Like all plants on Earth, bonsai trees need fresh, clean water to live. We all know this, but recently one of the girls in my office asked me, “How do you know if it needs water?” I thought she was just being silly for a minute before I realized she was being curious and that it was a valid question. I haven’t thought about it for years because I just water my Ficus Bonsai tree every week, and I never allow the soil to get dry for extended periods of time. This is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought I’d write a post on it.
Feel The Soil To See If Your Bonsai Needs Water
The first thing I’d suggest is to feel the bonsai’s soil. Now, did you notice how I said “the first thing I’d suggest”? That’s because soil dryness can be a sign that you need to water your bonsai tree, but it is not the ultimate sign. I say this because you should be letting your bonsai tree soil get dry between watering. If you keep the soil constantly wet, your bonsai will be prone to fungal infections and will most likely not live for hundreds of years like it is meant to. It’s prudent to check the soil first if you can’t remember when you last watered your bonsai.
Check The Color Of Your Raw Clay Pots
I also wanted to remind you that if you have a raw pottery bonsai pot, it will change color a bit if it is wet or dry. It will be darker if it is wet and lighter if it’s dry. Now I will say that this will only work if the pot you use is raw, and it will only apply if there is extreme over- or under-watering.
Keep A Bonsai Tree Watering Schedule
I’ve found that the best way to make sure that my bonsai trees are always watered correctly is setting up a schedule. My watering schedule is quite simple. I water my bonsai trees on Mondays. I always set an alarm on my cell phone that goes off every Monday at 7:30 am. When I get busy with work and a million things are going through my mind, the alarm really helps.
How I Water My Bonsai
I water my bonsai with a simple spray bottle. I use the mist setting to spray the leaves and tree, and then I set the bottle nozzle to a direct stream and squirt the soil a few times. Remember to completely soak the soil, but only do this once a week or so. The soil will need to dry completely between watering.