Watering a bonsai may not seem like a big deal, it’s just a plant after all, right? This is true, they are just miniature trees that have been placed in pots for display. It is also true that you can just grab a watering can and water it if you know what you doing. The key to take from this article is to ensure that ALL of the dirt has the opportunity to absorb some water. If you take a watering can and pour a little water on one side of the pot and walk away, the roots on the other side will die. This will leave you with a dead plant and not a clue why it happened. For this reason, I am posting this blog about the two most common methods of how to water a bonsai.
This is the preferred method of most bonsai trainers. It takes a little more time and effort, but your trees will truly appreciate it. In this method, you fill a large container with water to just above the height of your pot(s). You then place the pot in the water so that the entire pot is submerged in the water. Let your tree sit there for three to five minutes before you remove it and let the excess water run out. Then return the tree to its original location after it has stopped dripping to avoid a mess.
We prefer this method because it is a dummy-proof way to ensure the whole pot gets wet. By letting it soak, we know that all the dirt in that pot has had ample time to absorb water.
If you do not have the means or time to let the tree soak, you can use a watering can if you know what you are doing. With a watering can, water the entire surface of the soil and let it soak in. After a few seconds, pour in some more to ensure that everything is soaked. Repeat this until you see water dripping from the bottom of the pot. If you do not see water, then the soil is not completely soaked.
The most common mistake is the owner splashing some water on the tree and walking away. This prevents the tree from being able to expand the root mass because of dry areas. Dry roots will die off quickly as the tree attempts to focus all its energy on the area that does have moist soil.