The word ‘bonsai’ literally means a tree planted in a pot. It is the art of aesthetic miniaturization of trees or of developing woody or semi-woody plants shaped as trees, by growing them in containers. The cultivation process includes techniques for shaping, watering and repotting in various styles of containers.
One of the most vital components for bonsai is the bonsai pot. In fact, it is essentially one of the apparatus used to help keep the bonsai tree small by restricting the root growth. The pots that are used to create bonsai trees are unique. They differ from regular pots used for household plants. Unlike other pots, Bonsai pots have large drainage holes at the bottom. In combination with the special Bonsai soil used and the watering techniques, the Bonsai pot helps to keep the Bonsai tree from becoming waterlogged. The designing and production of bonsai pots is an art and there are many craftsmen who deal with pot layouts and their final production. These pots are generally expensive, therefore it is advisable for beginners to use any mass produced inexpensive pot for personal purposes. There are many different types of pots that can be used to nurture bonsai trees.
Clay pots might be termed as old fashioned but are still very popular since they are inexpensive, easy to find and available in many shapes and sizes. The earthy color and texture blend well with most furniture styles and also do not overshadow the plant. Being porous, clay pots absorb moisture and permit air circulation. They also help to prevent over watering and over fertilization. The excess salts appear as a white crust on the pot sides, an indication which any non-porous container cannot spell out. In recent times, plastic pots have gained immense popularity being easy to clean, lightweight even when watered, inexpensive to buy and available in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. However, being non-porous such types of pots do not absorb any moisture or allow air circulation. There is a positive to this as well. The plants in plastic pots remain moist longer than plants in porous containers and need to be watered less frequently, as a result of which they turn out to be the best choice for moisture loving plants.
The glazed ceramic bonsai pots look extremely decorative as they come in an array of colors and patterns. The prices vary according to size and decoration. A wide range of metal containers of copper, brass, silver, pewter, polished steel, iron and aluminum are also available and are designed to suit any decor. However, the fall out of these pots is that they require regular cleaning or polishing and have high chances of getting damaged due to water logging. To prevent such damage, one can either line the pot with heavy plastic or place a drainage saucer inside to avoid water damage. Also available are wooden containers that are relatively inexpensive and available in many sizes, shapes and wood types. Stained or varnished wood is usually non-porous. Untreated wood containers can be porous and need to be soaked before hand same as in the case of clay pots.
Baskets could serve as another alternative for bonsai pots. Baskets can be found in a profusion of shapes, sizes and price ranges. Made out of natural materials, they are usually seen in shades of beige or brown but some woven containers are painted or stained in a variety of colors. A major negative of using baskets is that the watered plants tend to leak, which could probably ruin furniture surfaces and eventually the basket. The most inexpensive bonsai pots come in the form of cookie jars, ice buckets, pitchers, coffee pots, jars, watering cans or anything else that has adequate space to hold potting mix and a plant. However, drainage holes will obviously be lacking in this innovative pot. One can always cut down the cost factor linked to bonsai in terms of the bonsai pot, all one requires is creativity and some novel ideas.
More Articles :