small, the growth of the bonsai tree will be hindered, if not stopped. The roots of the bonsai tree will be bounded, leaving no space for the roots to grow and develop. This is especially bad for bonsai trees that are still in their growing period, when the bonsai trees need more branches and leaves for a fuller and more mature look and feel.

In addition, we need to consider how much room the root system of our particular bonsai tree will need. Special attention should be paid for cascade and semi-cascade bonsai trees. Besides for visual balance, these bonsai trees require deep pots with plenty of room for their roots to grow down and hold onto the potting soil for stability.

Some people suggest that the length of a bonsai pot should be approximately 2/3 the height of the bonsai tree, or if it is a wide spreading bonsai, then 2/3 the width of the bonsai tree. I won’t hold on to this as a strict rule, but only a guideline to help us at the beginning of our bonsai pot shopping. There are many exceptions to this 2/3-rule. For example, tall thin bonsai trees usually look better in smaller pot.

In addition, when selecting bonsai pot, we should never pick one that requires us to drastically trim the roots of the bonsai tree. If we do want to reduce the size of the bonsai pot or the roots of the bonsai tree, then we need to do this gradually, moving down a pot size at a time before eventually reaching the size we desire.

Here are a few more articles on how to choose bonsai pots for our bonsai trees.
What Bonsai Pots for What Bonsai Trees?
Bonsai Pots for Different Bonsai Styles
Bonsai Pots of Different Materials
Bonsai Pots of Different Shapes and Sizes
Is Your Bonsai Tree Ready for a Bonsai Pot?
Choosing Your Bonsai Pots

2 Comments to “Bonsai Pot – Get the Right Size for Our Tree”

  1. I am looking for a 16 inch square(40cm) x 6 inch (15cm) deep unglazed bonsai pot that is unglazed and has drainage holes. This is for a ponderosa pine. Please let me know if you have or can get a pot in these dimensions.

    Mary Alice Lesica-Woodburn

  2. Sandy Sandy says:

    Hi Mary,

    While Happy Bonsai Shop does not carry any big pot, I can try to find one in mentioned dimensions for you. But the shipping cost of such a big pot will be very high, unless you ship by sea, which will take like a month if the destination is US, UK or many other countries. Where do you want this pot be shipped to?


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