How often should I water my bonsai?

BonsaiBasics.com

BonsaiBasics.com It is very important to frequently water your bonsai. This is mainly because the plants are grown in very small pots, with a very small root system, in a very small amount of soil, and hence can only have very small water reserves.

How frequently you water your bonsai depends on many things. A dry wind, excessive heat, or a combination of both, can quickly dry out the soil, so you must monitor moisture levels regularly. Generally if you keep your trees outside where rain can water them, you don't need to worry much in the winter except in times of hot weather or little rain. In the summer you should endeavour to water your plants several times a week, and daily in very hot periods - where you should move the trees into the shade. You may find it is a good idea to set up a drip sprinkler system - where the bonsai are watered every day in the summer and every three days in the winter. Alternatively, you can use a watering can with a fine rose attached to water the soil and roots or a 'watering wand' which are available at most hardware stores and when attached to your garden hose let out a very fine mist of water - similar to rain. Using a general water sprayer to increase humidity is a good idea if your climate experiences dry periods.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, be careful not to over-water your bonsai. This is often a problem of beginners who want to take such good care of their bonsai that they water them every day - even in winter - and cause the roots to rot. This is also a big problem when keeping succulents (like the Jade Tree) as bonsai as, like cacti, they retain a lot of water and do should not be watered so often.

If you do opt to bring your bonsai inside for a few days to put on display - remember to check the moisture content of the soil daily (just sticking your finger down into the soil should be enough). It is probably wise to take the bonsai outside each day, water it, let it drain, and then bring it back inside. Many beginners keep their newly-bought bonsai inside constantly, and then forget to water it for several weeks. It's hard to comprehend how they can be so surprised when the plant starts turning brown and leaves start falling off.

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