Bonsai, in general, is an intricate and delicate art to master. It needs a perfect watering process to ensure its healthy life span. However, the most common cause of bonsai tree deaths is under-watering or over-watering. For this reason, making sure that you know how often it needs to be watered will help maintain its perfect shape and longevity. 

Each bonsai has different water needs depending on several factors: species of the tree, size of the tree, size of the pot, time of year, soil mixture, and climate. Although there are different watering needs for each, these guidelines will teach you what to look out for and identify when a tree needs to be watered. 

Here are some added bonsai care tips and watering guide you should know to ensure the growth of your tree: 

1. Water your trees when the soil gets slightly dry

If you are a bonsai enthusiast who is just starting, one of the most important things you should do is check your bonsai’s soil daily. If it appears to be dry, water it immediately, but if the soil is still wet, do not water your tree as it will lead to overwatering. You can measure the soil moisture by using your fingers at about one centimetre deep (0.4″). Over time, it will be easier for you to determine the soil moisture level even without feeling it once you gain experience.

2. Never water on a routine

Although it is essential to never let the plant dry out, you should also avoid keeping it constantly wet. You may tend to do this by routine, but you should keep a close eye on your trees individually to determine when each one needs watering. Also, avoid watering them all at the same time since each bonsai is unique and requires a different watering frequency. 


3. Use the right soil mixture

Although there is no general soil for all bonsai, finding the right one would significantly influence how often you need to water your trees. Most trees thrive on a mixture of akadama, pumice, and lava rock in a ratio of ½ to ¼ to ¼. Luckily, there are specialty soils on the market that are readily made, and you can also check out some guides on choosing the best soil for your tree. Likewise, it is imperative to add some fertilisers to your soil during the growing season – typically in early spring to mid-fall. 

4. Re-pot as soon as necessary

Usually, the repotting of bonsais is done once every two to five years but, when most of the water flows right out of the pot when you water the tree, it needs immediate repotting. This is because the roots are too compact, so the soil mass cannot absorb too much water. 


Watering is a very important aspect of taking care of bonsai trees for the best growth and development. It doesn’t matter what time, as you only need to know how often. On top of that, pouring water from above using a fine nozzle can help in watering the tree entirely. It takes experience to master how to determine when you should water your plants, but with the guide mentioned above, you will be able to make your trees healthy and alive. 

If you need materials and proper tools to grow your bonsai, the Bonsai Shop offers bonsai tool kits in Australia. We also have a complete set of pots and accessories with well-priced quality! Shop with us now to make your bonsai journey more manageable and fun!