Preparing a pot

Preparing a pot to plant a bonsai requires a few steps.
1. Plastic canvas is cut, large enough to overlap each drainage hole.
2. Using a piece of wire (2-2.5 mm aluminum is good), make a “staple” that will secure the plastic canvas over the drain hole, punching the open ends through the plastic far-enough apart so they touch each side of the drain hole. This keeps them from sliding around:

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Place the screen in the bottom of the pot, and press the ends through the bottom of the pot:

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Flip the pot over, and spread the ends of the wire, so the wire has no slack, and the screen is immobilized:

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Add tie-in wires. All bonsai should be tied in to the pot:

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A pigtail adds the 5th tie-in:

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I start with the back left wire (1), and pull it forward to the front left wire (2), and twist them together with pliers. Then, pull the #2 wire across the front to the front right wire (3), twist it down, and pull the #3 wire to the back right wire (4), and twist it down. Finally, the pigtail is pulled to the front left wire to complete the 4-way tie down.

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When it’s tied in, shorten the wire ends and keep them below the rim of the pot. Done right, you can lift the tree by the trunk!

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The pot? Aiba Koyo, arch stamp. Happy repotting season!

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