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Bonsai: How often should I water my bonsai?


It is said by experts it takes three years to learn how to correctly water bonsai.
I assume this is due to several factors: The species of tree; The size of the pot; The growing medium; The vigour of the tree.

The biggest problem I found was not so much the amount of water so much as how well it drained through the grow medium.
The growing mediums I (and many other beginners) make/use are usually not free draining enough. Even if I used bought bonsai ‘soils’ this problem still occured especially after a few months where soil compaction began.

I Found that all the books I’d read never really addressed this problem except to mention how water should flow through the mix.
Then one day whilst surfin’ the net I happened upon a bonsai forum site which addressed this issue in the following manner.

Take a wooden skewer/unpainted pencil push it well into the root area of the mix and leave it for 5 minutes. Remove the skewer, if its dry/nearly dry water the tree. If its wet/quite damp don’t water the tree.

I personally found this method excellent. So simple yet so effective.
Many thanks to the team of

I found the above method works best of all using cat litter as a grow medium [see my blog: Plants in pots (outside)].

Ians Insights Thoughts of a hopeless gardener.
#13. It’s best not to do any gardening in a hurricane.

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I suppose being in a small pot it would dry out quickly.
I once had a thing to find out how damp the soil was. It was like a little meter and you stuck it in the pot and took the reading. I haven't seen one to buy for a long time.

1 Feb, 2016


Not necessarily, Hywel, if the root system has been pruned correctly and has developed a fine root system, is in a free draining, good water retentive grow medium the tree can thrive in a relatively small pot. The 'soil' should hold enough moisture to supply the trees need for at least one day.
Chech out to see what I mean.

2 Feb, 2016


Thank you :)

3 Feb, 2016

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