Bonsai forum

  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC:

Newb With Some Basic Bonsai Questions 7 months 2 weeks ago #67436

  • Ivan Mann
  • Ivan Mann's Avatar
  • Away
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 1391
  • Thanks received: 481
I would go with the watering system, and see what happens. Maybe a zone that waters twice, once early morning and once late afternoon, but you probably only need the second one when temps don't drop below 90F/32C at night.

Once a day is enough for mine almost every day, and would probably be good for you, done at maybe 9:00 or so, just before heat starts to build up. Sometimes in August I will come home and see that some of the leaves are starting to look wilted, when it has been hot all day and night. That is usually only the last three weeks if that long.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Newb With Some Basic Bonsai Questions 7 months 2 weeks ago #67449

  • BofhSkull
  • BofhSkull's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 301
  • Thanks received: 121

Thanks much for the enthusiastic , encouraging replies. Since my first post, I have been reading some more, and if I have a concern about this possible hobby it is the need for daily watering, or even 2-3 times a a day. Honestly this is a deal breaker for me. I don’t want to be tied to a plant in this manner.

From what I’ve read, for a bonsai to live in such a small pot, it needs aerated roots, and soil /aggregate where the water basically just flows through the pot and minimally retained, to allow the air in, hence the need for daily watering. My wife and I can be gone from several days to 2 weeks on trips. Quite frankly I think this is a deal breaker for my routine, unless there are workable compromises, such as use more organic soil in the mixture.

Now we do have an outside automatic watering system where a zone could be configured to water daily with water lines , but that would still just be daily waterings, which I don’t really want this kind of commitment, because it means a lot of time spent, where a slip up and that time is wasted if a plant dies.

Of note this juniper I bought, it came with regular soil and vermiculite and seems quite happy being watered once a week or so and currently it sits in a southern window. Now long term, based on what I’ve read, I’m not making any bets on it’s survival. ;)

But the question remains, with an indoor bonsai *(which kind of plants are ideal for indoor?) can a compromise be made on soil composition where a bonsai might be happy enough?

*I think due to 4 straight months of 90F in Houston, a bonsai would definitely need daily watering, which I want to avoid, hence an indoor plant, possibly a drought tolerant plant. Note, I already have some succulents, and they are wonderful in this regard. :side: Thanks again!



Can only tell you what I do...
Northern Italy here, easily a couple of months always over 30C during daytime, with daily peaks up to 38-40.
I do travel quite a lot (well, I usually would) for work, 10-15 days every time.
When I do, my trees are watered automatically, 3 times a day. All of them. I place them in different areas where they get different amounts of direct sunlight based on their needs. So when I can’t keep an eye on them even the junipers get moved to partial shade at times.

Getting the right amount of watering can be a bit tricky at first but nothing too complicated: as I said, if the substrate drains well no harm is done by overwatering.
I’ve been doing this for almost a decade now, and it works well.

However

When your plants get older and more valuable (to you, if nothing else), the problem becomes “what if something happens to the watering system”?

You don’t want to get back home and find all the plants you’ve been carefully working on for years dead because the battery died or the hose detached or anything else.

So you also need something or somebody that can keep an eye on the plants, and someone who can go into your garden and fix things if they go wrong.

Home automation can help with the former, but there’s no alternative to a friend for the latter...


I’d stay as far as possible from “indoor bonsai”, for a number of reasons that would require a dedicated post.
Just know that IMO if you think outdoor bonsai looks like a pain, indoor bonsai is a couple of magnitudes more...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Green Nail

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: Post by BofhSkull.

Newb With Some Basic Bonsai Questions 7 months 2 weeks ago #67453

  • Green Nail
  • Green Nail's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 7
  • Thanks received: 0

You can pot the tree up in a much bigger pot with a lot of organic soil in it and you will be fine with watering once or twice a week. That is what I do to most of my trees until they are ready for refinement.

Most of us find watering trees relaxing and enjoyable. If you dont like to water, yes, you might picked the wrong hobby :)


Please tell me more about bigger pots and using organic soil. I'm interested in the "mechanics" of a bonsai, keeping it in a larger pot with organic dirt, or in a small pot with aggragates when it comes to refinement. Is the issue the plant growing too fast in the bigger pot with organic soil, or possibly becoming root bound? I am under the impression that a tree kept in a smallish pot, say 12-15" diameter would still be limited in how large it would grow. And we have plenty of plants in pots where the plants seem quite happy. Why are bonsai experts going with the teeny pots? Is this tradition, or is there a specific mechanic that makes the teeny pot a necessity? Thanks!

Of note, I keep many plants in pots outside and have an auto watering system for 1 or 2 times a week (2 times when it's really hot) that catches many of this large pots, the others either have drought resistant plants or we go out and water them. If we go on a trip, the pots get moved over to the watering zone for while we are gone.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Newb With Some Basic Bonsai Questions 7 months 2 weeks ago #67455

  • Tropfrog
  • Tropfrog's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 1946
  • Thanks received: 650
Well, the smaller pots is to large extend a design thing and in my opinion only for the refinement stage. It just looks better. But it will also limit growth speed but not size. The tree will continue growing until it dies. So pot will not limit size, that is why we prune bonsai.

Bigger pots take longer time to get root bound.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Green Nail

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: Post by Tropfrog.

Newb With Some Basic Bonsai Questions 6 months 5 days ago #68918

  • Green Nail
  • Green Nail's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • New Member
  • New Member
  • Posts: 7
  • Thanks received: 0

Well, the smaller pots is to large extend a design thing and in my opinion only for the refinement stage. It just looks better. But it will also limit growth speed but not size. The tree will continue growing until it dies. So pot will not limit size, that is why we prune bonsai.

Bigger pots take longer time to get root bound.


I always thought plants do not outgrow their pots, not implying I am correct. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2