How To Repot A Bonsai For Beginners?

Repotting a Bonsai tree saves it from leading to death as well as increases its growth. By following some strict procedures, you can repot your Bonsai tree regularly. Therefore, keeping a clear idea on how to repot a Bonsai is mandatory for beginners. 

There is a fixed time to start this process. The process starts with teasing out the old compost. Then, the growing medium should be placed appropriately to repot. Positioning the Bonsai tree in the growing medium perfectly plays a significant role in its rapid growth. The last move is to water it and wait for a certain time. 

However, you’ll need some easily findable tools to complete the whole repotting process. Here you also learn everything in detail about repotting indoor Bonsai. For your convenience, we’ve also briefly elaborated on the best Bonsai repotting kit

how to repot a Bonsai

Which tools do you need for the perfect Bonsai repotting kit?

The tools you’ll need for the perfect Bonsai repotting aren’t highly expensive. You can find all the items in your nearby store easily. Let’s have a quick look at the list of the essential tools for this purpose. 

  • Root rakes- (one piece)
  • Chopsticks- (one pair)
  • Scissors- high quality, large-sized (one piece)
  • Pruning shears- (not mandatory)
  • Wire cutters/ root cutters- (one piece)

Best Bonsai repotting kit

There are a few Bonsai repotting kits available in the marketplace. Among them, the 9GreenBox Bonsai potting kit is the most popular one. Here you learn a brief elaboration on the 9greenBox Bonsai potting kit with pros and cons.

9GreenBox Bonsai Potting Kit

Best Bonsai repotting kit

9GreenBox Bonsai potting kit is a little-sized pot for both interior and exterior purposes. It is a complete potting kit with various styles. Its length is 6.25 inches which is convenient to the users. As it comes with only 14.4 ounces weight, it’s easy to carry. 

This potting kit is made of molded plastic which ensures longevity. You’ll get around a clip with the package to tie-down wire for trees. The drain screens and rocks are added to the package. So, you don’t need to find authentic rocks from anywhere. 

The soil that comes with the package is full of all kinds of necessary nutrients. Once the soil gets in touch with the Bonsai plant, it’ll grow up to the expected height. The setup of this pot along with the soil is super easy. You’ll find a lot of videos to make it happen. 

One thing to remember, Bonsai plants require well-draining soil for better results. So, you need to sift the soil. Another hack is to add some inorganic with the soil. Decorative rocks don’t contribute to any impact on the soil.

However, you can add some lava rocks to the soil of this package. These rocks will enrich drainage capability on a larger scale. When performing this action, never apply too much water as it can rot the root of the Bonsai. 

If you think about the longevity of the pot, it’ll last longer than any conventional pot. Despite its plastic build, it’s sturdy enough. The pot for Bonsai must be similar in height to the width of the root. In general cases, pots are 1 to 2 thirds of the tree’s height. Hence, this repotting kit could be one of the best picks for you. 

Pros of 9GreenBox Bonsai potting kit

  • It ensures the safe growth of the Bonsai tree.
  • This kit comes with quality soil with huge nutrients.
  • The soil of the kit performs the perfect drainage.
  • It helps in perfect water retention throughout the whole time.
  • The plastic material of the pot doesn’t decay and mix with the soil anyhow.
  • It comes with an attractive price range.

Cons of 9GreenBox Bonsai potting kit

  • The soil may seem too loose.
  • It comes without any direction about repotting. 

The right process to repot a Bonsai 

Repotting Bonsai is all about following some easy but strict steps. If you’re a beginner, this section can help you with how to repot a Bonsai precisely.

Step:1- Determine a fixed time

  • The right time to start the repotting process is when the roots begin to choke themselves off. You may notice the roots have started circling the Bonsai tree. In that case, repotting is mandatory. 
  • If you’re talking about the season, spring is the best time to start repotting. The vigorous growth of Bonsai starts early in the winter. 

Step:2-  Gather all the tools 

  • Gather all the basic tools altogether first. You must gather new-looking root rakes, scissors, and chopsticks for the convenient output. 
  • Put the sharp tools away from the working place. Keep the tools in a safe place folded with a paper or packet. 

Step:3- Cut away the roots

  • Observe the condition of the roots on the old pot. If they’re anchored inappropriately, you need to cut away from them. 
  • Apply the scissors to cut away the roots precisely. Then, the Bonsai is ready to be removed from the pot. 

Step:4- Remove the old soils

  • Try to remove the maximum amount of old soil from the old pot. 
  • Apply a root hook to remove the soil from the pot. If you can’t remove the soil from the tough corners, use your finger to knock it off. 
  • In case you don’t have the root hook, you can go for the chopsticks. Remember, you shouldn’t damage the root of the Bonsai anyhow.

Step:5- Cover the drainage of the pot

  • To cover the drainage hole, cut some of the Bonsai roots first. Don’t cut more than 30% of the root using pruners or scissors. 
  • Use mesh to cover the drainage hole properly. 
  • Attach an extra wire to stabilize as well as anchor the tree to the desired pot. 
  • To create a layer, add the layer of heavy grain soil at the first move. You should go for lava rocks for better results. Using grit or akadama is also acceptable. 
  • After that, you need to add some soil. It makes the layer perfectly prepared. You don’t need to flatten the soil because the next step is about repositioning the Bonsai tree. 

Step:7- Reposition the Bonsai tree

  • Start this step by lowering the Bonsai tree back into the desired pot. Carefully place the plant so that its roots are positioned nicely and safely.
  • The last move is to add some water to the soil. It helps the soil to settle and keeps the tree strong enough. 

When to repot Bonsai?

Late winter is the best time to repot Bonsai. The middle of February is considered the best time to do this work. In that time, all kinds of plants grow naturally on a larger scale. 

People often make mistakes by repotting Bonsai during the winter season. At that time, the Bonsai starts to rest and be prepared for the winter season. 

If your Bonsai is planted in the depicted time, it’ll lose its old leaves automatically. Therefore, the fertilizer can create an impact on the new leaves. The growth of the leaves will also be noticeable than at other times. When you see the roots are circling, then be ready to start repotting. 

How often should I repot a Bonsai?

The time varies depending on some factors. They are their size, pot size, and others. Usually, it’s suggested to repot a Bonsai tree every 3 to 5 years. You can notice their roots to understand the exact time. 

If the Bonsai tree is a younger one, then the time should be decreased to 2 years. As the age of the Bonsai increases, the interval of repotting it decreases. 

Do you water Bonsai after repotting? 

Yes, you must water Bonsai after repotting. But, it’s not recommended to apply water at that moment. Wait for at least a week to fix the roots in the soil properly. Then, you can apply water to the soil of the pot. The main purpose of watering Bonsai is to keep the roots moist. 

So, never apply too much water so that its roots get rotten. Before watering it, keep the pot with Bonsai under the full sun. It will help the Bonsai to grow a resistant power against incoming troubles like air. 

When to fertilize Bonsai after repotting? 

When to fertilize Bonsai after repotting? 

There are various suggestions about fertilizing Bonsai after repotting. We recommend waiting for three to four weeks after repotting. If you apply fertilizer very soon after repotting, it may damage the roots. The most common problem is burning the roots due to fertilizer. 

It’s possible that the combination of new soil and fertilizer may not be tolerable to the roots. Hence, you should let the roots tolerate the environment in the pot for a few days. 

How to repotting Bonsai in summer?

Repotting Bonsai in summer isn’t a wise move because the risk of failure is maximum here. But, you can perform it by applying your skills properly. Follow these steps to repot Bonsai in the summer season. 

  • Start the process by selecting the right pot. Neither too large nor too small pot should be selected to repot a Bonsai. The pot must be made of ceramic or high-quality plastic material. Selecting a pot with vibrant color and texture makes it gorgeous to look at. 
  • Now, prepare the new pot by dealing with the drainage screens. 
  • Then, remove the tree from the old pot and put it inside the new pot. You need to detach the root ball first. Perform this step carefully. Otherwise, the Bonsai tree may get wasted by the damage of its root. 
  • Refill the new soil inside the new pot equally on the surface. You may add necessary rocks and compost with it. Adding fertilizer is appreciable but you should do it after a few days. 
  • As you’re doing the work in the summer season, you need to water the Bonsai. Watering should be continued until the soil becomes slightly muddy. Adding more water may rot the root of the Bonsai. So, carefully add water and wait for repotting. For better results, you should apply water until the water looks clear. 

How to repot an indoor Bonsai tree ?

Repotting indoor Bonsai trees is similar to the exterior Bonsai repotting process. Here are some suggestions you need to follow.

  • Select a suitable place first to make the whole process successful. A place with sufficient air as well as sunlight should be preferred. 
  • After that, select a convenient pot and start preparing it. Make the drainage system of the pot clear. A clogged drainage system can destroy the life of a Bonsai easily. 
  • Take off the Bonsai from the old pot using scissors or pruners carefully. Use your fingers to take out the roots from the soil perfectly. 
  • Now, mix the soil and rocks in the new pot to make a layer. 
  • Now, plan the Bonsai tree inside it and fill the roots with water. 
  • For better results, keep the pot under sunlight for a few days. 

Benefits of repotting your Bonsai tree

Repotting a Bonsai tree comes with many beneficial points. Some of the top benefits of repotting a Bonsai tree are depicted here briefly.

  • Repotting a Bonsai tree helps to improve the nutrients of the soil. As the plant’s growth is directly dependent on nutrients, it’s necessary. 
  • This process increases the volume of the corresponding soil. As a result, the capability of holding more water becomes easier. 
  • The Bonsai may get faded if it’s not cared for properly. Keeping it under the repotting process makes it highly selectable as long-living Bonsai. 
  • Repotting a Bonsai increases the number of leaves a lot. If the Bonsai isn’t repotted, it’ll gradually lose a huge number of its leaves. 
  • The root’s shape of a Bonsai is unpredictable unless it’s grown in a pot. So, you can easily bring a convenient shape to the Bonsai root by repotting the Bonsai. 


This section reveals some common questions about repotting Bonsai. 

Can you repot and prune a bonsai at the same time?

The best move is to prune when in active growth. You may perform branch pruning for the encouragement of the blooms. Combining root pruning while repotting is a common scenario. So, you can repot and prune a Bonsai at the same time.

Should you fertilize a bonsai after repotting?

You can fertilize Bonsai after repotting. But, for better results, experts tell us to wait for three to four weeks. This action helps to protect the Bonsai root from the fertilizer burn. Besides, it helps to grow the Bonsai perfectly. 

After repotting bonsai, can I feed them liquid fertilizer?

It’s completely okay to feed liquid fertilizer after repotting Bonsai. If you repot Bonsai in a dry condition, it may die. So, you can feed Bonsai tree liquid fertilizer without any fertilizer. 

What kind of soil does a bonsai tree need?

Bonsai trees need neutral pH which lies between 6.5 to 7.5. The soil must contain akadama, pumice, lava rock, organic potting, and potting compost. These ingredients help the soil to be enriched. Hence, the Bonsai will be grown gradually. 

Final words

Repotting Bonsai is difficult unless you follow proper steps. From putting and mixing the soil properly to placing the Bonsai- everything follows a sequence. However, your misconception on how to repot a Bonsai must have disappeared now. 

You need to prepare the soil perfectly with the help of the potting kit. While purchasing the potting kit, you should follow our suggestions. You need to check the plastic pot properly before starting the process if there’s any crack. A cracked or damaged pot can’t make the Bonsai repotting successful. 

To perform this process successfully, you’ll also need new and good-working tools. By adding sufficient water to the soil, you can increase the capability of Bonsai easily. Along with adding the necessary rocks, you’re allowed to add some decorative rocks too. All the beginners can enter into the Bonsai world now without thinking for a moment.