buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

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buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  remist17 on Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:18 pm

I am going to be buying some pots for my plants. I am not sure what sort of pot to buy. I see plastic ones out there that are cheap. Mica ones are also not that expensive. I will never be showing these plants and will just be on display for my family and I. What are some of the benefits or cons of buying plastic pot or mica pots?


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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  D-Ho on Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:25 pm

I'm not very knowledgeable about comparing them but my observation is that plastic seems to fade easier. Also, if plastic photodegrades faster then it would seem that it would crack, stain, warp faster or worse then mica. Mica may be more insulative (cold and heat protection) but I am not certain.

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  Orion on Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:46 pm

If these pots are going to be, more or less, a permanent home for the trees, then go with something a little nicer. You can pick up mica pots pretty much at any bonsai nursery and they work just fine.

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  drgonzo on Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:05 pm

I use Mica pots for both their complimentary aesthetics as well as their horticultural features. Things that like cool roots in the summer, Bougey, Beeches, Larches etc all enjoy Mica. I really like the look of mica as well and for LARGE forest plantings it puts the price for say a 23 inch pot in a range I can afford. Wee-tree and Old tree bonsai both have nice selections and prices.
-Jay

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  JimLewis on Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:11 pm

Plastic pots look like . . . plastic pots. Most are simple rectangles and most are visually too deep for their width and length. You can find them in brown or black. They last quite a long time, but do eventually become warped and/or brittle.

Mica pots are designed to look like unglazed pottery; the drum pots, for example, even have the raised dots around the sides. They only come in a dark gray. With proper care, and a faint touch of oil beforehand, mica pots can occasionally be used at club shows. They last forever. One caveat: Squirrels seem to love to gnaw on the pot rims.

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  remist17 on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:28 pm

thank you for your help.

What about ceramic? is there any place that offers fair price>

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  Orion on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:35 pm

ok, what's fair??

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:51 pm

remist17 wrote:thank you for your help.

What about ceramic? is there any place that offers fair price>

I was surprised not only by the selection but the pricing and reasonable shipping cost at Bonsai Monk...http://www.bonsaimonk.com/
-Jay

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  coh on Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:27 pm

I attended the Mid Atlantic bonsai symposium in Harrisburg this past spring, and one of the vendors was selling mica pots at very good prices. Unfortunately I didn't buy as many as I should have...but if you're reasonably close to Harrisburg you might want to check it out next year.

Chris

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  remist17 on Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:35 pm

coh wrote:I attended the Mid Atlantic bonsai symposium in Harrisburg this past spring, and one of the vendors was selling mica pots at very good prices. Unfortunately I didn't buy as many as I should have...but if you're reasonably close to Harrisburg you might want to check it out next year.

Chris


If you have any information on the Harrisburg show I would sure appreciate it. Harrisburg is about 45 minute drive.

I can not afford $50 bucks for a 10" pot. I am lookin more like 10 or 12 dollars for a 10" pot.
Maybe I have a bad view of what a pot should cost and what I expect to pay.

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  drgonzo on Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:59 pm

10 or 12 dollars for a 10 inch pot definitely puts you in the plastic pot category, thats the only thing I can think of where you can get that sort of size for that price. There are a few larger Bonsai product dealers that have a good bulk price on plastic training pots.

I understand you brother, moneys tight all around.
-Jay

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  coh on Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:37 pm

remist17 wrote:If you have any information on the Harrisburg show I would sure appreciate it. Harrisburg is about 45 minute drive.

Info can be found at http://midatlanticbonsai.freeservers.com/

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  Poink88 on Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:25 pm

remist17 wrote:
I can not afford $50 bucks for a 10" pot. I am lookin more like 10 or 12 dollars for a 10" pot.
Maybe I have a bad view of what a pot should cost and what I expect to pay.

For that budget (as I told you in the other forum) check Craigslist in your area. I recently bought 10 pots mostly 8"-14" (8 are Japanese made 2 are unknown) and I paid $150.00 for them as posted here http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t8682-chop-mark-pot-id-help-needed . This is not the norm but you just might get lucky. Smile

Otherwise, you can only get new 10" plastic pot for that money. Sorry.

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  RKatzin on Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:13 am

Dallas Bonsai Garden has the best deal I've found on bundles of plastic pots. Approx. 3- 9x12x4 for about $25. They are what they are, good temporary training pots. They don't split, crack, peel or run down your leg.

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Plastic or Mica pots

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:27 am

How much do you pay for your trees? If you invest money in a pre-bonsai tree, then train it for a few years, then even for showing to your family it is worth a ceramic pot. If you had a nice painting, wouldn't you buy a decent frame for it, not a plastic one?
The cheapest way to get ceramic pots is to buy used ones. Join the nearest bonsai club. Members often have pots they are not using & would part with for a few dollars. From time to time, a bonsai grower dies or retires & has a slew of old pots for sale. You have to learn how to pick them out, & they will usually need cleaning, but it's worth it. A good used pot is sometimes worth more than a new one.
Iris

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  RKatzin on Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:34 pm

Hi remist, back when I started bonsai I bought a lot of nursery stock and put everything into a training pot. I needed lots of pots and plastic was the only way I could get that many. To not make a long story even longer, let's just say you live and you learn and now most of those trees have been planted out to do some serious growing. I ended up with up with a lot of pots sitting on the shelf and I'll more than likely never use them again, now I know about training boxes I can make myself and work lots better than plastic trainers. They're still good for temporary pots, wipe them down with armor-all and they look like new. If you want some you are welcome to them for the price of shipping. BTW, I grew up back in your area, Reading, Birdsboro, Douglassville, still dream of the hills covered in wild blueberry bushes. Ate myself into a stuper more than once!

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  remist17 on Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:44 pm

thank you all for your comments and offers. I actually found a place local that sold nice ceramic pots. I bought 3 pots this weekend.

Will these freeze and break in PA winters?

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Re: buying plastic or mica pots. Need help

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:51 am

remist17 wrote:
Will these freeze and break in PA winters?
Can't tell without seeing & feeling the pots. The most important feature to check is whether they are porous. Does water soak into the clay or roll off? If they are high fired enough to be completely non-absorbent, chances are they are frost-hardy. If water soaks in at all, they are likely to crack at below freezing temperatures. In some cases, the clay may be frost hardy but the glaze might develop little cracks. The standard good quality Chinese & Japanese pots nowadays are all frost hardy. Other pots you have to ask. If you are not sure, use the pot for an indoor bonsai.
Iris

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