Why do bonsai pots have large drainage holes ?

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#62
@markyscott

No Scott, its not a language issue. It is your lack of understanding of science. It is for this precise reason that the academic qualifications or "years" of experience do not impress me. I have seen plenty of mismatches between education & practical knowledge, yours being the most extreme case :D

I am shocked that despite you 30 yrs of experience & PhD, your understanding of root science & air-pruning pots is poor. Not only do you seem confused you are contradicting your own statements. I was initially thinking - oh the poor man must still be coming to terms with the election results, but clearly your understanding of horticultural science needs some improvement :)

Allow me to expose your hypocrisy :

Hypocrisy1.jpg

Hypocrisy2.jpg

Hypocrisy3.jpg

Hypocrisy4.jpg


Innovative Designs.jpg

Not a bad catch for a dumb newbie, eh ? Goodnight, sleep time here :)
 

Anthony

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#64
Oh lordy lordy, here comes what I was trying to avoid.

Vinny, I would suggest better Bonsai examples as Designs go.

Yes, I believe the air-pot is a valuable addition, but please the arguments.
You also need to show your own work as proof. Health and Design.
Good Day
Anthony
 

markyscott

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#65
Not a troll. Just one of a thousand newbies posting on the internet who believe some truth has been revealed to them that all who have come before have missed. This one's a classic: if you put more holes in a pot the water will fall out faster. Amazing.

Scott
 

Adair M

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#66
Bonsai Hunter, "air pots", colanders, mesh sided pots are designed to prevent roots from circuling the pot, not drain water out faster.

Holes in the bottom of pots are large so they won't clog. Either by a grain of the soil, or by a root.

Some pots do not have perfectly flat bottoms. So, multiple holes are placed at low points.

A couple of the pots you posted have small holes in addition to large holes. Those small holes aren't drainage holes. They're for wiring the tree into the pot.
 

Anthony

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#68
@Bonsai Hunter,

Vinny,

thought I might share this with you --------- Ficus priminoides - local willow leaf fig.
We discovered that in a 1.25 cm of soil [ 5 mm silica based gravel and aged compost ] you can grow a ficus easily
to an 8 cm trunk and also get surface roots without doing anything special.

This was the test tree and we can now do this in faster, say 3 years or less.

Just grow the branch to less than 1 m and the trunk will thicken.

Doesn't need much soil and uses a simple bonsai pot.
Placement is full sun and watering is 1 in the evening, 2 tines in the early morning.

We use a combination of 1/3 strength lawn fertiliser [ about 12 N oP 2/3 K ] dry season,
and in the wet season two or three teaspoons of aged compost, as it disappears from the soil.

Now checking for other trees that can do this. No colander needed, no extra holes in the pot.
Enjoy.
Good Day
Anthony

Year 1
Ficus 1st year.jpg

year 2
Ficus 3rd year.jpg

New pot - first branch extension year 4

Ficus 4th year 9 2013.jpg

2015 and ------------------------------------------- for 2016 refinement of branchlets.
ficus 2015 nov.jpg
 
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#69
@Bonsai Hunter At least we all know your true colors now. The fact tht you spent time making figures to "exposes someone's hypocrisy" says a lot.

I think reading comprehension needs to be at the top of your list of things to improve. Nome of the things you posted are contradictory at all.

View attachment 124045

Scott is pointing out that the amount of time it takes for a pot to drain is only important when you are standing there waiting for it to happen. A bigger hole will drain faster than a small hole.

View attachment 124047

Look at the box. It is made of relatively wide boards so there is the potential for water to pool in the low spots. The extra holes will help prevent this from happening.

View attachment 124048

He never got mad he just tried to explain why it was not needed.

View attachment 124049

He also never said he was against air pruning. He was pointing out that a fibrous root system could be produced in a standard pot.

Go back and read before being demeaning.

I do have some opinion on this topic and also want to know what the community here thinks about this. I just have 1 yr experience in this hobby and that too restricted to plastic bonsai pots, not ceramic.
@markyscott I hope I did not over step my bounds and put words in your mouth. It just kills me what someone comes in with opinions and 1 year of experience and calls someone out who has facts and real experience.
 
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Anthony

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#70
How about some pots Vinny,


Pumice - two bath stones for scrubbing the skin - hand carved - porous

bath pumice stone.jpg


soapstone - from india originally - re - carved for use - then fired to 1000 deg.C for durability
soapstone.jpg

tamarind - colander from India

twisted.jpg

hand made pottery glazed but body is porous and the hollow rock is also pottery with a porous glaze.

21 serissa.jpg

Tamarind - air pot but only what is seen in the image has soil ------ rest of length is empty.
a_tama10.jpg

How we use colanders - ground growing and then left in the colander after digging up for a few months for recovery of fine roots.

hack col.jpg
 

Adair M

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#72
Some bonsai artists who understand the importance of pot drainage & pot aeration :

View attachment 124043
https://www.flickr.com/photos/16145364@N00/

View attachment 124044
By the way, Bonsai Hunter, BonsaiBardo is Paul Kellum, a good friend of mine. He does indeed use airpots for some of his bonsai. Not because of how quickly they drain, but because of the "air pruning".

He does use a fast draining soil: equal parts akadama, pumice and lava (scoria).
 

Anthony

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#73
@Bonsai Hunter,

Vinny,

there is something you should also know ---------- we no longer grow trees for large trunks and branches in pots.

On our side we grow trees in the open ground and can get 8 to 13 cm trunks in 1 ti 3 years, plus the first
six branches as the Japanese and Chinese do commercially.
Then shift over to over sized pots for branchlets / ramification.

We use colanders as I have shown above.

Our soils are based on the ball bearing principle - as seen with the spheres and drainage is rapid, o2 is
replaced and water is retained.
A lot of what you are discussing, are actually very old ideas and Bonsai has moved on.

Which I tried to warn you about when I mentioned the 1950's 1960's chap and the wire mesh pots.
A good many soil / pot improvements took place years ago, probably 1930"s maybe earlier.

Bonsai is not very important Agriculturally / Horticulturally.

So you can have a decent shape in 3 to 5 years, but age comes after 8 to 10 years.

You may find more time spent on Design to be useful.
I admire your gusto ------- a doctor by any chance?
Best of growing.
Anthony
 

markyscott

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#74
@Bonsai Hunter At least we all know your true colors now. The fact tht you spent time making figures to "exposes someone's hypocrisy" says a lot.

I think reading comprehension needs to be at the top of your list of things to improve. Nome of the things you posted are contradictory at all.

View attachment 124045

Scott is pointing out that the amount of time it takes for a pot to drain is only important when you are standing there waiting for it to happen. A bigger hole will drain faster than a small hole.

View attachment 124047

Look at the box. It is made of relatively wide boards so there is the potential for water to pool in the low spots. The extra holes will help prevent this from happening.

View attachment 124048

He never got mad he just tried to explain why it was not needed.

View attachment 124049

He also never said he was against air pruning. He was pointing out that a fibrous root system could be produced in a standard pot.

Go back and read before being demeaning.



@markyscott I hope I did not over step my bounds and put words in your mouth. It just kills me what someone comes in with opinions and 1 year of experience and calls someone out who has facts and real experience.
Not a problem Josef. I believe that I've come to the point where I have very little to offer Vinny. When one already knows all the answers, it becomes very difficult to approach the conversation with the mind of a student. Rather than continue the exchange and trade insults I will, with respect, bow out of the conversation. I'm sure that his insight will quickly turn his collection of seedlings into really wonderful bonsai. I look forward to seeing them.

Scott
 
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#75
potdes.JPG

Better drainage..............No
Better aeration...............No
Air pruning.....................Yes.

Try filling these pots with a fine mud and see how much ''aeration'' you get. Aeration has nothing to do with the area of mix exposed directly to the atmosphere. Aeration has EVERYTHING to do with how easily the air get gets to the roots inside the mix.
Yes there is more surface area exposed to the atmosphere with these pots, but that does not mean the roots breathe ''more'' or ''faster''. They breathe at the same rate as they do in a normal pot or in the ground. The exchange of gases from a root does not increase just because more is available. Understand? Why do tree roots in the ground go down instead of coming up for air? Answer: because there is enough air in the soil.

Try filling these pots with mud and see how much ''drainage'' you get. Equally, drainage has nothing to do with the amount of mix exposed to the atmosphere. Evaporation of water definitely does but we're not talking about evaporation. If you want faster drying then by all means use these pots.
Do you think more water will leave the medium if there are more holes? It will not. The water that leaves the medium (DRAINS FROM IT) is increased with the size of the particles which make it up.

The ONLY thing these pots will do is ''air prune'' and dry faster. And we have already talked about that.

These are the facts. There is nothing more to argue about.
 

Anthony

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#80
We also started experiments on going flatter as training pots go.
The idea being that reading showed many trees living in 3 feet or so of soil.

We have a cut off depth of 6 inches - more usually 5 inches for internal pot depth.

Anyhow now we have trees in large 16 inch by 3 inch deep saucers.
Here is an example - unidentified local tree, goes red for Christmas. leaves fall
and starts anew in a pretty light green.
Good Day
Anthony


red.jpg
 

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