Selecting the right pot for your Bonsai can be a real challenge, especially if you are new to this. Many beginners underestimate the importance of selecting a suitable pot for their bonsai.

When it comes to Bonsai pots the choices are almost unlimited; there are colored pots, specially decorated pots, simple pots, expensive and cheap ones, pots in every form and shape and so on. Additionally to the pot we need to consider the elements which add the finishing touches to the display of the tree such as grass, moss, stones and figurines.

Mike Hansen, owner of Midwest Bonsai, said: “Bonsai pots are important because they highlight the beauty of the tree so don’t want to chose a pot that takes this away.

“You want to maintain a balance between the tree and the pot. Therefore, a pot needs to be chosen wisely and according to the tree.”

Despite the fact that Bonsai trees are originally from China, the Japanese pot industry is much more advanced. It is known for its high quality and elegance whereas the Chinese pottery is generally cheaper and still in the process of improvement. An exception to this are Chinese antique pots, which are really rare and priceless.

Now before thinking about buying an expensive and exquisite Bosai pot it is important to question whether the Bonsai is ready for it. A young Bonsai (means im some cases up to 20 years) needs to be trained and adapted to fit into a small pot. During this adoption period, the tree needs space to grow and requiers repotting to prune and shape the roots. Therefore, it is wiser to buy cheap plastic containers, also known as “training pots”. Many online stores offer them in sets.

Training pots

Older trees have a more dense and compact root system, therefore they are able to survire in smaller pots. At this stage, the artistic aspect gains on more importance. Here are some tips from the Bonsai Empire website on how to make the right choice:

  1. Use unglazed pots for conifers and pine trees.
  2. For deciduous trees you can use both glazed as unglazed Bonsai pots; do not use a bright glaze unless the tree has flowers or fruits.
  3. Use a pot with a width of about 2/3 the height of the tree.
  4. The depth of the pot should be equal to one to two times the thickness of the trunk at its base.
  5. For ‘masculine’ trees use angular pots, while for more gently shaped ‘feminine’ trees use rounded pots.