High Stakes Bonsai

Inevitably, my smaller bonsai, and even some of my larger bonsai in lightweight pots get knocked over on the benches from high winds, squirrels, birds and inquisitive deer. When this occurs the best case is finding the bonsai intact and remaining on the bench (I never cry over spilled soil).  The worst case is finding broken branches and broken pots on the ground!

Here is my stealth solution:

I am now attaching my vulnerable bonsai to my benches using homemade 3 mm aluminum wire stakes and 1/4″ x 1″ stainless steel fender washers. I start by stretching a length 3 mm wire to straighten it and add extra rigidity. Copper wire is certainly an acceptable alternative. I use the Bonsai Wire Bending Grip mounted to my outdoor bonsai workbench and pliers to do this, however, you can certainly use a vise in your basement or garage workshop.

Next wrap two turns of one end of the wire around the Bonsai Wire Bending Grip’s smaller 1/4″ post and then bend the completed looped end at a 90 degree angle. Trim any excess wire as needed. Then slide the fender washer over the wire toward the looped end. Almost finished!

Now, using the wire stake like an acupuncture needle carefully drill through the soil from the top of the soil and through the drainage screen at the bottom of the pot.

  If the soil is too compacted or the roots are very dense use a chopstick to tunnel most of the way through. If you still have difficulty getting through the soil and roots try using an offset angle or a different drainage hole. The fender washer should be buried below the soil or moss surface. Guide the tail end of the wire stake through an existing slot between the boards of the bench or drill a small hole. Finally, bend the wire against the bottom of the bench. Finished!

You can rotate your pots and easily remove them when needed. If you want to deter impromptu theft attach a screw and washer under the bench to tightly wrap the wire around.  I hope you find this helpful!