Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Mattias
Bonsai trees are one of the plants that need regular and proper care and attention.
Not giving it the care and attention it needs will cause more harm than good.
One of the areas in which this tree needs regular care is its watering. When you don’t water a bonsai tree as you should, you increase the risk of it being damaged.
However, you need to ensure you get its watering frequency right, as watering too much could lead to it getting root rot, and watering it less frequently than you should, could also cause harm to it.
Today, I will be telling you how often to water your bonsai tree, which will cause it to grow ideally and stay evergreen, how to know when it’s time to water your bonsai tree and lots more.
Let’s get into it.
How Often Do You Water A Bonsai Tree?
The conventional frequency for watering a bonsai tree is Once every 4 to 7 days. However, this frequency isn’t a general rule and can be altered.
How frequently you should water a bonsai tree depends on factors such as the fertilizer used on the tree, the size of the tree, the weather conditions, the environment you plant the tree in, the size of the pot in which the tree is planted in, and the soil mixture.
Let’s discuss each of these factors.
The Size Of Your Tree
One of the factors that determine the watering frequency of the bonsai tree is the size of the tree.
More enormous bonsai trees or trees that proliferate tend to have the moisture in their roots dry up faster than their smaller counterparts and trees that grow less swiftly.
Also, endeavor to check which type of bonsai tree and the specie of tree you have planted. This will help you know often it grows and how frequently you need to water it.
The Size Of The Pot In Which You Planted The Tree In
Another factor that also plays a role in determining the watering frequency of your bonsai tree is the pot size.
If your bonsai tree is planted in a small pot, you will need to water it more frequently than the tree planted in a large pot. This is because the water in smaller banks tends to dry out faster than in larger pots.
The Fertilizer You Use On The Tree
When you use the wrong fertilizer on a bonsai tree, the drying time of the root increases, the growth of the tree is retarded, and the soil also collapses.
So when getting a fertilizer for your bonsai tree, ensure one with a high level of quality organic materials and stable inorganic materials.
The Weather Conditions
Water requirements differ in every weather condition.
In high humidity conditions, the drying time of the bonsai tree’s root is reduced, but in a dry period, the bonsai tree’s root dries faster, and watering is required more frequently.
Also, the strong winds experienced during winter months dry up the roots of bonsai trees very quickly due to the freezing of the soil, causing the root system of the bonsai tree to be unable to absorb water and potentially causing harm to it too.
During these seasons, it is a good idea to keep your bonsai plants well-covered and water them properly just before the coming of these winds.
The Environment You Plant The Tree In
If you plant a bonsai tree in a humid environment, it will need less watering than when grown in a dry climate. This is because even when there is little water left in the roots of a tree, the humidity of the soil can help keep the plant moisturized, but dry soil can’t.
Whether You Plant The Tree Indoor Or Outdoor
The watering frequency of bonsai trees also differs depending on where you plant them.
Outdoor bonsai trees require more water than indoor bonsai trees, and this is because they have access to full sunlight, which tends to dry up the moisture in their roots faster.
However, to reduce the watering frequency and boost the growth of outdoor bonsai trees, ensure you expose them to the early morning sun but shade them from the intense heat of the full sun in the afternoons.
Note: An indoor bonsai plant also has access to direct sunlight but not as much as the outdoor plant does, and most times, it requires artificial light to complement it.
Read also: How Often Do You Water Cucumber Plants?
How Do You Know When It’s Time To Water Your Bonsai Tree?
There are several ways to detect whether your bonsai tree needs water or not. The aim of carrying out these tests is to see if the soil is still moist or if its moisture has dried up.
The three ways you can check if it is time to water your bonsai plants include the finger method, the chopstick method, and the use of a soil moisture meter.
The Finger Method
The first way you can check if the bonsai soil still has moisture in it or not is by using the finger method.
This method involves dipping 1 inch of your finger into the soil where bonsai trees are planted and checking their moisture levels.
It is time to water it again if it feels dry and without moisture.
Note: The watering recommendations for bonsai tree species differ, so ensure you follow the suitable recommendations for the species and type of tree you have planted.
A Soil Moisture Meter
You can also use a soil moisture meter to check your moisture level.
This meter is built with a scale that ranges from 1 to 10 and shows you how moist your Bonsai plants are.
If the meter shows you that the level of moisture in the soil is on or below 3, then you will know that it is time to water it, but if it shows you a score higher than that, then you can understand that the moisture in it is okay and it isn’t time to water it again.
The Chopstick Method
The chopstick method is another excellent way of checking how moist your bonsai soil is.
This method involves inserting a plain wooden chopstick 1 – 2 inches deep into the soil and allowing it to stay there for 10 minutes for adequate absorption of the water in the ground.
After 10 minutes have reached, remove it and check it. If its color changes to a darkened look and it is wet, then there is still moisture in the soil, but if its color doesn’t vary and it remains dry, then its haze has run dry, and it is time to water it.
However, if you notice that the change in its color isn’t much, then its moisture hasn’t completely dried out, and in this case, leave the plant and check it back in a couple of days.
Note: Inserting a chopstick too deep into your bonsai plants might cause harm to the roots, so ensure you always insert them just 1 to 2 inches deep.
Also, to prevent the transmission of harmful microorganisms from one bonsai plant to the other, ensure that you use a different chopstick on each plant.
And endeavor to rinse every chopstick after each use and allow it to dry properly before using it again.
How Much Water Does Your Bonsai Tree Need?
The wafer your bonsai tree needs is enough water to get its whole root system soaked. So the amount of water it needs depends on its size and the size of its root system.
The watering methods you can use to get the roots of your bonsai tree soaked are the immersion method, the overhead watering method, the automated watering system, and the use of natural rainfall.
The Immersion Method
The immersion method involves submerging the bonsai tree’s root in water just above the soil surface.
Allow the root of the bonsai tree to stay immersed in water for five minutes until there is no air bubble in the water anymore.
Note: Immersing the roots of your bonsai tree in water too frequently could cause damage to them and could lead to you changing its pot and soil mix.
The Overhead Watering Method
The overhead watering method involves watering the root of your tree until the water starts coming out from the pot’s drainage holes.
An Automated Watering System
An automated watering system is the best way of adequately watering multiple bonsai trees.
The frequency and time rate at which you should run your automatic system to water your bonsai plants depends on the time of the year.
During the winter months, run the system once a day; run the procedure twice daily during the summer months.
Meanwhile, there is enough rainfall during the rainy season to turn the system off and use your hands to water your bonsai trees.
The Use Of Rainfall
Like the overhead watering method, when you use rainfall to soak the roots of your bonsai plants, you must water them until the water starts coming out from the drainage holes of the bonsai pot.
This process will take an average of 15 – 20 minutes.
However, in some cases, the rainfall only soaks the top layer of soil and doesn’t get down to its root. In this case, you need to check the plant’s moisture and water it again if necessary.
But if your bonsai plant is receiving too much water from the rain, you should lift the pot to drain the excess water.
Note: Overwatering your bonsai tree will cause harm to it and stop its growth, so ensure that you find out when to water your bonsai soil and the amount of water needed to soak its root and stick to prevent it.
How Do You Know That Your Bonsai Tree Is Being Overwatered?
When your bonsai tree is over-watered, the color of its leaves changes, its branches get weaker, its trunk becomes unstable, its leaves also drop, and its risk of getting affected by root rot increases.
So, if you notice these symptoms while checking up on your tree, there is a way to correct them.
First, rinse its roots. After doing this, you can move the seeds from their present pot into a new pool and start watering them with the right amount of water while ensuring it regularly comes in contact with direct sunlight.
Read also: How Often Do You Water Bamboo Plants?
Summary Of How Often To Water A Bonsai Tree
Unlike the Aloe Vera plant, the bonsai tree needs water — frequent watering and close attention.
So, if you want your bonsai tree to look like a piece of art, ensure a perfect watering schedule for your bonsai plant and follow it accordingly.
To help you do that properly, in this article, we have stated all you need to know about how frequently to water your bonsai tree, how to know when to water it, and lots more.
So make sure you go through it and follow the steps stated in it to provide your bonsai tree with the much-needed care and attention it needs.
Meet Mattias Jonsson, the head of content at RainSaucers. Passionate about gardening and water-related topics, he’s dedicated to providing expert information and resources to help improve your home, health, and wallet. Learn from his research and experience.