Depending upon how you water your Bonsai Tree, the general quality, appearance and Bonsai health significantly differ.
Let me walk you through how frequently you should water your Bonsai tree, along with a few other important details.
Table of Contents Show
- When Should You Water Bonsai Tree?
- Signs You May Be Overwatering your Bonsai Tree
- The Best Watering Technique for Bonsai Tree
- Factors that Impact Watering Bonsai Tree
- Should you Mist the Bonsai Tree?
- In the End…
When Should You Water Bonsai Tree?
Some Bonsai tolerate a few days of no watering, while some require watering every 2-3 days.
Immediately water your Bonsai if you notice shriveled roots and wilted leaves losing color.
Here are a few ways to learn how and when your Bonsai tree needs to be watered:
- Stick your finger or chopstick about two inches deeper into the soil.
- If you find no moisture, water your plant right away.
- Lift the pot and feel its weight. Drier plant soil will be lighter to lift.
- Use a moisture meter to measure the soil moisture before watering.
Signs You May Be Overwatering your Bonsai Tree
Bonsai trees already have very slow growth. Overwatering them will halt their growth completely.
Other than stunted growth, here are other signs of overwatering Bonsai.
- Leaves will start yellowing, and the branches will wither down.
- The leaf tips of the plant will turn brown and black.
- If you touch the topsoil of the pot, you will feel that it has gone soggy.
- You will witness little white spots on your Bonsai tree’s leaves.
- You will notice brown and mushy rootballs with foul smells.
- Mold formation with frequent bacterial disease infection.
The Best Watering Technique for Bonsai Tree
Let us look below for watering techniques optimal for your Bonsai tree.
|Rainfall Method||Rainfall water is ideal with no harmful chemicals.
Collect rainwater or let the plant enjoy direct rainfall.
|Watering Can||Use distilled water
Soak the Bonsai till water oozes out from drain holes
|Immersing Method||Fill in the tub with water.
Submerge the Bonsai pot and let it soak till bubbles stop forming.
Besides manual watering, you can also invest in an automatic drip irrigation system to water your Bonsai.
Factors that Impact Watering Bonsai Tree
How much and how often Bonsai trees need watering depends upon various factors.
Let us look at the factors in detail below:
1. Climate in Your Area
In hotter climates, you may need to water your plants more often than in colder climates.
If you live in Alaska, be very pinchpenny with the amount of water you provide your Bonsai tree.
So, pinpoint your USDA zones and location from the equator and poles.
A general rule of thumb is water more if you are closer to the equator than the poles.
2. Tree Location and Light
Bonsai trees that are placed in brighter sunlight need more frequent watering. Meanwhile, those kept in dimly lit places might need less water.
Similarly, indoor Bonsai trees enjoy controlled care, so they need less water than outdoor ones.
Remember, transpiration and evaporation are directly related to sunlight. More sun exposure means more water, and vice versa.
3. Amount of Fertilizer
Watering right after fertilization is crucial to ensure a faster breakdown of fertilizers. It also protects plants from getting severe fertilizer burns.
Similarly, fertilizers increase the decomposition rate of organic materials. It results in faster drying of the soil.
Therefore, you shall water your plants frequently to keep the soil moist.
But you can rely on soil enriched in organic matter as they dry out much slower.
4. Species of Bonsai Tree
How much and how often your Bonsai needs water also depends upon the species you have.
Let us look at the species of Bonsai with high and low watering needs.
|Low-water Species||High-water Species|
|Ficus Bonsai||Japanese Maple Trees|
|Jade Bonsai||Weeping Willow|
|Crown of Thorns||Birch Bonsai|
|Monkey Thorn||Cherry Bonsai|
|Wild Laburnum||Fukien Tea|
If you are unsure which species of Bonsai tree you have, you can visit Bonsai Empire to find out.
5. Pot Size
Generally, smaller pots dry up quickly, even at normal room temperature. But larger pots stay moist much longer.
Also, using too large pots increases the soil’s water-holding time and causes overwatering issues.
Therefore, give them water more frequently if the Bonsai trees are in a smaller pot.
6. Temperature and Humidity
Besides sunlight, temperature and humidity also significantly affect the plants’ transpiration rate.
In hotter temperatures, the transpiration rate spikes, resulting in faster drying. So, water your Bonsai more in summer.
Similarly, low humidity condition also results in faster dehydration and needs more water.
However, high humidity and cold temperature significantly reduce plants’ water intake. Therefore, cut back on watering during winter.
Remember, if the condition is arid, you shall water your Bonsai even in winter.
7. Other Factors
There are other factors that may affect the frequency of watering your Bonsai trees.
Let us look at the factors in detail below.
- Avoid watering low-permeable soil more frequently to prevent water saturation.
- Freshly repotted or pruned Bonsai trees need less water for a few weeks.
- Bonsai kept in windy places need more water.
- Bigger Bonsai trees need more water than smaller ones.
Still, the main affecting factor will be the species of Bonsai tree you have, so be aware of your variety.
Should you Mist the Bonsai Tree?
The Bonsai tree usually has a greater watering requirement, so regular misting can work like a charm.
However, if you have placed your Bonsai outdoors, you may not need to mist it.
Misting has a lot of benefits. First of all, it keeps the humidity in check. It also keeps the plant cool in hotter temperatures.
If your Bonsai is laced with excessive dust, misting can be a good option to clean your leaves.
To mist properly, follow the techniques below.
- Avoid misting your Bonsai late at night, as the water won’t evaporate properly.
- Use misters to mist your plant from bottom to top and reverse the path.
- Use room temperate distilled or rainwater to mist.
- While misting, ensure every leaf of your Bonsai gets misted.
- Place a wet pebble tray near the plant to boost the humidity.
For optimal growth of the Bonsai tree, consider watering and misting regularly side by side.
In the End…
Bonsai trees are among the delicate plants that must be looked after meticulously and watered appropriately.
Before pouring water, perform a subtle background check of the Bonsai tree and follow the tips that I have mentioned above for proper growth.