Using yellow pots

Yellow pots for bonsai is still not seen so much outside Japan. In the world of Shohin-bonsai it must be introduced though, and the colour will lift the display when used properly.

The glazed pots in various colours are used for deciduous Shohin and mame-bonsai. The colour should underline the colours of leaves, fruits or flowers, and using a contrast colour (blue pot, white flowers) often makes the best result. White pot used for white flowers tones down the effect, so if this is not the purpose, it may lose its effect in a display with several trees.

The colours of the pots should also be chosen with the seasonal approach in mind, and the mood and expression wanted. A pale blue pot with a tree bearing white flowers e.g. may express the cool evening feeling of summer time, and a darker blue pot with a tree having red berries and naked branches expresses the cold feeling of winter time.

The yellow pot has a feeling of the warm fresh spring. Relating to Chinese traditions it also expresses the earth and centre, as well as development. Therefore it is good choice for a spring and also summer display.

The yellow pot can underline the fresh green new foliage, flowering trees with red flowers e.g. New pots may look very yellow, but with age and use they will be added a beautiful patina as all pots will get with time. The new pots may look too shiny, but they will after some years use get a darker rim and areas that will enhance the beauty of the pot significantly. This valued expression is just to wait for when buying a new pot.

I have a new yellow Tokoname pot (photos) , in a bright glaze. This will be fine for now with its freshness (not having any patina yet) using it for spring images. Right now I have moved a Crataegus laevigata `Paul’s Scarlet´ into this yellow pot, matching the red flowers in May.

Please note that the tree is not repotted, but moved from one pot of app. similar size to this pot for exhibition purposes. Afterwards I will leave the tree in the pot though, because I want the pot to be influenced by water, earth, fertilizer and weather in order to achieve the patina over time. Leaving unused pots outside will benefit the purpose of patina and age, instead of storing the pots inside during the spring, summer and autumn seasons.

New Tokoname pot by Kouyou, Japan.

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  • Igor

    Hi Morten,
    thank you for posting such an interesting topic! It makes things clearer đŸ™‚

    Greetings from Austria,

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