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:




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

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


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


A pigtail adds the 5th tie-in:


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, #4 is twisted to the pigtail wire (5) to complete the 4-way tie down.


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!

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


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