How to water bonsai
In general once a day, and twice a day in the summer .
Watering is one important part of caring for bonsai.
Bonsai watering knowledge
When and how to water
- water when the surface of the soil looks dry (the color of the soil on the surface looks whitish. Paying attention to this is important, I'll explain why later.)
- water the leaves as well(spray is useful for indoor bonsai)
- you can use a gardening (watering) hose, a watering can, etc
- in the summer especially, you can even put the whole bonsai (including the pot) in a bucket containing enough water to cover the pot (not the plant) and leave it a while (a lot air will come out first -- leave it about 5+ mins).
How much water per watering?
If you see water coming out the bottom of the pot it's enough.
- basically twice a day (morning and evening)
- avoid watering leaves when the sunlight is strong (it will burn the leaves)
- avoid watering when the sunlight is strong. (the water inside the pot gets too hot and it'll spoil the root)
- if you are going on a trip and can't water every day, water it a lot and leave it somewhere cool with no sunlight, and put the pot in a bucket with water so the plant can get water from the bottom. It'll help for 2 to 3 days.)
- once or twice a week
- avoid watering when the temperature is freezing(midnight or early morning. frozen soil can kill the plant.)
- water in the daytime
- avoid watering in the evening
Spring and Autumn
- once a day
- water when the soil is dry
- though the time of day doesn't matter, regularly watering(around the same time everyday) is recommended
Why is it important to know the soil color when you water?
Because watering bonsai is not only about watering actually. Watering is also about taking air inside the pot, and as you water your plant every day, you'll notice if the plant needs more water or less by noticing many things such as soil color, the condition of the soil, etc. And keeping track of these things will improve your training. In Japan, it is said that you need 3 years to master watering bonsai. If you are serious about growing bonsai, watering is one of the most important parts and it takes years to master... Essentially if you pay attention to your bonsai even just to watering, you can learn from your bonsai and for your bonsai. There will be a lot of signs that your bonsai is giving you so paying attention to them is also a way of learning. Noticing things that are different from what you do every day will help you train and become the master of bonsai.
Green moss warning
Green moss is nice and makes bonsai more artistic (in my opinion), but there are a few things you should know about green moss.
- green moss can keep the water inside the pot and prevents the water from getting dried out fast
- green moss takes more time to absorb water so if you are watering through green moss you should make sure that a lot water coming out from the bottom when watering
Happy bonsai watering!