Watering a bonsai is a very crucial topic and doing it the right way is very vital for its survival. No one can exactly point out that you should water ‘x’ amount  to a bonsai because it depends on various factors. 

However, here are the basic guidelines on how to handle the watering part. 

When to water your bonsai?

Watering a bonsai is a tricky thing to master. The easiest litmus test we suggest to our customers or bonsai enthusiasts is to check the soil!


If the top layer of soil is dry, it is a sign that the plant needs Watering or if it is moist or remotely damp, don’t water it. Don’t make a certain schedule to water your bonsai tree. You just have to understand the plant condition and act accordingly. A bonsai plant dries up faster in summer, so make sure you pay closer attention and tend to its needs. We don’t recommend you to water your bonsai tree in mid-afternoon, because of the heat the water evaporates rather quickly before the plant takes in. That would be counterproductive. 

How to water a bonsai tree?

As explained earlier, if the soil is dry, you are to water the plant. In our nursery, we care for almost 200+ bonsai’s and for us the easiest and safest way to water a bonsai through a garden hose fitted with a bathroom shower.

watering-bonsai-hoseThis is very important because just using a garden hose leads to excessive and rough watering that disturbs the soil. Never water the bonsai plant on the leaves, concentrate the shower on the soil.

Tap water is more than fine for your bonsai. But if you are using this, you may find white spots on your leaves. That is normal, it is because of the salts present in the bore water, they don’t normally cause any harm to your bonsai tree.

NOTE:  When you water, make sure the whole soil and all the roots are wet. This is very important.

It is pretty common for a beginner or some experts to not give their Bonsai plant required amount or over amount of water. In this case the plant might eventually show you a few symptoms by which you can fix your watering pattern. Watering issue can be classified into two types , Over watering and under watering a bonsai tree. 

Symptoms of over-watering:

If your bonsai plant looks like this , then it is a victim of over watering.


Whenever you over water bonsai trees, the leaves will turn yellow and the plant will eventually shrink and it will die. The plant will look something like this at the symptoms stage.

  Leaves turning yellow are a major sign to detect over-watering.  If not cared well at this stage , the plant will die. If your bonsai i is over-watered and past the yellow leaves stage, then expose the bonsai tree to direct sunlight for 2-3 days without watering it. There is a very good chance that the plant gets back to its prime condition by following this.  Always shower the bonsai trees and follow the above instructions to avoid over-watering.

Less watering of bonsai?

When a bonsai plant is under watered, it stuns the plant growth. There is every possibility to lose some branches and some parts of the bonsai tree will dry up and the damage is very hard to repair.

We conduct beginners classes for bonsai enthusiasts very regularly in which we teach dealing with bonsai’s practically at our nursery which has more than 150 varieties of bonsai trees. Follow our Facebook page or click here to check when our next session is

In conclusion, watering is a observant game for any bonsai enthusiast. We need to monitor  the plant closely and act according to it. Following the above guidelines will definitely help you in your bonsai journey.

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