Bonsai: How to make a bonsai (selecting a bonsai container)

A bonsai tree is a work of art with its primary elements expressive of harmony and balance. Therefore, both the aesthetic and practical sides must be considered when choosing its containers.

The four characteristics of a bonsai container are shape, colour, size, and material. . Bonsai growers should choose bonsai containers that will coordinate well with the type and style of tree. Determining the suitable container depends on the design of the bonsai tree, the thickness of its trunk, and its height. The pot should physically balance the weight of the tree in the soil. The spread and growth of bonsai roots also matter. In addition, it is advisable to use a large container that gives enough room for two years of growth. Generally, containers having straight sides and sharp corners are better for formal presentation of plants. Plants with informal shapes are appropriate for round or oval containers. When selecting the pot colour and finish to best complement the tree, growers can refer to many formal as well as informal rules. Bonsai containers should have proper drainage holes to allow excess water to drain. Plastic screen or mesh is also necessary to prevent soil leakage and infestation of pests.

There are collectible bonsai pots like ancient Japanese and Chinese pots which were made by skilled pot makers from Yixing, China and Tokoname, Japan. Fine quality bonsai pots have been also produced by western potters across the U.S. and Europe.