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drainage holes
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excess water
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How To Choose A Bonsai Pot - Just Exactly What Should You Be Looking For?
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How to Choose A Bonsai Pot - Just Exactly What Should You Be Looking For?

Choosing a Bonsai pot is about as difficult as choosing the tree you are going to be working with! A Bonsai pot is the single most important accessory for your tree. You can get away with many things when creating Bonsai, but not the pot! A pot will make or break your design. Let's take a closer look at how to choose a Bonsai pot.

Let's get function out of the way first. Pots actually contribute to the shape of your Bonsai tree. It's something that will restrict of encourage growth of your tree. You'll find that big wide shallow ones will help to 'flare' the base of the tree and encourage a nicer shape in the lower section of the tree. Don't underestimate this. This is why the majority of pots are shallow. You also want to have a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom of it. If it doesn't drill some. Letting excess water sit in the pot will rot the roots in no time at all! Not something you really want. If the holes in your pot are too big, you may have to use some drainage mesh to stop the soil from falling out.

OK, now to the fun bit! The individual style selection. First of all, what style tree are you creating? Something strong and masculine, or something more feminine in nature? For example the formal upright is a very strong tree and sitting in a feminine pot is no good at all. It'll look silly. Likewise with something like an informal sitting in an angular thing.

A strong pot is one that has a lot of angles. You might find that a square one looks better with stronger trees. Rounder pots tend to look a bit softer on the eyes and this can be of benefit to the overall composition of the tree.

Also take a look at the rim of the pot. Is it too harsh, too big, too loud? If it is, maybe the next pot. If you like the appearance of the pot though, then go for it! Don't think that it's not a good one if you like it. The colour of your pot is again subjective. I like earthy colours with Bonsai pots… the idea of course is to complement the tree not to drag all attention away from it. Since the art of Bonsai is very Oriental in origins, you might like to choose a pot that incorporates some of these designs. I personally find ethic pots look very exotic and will make your tree beautifully mysterious. It's a good image to cultivate!

Glazed or unglazed? Again, it's subjective and depends on what type of tree you are growing. If you are getting a pot for a strong tree, you might like the glazed design. If it's more relaxed, earthy colours, browns, dark reds, burnt greens might be what you're more into.

When choosing a Bonsai pot, always try and imagine your tree in the pot. If you do this, then you'll know what looks right. And remember that you'll need to repot your tree as well - if you really don't like the pot that you've selected, you can always change it later.

Bonsai pots are up to you in the end. Just remember though - they make or break your tree, so be aware! Just because that neon orange angular thing looks great in the shop, don't think that it's going to look good with your tree inside.

You can also have a look at some Bonsai pictures in order to get a feel for what works, and what doesn't.


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