Maintaining a bonsai calls for commitment to a routine, while observing subtle changes to your tree. It is for this reason that watering is one of the many tasks you should exercise patience and precision with when growing a bonsai. It’s a routine that requires you to consider different factors to make sure you only feed the right amount to your bonsai.

Adjusting your watering habits for bonsai trees

Since bonsai trees are more delicate than regular garden plants, you need to exercise care on how well you water your bonsai to avoid stressing it. Your watering practices will vary depending on several factors; from your soil mixture, to the species of plant.

In this article, we will share three factors that affect your bonsai watering routines.

1. Plant species and pruning habits

When raising bonsai species that are vulnerable to root rot, you should pay extra attention to your watering habits. For example, fast-growing leafy species of bonsai trees will colonize rapidly, which leads to a faster rate of drying for the soil. At the same time, properly root-colonised bonsai trees can also rapidly dry a pot. Every time these events happen, your tree pulls a freshly chafed air into its plant roots, which encourages root rot. This can also occur through excessive watering.

Being outdoors, bonsai plants usually have watering intervals set at once per day, which is easy enough to remember. If you go beyond it, your bonsai can quickly cause it to wilt and dry, depending on its species.

If your bonsai is root-colonised in their container, it will demand more water sooner. On the other hand, if you prune your tree’s top, it will experience a decrease in transpiration, which increases its watering interval.

2. Soil mixture volume

When preparing your soil for your bonsai trees, you need to consider its different components. Soil usually holds a combination of organic and inorganic materials such as clay, peat moss, and vermiculite. If you increase any one of these components, it will affect its water-holding and drainage capacities. Because of this, you should extend your watering intervals to avoid excessive watering.

Be mindful of increasing your soil mixture’s volume beyond 25% since it can cause decreased aeration and poor drainage. This is crucial when repotting your bonsai trees to avoid root rot problems.

3. Environmental conditions

The quality of air increases your bonsai’s transpiration and decreases your watering intervals. Strong winds can rapidly dry out any plant, including bonsai trees. Keep this in mind during harsh seasons such as autumn and winter so you can adjust your watering habits accordingly.

Similarly, sunlight increases transpiration but also enhances evaporation rates on your plant. You should be aware of the amount of sunlight exposure after morning sun, where you might cosider more filtered sunlight. 


A bonsai tree is a delicate plant that requires proper care and attention, so it’s a hard hobby to get into. Although it may be challenging to adjust at first, constant practice and observation of your bonsai collection can help you find the right watering schedules. If you research the best growing techniques and equip yourself with the right tools, you can grow a strong and healthy tree.

We have a wide selection of items to choose from if you’re looking for bonsai tools in Australia for your routine bonsai maintenance. We also sell soil, pots, scissors, fertilisers and more. Check out our online catalogue of bonsai supplies for your gardening needs!