New to bonsai - Preparing for winter

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New to bonsai - Preparing for winter

Post  tsbonsai on Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:16 pm

Hi guys, I was wondering if I could get a little advice. I decided to get into bonsai a couple months ago, and after lots of research, I decided on a Chinese Elm and Bald Cypress.

Last week, I received my 3" pot Bald Cypress and 3" pot Chinese Elm from Meehan's Miniatures (Meehansminatures.com) in MD. They are pictured below.

Chinese Elm


Bald Cypress


I don't want to keep them inside over the winter (I've heard all the terrible tales), but I live in an apartment, so I can't plant them in the ground. I do have a porch I can keep them on, but it will get pretty cold over the winter in this part of Ohio (zone 5).

I know the pots they're in right now are too small for the cold to come (and I have bigger pots to move them to), but I also have read I should only do repotting in spring.

So that's my dilemma. Should I re-pot them now, even though it's fall, into bigger containers for the winter weather?

Thanks in advance! Any advice would be appreciated.


Last edited by tsbonsai on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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New to Bonsai, Preparing for Winter

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:16 am

Don't repot now. Take them in their pots, as is, and put the pots in bigger pots, say 1 gallon, with soil, mulch, bark, or peat moss. Just keep them outside on your porch for now, watered when dry. About the middle of November, when night temperatures go below 25 F, pack them in an insulated box, like a picnic cooler or a dead freezer. Remove all leaves, moss, weeds, etc. Surround them with peanuts up to their knees. The leave the box outside on the porch for the winter, next to the house. Peek at them occasionally to make sure they don't need water. In the spring you can gradually acclimate them to outdoors, but once they start to leaf out, keep them above freezing.
In the spring you can repot them in bonsai soil into training pots or bulb pans.
Iris

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Re: New to bonsai - Preparing for winter

Post  tsbonsai on Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:04 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Take them in their pots, as is, and put the pots in bigger pots, say 1 gallon, with soil, mulch, bark, or peat moss.
Thanks! Such a simple, but perfect, solution!

bonsaisr wrote:The leave the box outside on the porch for the winter, next to the house. Peek at them occasionally to make sure they don't need water.

Just to follow up, how dry is too dry for the bald cypress? Right now, I keep its soil pretty moist, but for the winter, should I just make sure its damp?

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Re: New to bonsai - Preparing for winter

Post  JimLewis on Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:03 pm

Just to follow up, how dry is too dry for the bald cypress? Right now, I keep its soil pretty moist, but for the winter, should I just make sure its damp?

Yup. Bald cypress in pots don't need to stay WET all the time.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: New to bonsai - Preparing for winter

Post  tsbonsai on Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:40 pm

JimLewis wrote:Yup. Bald cypress in pots don't need to stay WET all the time.
Got it! Thanks!

I'll move them inside some bigger pots tonight and get them ready for winter.

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Re: New to bonsai - Preparing for winter

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