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When to pot what

The following chart has been prepared in consultation with a few experienced Cape Town bonsai growers and shows the optimum months for the first time potting of various species of trees. The seasons and micro-climates may vary slightly from year to year resulting in the need to be flexible. The chart attempts to give you a reliable guide, but in the final analysis the tree frequently indicates when you should pot it. Do not forget that post operative treatment of a newly potted tree is just as important as the correct time of potting.

Not all trees used for bonsai purposes are listed, if you need any help please contact an experienced grower

DECIDUOUS TREES

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Maples

x x

Celtis

x x

Elms

x x

Swamp Cypress

x

EVERGREENS

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Bouganvillea

x x x x

Cape May (collected)

x x

Cape May (repotting)

x

Cedrus

x x x x

Eugenia

x x x x x x

Ficus

x x x x x

Junipers

x x

Oaks

x x x

Olives

x x x x x

Pines

x x x x

Pyracantha

x x x x

Serissa

x x x x x x

Acacia

Pot when the spring buds swell, but before the leaves unfurl.

Azalea

Immediately after flowering.

Several evergreens may be potted when they are growing strongly and a few deciduous trees may be potted after they have been defoliated.

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Random Bonsai Tip

To thicken thin branches make a cut just below the branch or a bud on the branch. The sugars produced in the leaves of the tree move down to the roots through the phloem, this flow of sap is interrupted by the cut and the accumulation of sugars above the cut increases the vigour as it is used by the bud, forcing it into action. As soon as the wound heals the normal sap flow resumes.