Have you ever looked at the bonsai trees of other people and wondered how they keep them thriving? Well, one of the top things people do is understand what their tree needs and provide everything accordingly. Watering is perhaps the most important component of taking care of your bonsai.
That is why you must understand how often to water the bonsai tree. After all, you don’t want it to hold excess water, as that can kill your tree. So, how often to water bonsai trees?
Generally, a bonsai tree should be watered about once a week or whenever its topsoil appears dry. Immerse your entire bonsai tree in a bucket or basin of water. After the air bubbles have risen to the top, the bonsai has soaked sufficient water.
Here is a complete guide that will help you understand the watering requirements of your bonsai tree.
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How Often To Water Bonsai Tree?
Bonsai trees have specific watering requirements that you must follow if you want them to thrive. For example, you must water your bonsai tree at least once a week or so. One of the top rules is to give the bonsai water when the topsoil is completely dry.
If it is completely dry, you can easily immerse your bonsai in a bucket of water. As the air bubbles begin coming to the top, it means that your bonsai has absorbed enough water. When that takes place, it means you have to take out the bonsai tree from the water.
Of course, it also depends on the weather and external elements. For example, you can water your bonsai every two to three weeks during the summer and spring months. When it is autumn and winter, you can leave more gaps between the watering.
That is because overwatering is bad for the health of your bonsai tree. That is why you must exercise precaution before you water your bonsai tree.
How Long Can Bonsai Trees Go Without Water?
It can be safe to leave your bonsai tree without any water for a few days. However, we recommend that you don’t go more than ten days without watering your tree. That is why if you are leaving for the holidays, you must always get someone to take care of your bonsai tree.
You can check the topsoil before you water your bonsai tree. If it is completely dry, then it means you must water your bonsai tree again. Remember that this tree is not easy to take care of, as you must be cautious about the watering requirements.
If you overwater or underwater the bonsai, it will damage its health for a long time. Of course, this is a process of trial and error, which is why you will learn with time the best way to take care of your bonsai tree.
How To Water A Bonsai Tree Indoor?
There are various unique methods you can utilize to water your bonsai tree indoors. Here are the most popular methods that will help you water your bonsai right:
1- The Immersion Technique
The immersion technique is one of the most popular watering techniques among bonsai growers. If you are underwatering the bonsai, then the immersion method is one of the best ways to hydrate the roots again. Most indoor bonsai growers use this method because it is affordable and effective.
Here are all the steps you can follow to immerse your bonsai in the water:
- Fill a bucket or your basin with water. As an important rule, the water must reach at least one inch above the trunk of your bonsai tree.
- Immerse your entire bonsai tree inside the water. You will notice some bubbles you immerse in your bonsai.
- You must pay attention to these bubbles. If there are too many bubbles, it means that your tree is dry and requires moisture. It will help you understand if you are overwatering or underwatering your tree.
- Keep the bonsai tree in the water until the bubbles have stopped forming. When the bubbles stop forming, it means that the roots of the bonsai are completely hydrated.
- Remove the bonsai from the water.
- Allow the tree to drain.
- Check if you have lost any rocks or soil during this technique.
- Ensure you have some extra supplies nearby in case you need to replace anything.
I recommend that you don’t use this method frequently. That is because if you immerse the bonsai too much, it can lead to root damage or rot. So, be sure not to use this method too often to water your bonsai.
2- Overhead Watering
The most common way to water any plant or bonsai tree is to use the overhead watering technique. You can use different tools for this watering method. These include a hose, garden wand, watering can, or even a fine nozzle.
Remember that you have to be gentle in showering your bonsai tree with water. If the flow of water becomes too strong, then you will damage the branches and trunk of your bonsai. Besides that, we also recommend that you don’t disrupt the soil surface too much.
If that ends up happening, you will have to add some more soil to your bonsai tree. Many experts will also recommend that you use cold water for the best results. You must start watering until you notice that the water is coming out of the drainage holes.
If you have a humidity tray, it will catch any water that will drip and protect your furniture or flooring.
Here are all the steps you must follow for overhead watering:
- Soil Moisture Check
The first thing you must do is check the moisture level in your soil. If the soil is slightly or completely dry, it is time to water your bonsai tree. There are various ways you can check the moisture levels of your soil.
- Select Watering Equipment
Another thing you need to do is select what you will use to water the bonsai, such as a hose, nozzle, garden wand, etc. We recommend that you select equipment that is especially for your bonsai tree. The tool must provide a soft rain shower to your bonsai.
- Time To Water
You must begin by watering your bonsai tree from the top. You have to remain careful as you don’t want to wash away the soil. If you see a puddle on the soil, you must stop watering and allow the water to soak in.
Once the soil is completely soaked, you must continue to water the tree until you see the water starting to come out from the drainage holes of the container. Doing this will guarantee that the complete root system is wet.
- Repeat If Needed
If you think your bonsai tree is still not completely hydrated, then you must repeat the entire process. This is an optional step, and if your bonsai is hydrated the first time, you don’t need to water it a second time.
Check out this article on the best tips for caring for a bonsai tree.
Signs Of an Overwatered Bonsai Tree
Understanding these symptoms of overwatering will help you keep your bonsai plant healthy and prevent damage.
The table below contains the most common signs of overwatered bonsai plants.
|Common Signs Of Overwatered Bonsai Plant||What To Look For|
|Over-Damp Soil||– The soil your bonsai is growing in should be soft and easy for the plant to grow in but not often moist.|
– Your bonsai tree’s soil should be slightly soft with a dry crust or loose dry dirt on the top.
|You notice mold at the bottom||– Mold is generally a sign of an unhealthy environment.|
– Mold usually only grows on dead or decomposing things, meaning that your bonsai tree might be dying.
|Your Bonsai Tree Develops Brittle Leaves||– Overwatered plants generally have brittle leaves.|
– When bonsais receive too much water, they tend to push the extra water into their leaves.
|Root Rot||When bonsai trees receive too much, they also tend to develop root rot, which usually means death for the plant as they receive nutrients through their roots.|
|You Might Notice Soft, Black, or Brown Leaves.||In addition to having brittle leaves, overwatered bonsai will also have leaves turning soft and start turning brown or black.|
Signs Of an Underwatered Bonsai Tree
Here are the most common signs that your bonsai is not receiving enough water.
|Signs Of an Underwatered Bonsai Tree||What To Look For|
|Stunted growth||Whenever you notice that your bonsai stops, particularly in the early spring season, it is time to increase your watering frequency, and sometimes, it is also a sign that you need to repot your plant.|
|You Bonsai Root’s Become Dry||When you are repotting your bonsai tree and notice that its roots are dry and brittle, it is a common sign that you need to increase your bonsai watering frequency.|
|Your Bonsai Has Dry Brittle Leaves||It is common for a bonsai tree to have dry and brittle throughout seasons change. However, if your bonsai tree has new leaves that sprout just a day or two later, they fall off or go dry while still on the tree, indicating an issue.|
|Your Bonsai Plant’s Trunks Has Shrunken||You can notice that your bonsai trunk has started to shrink with your tree, apparently losing some mass; this indicates that your bonsai tree needs no more water.|
|Hard Soil||Hard soil is the most common and obvious underwatering sign as it leads the soil to become thirsty and start compacting.|
That was your complete guide on how often to water a bonsai tree and the indoor methods you can use to water your bonsai tree in no time. You can select a method that you think suits you best, but don’t use the immersion technique too often.
If you do, it can cause great damage to your bonsai, which is why you must remain careful about the method you are using each time.