When I am frequently asked to help out repotting Bonsai for enthusiasts new to the ‘sport,’ one of the main questions is how long before I get results?
Well to be honest it does vary what precise species is being repotted. As an example I will show you an image that I took this afternoon of a Mountain Maple. Four weeks ago to the day, I removed around 60% of the existing root-ball and ended up virtually bare rooting it as I needed to clear out dead and decaying roots. It was indeed overdue by twelve months, but the new pot was smaller and shallower; hence substantial removal.
Post repotting care is essential for many species and with this Maple I make it no exception to treat it very gently. It has been kept out of winds, away from frost etc, but I have given the tree several hours of dappled sunshine each day (when the sun decided to turn up that is).
No feed but constant misting; always at night and first thing in the morning then twice a day there on in. I have also been pinching out with tweezers all new growth once one pair of leaves arrived. I use tweezers as this helps keep internode length short, (the branch that grows in-between each pair of leaves). It needs to be done quickly as you see it emerging; if the internode is there and the leaves have opened it is already too late!
So …. when I repotted buds were swelling but not formed, and I very much want slow growth to give the roots a chance to form. Again as I have mentioned in other related posts and pages, by spraying the leaf you are taking the strain away from the roots; you are also feeding the roots with moisture. Two-way traffic, always remember that. What goes on will go down and what goes in will go up.
Thankfully for the first three weeks response was nice and slow. This week however, almost every leaf opened, hence the pinching.
Here then, in my winter quarters is one Maple doing very well indeed. I will not feed yet however. At least another four weeks yet! Please excuse the twine, it is being used to reposition branches and will be removed prior to showing later this year. Bear in mind it is currently not refined; this will be undertaken in May/June.
This Bonsai is 34cm tall. I will be reducing the lower branches later on as well as defining the centre and crown.