Plastic training pots

Fan Tan Fannie

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Hello, I am thinking to train my newly purchased Japanese maple tree to improve the nebari when repotting next spring. I looked at the big box hardware stores and found these two inexpensive plastic plant saucers that might work as a wide shallow training pot. I would drill holes at the bottom for drainage for sure. have anyone used these plastic saucer with success? The tan one from Lowes and the brown one from Home depot. Thanks! planter saucer.JPGbloem-planter-saucers-51020c-64_1000.jpg
 
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Just make sure there is nowhere for water to pool in the internal contours of the pot after the holes are drilled. Don’t make the holes too small or the capillary pressure of the soil will keep to much water in the pot.

When in doubt drill more holes.
 

Fan Tan Fannie

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Just make sure there is nowhere for water to pool in the internal contours of the pot after the holes are drilled. Don’t make the holes too small or the capillary pressure of the soil will keep to much water in the pot.

When in doubt drill more holes.
Thanks for your response. :)
 

MrWunderful

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Hello, I am thinking to train my newly purchased Japanese maple tree to improve the nebari when repotting next spring. I looked at the big box hardware stores and found these two inexpensive plastic plant saucers that might work as a wide shallow training pot. I would drill holes at the bottom for drainage for sure. have anyone used these plastic saucer with success? The tan one from Lowes and the brown one from Home depot. Thanks! View attachment 302983View attachment 302984

I have used these multiple times with success. Like the above poster said, drill the holes in the lowest recesses.

I have found that once holes are drilled, they deteriorate a bit faster, but its irrelevant because of the price. You should still get 3 plus years out of them.

Also be cautious that there will generally be no airflow underneath unless you prop it up.
 

AJL

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They do tend to be rather bendy and flex a lot when you pick them up once they are planted due to the weight of tree and soil, but ok as a cheap temporary option if you carefully drill out enough holes of the right size.
As another cheap alternative you might also like consider using rectangular plastic seed trays ?
 

canoeguide

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These seem fine to me, but the plastic pots sold for bonsai use are in the same price range, and come with drainage, tie holes, and feet. https://superflybonsai.com has a wide variety, but buying locally saves shipping. If you want something round and a little deeper and sturdier, look for oil change pans.
 

Fan Tan Fannie

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Thank you all for your responses and suggestions. I think the planter saucers are a bit too shallow. I checked out the superfly bonsai but the larger sized training pots were sold out. I searched again and found this plastic planter tray (15"x 12"x 3") for bonsai groups/propagations. I think it would work.
plastic planter.jpgplastic planter1.jpg
 

Bonsai Nut

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Google "Anderson grow flat". I just bought 50 of the 15" x 15" x 5" ones... If you want to go shallower, just don't fill it with as much soil.
 

River's Edge

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Anderson Flats all the way! the newer deep propagation tray as mentioned above! And if you are concerned about drainage on a flat surface just drill holes on the perimeter vertical edges! The other alternative is to nest one in another and rill the bottom sides of the lower flat! Easy peasy and cheap! They last forever. Great for pines, maples, you name it!
Mesh bottom, lots of places to put wire through!;)
I buy them by the pallet! Pick up at the factory. One pallet fits in the back canopy of my truck when hand placed. However it draws funny looks when crossing the border!:eek:
Not so bad as the day I crossed with pines from Telperion and the agent said. " Please tell me those are not live trees"
Handing him the Permit, Phyto and bill of sale seemed to make his day! I know when he said proceed it made mine!
 
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You might consider the Terra Cotta version of the plant saucers. They are not as deep but it's easy to drill holes and they don't wobble and therefore you can fasten the roots in very securely. I also find that the plastic pots keep the soil too wet. Clay pots allow the moisture to evaporate and keep the tree's roots cooler in warmer weather. They cost is about 4 times what the plastic version cost, e.g. $9.50 instead of $2.50 for a 14 inch saucer. I have a Japanese maple in one and it's doing well. I'll post a photo tomorrow.
 

River's Edge

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You might consider the Terra Cotta version of the plant saucers. They are not as deep but it's easy to drill holes and they don't wobble and therefore you can fasten the roots in very securely. I also find that the plastic pots keep the soil too wet. Clay pots allow the moisture to evaporate and keep the tree's roots cooler in warmer weather. They cost is about 4 times what the plastic version cost, e.g. $9.50 instead of $2.50 for a 14 inch saucer. I have a Japanese maple in one and it's doing well. I'll post a photo tomorrow.
Terra Cotta is not great to recommend for climates with freeze thaw issues, they do not last very long! Some are better than others, I find some Italian brands seem more durable in cold freeze! The regular ones crack quickly even in my climatic zone when it freezes for brief periods of time.
 
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