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watering bonsai

Watering Your Bonsai

The Importance Of Watering Bonsai Trees

Watering is a crucial part of caring for your bonsai. There are a few things you need to know before watering your tree. You need to know when to water your tree, how to check the soil, and, of course, how to water your tree. Every bonsai tree is different, and therefore has different watering needs. These are some guidelines you can follow each time you water your bonsai. 

How Often Should I Water My Bonsai?

One big rule to follow when watering your trees is to not water on a schedule. This can lead to under- or over-watering which can kill your plant. Water when the soil gets slightly dry. Do not wait until your plant is completely dried out and do not water when your tree’s soil is still visibly wet. Instead of just guessing when your tree needs to be watered, you need to check the plant’s soil.

Checking Your Bonsai Soil 

Checking the soil of your plant is the only way to really know if your plant needs it. There are a few ways you can check the soil, including using your finger, a chopstick, or moisture meter.

The first way you can check the soil is by using your finger. Simply insert your finger about 1 inch into the soil and feel whether the soil is wet or not. This method is not as effective as the methods below. Sometimes it may be hard to tell whether the soil is wet or just cold, and if you are checking multiple tree’s soil, your sense of whether the soil is wet or not may be off. 

Another way to check your tree’s soil is to use a chopstick. For this method, you take a chopstick and stick it an inch or two into the bonsai’s soil. The placement should be the midpoint of the rim and the trunk of your tree. After about 10 minutes, remove the chopstick and look at it. If the chopstick is discolored, your soil is still damp and does not need to be watered. If the chopstick is not discolored and is dry to the touch, it is time to water. Clean after every use and store in a dry place.

Using a moisture meter is another great way to check your bonsai’s soil. Moisture meters measure the amount of moisture in your tree’s soil on a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being the driest and 10 being the wettest. To use, insert the probe into the soil at the root level. If the moisture level is three or under, you need to water your tree. At levels 4 and up, the soil is still damp and does not need to be watered. Clean after every use and store in a dry place.

When Should I Water My Bonsai?

So now you know when to water your tree, but what about the time of day? In short, it really doesn’t matter what time you water your plant. Some experts suggest not watering your outdoor bonsai with cold water in the afternoon, but this will not affect the health of your bonsai. As soon as you see that your tree’s soil is dry, you need to water it, not matter what time of day!

How To Water Your Bonsai Tree

Now that you’ve checked your bonsai’s soil, it is time to water your tree! Take a fine nozzled watering can filled with water – tap water is just fine – and water your tree’s soil until the water starts dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Stop watering once this happens, and wait for the water to drain completely. Then repeat this process once more. To ensure that your tap water has no chlorine or other chemicals in it, you can leave the water out overnight before watering.

So long as you follow these guidelines whenever you water your bonsai trees, you should have no problems with watering. Check the soil every day, or multiple times a day in the summer. If your soil is dry, water generously twice. Your tree’s watering needs will vary from day to day, and will vary from tree to tree. Happy growing!

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