WATERING BASICS

Watering bonsai trees is a fundamental task, and seems like it should be one of the easiest. After all, you’ve likely watered many plants, either in your house or outside in your yard. So how hard can watering a bonsai be?

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Watering is the most essential in the care of your bonsai tree. As bonsai are potted in small containers, watering bonsai is very different than watering a standard garden or houseplant.  With bonsai, you aim to water to saturation (that is, watering until water drains through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot). Then to observe the tree, and when it begins to dry out, repeat the watering process.  We recommend don't try and water to a schedule, rather observe and watch your tree and watering when it needs it.  Trying to water to a schedule can result in underwatering (which will cause the tree to dry out and die) or overwatering (which will cause the roots to rot and die).  Every species is different, and every tree is different, and therefore have different water requirements. Also, a number of factors will influence how often you need to water your tree:

  • heat

  • humidity

  • soil mixture

  • container drainage

A good way to know when to water is to "feel” the soil, take you finger and go below the surface, to about 1.5 to 2 cm, if its dry then you can look to water. Check the soil daily, and twice per day on very hot summer days.  It important to never let your bonsai soil get bone dry. This could result in the roots to become completely dry may cause your tree to perish.
 

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