There are important factors to consider when it comes to creating a perfect bonsai. Bonsai gardeners take a great deal of work just to obtain, care, and shape any tree into an accurate and beautiful representation of the art and science of bonsai. Choosing the tree species, lighting, temperature, frequency and amount of watering, and the type of soil are just some of the basics. Bonsai pots play a crucial role in attaining the best aesthetic look of a bonsai. Caring a bonsai requires thoughtfulness, attentiveness, and honesty that will eventually result in their very own quasi-Zen process.

Because we realize the importance of pots, we have dedicated this tutorial and share it with everyone who wants to be an expert bonsai gardener. We will provide you a comprehensive catalogue of bonsai pots. Here are the topics we will be covering today:

1. Basic Guidelines on Choosing a Pot for Your Bonsai

2. Types of Bonsai Pots According to Color and Material

3. Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Bonsai Pot

4. Bonsai Pot Sizes and Shapes

5. Repotting a Bonsai Tree

6. Underpotting and Overpotting Bonsai Trees

7. Rootbound Problem on Bonsai Trees

8. How to Buy a Bonsai Pot

Every bonsai tree is shaped to greatly reflect the mood and work of a bonsai gardener, along with his level of awareness. An important part of the overall look and the whole picture of a bonsai tree largely depends on the potting and bonsai tree arrangement with decorative stones and other ornaments. Choosing the right pot for your bonsai tree is one of the first steps in setting up a bonsai. A bonsai tree should be repotted soon after buying it in order to ensure its stability, vigor, and healthy growth.

1. Basic Guidelines on Choosing a Pot for Your Bonsai

Guideline #1: A Bonsai pot must be large enough for the bonsai roots to stretch a little. The root ends are vital in water and nutrient absorption so there should be enough room for them to draw moisture and nutrients from the soil easily.

Guideline #2: Whether you need to report your bonsai tree in a larger container or keep it in the same size it is currently using, it is largely dependent on the age of the bonsai  tree, bonsai tree species, presence and extent of rootbound, and whether you would like your bonsai tree to grow bigger or stay in the same size.

Guideline #3: Re-potting does not necessarily mean that you need to increase the size of your bonsai pot. Although there are many bonsai pots for sale in the market today, you need to consider the needs of your bonsai and your own gardening preferences. If your bonsai tree is already established and you perform regular root pruning every time you repot, you can retain the same size of bonsai pot indefinitely.

Guideline #4: Remember that the bigger the bonsai pot, the longer your bonsai tree can go in between watering sessions. When there are low humidity and extreme heat, it actually helps considering investing in bonsai pots that are slightly larger than the standard pot size.

Guideline #5: Ideally, the length of the bonsai pot should be around 2/3 the height of the bonsai tree. If the height of your bonsai tree is shorter as compared to its width, the length of the bonsai pot should be 2/3 the width of the bonsai tree’s spread. The width of the bonsai pot must be slightly narrower as compared to the spread of the bonsai tree’s longest branches, and this applies on both sides.

Guideline #6: The shape of the bonsai pot must relate to the bonsai tree’s style. Those with straight trunk style bonsai trees balance better when they are in rectangular bonsai pots, while soft-lined or curved trunk bonsai trees look better in a round, oval, round-cornered, or a rectangular pot. A rugged and powerful looking bonsai tree is best planted in a bonsai pot with hard angles.

These are the basic guidelines when choosing the best bonsai pot for your precious bonsai trees. You can keep these things in mind to help you become a better bonsai gardener as you start setting up your bonsai. You’ll learn more as you read further through this tutorial. For the meantime, you can check this video about bonsai pots!

2. Types of Bonsai Pots According to Color and Material

In general, many types of containers can serve as a beautiful and effective pot for any bonsai tree, as long as they are able meet certain requirements. A good bonsai pot should have drainage holes and wiring holes so your bonsai tree can be fixed to the container. Bonsai pots can be made out of the following:

  • Plastic
  • Ceramic or Porcelain
  • Concrete
  • Metals
  • Clay
  • Mica
  • Stoneware
  • Wood

However, metals may actually release toxins so it is better to choose other options. You can also make your own bonsai pots, but if you don’t have time, you can purchase bonsai pots for sale online or in bonsai stores near you.

A classic type of bonsai pot is one that is made of porcelain or ceramic, and one that is genuinely stoneware burned. These classic bonsai pots absorb and hold no water in their material, which is very important for the health of your bonsai trees.

Tips Choosing the Right Bonsai Pot Color and Material

Tip #1: Your bonsai tree’s health always comes first! Keep in mind that a finished bonsai tree usually has undergone many years of training just to adapt their roots to smaller pots. That is why the practice of the art of bonsai is a good lesson in patience, hard work, and perseverance, and these qualities definitely apply when choosing the right pot.

Tip #2: One of the most important things to remember when selecting a bonsai pot material is not only the aesthetic appearance but also the required measurement, most especially the depth of the pot.

Tip #3: Your bonsai pot should always compliment your bonsai tree’s attributes like the flowers, texture of the bark, thickness of trunk, and leaf and needle sizes and shapes.

Tip #4: Glazed colors of bonsai pots are recommended for fruiting and flowering bonsai trees. For evergreen bonsai trees, such as pine and juniper,  the muted tones of gray and brown are highly recommended. Glazed bonsai pots usually have designed such as flowers or birds.

Tip #5: Flowering or deciduous bonsai trees are best complemented by being displayed or planted in glazed bonsai pots having soft hues, like cream, green or light blue. Unglazed bonsai pots in colors brown, gray, and red clay are somber hues, which are the best complement with evergreen and conifer bonsai trees, portraying the harsh environment of the tree’s natural habitat. These unglazed bonsai pots are usually used to emphasize the age of the bonsai tree or when it is being used in expressing a quiet, relaxed atmosphere.

Display Pots and Training Pots

There are two types of basic bonsai pots, display pots, and training pots. While your bonsai is still in the training phase, it should remain in a functional and practical training pot. Display pots are typically made out of wood, plastic, or mica. Your bonsai training pot should provide enough space for a healthy and stable root system to grow, in order to achieve your bonsai tree’s desired trunk thickness as well as good branching. Bonsai training pots have large drainage holes, ensuring that the water doesn’t pool at the bottom, that can waterlog the root system and possibly kill your bonsai tree.

After completing the critical training phase, and it has fully developed, your bonsai can be repotted in a display bonsai pot. Display bonsai pots are generally more aesthetically appealing. They are typically made of ceramic with either a glazed or shiny finish or an unglazed or matte finish. The ceramic bonsai pots are frost-proof. Display bonsai pots can be attractive, and it’s important not to select a bonsai pot that overshadows the beauty of your precious bonsai tree. Instead, select one that will even enhance the beauty of your bonsai tree.

3. Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Bonsai Pot

Bonsai trees are such unique trees originating in Japan and different Asian countries. They are a piece of the art form, decorative in nature, and a part of the ancient tradition. The true art of bonsai cultivation greatly relies on the shape of the bonsai tree. But before you can perfect this art, part of the process is choosing the right bonsai pot for your precious bonsai trees.

There are important things to consider when choosing a bonsai pot for your bonsai tree. These would include the bonsai tree’s size, bonsai species, and your preferences. Let’s dig deeper on bonsai tree sizes in this section!

How to Form a Bonsai Tree

Cultivating a bonsai tree to become a piece of traditional art and a functional plant would require creative ideas and techniques used in keeping what would otherwise a normal tree that is restrained.

The methods for forming a bonsai tree would include trimming away unwanted leaves and needles from the growing bonsai tree, pruning roots and branches, and carefully using wires and mechanical devices to shape the bonsai tree. Every technique has a proper usage and place, but it is for the bonsai enthusiast to discover them.

Bonsai Tree Sizes

The size of a bonsai tree is considered as one of the most interesting parts of a bonsai. When it comes to the art of bonsai, it is actually making a young bonsai tree mimic the looks of a full-grown tree on a generally smaller scale, and this is entirely different from the intentional genetic breeding of dwarf trees, requiring no generational management of the tree’s genetic code. Bonsai trees require careful mechanical management of their appearance such as trimming and grafting.

Even if a bonsai is considered a relatively small tree, there are different sizes of bonsai trees. The smallest ones are little more than normal seedlings, while the largest bonsai trees grow in the famous Japanese imperial palace, requiring as many as four people just to move it. Remember that all bonsai trees are planted and grown in a pot, container, or tray. In the past, the classification of bonsai trees by size was done by counting how many hands it required to move a bonsai tree.

The names of bonsai trees and their exact sizes or size classification have also changed because the art and science of bonsai tree cultivation have been existing for over centuries. We have listed the most common and accepted bonsai tree sizes below, and with further details on each. Remember that other bonsai tree sizes can be encountered and found in different countries around the world. But these are just modern guidelines when it comes to bonsai tree size classification.

Size Classifications of a Bonsai Tree

The main size classifications of bonsai trees include the miniature, the medium size, and the large bonsai trees. Every classification has size subcategories that vary in exact specifics. Every bonsai tree is unique, and some bonsai trees may or may not fit into a category, and this is despite a bonsai tree’s exact size. But it is useful to have a general idea of what size classification your bonsai tree falls when choosing a bonsai pot.

There are expensive and cheap bonsai pots, and it can be overwhelming to choose the right one or your bonsai trees. Having a good reference, like the bonsai tree size will greatly help.

a. Miniature Bonsai

  • Kenshitsubo – This bonsai tree is the smallest variety of bonsai. It is little more than the artfully-designed seedling. It is also called “poppy seed-sized” bonsai trees. It is rarely exceeding more than 1 to 3 inches in height. You can easily lift Kenshitsubo with two fingers.
  • Shito – It is considered as the smallest common size bonsai tree. It is also called as “fingertip size”. It grows generally between 2 and 4 inches in height. It is usually found in a pot no larger than a thimble, hence also known as the “thimble bonsai”.
  • Shohin – This bonsai tree is in a category overlapping others, thus sometimes misusing its name. It grows between 2 and 6 inches in height. It is also called as the “palm bonsai”, as it easily fits in a palm. Shito and Shohin are highly differentiated from other miniature bonsai trees because of the techniques used in creating them.
  • Mame – It grows between 4 and 8 inches in height. It is considered the smallest among one-handed bonsai trees because it only takes a single hand to move it. Mame is placed in a larger pot than Shohin.
  • Komono – It is called “generic small” bonsai tree. It grows on average between 6 and 10 inches. It is almost the largest bonsai tree that can be moved using one hand.

While there are some variations between the exact heights of these bonsai trees, these are the most common size classifications of small bonsai trees.

b. Medium Bonsai Trees

  • Katade-Mochi – It is considered the largest bonsai classification which can be lifted using one hand. It grows ranging from 10 to 18 inches in height. It is one of the most common bonsai tree sizes to deal with. Katade-Mochi is neither too large to handle nor too small to prune.
  • Chumono, Chiu – These bonsai tree sizes are somehow similar. They’re both considered two-handed bonsai trees, growing between 16 and 36 inches in height. Their names can be interchangeable.
  • Medium Size and Big Size – English-speaking countries use these terms when sizing bonsai trees. The medium size bonsai is between 12 and 24 inches in height, while the big size bonsai is 24 to 36 inches.

c. Large Bonsai Trees

  • Omono – It is large bonsai tree size classification, the first among the four-hand category. It grows anywhere from 30 to 48 inches in height. It is differentiated from the Dai category in minor aspects, and they are both classified as very large bonsai trees in English.
  • Dai – It shares the same style and size range as the Omono bonsai. The major differences are most likely only known to traditional Japanese bonsai masters.
  • Hachi-Uye – It is considered as the largest bonsai trees. It is also called as six-hand bonsai trees because it takes as many as 3 people to move the bonsai tree in its pot. It grows between 40 and 60 inches tall.
  • Imperial – The Imperial bonsai tree is the most majestic and largest of all size classifications of bonsai trees. It grows between 60 and 80 inches tall. It is found mostly in Japanese imperial gardens. It is also called as eight-handed bonsai tree due to the number of people needed to move them.

Now, you have an in-depth knowledge of the different sizes of bonsai trees according to Japanese bonsai sizing classification. You can use it in choosing the best bonsai pots for your bonsai trees. You can always find affordable and cheap bonsai pots online or in actual pot stores. Check this video about the imperial bonsai trees today!

3. Bonsai Pot Sizes and Shapes

Bonsai pots for sale in the market come in different shapes and sizes. Let’s explore them and learn the best size and shape for your bonsai trees!

Bonsai Pot Size Considerations

These pot size “rules” are quite difficult to precisely follow. However, they are definitely good and helpful guidelines.

a. Length. It must be approximately 2/3 of the height of your bonsai tree.  If it’s a short tree and wider, you may consider 2/3 of the width.

b. Depth. It is the same size as the trunk’s caliper at the very base of your bonsai tree.  Basically, bonsai trees with “skinny” trunks are looking better in shallow pots. For heavy trunks, they need deeper bonsai pots.

Guidelines for Specific Bonsai Pot Shapes

a. Round Bonsai Pots

These are most often used to contain literati or bunjin, semi-cascade style, and cascade style bonsai trees, highly depending upon the depth.

b. Square Bonsai Pots

The square shape of bonsai pots is not commonly used in traditional styles. But they seem perfect at times.

c. Rectangle Bonsai Pots

These are perfect pots for straight trunk bonsai trees.

d. Rounded and Oval Corners on Rectangles

These are suited for curved trunk bonsai trees.

e. Lotus Shaped Bonsai Pots

These are used as a square or round bonsai pots.

f. Wide Shallow Bonsai Pots

These are the best for rock plantings, multiple trunks, forests, and rafts.

Placement Tips of Bonsai Trees in Pots

Tip #1: A bonsai tree in a rectangle or oval bonsai pot should be positioned a little behind the centerline of the pot. The position also depends on the shape of the bonsai tree. It must be a little to the right or left of the center. 

Tip #2: Bonsai trees with longer first branches reaching to the right are best planted a little towards the left. This will provide a balanced “picture”. Those bonsai trees with first branches reaching to the left are best planted toward the right side of the bonsai pot.

Tip #3: There exceptions involving round and square containers. Bonsai trees are positioned directly in the center whenever possible. This also includes cascade bonsai pots. The bonsai tree’s root system doesn’t always allow precise positioning.

Tip #4: Always style or shape your bonsai tree before choosing a bonsai pot. The art forms of bonsai and Ikebana have a lot of similarities when it comes to design guidelines.  The containers or pots may look similar, but ikebana containers don’t have holes in them while bonsai pots do. Holes provide proper water drainage, so these are necessary for the overall health of your bonsai tree.

Tip #5: Mica pots are good starter pots. They are frost proof, heavy duty, will not break even if dropped, and have a real thing appearance.

5. Repotting a Bonsai Tree

Repotting is very important for bonsai trees. It should be performed periodically on all bonsai species, most especially if the bonsai tree’s root system has already filled the bonsai pot. One of the reasons why repotting is necessary is to supply your bonsai tree with healthy and fresh soil. It is also done to encourage a more compact and healthy root system.

How to Re-pot a Bonsai Tree

For most deciduous bonsai trees, the general rule is they would require repotting for at least every 2 or 3 years. Evergreens only require repotting every 4 or 5 years. Because of different growth, this general rule may also not be followed. It is best to inspect the root system once in a while to see if it’s becoming pot bound.

Step-by-Step Guide in Re-potting a Bonsai Tree

Things You Need to Prepare

  • Pruning scissor
  • Container or pot
  • Root Hook
  • Wire (copper or aluminum)
  • Compost soil
  • Akadama
  • Water

Step #1: Determine the perfect time to repot your bonsai. Your bonsai tree needs to be repotted to prevent its roots from getting choked. Gently lift your entire bonsai tree from its pot to check if it is pot bound. If there is encircling of roots around the bonsai pot, then consider it the perfect time to repot your precious bonsai tree. If repotting is not done, the roots of a bonsai tree will grow so thickly, displacing all soil in its root system, leading to starvation.

Step #2: Determining and choosing the best time of year to repot your bonsai tree is very important. It is best performed in early spring because, by this time, your bonsai tree is pressured into trying to obtain and maintain a full foliage, this will be subjected to less of stress during repotting. In spring, the vigorous growth starts, thus helping your bonsai tree to recover and heal from any damage caused by repotting.

Step #3: It is important to remove the old compost soil from the roots of your bonsai tree. After lifting your bonsai tree from the pot, and you realized it needs repotting, you have to remove as much old compost soil as possible. Knocking the old soil out of your bonsai root system can be performed using your fingers or by using a specialized tool known as “root hook”. By gently disentangling the bonsai roots, you can remove grown thickly roots and those roots that are heavily clumped together.

Removing any excess bonsai roots and soil is a vital step when it comes to repotting. Always be careful to avoid drying out or damage of the root ball. 

Step #4: Removing some longer bonsai roots of your bonsai tree is the next step. After untangling the bonsai roots, it is good to prune back some of the longer roots to keep your bonsai tree from outgrowing the container. Be sure to remove any sick and rotting roots. Never remove more than 25% of the bonsai root mass for adequate water and nutrient absorption.

Step #5: Put back your bonsai tree in its pot. After trimming the bonsai roots, carefully reposition your bonsai tree into the pot. Filling the bonsai pot until it reached the brim with preferred bonsai potting mix should also be done after. By working into the soil and your bonsai tree’s root structure, these will prevent air pockets from being left behind in the root system.

Gravel, akadama, and compost with a ratio of 2-1-1 make up a good bonsai potting mix. Akadama pertains to a specialized granular clay which has been produced for potting and repotting bonsai trees. It is important to make some adjustments in this ratio based on your climate as well as bonsai tree species.

Step #6: Watering the bonsai tree after repotting helps the compost soil in settling. It is important to protect your bonsai tree against a strong gust of winds for at least a month after repotting to make sure that the roots are already somehow established.

Repotting bonsai trees is part of the general care you have to do once in a while because these trees that normally grow in the wild needs to adjust and adapt their pot life. You have just learned how to repot a bonsai tree correctly, you may want to watch this video to learn more about repotting!

6. Under Potting and Over Potting Bonsai Trees

Bonsai gardeners know that young bonsai trees require growing to develop their trunks with the characteristics necessary for a bonsai. By accelerating the growth and development of your young bonsai trees, it helps in building thick trunks and good “nebari” or good root spread before planting it into a bonsai pot or container for refinement.

The most commonly used and simplest method of trunk thickening is to plant the bonsai tree in the ground for several years. The unrestricted root growth in a large area of soil will help in promoting a strong and vigorous bonsai top growth, and in return thickens its trunk.

There are certain times that growing bonsai on the ground is not feasible for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the suitable land is not always available. Some bonsai species need frost protection during the winter season, and there’s a need to move them from their position in summer.

This simple solution seems to develop the bonsai tree in a pot. Although the speed of growth is greatly reduced as compared to the field growing, it can still achieve good results. However, the pot size for growing has a major contribution in determining the speed at which your bonsai tree grows.

Under Potting Bonsai Trees

A severely rootbound bonsai tree is one with roots that filled the bonsai pot where it has little or no soil for accommodating and sustaining the new roots. While the bonsai may survive and grow new leaves during Spring, it will be hard up in developing new shoots.

The lack of growth makes the trunk thickening and development non-existent. However, this situation can be resolved and prevented by ensuring that the bonsai tree is placed in a pot with sufficient room for extending its roots. A bonsai that is developed needs to be root pruned to be kept in a small bonsai pot while it is still having a fresh soil.

Over Potting Bonsai Trees

There is a fear among bonsai enthusiasts that bonsai growth can be slowed in a small pot that may lead to over potting. Many times you may hear bonsai enthusiasts advising planting a young bonsai tree into a large bonsai pot as much as possible in order to speed its growth.

However, planting a tree into a too large bonsai pot or over potting can be detrimental to the vigorous growth like under potting, which may leave a bonsai tree root-bound. You have to be aware that planting a bonsai tree into a large bonsai pot is not the same as planting a bonsai tree into the ground.

Reasons for Doing Regular Bonsai Potting as Opposed to Over Potting

Based on physics, water drains from bonsai pots until it reaches the lowest level of the saturated soil. At this point, the drainage will stop and the saturated layer of soil remains saturated. By this time, no more water will ever drain out.

The height of the column of soil highly depends on the nature of the soil mix, wherein a coarser soil mix has a lower or shallow layer of saturated soil instead of a finer mix. In a coarser soil, the retained total amount of water is lesser.

Water can then be removed from this soil’s saturated layer. Evaporation is also a cause because the water is wicked upward as the water evaporates from the soil’s surface. Water can be wicked out by the root absorption due to the transpiration of foliage.

If the roots of a bonsai tree are not established, it cannot remove so much water through transpiration, leaving too much water in the soil’s lower levels but not much of a real problem. However, the problem is if the bonsai pot is very large. The saturated level of the soil is not removed by the normal root colonization and problems start to arise.

If you’re using organic amendments such as bark, you’ll experience accelerated composting of soil. It only means that you’ll lose the effective soil particle size faster than if you use a smaller bonsai pot, that is wicked dry every day, and this is a common effect.

The bonsai pot that is used is too large, staying too wet and the organic amendments decay rapidly in the wet environment. There is decreased particle size, the soil collapses, increased saturation, retaining more water, roots remain in standing water and occurrence of root failure with or without the presence of pathogens.

What Happens if the Root is Not Wicked Dried

When you water your bonsai tree properly, a fresh and new charge of air is automatically pulled into the bonsai pot through the volume of water that is draining from the drainage holes.

Carbon dioxide and other gases are then purged from the soil, and the longer you will leave these gases in the soil, the longer you need to wait to introduce a new charge of oxygen, and the poorer the bonsai roots will be. If there is overpotting that does not require daily watering, then your bonsai will not be able to obtain an optimal soil environment.

What You Need to Do to Ensure a Wicked Dried Soil

The ideal environment for your bonsai trees is a soil that dries out every day. Therefore, the best bonsai potting practice is shifting to the next larger size bonsai pot after the time your bonsai tree achieves an established root, as evidenced by the formation of an intact bonsai root ball.

The best way to achieving a faster growth is shifting or repotting as soon as your bonsai trees produce intact root balls. This is considered a standard nursery practice. It is also a well-established principle. By doing this, you do not have to prune the top or disturb the root ball. There’s little or no shock at all, and you can perform it any time of the year. While bonsai practices may somehow complicate this because of specific root configurations, it is still applicable for training bonsai trees.

7. Rootbound Problem on Bonsai Trees

Bonsai trees become root bound or ‘pot bound’ when they start to outgrow their pots and are not repotted in larger containers.  Their roots tend to grow round and round, encircling inside the pot which halts healthy growth.

What is an Intact Rootball

This is a root ball that won’t fall apart even if you pot off the root ball or knock the nursery can. Even after a bonsai tree apparently occupies the entire soil spaces with its roots, it will still grow normally for a certain period of time because the tiny hair roots of the bonsai are still growing, promoting the exchange of gases and absorption of nutrients. The larger bonsai roots are still woody or not yet ‘lignified’, so they are still fairly active.

It is best to rule out ‘rootbound’ by the symptoms of bonsai growth and the roots’ physical density. For bonsai trees, they should be repotted and root-pruned before they experience rootbound conditions. It does not happen overnight. There’s a long gradual process of slowing growth and it may take several years before all new root growth will stop. It’s clearly evident what’s happening if you stop checking.

What are the signs of a root bound bonsai tree?

  • Slow growth or no noticeable new growth.
  • Roots are growing out of the drainage holes.
  • Bonsai trees that have been in the garden or nursery for too long without being repotted.

How to Resolve Root Bound

Step #1: Cutting the Roots

Make several downward cuts so that the bonsai tree’s circular roots are properly cut.  It forces the bonsai roots to grow outward when they’re replanted.

Step #2: Removing Unwanted Roots

Remove any brownish or blackish-colored roots. These roots are most likely dead.  Be sure to keep the white roots because these are alive.

Step #3: Massaging the Root Ball

You can massage the root ball of your bonsai tree because doing so will help loosen the root bound bonsai roots even more.

Step #4: Planting Your Bonsai Tree

Plant your bonsai tree and its newly freed roots in a pot that is larger or in the ground.  The newly cut bonsai roots grow outward and the bonsai will begin growing again.

We strongly advise that regularly potting bonsai trees into larger pots when the root mass needs it should be done to avoid rootbound. While it is a good practice to find the right size of bonsai pot for a particular bonsai tree, choosing the exact size is not really essential. Don’t be fooled using oversized pots and check your bonsai trees occasionally if they have become rootbound. Here is a helpful video about repotting a rootbound bonsai tree!

8. How to Buy a Bonsai Pot

Buying bonsai pots can be exciting but it can also be overwhelming and confusing, most especially if it is your first time. There are many types of bonsai pots available in gardening stores and even online. You’ll find suppliers who sell bonsai pots wholesale and retail. Bonsai pots for sale today come in various sizes, colors, and materials.

Bonsai Pot Size Chart 

Now, it is about time to have a standardized bonsai pot sizes. You don’t have to use one pot size catalog with one set of measurements, and then another catalog for something else. While stores use inches, most nurseries use gallons. Are you also having headaches because of these?

Figuring out bonsai pot sizes is really a headache, most especially if it is your first time setting up a bonsai tree. You’ll find listings listed in inches, gallons, and also ounces. It makes things so confusing.

We will break down the different bonsai tree pot sizes and measurements. We also have set general and accepted standards specifically for bonsai pot sizes. Just take note that these are just rough estimates and not the exact science. Some of the larger bonsai pot sizes are prone to variances when it comes to height, width, length, and depth of the pot.

Bonsai Pot Sizes (inches) Bonsai Pot Sizes (Pint, Quart, Gallon)
4” Bonsai Pot
0.5 quart 
5 to 6″ Bonsai Pot  0.25 gallon
7 to 8″ Bonsai Pot 
1 gallon
8.5” Bonsai Pot 
2 gallon 
10″ Bonsai Pot 
3 gallon 
12″ Bonsai Pot 
5 gallon 
14″ Bonsai Pot 
7 gallon
16″ Bonsai Pot10 gallon
18″ Bonsai Pot 15 gallon
24″ Bonsai Pot 25 gallon 
30″ Bonsai Pot 30 gallon

Tips in Buying Bonsai Pots

When it comes to buying bonsai pots, it is important to only deal with a trusted and reputable company. There are many bonsai pots for sale in the market today, and it can be so confusing to choose the best one for your bonsai tree. Of course, you want something that can hold your bonsai tree very well. Here are some tips:

Tip #1: Do a thorough research about the best bonsai pot supplier. Know the reputation of the supplier and check some online reviews from previous customers.

Tip #2: Enlarge the image. When you are buying bonsai pots for sale online, whether bonsai pots wholesale or retail, you need to enlarge or zoom out the image to determine the real color and appearance of the bonsai pot, most especially if you are buying one for decorative purposes.

Tip #3: Make sure that there are drainage holes and holes to connect the wires to hold your bonsai tree in place. Bonsai pots come in different sizes, shapes, and designs, and these are important aspects you need to keep in mind.

Tip #4: The type of material for your bonsai pots greatly depends on the bonsai species of your bonsai, the climatic condition in your area, and your personal preference. Metal bonsai pots may release toxins in extreme temperatures so you may want to avoid these types of pots, unless if they have a ceramic or plastic inner lining. The best material for bonsai is ceramic or porcelain.

Final Words

Now, you are more knowledgeable about bonsai pots. You are more confident to choose the best bonsai pot for your most precious bonsai, either for repotting or for transplantation. There are a lot of bonsai pots for sale online, but it is now less confusing for you because of all the details you have learned. We hope that you enjoyed this bonsai pot tutorial! Feel free to comment below and share this with your friends and family through your social media account. Happy bonsai potting!