Spring Watering Tip-

Michael Hagedorn

There are a lot of things we might say about watering bonsai. I’ve tried a few times on this blog to mention some of them. Some are hard to make sense of in words, but as ever I’m willing to try. This one is about watering recently repotted trees.

At post-repotting time we need to be awake to one change-up, and that is that the interior soil mass (the part that was returned to the pot) may dry out much faster than you’d think.

  • If that interior area is full of fine roots, it will dry out fast after repotting.

DSC_1145 This pine is beginning to develop a solid mass of soil and roots, and this is the area that we’ll take our moisture ‘read’ from when deciding when to water. When dry, it will look very light colored compared to the surrounding new soil.

If you cut all the fine…

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5 thoughts on “Spring Watering Tip-

    • Hi James, it’s difficult to give accurate answers to your questions as I’m sure you’ll appreciate the different factors affecting the health of anyone’s bonsai tree. For my older trees/material once every four or five years maybe, for younger trees maybe once every two or three years but it really depends on each tree. A good indicator if a tree needs repotting is whether water pools on the surface of the soil. This may be because the roots have packed the pot and preventing drainage. If you upend the tree and see root at the drainage holes of the pot, it’s also a sign of needing a repot. Generally soil for bonsai should be free draining but again it can differ according to conditions and the needs of the tree. For a drier climate such as yours I would recommend a mix of something like pumice or something similar which is light and allows water to drain quickly but also some organic material to retain moisture during the drought conditions or else I imagine your tree would dry out very quickly. The best advice would be from an enthusiast with similar climate to you who successfully grows Chinese Elms. I’m not sure of any online sources but it could be worth checking out. Hope this helps 🙂

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