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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

You can bend thick, hardened branches by undercutting. A wedge is cut underneath where the bend is needed and then the branch is eased down anw wired into place. Thick, coarse branches could also be removed completely and replaced with new branches by thread grafting or approach grafting