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Show #20/4407. The Art, Skill & Care Of Bonsai

Root Pruning

So we've brought our plants home, how do we move that plant, make the transition from the little nursery pot into the nice, round or flat bonsai container that we purchased. Rodney says it's a process. The first thing to do is pull the plant out of the container and check the root system. Then prune the roots to plate size, to where it can go in a bonsai pot. The tree when you collect it, or get it from a nursery and in a container will have the most energy it's ever going to have. One wants to cut it to where it will sit in a bonsai pot right from the start. It may look a little rough but prune it back past the growth tips and cut the old roots out because they are not working any more. So cut them back, then let the new roots come out. They're the ones that will now be doing most of the work. Pruning roots is a lot like pruning the top of a plant. You are stimulating new roots. Prune behind the bud breaks that way you’ll get more really fine feeder roots which allow better water and nutrition uptake. You don’t want the roots going around outside of the pot and circling. What you do want is a matrix where the roots go all the way through the soil particles.

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