How Often Should You Water A Bonsai Tree? – Guide

Bonsai plant needs a sufficient quantity of water to bloom aptly. However, the most daunting task about the art of bonsai is how and when to water the tree adequately.

Appropriate watering of the bonsai plant ensures proper growth. Without the required moisture in the soil of a bonsai tree care, the growth is redundant, and it starts losing its leaves.

This worsens as the branches also begin to fall apart, and finally, the tree dies.

Three essential components of watering a bonsai tree include the provision of water needed to grow, distribution of soil nutrients required by the tree, and excess salt discharge from the soil.

Lastly, as the water flows out from the tiny holes of the pot, it takes out unwanted gases and allows fresh air from the plant’s use.

The moisture content in the soil of a bonsai tree dries up, and several elements such as ambient temperature, soil type, pot size, and the season usually cause this.

How Often To Water A Bonsai Tree?

To know how often you need to water a bonsai tree, you need to understand how to know when to water it. The most common way of knowing when the tree needs water is by feeling the soil in the pot.

This is done by putting a finger – you can put the middle finger if the soil is deep – into the soil and checking for the moisture content on the top of the soil, about an inch deep.

If it is dry, then you can water the plant again. Water is necessary for the plant to grow and produce its food through photosynthesis; it is advised that you water the plant during the early morning hours before the sun is out.

You can water the plant twice each day in the summer, once in the morning and the other in the evening. This is because the soil in the pot dries faster due to the dryness of the air.

As much as you can, do not water a bonsai tree during the hottest time of the day.

It Also Depends On The Bonsai Species

Through experience and practice, for particular species of Bonsai like Ficus Bonsai, Sweet plum Bonsai, Hawaiian umbrella Bonsai, and Jade Bonsai, there are estimated times you should be watering them every day.

  • Ficus Bonsai and the Hawaiian umbrella Bonsai should be watered twice daily, early in the morning and late in the evening.
  • The Jade Bonsai species can tolerate over-watering, so you can afford to water it thrice daily.
  • For the Sweet Plum Bonsai plant, stick to 2 – 3 times daily, as the plant likes plenty of sunlight.

It’s different from trees planted in an open space, whose roots can stretch and source their water, with their soil mostly covered with leaves, thus protecting them from the sun.

Bonsai trees are mainly put in a small pot containing a small quantity of soil, and the tree’s root system is small. Thus, only a minute amount of water can be held there.

Also, as a potted plant, all sides of the pot and the top and bottom are vulnerable to the activities of several environmental constraints, which causes them to dry up at a faster rate.

Therefore, you must regularly confirm when to water the bonsai tree. Nonetheless, how do you water a bonsai tree?

Bonsai Watering Method

Every pot of bonsai tree needs a special watering method. Conventionally, the best way of watering any bonsai tree is to pour adequate water whenever the soil’s surface looks dry.

Still, it is not exclusive to the regularity of watering; the elements that affect the moisture content in the soil, as mentioned above, are also inclusive. The hypothesis that plants require water for survival cannot be overemphasized.

Notwithstanding, the watering of the bonsai plants ought to be done in the required quantity.

Underwatering is the cause of bonsai tree death, as many people do not want to add excess water to the plant.=

If you frequently forget to water your Bonsai plant the soil will dry out completely, the roots will dry out and the Bonsai will eventually die.

One way to know the roots are drying out is when the soil goes completely dry and the leaves of Bonsai start to dry, crackle and wither, and then fall off. And if the Bonsai was green, the foliage would gradually turn yellow

Bonsai trees also suffer when watering is in excess. The withering of smaller branches and yellowish leaves shows over-watering. Over-watering also reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the roots as they are submerged in excess water. This causes the retarded growth of the tree.

When watering your bonsai tree, the primary objective is to ensure that the root system is completely saturated with water. You can add a tray to the tree’s pot to collect excess water, thereby ensuring proper drainage.

Droplets of water cascade over a lush bonsai tree against a dark background, illustrating the careful process to water a bonsai tree properly.

How To Water A Bonsai

Usually, the roots of the bonsai plant are at the center of the pot, and there is typically dense with soil content, unlike the corners of the pot where there are spaces.

Moreover, we know that water often flows in the direction of less resistance. Hence, it flows towards the pot’s side, away from the roots.

This implies that water does not easily reach the roots, mainly when a small amount is used to water the plant. Therefore, it is recommended that you water the bonsai tree adequately – if you can, water it twice.

If you are watering your bonsai tree, the whole soil in the pot must be soaked thoroughly.

You should not water the plant by spraying water. This is ineffective because you are only wetting the soil’s surface, and the roots will be unable to access the water.

Make sure to wet the entire soil mixture in the pot properly when watering the bonsai tree. This is to prevent dry soil within the pot, where roots can reach any water and can die.

The ultimate method of watering a bonsai tree is first to wet the soil surface to increase its ability to absorb more water. Then you marinate the soil by adding more water meticulously.

Whenever you water the bonsai tree, ensure that the soil is well-drenched with water so that the excess can flow out through the drainage holes.


As mentioned, you need to understand the peculiar water requirements of each bonsai plant. This will help you understand when and how to water it properly.

You also need to identify how your plant reacts to the environmental factors that influence the water content in the soil. Always remember that your bonsai tree needs to be watered when the soil surface is dry.


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