Bonsai pots are most often used to display plants shaped and styled to look like small old trees. In some cases, these miniature trees are very old, sometimes hundreds of years.
There are also other ways to contain and display bonsai trees.
Rock slabs and marble trays are not always easy to work with, but can give the look of an amazing landscape.
You may wonder how the soil stays on the slab. Most of the time it is secured around the edges with muck, moss or cottonseed hulls.
Different Types Of Bonsai Containers
This natural rock slab is perfect for displaying this shallow rooted, wide Ficus bonsai as well as the forest shown below.
Slabs can be natural formations, molds of nature or even poured concrete. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference.
Marble trays are another form of bonsai containers used in a similar manner. Sometimes plants are grown in other bonsai containers and temporarily placed on marble for exhibiting.Using marble originated with the Chinese and is often used with penjing.
A rock with a pocket can also be a bonsai container.(The slant of the opening may allow the water to drain or a hole may have to be drilled.)
The rocks may be natural or in some cases man-made. If they are good, you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Where To Find Bonsai Pots
Sometimes you may have a unique bonsai, that calls for a unique container.
This custom bonsai pot is a perfect example of such a situation. Two artists cooperated and created an amazing result.
Hand crafted containers are becoming very popular with collectors. Original pieces by potters, can be found for sale at bonsai exhibits around the world.
Local bonsai shops and bonsai conventions are ideal places to find many different kinds of containers for sale. Antiques to custom-made, the Internet is also an excellent source of bonsai pottery.
(Vietnamese and Chinese planters frequently have etched designs or paintings on the sides.)
Thoughts On Bonsai Containers
Bonsai is an art form, and containers are an important part, however … always keep the health of your bonsai tree foremost in your mind.
Never force, or over-prune roots, just to fit it your tree into the pot of your choice.
Most bonsai do not go into the “perfect pot” the first time. Consider the first as a training container. Your tree will grow and change. It may take several potting seasons to discover the “right one.”
What About Plastic For Bonsai Pots?
Many growers use plastic for ‘training.’
Although never acceptable in formal exhibits, they certainly work for getting started. This is one of the most popular starter shapes.
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Bonsai Pots FAQ
What Is A Bonsai Pot?
A bonsai pot is a container designed for growing bonsai trees. They’re often made from ceramics and come in different shapes and sizes.
Why Do Bonsai Trees Need Special Pots?
Bonsai trees require specialized pots because they have unique growing requirements. These pots are typically shallow and have limited soil capacity to control root growth. Additionally, the size, shape, and material of the pot impact the tree’s appearance.
What Are Some Common Materials Used For Bonsai Pots?
Bonsai pots are commonly made from ceramic, plastic, and metal. Ceramic pots are the most popular because of their aesthetic appeal and durability.
What Are The Different Shapes Of Bonsai Pots?
Bonsai pots come in various shapes, including round, oval, rectangular, and hexagonal. The pot’s shape should complement the tree’s style and shape.
What Size Bonsai Pot Should I Use?
The pot’s size depends on the tree’s size, type, and style of bonsai. As a general rule, the pot should be one-third the height of the tree.
How Do I Choose The Right Bonsai Pot For My Tree?
To choose a bonsai pot, consider the tree’s size, style, and age. The pot should be proportionate to the tree’s size, complement its style, and enhance its appearance.
Can I Use A Regular Pot For My Bonsai Tree?
While possible, it’s not recommended to use a regular pot for a bonsai tree. Bonsai trees require specialized pots to control root growth, promote healthy soil drainage, and enhance their aesthetic appeal.
How Do I Care For My Bonsai Pot?
To care for a bonsai pot, clean it regularly with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the pot. Also, ensure the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot.