Iâ€™ve killed two bonsai trees and while that deed isnâ€™t a cardinal sin, it has made me more careful aboutwatering bonsai. Thanks to those two inadvertent murders, I am probably now the worldâ€™s most cautious bonsai waterer. You see, bonsai trees are that strange mix of the delicate and the hardy. Theyâ€™re sturdy enough to outlive you by a good 40 years and more. But theyâ€™re also so fussy they will die when watered heavily, inadequately, or incorrectly. So if you own a bonsai, itâ€™s important to brush up on your watering routine. Done right, watering bonsaican be fun. Done wrong, it can result in the tragic death of a beloved midget.
Here are some tips and tricks for watering bonsai.
Watering with a hose?
Get one with a fine spray and mist settings. This feature will come handy during days when you need to wash down the foliage. Also, be sure to go easy on the nozzle. Blast on your bonsai with too much pressure and you just might send your plant flying out of the pot!
Water the entire plant, not just the soil.
When watering bonsai, remember that 35% of a plantâ€™s water intake does not involve the root system! To make sure your bonsai is getting the water it needs, water the plant, too.
That way, you feed the plant and at the same time, wash off pollutants and dust that clog the stomata and prevent plant leaves from breathing. Youâ€™re forgiven for forgetting that your plant is alive (after all, it doesnâ€™t walk around on two feet or talk) but remember, your bonsai is just like you. It will die if it canâ€™t get breathe or get enough water.
Water your bonsai in the morning.
Mornings are the best time for watering bonsaibecause then itâ€™s cooler, the sun doesnâ€™t shine as hotly, and your plants are less vulnerable to slugs and fungus.
Check water temperature before watering bonsaitrees.
If your hose has been out in the sun for hours, a little blast will surely be hot enough to kill your tree. Yes, very hot water kills bonsai trees. I know because thatâ€™s how I committed bonsai murder number one.
Every week or so, totally immerse your pot in water until the bubble trail disappears.
No, you wonâ€™t be drowning your bonsai when you do this. Rather, youâ€™re giving it a top-to-bottom watering. Done once a week and properly, watering bonsai this thoroughly gives the soil and the pot time to soak water up to their maximum holding levels. Do this and you will find that watering bonsai the rest of the week has become easy as pie!
Remember, you can never be too careful whenwatering bonsai. Watering is a skill that you have to learn. As a matter of fact, in Japan, a bonsai apprentice can prune trees on the first day. However, heâ€™ll have to study bonsai for four years more before heâ€™s allowed to touch a watering can. That is how important it is to learn how to water bonsai.