Training/Grow Pots

ConorDash

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Hello,

I am currently looking to pots, which won't look good, just for training and allowing a tree to grow whilst doing some work on it, such as chop and grow or getting it back to health.
I feel that the root work, to fit it in to a nice bonsai pot can come after all of that.

I found mostly what I want, but the depth of the pot is a problem. Seems to me that a big training pot should be wide but not deep. What if the pot is a bit deep too?
This is one for example:
https://www.pond-planet.co.uk/pond-c1/pond-planting-products-c30/finofil-square-pond-baskets-p851

Its a good size but way deeper than I would like.. Am I right in thinking the depth will be a problem later on, or is it not a big deal?
 

Paradox

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I prefer wider and shallower. I don't like the shape of those.

For a first training pot, I use bulb pans, also plastic storage boxes I get from Target/Walmat that I drill holes in the bottom and put plastic art mesh on. You can see them in some of the pics of my trees on the forums.

Later on, I put them a more plastic bonsai training pot, which is that same basic shape as a bonsai pot but a bit larger and deeper.
 

parhamr

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Here’s my post about grow box construction: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/grow-box-construction-material-question.17434/page-2#post-405910

Regarding commercially available products, Kaizen Bonsai has a great supply. Check these out:
I have some plastic and mica training pots that I have cut and drilled holes for guy wires. This is working well for me.
 

ConorDash

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Here’s my post about grow box construction: https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/grow-box-construction-material-question.17434/page-2#post-405910

Regarding commercially available products, Kaizen Bonsai has a great supply. Check these out:
I have some plastic and mica training pots that I have cut and drilled holes for guy wires. This is working well for me.
Ah Kaizen! I should have looked there.. UK people, so I can actually buy those. I wanted to more go for the colander style, promoting better growth and air pruning roots, but if thats not considered a big enough deal, Ill go with Kaizen ones.

I'd consider building a wooden grow box custom made for the tree in question.
Thats exactly what I have done at the moment. Just getting wood, cutting etc, its not second nature for me. I would prefer to buy a bulk to have for future. But I do like the idea of grow boxes more.

I prefer wider and shallower. I don't like the shape of those.

For a first training pot, I use bulb pans, also plastic storage boxes I get from Target/Walmat that I drill holes in the bottom and put plastic art mesh on. You can see them in some of the pics of my trees on the forums.

Later on, I put them a more plastic bonsai training pot, which is that same basic shape as a bonsai pot but a bit larger and deeper.
I understand. Do you put any importance on the air pruning, colander style of pot?
 

Paradox

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I understand. Do you put any importance on the air pruning, colander style of pot?
I'm looking more for overall shape and good drainage. My plastic grow pots with mesh were chosen more for their shape than for their air pruning characteristics. This is more for the aim at getting the roots to grow out sideways for the eventual bonsai pots rather than down.
 

ConorDash

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I'm looking more for overall shape and good drainage. My plastic grow pots with mesh were chosen more for their shape than for their air pruning characteristics. This is more for the aim at getting the roots to grow out sideways for the eventual bonsai pots rather than down.
That was my thinking with going with more shallow, but wide pots.
I would think it'll only take 1-2 repot with root pruning, to get a trees roots in great shape for a bonsai pot though? So couldn't one just work on training it fully first, then once major development of trunk and primary branches are done, then worry about roots after, whilst working on ramification?
 

parhamr

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@ConorDash I’ve really liked the performance I see with colanders. If you have some Asian food market nearby, go ask about “rice baskets” or “vegetable washing basins” as those are common alternate names. (Otherwise, just ask about colanders :p)

They’re great and inexpensive. Mine appear to have a 3–4 year lifetime before the UV radiation degrades them too much.
 

ralf

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The pond baskets works reasonably well for me. If necessary I put a layer of gravel or just pieces of polystyrene on the bottom and cover it with a mesh (used for gutters etc. ) They are great for airlayering.
+ aeration of the substrate
+ quickly available
- more frequent watering
- durability
- available only for "smaller" trees

The wooden boxes are better in terms of the insulation capacity, durability and it can be made to measure regadless of the size of the tree. But I would drill a number of hollows also into the sideboards to allow more aeration.

Plastic pots - not enough holes for proper drainage. The bigger ones may not have the required rigidity to avoid torsions that could damage fine roots.
 

Underdog

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I just ordered 2 8inch pond baskets today on eBay. I expect to actually use them in the pond however with my Bald Cypress and corkscrew willow. I've built boxes as well.
The too deep part... I have put a layer of rock and an upside down plate in the bottom in a pinch.
 

ConorDash

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I just ordered 2 8inch pond baskets today on eBay. I expect to actually use them in the pond however with my Bald Cypress and corkscrew willow. I've built boxes as well.
The too deep part... I have put a layer of rock and an upside down plate in the bottom in a pinch.
Thanks that's a good idea. I bought a few pots online last night from Kaizenbonsai, good size, just not the colander style.
My debate now is whether to use my shabby box for the extra space and drainage/colander style or just to a normal pot, bigger though.
 

milehigh_7

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Hello,

I am currently looking to pots, which won't look good, just for training and allowing a tree to grow whilst doing some work on it, such as chop and grow or getting it back to health.
I feel that the root work, to fit it in to a nice bonsai pot can come after all of that.

I found mostly what I want, but the depth of the pot is a problem. Seems to me that a big training pot should be wide but not deep. What if the pot is a bit deep too?
This is one for example:
https://www.pond-planet.co.uk/pond-c1/pond-planting-products-c30/finofil-square-pond-baskets-p851

Its a good size but way deeper than I would like.. Am I right in thinking the depth will be a problem later on, or is it not a big deal?
Those are the shiz! You don't have to fill em up all the way. I used some just like that in various sizes for about 7 years with great results.
 

ConorDash

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Those are the shiz! You don't have to fill em up all the way. I used some just like that in various sizes for about 7 years with great results.
Is it silly that it never occurred to me that I don't have to fill them up? Lol..
Although it wouldn't be taking advantage of the width of it wasn't filled up much but you are right, very good point.
I sometimes lose track of common sense when focused too much on other aspects.
 

milehigh_7

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Here's a little live oak with a 6 inch base that I had in one... oaks don't like to get fine roots so these are just the trick when you get them from nursery cans. I miss this tree... :(

12 - 1.jpg
 

milehigh_7

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What happened to it? Nice trunk and base you have there.
Well... let's just say our family has had our share of adventures over the past 10 years or so. It was one of the casualties...
 

Anthony

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Conor,

think height of tree and trunk size.
Then ask who thickens in a pot [ matters not if it is a pond basket or colander or growing box etc.]
Good Day
Anthony
 

Lars Grimm

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I have had really great experience using pond baskets. The plants need to be watered frequently but the drainage and aeration cannot be beat. I never fill the baskets to the surface and all of the holes in the sides can be used to tie down branches very easily. As you noted, the tree can't be too large, but if you can use a pond basket I highly recommend it.
 

Paradox

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That was my thinking with going with more shallow, but wide pots.
I would think it'll only take 1-2 repot with root pruning, to get a trees roots in great shape for a bonsai pot though? So couldn't one just work on training it fully first, then once major development of trunk and primary branches are done, then worry about roots after, whilst working on ramification?


IMO, it's best to work on roots and trunk development at the same time. They kind of go hand in hand honestly. They also take the longest to develop so best to get stared asap.

As your trunk grows, you are also developing the root structure. You are also trying to develop nebari, not just getting it into a bonsai pot eventually. If your training pot is too deep, the tree will send roots deep, its what they do. Then you have to mess with them again later. If they get too big before you correct the problems, it can cause other problems or possibly kill the tree.

Ramification and branch development comes after the trunk and roots are developed not during.

A pond basket can be fine for getting very small trees going but not the best for proper nebari development.
 

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