Bonsai Mothers and Root Pruning

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Hi everybody.

In this thread i want to share what i have been doing and what has worked well for me.

First of all, some of you might have heard about bonsai mothers and some probably haven’t yet. For those who haven’t, bonsai technique is a japanese art of keeping plants in tiny containers and making them grow as miniature versions of themselves by restricting their roots and shaping their growth. For bonsai mothers, i replicate a similar technique.

Secondly, for those who have heard of this technique, i’m gonna say mine is the easiest. I know that this technique involves multiple transplantations. Mine doesn’t. I think its just a way of complicating things when you have to transplant numerous times. I never done it and can’t complain.

Now, what are the benefits?

I see lots of posts around about how to keep a mother. Some indoor growers don’t have a lot of space which they can dedicate to full grown mothers. Or they can only keep one and they have to smoke the same cultivar. Which gets a bit boring after a while. Thus people refrain from keeping mothers and just buy new seeds for every grow.

Now there is nothing with that. You can definitely buy new seeds for every grow but sometimes, you find the dankest dank! You know something rare. You will want smoke that stuff again and again. Thats why its always good to get clones and keep mothers so you can regrow that fire whenever you like.

Another reason for keeping mothers is that every plant is different. Every plant likes different amount of different things, different watering, different fertilization, different light intensity.. so to get the best out of your plant, you may need to grow it again. Maybe again.. and again. And with every grow, you’ll see that you are doing better and plant is doing better and better.

You will get accustomed to its likings and its gonna get accustomed to its environment and to you. So even if you don’t have any space to keep mothers, or if you think that mothers are just big wastes of energy and space which you have to take care of constantly, bonsai mothers are just the opposite.

How to implement?

As i stated above, my technique is much simpler than the ones i’ve seen around. Its just as simple as getting a rooted clone and sticking it into a 0.3l pot. Which is tiny tiny.

28DCF105-F472-42CD-9D9A-316F938A14C3.jpeg
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Now as you can see. This is a tiny pot. This plant has been in this pot for the last 5 months. I haven’t pruned the roots since the original transplant. As you can see, there are some symptoms on the leaves which indicates deficiencies and general unhappiness. Now what i do is i’m gonna take half of the root mass off. 4 sides and the bottom.

D0836EA7-65FD-49E1-BD9C-C72AC17713DD.jpeg
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This is what i ended up with. Now this plant will go back to its pot with a little bit of fresh soil. In a week its gonna be super healthy again and will be very happy.

349EFC7F-6FD9-4215-93F8-6588F2A22685.jpeg


Here with the new soil. Will do an after pic in a week.

The space requirement.

This technique requires only minimal space and it can be set up in the most oddly shaped spaces. For example here is mine. 60x60x60 tent. A literal tent. Who thought this design would work for any plant is beyond me. Thats 2x2x2’. A very small space. I got 21 bonsai mothers and couple of other things as well. Now i’m pretty sure i can fill 40 in there if i take all the other stuff out. So thats pretty good. 40 mothers in a 2x2. Or 20 in 1x2 etc. etc.

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So even if you are a small scale hobby grower you can keep these miniature mothers. When it comes to flowering they will not disappoint and you can get many clones to replace the now flowering mother. Keep the same strain for years without losing any space.

Finally, this is just what i’ve been doing and getting good results with. You can also post what you have been doing in the department of keeping bonsai mothers. I hope you all enjoy it and benefit from it in some way..

Wish you all bountiful harvests!
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Very cool! I read about this on Growweedeasy.com. Makes sense to keep those phenos that turn out to be fire.

What are you using for a light in that tent? And do you use an 18/6 or 24/0 cycle? What about ventilation or air circulation?
All good questions.

Ventilation is none existent because of the design. So i leave the flap open halfway.

Light is just a cheap pcb with some unknown diodes (may be cree don’t remember) driven at 1400ma to provide 50w of light.

I use 18/6 for this tent.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Now for the peeps with low plant count numbers just have to do some grafting onto that mother. Going to give it a go to see if I can have say 4-6 strains on one plant. Wonder what cultivar would make a better mother root wise?
Thats not my area and really i wouldn’t graft with bonsai mothers. As you can see there isn’t much to graft onto. For that purpose one big plant would work way better.
 

Capt C

Saltwater Cowboy
Hi everybody.

In this thread i want to share what i have been doing and what has worked well for me.

First of all, some of you might have heard about bonsai mothers and some probably haven’t yet. For those who haven’t, bonsai technique is a japanese art of keeping plants in tiny containers and making them grow as miniature versions of themselves by restricting their roots and shaping their growth. For bonsai mothers, i replicate a similar technique.

Secondly, for those who have heard of this technique, i’m gonna say mine is the easiest. I know that this technique involves multiple transplantations. Mine doesn’t. I think its just a way of complicating things when you have to transplant numerous times. I never done it and can’t complain.

Now, what are the benefits?

I see lots of posts around about how to keep a mother. Some indoor growers don’t have a lot of space which they can dedicate to full grown mothers. Or they can only keep one and they have to smoke the same cultivar. Which gets a bit boring after a while. Thus people refrain from keeping mothers and just buy new seeds for every grow.

Now there is nothing with that. You can definitely buy new seeds for every grow but sometimes, you find the dankest dank! You know something rare. You will want smoke that stuff again and again. Thats why its always good to get clones and keep mothers so you can regrow that fire whenever you like.

Another reason for keeping mothers is that every plant is different. Every plant likes different amount of different things, different watering, different fertilization, different light intensity.. so to get the best out of your plant, you may need to grow it again. Maybe again.. and again. And with every grow, you’ll see that you are doing better and plant is doing better and better.

You will get accustomed to its likings and its gonna get accustomed to its environment and to you. So even if you don’t have any space to keep mothers, or if you think that mothers are just big wastes of energy and space which you have to take care of constantly, bonsai mothers are just the opposite.

How to implement?

As i stated above, my technique is much simpler than the ones i’ve seen around. Its just as simple as getting a rooted clone and sticking it into a 0.3l pot. Which is tiny tiny.

View attachment 7596View attachment 7597

Now as you can see. This is a tiny pot. This plant has been in this pot for the last 5 months. I haven’t pruned the roots since the original transplant. As you can see, there are some symptoms on the leaves which indicates deficiencies and general unhappiness. Now what i do is i’m gonna take half of the root mass off. 4 sides and the bottom.

View attachment 7601View attachment 7599View attachment 7602View attachment 7600

This is what i ended up with. Now this plant will go back to its pot with a little bit of fresh soil. In a week its gonna be super healthy again and will be very happy.

View attachment 7603

Here with the new soil. Will do an after pic in a week.

The space requirement.

This technique requires only minimal space and it can be set up in the most oddly shaped spaces. For example here is mine. 60x60x60 tent. A literal tent. Who thought this design would work for any plant is beyond me. Thats 2x2x2’. A very small space. I got 21 bonsai mothers and couple of other things as well. Now i’m pretty sure i can fill 40 in there if i take all the other stuff out. So thats pretty good. 40 mothers in a 2x2. Or 20 in 1x2 etc. etc.

View attachment 7608View attachment 7610View attachment 7611

So even if you are a small scale hobby grower you can keep these miniature mothers. When it comes to flowering they will not disappoint and you can get many clones to replace the now flowering mother. Keep the same strain for years withoknifeut losing any space.

Finally, this is just what i’ve been doing and getting good results with. You can also post what you have been doing in the department of keeping bonsai mothers. I hope you all enjoy it and benefit from it in some way..

Wish you all bountiful harvests!
Hey @CrimsonEcho this subject came up not to long ago in a thread i started on long term mom storage. I have a similar plan for 4 moms i would like to keep long term. I now have them in three gal hard pots which works for me with the space i have. So i was figuring going roughly 2-3 months and just pulling them out of the pot and shave the sides and the height off of the root ball and starting over. Of course maintaining a strict pruning regiment on the top side as well. I thought of some thing i think will work well for root pruning would be like a large( sani-safe) serrated edge knife. Probable cut through those roots like hot butter.
 

CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Hey @CrimsonEcho this subject came up not to long ago in a thread i started on long term mom storage. I have a similar plan for 4 moms i would like to keep long term. I now have them in three gal hard pots which works for me with the space i have. So i was figuring going roughly 2-3 months and just pulling them out of the pot and shave the sides and the height off of the root ball and starting over. Of course maintaining a strict pruning regiment on the top side as well. I thought of some thing i think will work well for root pruning would be like a large( sani-safe) serrated edge knife. Probable cut through those roots like hot butter.
I use a disposable scalpel and it works for me because these are in very small pots and the root mass is pretty small but on a bigger scale a scalpel may be a little small.

But the scalpel is not serrated and it works better imo. Serrated blades may pull on the roots a bit and disturb the parts which are inside the soil. You know damaging the tiny root hairs and all.

A possibility that steered me away from using serrated knives personally.

What i mean is i find scalpels to be more gentle and ime it actually cuts thru like its butter.
 
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CrimsonEcho

Self-Proclaimed Don Quixote
Pollen Chucker
Ah i’m sorry guys i forgot about this thread and transplanted that bonsai mother to be my seed mother. But still i can show you how well it flowers. Now it has been in this pot for 3 days and already the roots have reached the bottom. This pots hold 8x the soil compared to their bonsai pots. Because of this constant root pruning roots branch out and plants develop a very good root system -eventho a miniature one when you transplant into bigger pots they just take off-.

I’ll still document a clone that i’m not gonna flower to show how root pruning helps with bonsai mothers even if you keep it in veg. These mothers were under leds but i thought i should give the future pollen mother (the plant i’m gonna reverse) a head start so these went under 100w floros. Much lower ppfds i’m sure.

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