COLOURS AND STRUCTURES OF A BONSAI POT
Unglazed pots are generally used for conifers, although they can be used for other species. Glazed pots can be used for many deciduous, flowering and fruit bearing trees. The pot should be chosen to harmonize best with the seasonal colouring in which the tree is most beautiful. The chart below refers to some glaze colours suitable for flower, fruit, leaf or bark colour.
|Characteristic Colour of the Tree||Pot Colour|
|White||Pastel yellow, green, celadon, faint red, light blue up to dark blue, white, very dark colours|
|Yellow||Dark green, dark without glaze, blue, celadon|
|Red||Pastel blue, dark blue, green, dirty white|
|Orange||Dark brown, green with or without glaze|
|Pink||Blue, green, white or fruit-stone colours|
|Blue||Red, yellow, faint white, fruit-stone colours, metal grey|
|Variegated or white leaves||Black or dark green|
|Conifers and evergreens||Brown, reddish, grey without glaze, black or faint white|
|Conifers (with shiny green leaves, reddish bark and deadwood)||Terracotta without glaze|
|Deciduous trees with soft, delicate looks||Soft grey with or without glaze|
Note: Think twice before using pots with glossy or flashy glazes.
SHAPES AND DECORATION OF BONSAI POTS
The chart above shows some characteristics that determine the optical meaning and strength of a pot. A strong tree has a thick, dominating trunk, well-defined strong branches, a rough bark texture and strong surface roots. Pots can express an active or passive feeling with their shape. These fine characteristics in the pot's visual power make it possible that e.g. a lightly and delicately looking pot makes the creation more dynamic. As a general rule, the more striking and prominent the feet, the rim or edge of a pot and the more ornamental the shape, the more active is its effect.
The passive containers are usually those that are moderate and in which the edges and feet are integrated into the total appearance of the pot. The following chart shows some shapes that are used with different styles.
|Style||Pot Shape (common)||Pot Shape (also possible)|
|Formal upright||Rectangular, shallow or medium shallow, oval shallow or medium shallow.||Rounded shallow, square or irregular, oval irregular shallow.|
|Informal upright||Shallow or medium shallow, linear or oval. Shallow, irregular, oval.||Very shallow, rounded, or rounded irregular. Hexagonal, octagonal, square.|
|Slanting||Rectangular or oval, shallow or medium shallow. Oval irregular. Shallow rounded. Irregular rounded.||Shallow octagonal, hexagonal or square.|
|Semi-Cascade||Rounded, square, octagonal, hexagonal, medium deep.||Medium deep rounded irregular. Deep rounded or square.|
|Cascade||Deep, hexagonal, octagonal or square.||Shallow rectangular or oval, medium deep.|
|Broom Style||Stone slab, shallow. Shallow free shape. Rectangular or oval.||Shallow rounded, sqare, hexagonal, octagonal.|
|Bunjin||Shallow rounded. Shallow free shape.||Shallow oval or rechtangular.|
|Twin trunk||Shallow or medium shallow, oval or rectangular. Stone slab.||Shallow or medium shallow, rounded or square.|
|Clump||Shallow or medium shallow, square, hexagonal, octagonal, lotus flower shape. Stone slab. Shallow rectangular or oval.||Medium deep rounded, square, hexagonal.|
|Raft||Shallow oval, rectangular. Free shape. Stone slab.|
|Group planting||Shallow oval, rectangular. Free shape. Stone slab.|
|Rock planting||Shallow oval or rectangular, with or without drainage holes.|
|Saikai||Shallow oval or rectangular.||Special shapes.|
Note: A plant container that gets narrower toward the bottom is more frost resistent than containers with vertical or curved walls. Pots with convex walls are more difficult for repotting, because the root ball has to be cut around the pot's edges in order to remove the tree from the pot.
This article was kindly provided by BONSAI ART.
Photographs: Tom Heyken, BONSAI ART grafik
Pots: Peter Krebs
Translation: Heike van Gunst