I repotted a Golden gate Ficus bonsai about a month ago and just noticed something today I'm not sure about.

It appears 5-6 root tips have hit the sides of the pot, growing on the surface and some are trying to climb over the side!

I hadn't seen this happen the last two times I repotted so I wanted to ask if I should be concerned.

Something different this time I repotted is I used an unglazed clay pot. Could that be bad? I also used a slightly different soil mixture due to running out of bonsai soil, about 35% bonsai soil, 35% cactus soil, 15% sand, and 15% vermiculite. Maybe the soil isn't right? It was in 100% bonsai dirt before.

Maybe it's not a problem and will make some beautiful looking surface roots?

I'm uploading some pictures. The far shot shows the tree in its current pot on the left, the Jade on the right is in the pot this tree was in before I repotted this spring.

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2 Answers 2


Your Ficus bonsai looks great man! The roots start to look for more space, roots from Ficus are notorious for traveling above ground. Think of the trees that cover the ruins of King Louie in Jungle book, for example.

You can cut the roots that come above ground off, I mean for esthetic reasons. Roots that start from the trunk above ground are okay though, but roots coming up at the end of the pot in my opinion not (is my opinion, not a rule or anything). It has nothing to do with your pot, unglazed is fine, and the pot suits your tree well. I think your soil mixture is okay too. So I guess it is just the roots searching for more space, and Ficus tends to traveling above ground if necessary.


First of all, this is not a problem. Surface roots will develop and can create a very beautiful look for your Bonsai tree. However, if these roots are directly exposed to the air, they can dry out and cause damage to the tree. Therefore, you should water regularly and protect them from direct sunlight.

Regarding the quality of the soil, using a different planting mixture than before is not a problem if they meet the basic requirements for planting Golden Gate Ficus Bonsai trees. Unglazed clay pots are also a good choice for growing Bonsai. However, the permeability and moisture retention of the pot are also very important for the health of the tree. Therefore, you need to regularly check the moisture and ventilation of the pot to ensure that the tree is provided with enough water and does not suffer from root rot.

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