tropical re pot

chappy56

Mame
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Does time of year really matter when it comes to repotting tropicals?
I'm in zone 5 and the trees will be moving indoors soon anyway.
 
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Chappy,
It does matter when you repot tropicals. Even though they may be kept all year round in a greenhouse, the trees know the seasons and will slow their growth. This means they will slow their recovery from stressful procedures. You should definitely wait to repot until later in spring when your tree is coming into its most vigorous growth phase.
 
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I live in Michigan (zone 5-6) and over winter my tropicals indoors under fluorescent lights. I also re-pot my tropicals during the winter, usually in December or January, mainly because during the growing season I have other bonsai to attend to and also because with the short season here, I do not want to re-pot and slow the growth during recovery when the tree is growing at its strongest.

I have been doing this for three years with Serrisa, Ficus, and Jade without any ill effects what-so-ever. It should be noted that I get strong growth during these months inside and only re-pot those trees that are showing such. As with anytime of the year, proper aftercare is important.

Personally I would not re-pot when the trees will be moved inside or outside, the change in environment is enough stress, let them recover from the move and once they show signs of active growth again, then consider re-potting.



Will
 

Tachigi

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With due respect, I'll disagree. I have found that repotting in zone 6 that repotting in the heat of the summer has been outstanding to recovery and accelerated growth during the second half of the summer, at least when it comes to ficus and bogies. Early on I tried during spring and early fall before entry into my greenhouse. The results were fair to down right pitiful.

Disclaimer: Your results may vary or differ :)
 
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Rick Moquin

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Because of our short growing season here in Nova Scotia (2.5 months) it has proven beneficial to keep my trops indoors all year round. The benefits of doing so far outweight putting them outside for such a short period. In this fashion I'm not continuously battling pests when they get brought back in, which is worst for the tree then keeping them under grow lights were they have been accustomed. Therefore, I repot at any time providing the tree is healthy or not pushing flowers.
 
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When Suthin Sukolvisit (an acknowledged expert in tropical bonsai) was here in Kansas City recently, he discussed the best time for tropicals, which advice I was following when I posted. I have exactly one tropical, a Golden Gate ficus. This old house has little space for tropicals, especially with two cats (can anyone say litter box?)

My tree comes in and gets tented with a dry cleaning bag for the duration, being opened for watering and to exchange the air.
 

Dale Cochoy

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Chappy,
You mention in your post zone 5, but I see zone 6 in your personals. Where do you live.
I live in NE Ohio, zone 5 and have MANY tropicals which I overwinter in the house under lights or in windows or both.
I never repot in winter unless I have too. I'll get to that in a minute.
I repot tropicals when it is hottest and most humid here, late May through August and into early Sept. if I have too.
HAVE TOO! = Root rot problems or potential root rot probs. If you have acquired a tropical that is in the heavy, goopy, always-wet soil that they often come in from , say, Florida, then I would repot before winter paying attention to minimal rootage removal. I feel that it is MORE detrimental to leave them in this soil for overwintering indoors than it is to repot.
If your tree(s) aare already in a good bonsai soil, and no signs of root rot probs then I would recommend repotting them in mid-summer here and they will respond quickly.
Also, one great thing about having tropicals in the north is that I (We) can do the worst stuff to them during a season when we can't extensively work on our hardy trees.
Dale
 
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Interesting. I have never re-potted my tropicals at any other time than winter here in zone 5-6 Michigan....unless I had to.

I am interested to know why others do not, as I said, I have had no ill effects, no deaths, and no serious decline in growth by doing so. My tropicals do not stop growing in the winter, pinching back is a constant chore all year long, some times more intensive than others....the response from the trees after winter re-potting has always been great.

I have posted some of my tropicals here on this forum, I think it is easy to see that they are healthy and vigorus and that they do not seem to mind winter re-potting at all.

Of course, since I have only been doing this for three years...maybe there are some long ternm effects others have experienced? I would like to hear the reasoning against re-potting in winter, if the conditions are favorable, of course.




Will
 

Tachigi

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Will your tropicals all seem to be healthy based on your pictures. In my last post when I referred to fair and pitiful results that time of year. I was alluding to the difference in recovery and then increased vigor in a short period of time. Not that it would fail, or be detrimental to the tree. As to why I prefer that time of year? Most of what I have read and been taught is what lead me to choose that time period. It seems to make sense (at least to me) that a warm natured plant would benefit from being repotted that during a warm point in the year.

If your method works for you then be happy. Different practices lead to a greater knowledge base. After all who would have thought to repot pines in midsummer. Vance taught me a new one. ;)
 
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Interesting. I have never re-potted my tropicals at any other time than winter here in zone 5-6 Michigan....unless I had to.

I am interested to know why others do not, as I said, I have had no ill effects, no deaths, and no serious decline in growth by doing so. My tropicals do not stop growing in the winter, pinching back is a constant chore all year long, some times more intensive than others....the response from the trees after winter re-potting has always been great.

I have posted some of my tropicals here on this forum, I think it is easy to see that they are healthy and vigorus and that they do not seem to mind winter re-potting at all.

Of course, since I have only been doing this for three years...maybe there are some long ternm effects others have experienced? I would like to hear the reasoning against re-potting in winter, if the conditions are favorable, of course.

Will

Here's an opportunity to put something to the test. Since you treat all your tropicals the same way, you don't know for sure that what you are doing is most advantageous. I would suggest repotting one or two as Dale suggested for the next couple of times and checking the results.

No dieback or serious decline is not the same as vigorous health and growth. It's possible that the trees you pot in summer would not fare as well as the ones you do in winter, and then you know what is best for you, although it does not prove why. Perhaps they will show more vigor and growth for you, and then you will know that you can do better the other way, but again that's all that might prove.
 
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Yes, Vance taught a lot of people that, amazingly it works like a charm. Who would have thunk it? ;)


Will
 

chappy56

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I'm in central illinois. Some say 5, some say 6.
Thanks for the advise.
 
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Chappy,
You mention in your post zone 5, but I see zone 6 in your personals. Where do you live.
I live in NE Ohio, zone 5 and have MANY tropicals which I overwinter in the house under lights or in windows or both.
I never repot in winter unless I have too. I'll get to that in a minute.
I repot tropicals when it is hottest and most humid here, late May through August and into early Sept. if I have too.
HAVE TOO! = Root rot problems or potential root rot probs. If you have acquired a tropical that is in the heavy, goopy, always-wet soil that they often come in from , say, Florida, then I would repot before winter paying attention to minimal rootage removal. I feel that it is MORE detrimental to leave them in this soil for overwintering indoors than it is to repot.
If your tree(s) aare already in a good bonsai soil, and no signs of root rot probs then I would recommend repotting them in mid-summer here and they will respond quickly.
Also, one great thing about having tropicals in the north is that I (We) can do the worst stuff to them during a season when we can't extensively work on our hardy trees.
Dale

Dale,
Thanks for your input. You have obviously had years of success with them.
 
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It would appear I am indeed trying something different.
Will

Doing things one way is not trying something different. All it tells you is that your trees survive. It does not tell you if they are becoming all they can be.
 
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Here's an opportunity to put something to the test. Since you treat all your tropicals the same way, you don't know for sure that what you are doing is most advantageous. I would suggest repotting one or two as Dale suggested for the next couple of times and checking the results.

Oaky, if someone else is willing to try potting theirs in the winter as well.....
 

irene_b

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Oaky, if someone else is willing to try potting theirs in the winter as well.....


I will, I will, I will!!!
(Hehehe 10 Months of growing down here)


What Month?
Mom
 
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Errr...not quite fair Irene, lol.

Seriously though, why change what works perfectly fine already? If it ain't broke, and all that....



Will
 

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