Watering a bonsai tree is without a doubt, the most important part of keeping a bonsai alive and healthy. Luckily, it’s probably the most simple aspect too!
Simply, a bonsai tree needs watering when the soil feels slightly dry to the touch.
Does My Bonsai Tree Need Watering?
With bonsai, there isn’t really a ‘one glove fits all’ approach to a lot of the practices that go on. In terms of a structured watering routine that works across the board, there isn’t one! You need to think about a lot of different variables that will dictate how often you need to water your bonsai tree, which include:
-The species of bonsai
-The size of the bonsai pot
-The size of the bonsai itself
Due to all of these variables, I can’t exactly tell you when to water your bonsai, however, there are a few simple things to bare in mind that will help you understand when you need to be watering.
You want to water your bonsai when the soil feels dry to the touch. I know this is slightly subjective but it really does work! Press your finger about an inch into the soil, if it’s dry, you need to water your bonsai tree. Try to avoid ever letting it get ‘bone dry’, as this of course isn’t good for the trees healthy.
If the soil is wet when you do this simple test, you won’t need to water the tree at all. If it’s slightly damp, I would keep an eye on it over the next few hours and think about giving it a water. Once you’ve been doing this for a few weeks, you’ll start really understanding when your bonsai tree needs watering and it will become a very fast experience.
When Should I Water My Bonsai?
In terms of the time of day, it really doesn’t matter when you want to water your bonsai tree, as long as it needs watering! I tend to check mine in the morning before I start working for the day, so I tend to water the trees in the morning if they need it, but this definitely isn’t gospel! Find whatever works for you and run with it, the most important part is making sure you don’t forget!
How To Water My Bonsai Tree?
When watering a bonsai tree, you need to ensure that all of the roots have had sufficient water. The most simple way to do this is to water your bonsai as you would normally, until water is running out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Once the water is running out, stop soaking the tree for a few minutes, then repeat the process again. This is by far the best way I have used to water my bonsai tree, which I learnt from Bonsai Empire.
I personally use a very small watering can to water my bonsai, however, it’s not necessary – just make sure you are not using anything like a high power hose which will most likely just wash a lot of the top soil layers away.
Watering your bonsai tree is the most important part of maintaining the bonsai and normally the most overlooked by beginners. Whatever ‘routine’ you get into, keep it up for the long haul! It’s extremely hard to recover a dying bonsai tree, especially one that has been under-watered, so it’s best to avoid that situation entirely!