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Importance of the right amount of water for bonsai
Plant growth is closely linked to the presence of water in the soil that supports it, the minimum or maximum amount that varies from plant to plant is of vital importance because wrong irrigation can seriously compromise the growth and the very survival of a bonsai causing the onset of various diseases.
Watering the bonsai, due to the small amount of soil available to the roots, is one of the most important operations and is extremely delicate, it must be repeated with frequency and precision to keep the bonsai healthy.
The need for water in the bonsai is very different from the normal plants that can satisfy their needs through a deep root system, in bonsai the reduced dimensions of the roots and the soil that supports the plant determine the need for a more frequent intake of water but in "Necessary quantity", the water must be calibrated and monitored in detail and in all circumstances.
There is no fixed rule for watering bonsai trees, there are many factors that influence this operation: the environmental conditions, the type of tree, the degree of development of the tree, the composition of the substrate, the size of the pot.
For a good cultivation in general, given the close relationship between the substrate and the watering, it is advisable to use only very draining substrates which not only give greater strength to the plants, but make them rest assured with regards to root rot, fatal for the plant.
A foolproof method to feel if the bonsai needs water always remains to check with the index finger, gently to avoid damaging the roots, the condition of the soil in the pot, if it is dry it is time to intervene if it is still wet и still possible to leave out.
When to water
Although there are no binding indications to water a bonsai, it is a good rule for a correct watering to take into account the vegetative and physiological needs of the plant.
For a correct balance and development of the bonsai, also at a metabolic level, it is advisable to have a correct and constant alternation between watering and subsequent drying of the soil, always bearing in mind that the plants must not be absolutely always wet with the same frequency if they do not require it.
In summer, for example, if the plant is outdoors, irrigation can be done once or twice a day after checking the humidity of the soil, in autumn at the beginning, the bonsai while still having the needs of the summer period it then requires less water.
Also in this case it is necessary to constantly monitor the state of soil moisture.
In winter during the vegetative rest the bonsai needs in water is reduced, even just two weekly waterings are enough preferably.
In the spring with vegetative growth it is necessary to water according to the vegetative state of the plant, increasing the waterings as the temperature increases.
Deciduous trees need more water in summer, precisely because the large leaf surface facilitates transpiration, conifers require discreet quantities of water even in winter, because by maintaining the leaf apparatus, they must feed constantly.
Watering bonsai: How to water
Water can be distributed in several ways:
For superficial sprinkling (that is giving high water) being very careful though not to create holes in the ground in this regard a watering can with a thin shower head avoids this inconvenience;
By immersing the vase in a container with the water placed at a level 1 cm below the level of the vase, in this way the roots absorb the water they need and the soil in this way wets evenly;
Some species of bonsai need a high level of humidity that can be obtained, in addition to keeping the soil moist, by nebulizing the foliage.
The nebulization, in addition to making the plant absorb vital water, keeps its small leaves clean without neglecting that it is useful to remove some parasites such as the red spider that does not like humidity, on the contrary, however, it can cause if it does not lend itself attention the attack of mushrooms especially in particularly hot and humid periods.
The ideal water for watering the bonsai is the rain water collected because it does not contain added chemicals, otherwise the use of tap water has some inconvenience (too cold temperature, chlorine) that can be remedied by collecting the water is doing it to rest even for twelve hours so that it reaches a temperature close to that of the environment, this expedient also allow the disposal of a part of the chlorine.
If it is true that water is necessary for the life of the plant it is also true that excesses can be harmful.
It is therefore advisable when watering with a finger to check if the water has wet all the ground suspend watering when the water starts to come out of the drainage holes.
In summer, to avoid damage to the plants, it is better to water them early in the morning or in the evening, after the hottest hours.
The water in this case must be strictly fresh, neither at room temperature nor even hot, because in summer, when temperatures are really high, for bonsai it is really a big stress to overcome the long days of sultriness.