How to trim bonsai root
Hello, thank you for visiting this bonsai root cutting tutorial. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to cut the root of bonsai and what to be careful of when you cut the root.
Why to cut the roots?
As plants grow, their roots grow too. And for bonsai, their roots are in a small pot so if their roots overgrow, they block out everything else in the pot (water absorption, drainage, aeration, etc).
This can ruin the plant itself.
How to cut the bonsai root and what to be careful about
First, cut the wire that's holding the plant.
Make the soil loose from the pot using a stick or something.
You shouldn't take the plant out forcefully because it can ruin the root.
Take the soil off.
Basically, you need to take most of the soil off so you can see the shape of the root.
First, from the bottom.
Then the top.
After you can see the shape and the condition of the root,
start cutting the root from the longest roots.
The ones you need to cut (but don't need to cut it all. It depends on the size and conditions of your root and plant.)
- fat roots
- bent roots
- roots crossing other roots
- roots growing straight down
- roots growing outward and then inward
- roots with bumps(which may be root disease)
These roots can affect the shape of the plant, and how the trunk, branches and leaves grow.
A good root shape grows out equally in all directions.
Roots that grow parallel to the ground are also good. (To make the root grow like this you need to put the plant in a thin pot so the root can't grow straight down.)
When cutting a fat (big) root, it is better to cut it at a diagonal so the part that's cut can have more room to get water and nutrients.
What to be careful about
- Plants get water and other nutrients from their small and thin roots ( I call it "root's hair" ) so if you cut too many of those roots the plant can't get what it needs to grow.
- It is not recommended to feed any fertilizer to the plant after root cutting at least for about a month. (because the plant itself is weak now and not good at absorbing whatever it takes to grow from its root -- it can ruin the root.)
- Use sharp scissors to prevent the root from becoming waggedy-edgidy-dwingy.
After you're done re-potting, water the plant and take it outside and let it get lots of sunlight!
Thanks and Happy Bonsai! Root Cutting!pictures by Bonkichi. A lot of thanks!