Repotting Old Chojubai
Every few years Chojubai need repotting. And for Chojubai, the size of the pot often determines when that is.
This specimen is like many Chojubai in larger pots—they can waltz along for years without getting root bound. In a small pot they will tighten up in 2-3 years. But in a large pot they can take a while. (Unlike a maple, which can get root bound in any size pot while you take a tea break.)
Once the soil near the pot lip resists a chopstick’s poke, then they’re ready. This is the dumb person’s way of doing it, and that’s why it works so well for me. No need to remember if it drained well or not last summer.
A Chojubai in need of repotting, the soil near the pot wall resisting a chopstick’s poke.
Closeup of the operation site.
This pot, though not antique, has a healthy layer of patina on it. A few scratches are visible on the lip, to the left, exposing the much lighter glaze underneath. We are careful with such pots. The cloth underneath was for putting our wires in, when the pot was turned over on that delicate patinaed lip.
Carmen and Masaki adjusting positioning. (Masaki sporting our local brand.)
Masaki tightening down the wires over the bamboo. Notice the cloth over the lip of the pot. Easy to scratch off patina with a tool.
Final placement, with tie-down wires tightened.
Repotting complete. Shredded sphagnum covers the new soil media. The mound helps with the challenges of growing in a shallow pot. More on that next week…