In my class we learned to repot at 70% root coverage however as I am mostly interested in bonsai style planting I'm confused about this rule. If I am attempting to limit my plant to a certain height is there any reason I would need to repot and would I have to continuously have to get bigger pots for the same sized plant ?

  • 1
    I have a degree in Horticulture and I've never heard of this "rule". How are you supposed to determine when a plant is at 70% root coverage? By depotting it and taking a look? That's bad for most plants. It seems like there are a ton of gardening rules, but they're all really "guidelines" and some only apply to specific plants.
    – Jurp
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 2:05
  • Root-bound plants flower for being slightly frightened by their limited territory. Good. Plants can be left in old pots until they scream for help. Bonsai small-pot-root-cramping is intrinsic to the dwarfing. Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


As mentioned by @Jurp, I have never heard of this either. Often people make up their own rules of thumbs and then they take off.

If you are interested in Bonsai-ing, then the last thing you want to do is to repot the plant.

  • IIRC (not really tilting at Bonsai personally) one might de-pot, root prune, and re-pot in the same pot some times. That's a bonsai only technique AFAIK
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 17:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.