There is a bewildering choice of Bonsai Pots available and choosing the right one is not easy.
In the purest sense, the pot forms an integral part of the art of Bonsai. It should compliment the tree perfectly be the correct size for the image and be of a suitable colour. This exactness will only apply to a small minority of growers and for the most part other considerations will govern your choice. Beginners will usually settle for any pot that is "just a bit bigger than the one I have" or "something in greeny brown to match the curtains" or
the most important factor will be cost.
Glazed versus Unglazed
Glazed pots are usually reserved for flowering species or trees with showy foliage where bright colours can be used to balance the colours
A Colour Wheel shows the relationships between primary colours, secondary colours and complementary colours. In any composition the use of colours that are adjacent to each other on the wheel provide a harmonious image. If colors on opposite sides of the wheel are used then they are said to be complementary. A tree with red foliage will often be displayed to good effect in a blue pot and this may explain why almost all imported trees that are predominantly green are supplied in a blue pot. That’s the basic rule of colour. How far you bend the rules is up to you. Many growers choose unglazed pots simply because the earthy colours in general complememnt green foliage well. There is no difference in terms of quality between glazed and unglazed pots and no benefits to the tree healthwise either way.
Frost proof pots
All Bonsai pots bought from a reputable dealer will have been manufactured to be frost proof. This means that they have been fired to a sufficiently high temperature so a pot can be left out all winter without breaking. Thats the good news, for while a pot will be immune from breaking when empty, once you add soil there are other factors involved. Ice forming in the soil will cause the rootball to expand and if it has nowhere to expand to will force the sides of pots to breaking point. The wetter the soil the worse it gets so if pots are going to be left out in the frost
the you need to choose your soil mix very carefully! If a pot breaks the pieces will still be frost proof so no further breakage will occur....
Shape of pot
For most trees that can be described as informal upright, the choice of pot shape is fairly straightforward. Rectangular, oval or round. The choice is yours but bear in mind the look of the tree image. Is it strong and straight with hard lines? Then we will call it masculine and usually maculine trees go in rectangular pots. On the other hand if your tree is curvy and delicate the it is feminine and an oval or one of the otehr shapes not covered here can be used. Round pots can be either masculine or feminine depending on the shape of the walls and foot style used. They can also be useful as training pots for a tree whose front is yet to be finalised, it can be planted anywhere in the pot
and the pot can then be turned to better determine the most suitable front.
To be continued.......
All pot sizes are approximate and measured externally. Please
ask for internal or exact dimensions
We offer a huge selection of bonsai pots in a variety of sizes,
styles and finishes that hopefully meet most tastes. It can
be a daunting task for a bonsai beginner when faced with such
choice so if you would like advice, let us know the rough
guidelines and we will gladly narrow the search down and offer
advice as to the most suitable option.
With such a wide range of pots available from our suppliers
it is not possible to hold stock of all pots. Nearly all of
the glazed ranges and the unglazed pots up to 14" are
held in stock though sometimes the mix of styles and colours
changes unexpectedly. Plastic pots are always well stocked
but many of the larger pots particularly in the hand made
ranges are available to order usually within a week to 10
days subject to availability at the suppliers.
If you have any questions about Bonsai, please
Green Dragon Bonsai homepage / Bonsai