Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: lindzh on January 14, 2011, 09:09 AM

Title: Watering in the winter?
Post by: lindzh on January 14, 2011, 09:09 AM
I purchased a juniper bonsai not to long ago from ( and just love the little thing! Anyway, I am a newbie and was wondering how much water bonsais need in the winter. Someone told me they go dormant in the winter and don't need as much this true?
Title: Re: Watering in the winter?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on January 14, 2011, 09:16 AM
Welcome aboard.

In what part of the world are you located?  What time of year did you purchase the tree?  How have you been caring for it?  What type of soil is the tree in?  How are you overwintering?
Title: Re: Watering in the winter?
Post by: rockm on January 14, 2011, 10:42 AM
If you have the tree inside (a very bad idea for junipers) it is not dormant and will need watering. If you are in an area that gets outside temps below freezing in the winter, you will have to wait until next spring to get the tree outside (where it will much much happier).

Title: Re: Watering in the winter?
Post by: Larry Gockley on January 15, 2011, 11:01 AM
Since you refer to plants using less water in the winter time, I'm assuming you live in the northern hemisphere, Most plants probably use less water in the winter, due to less heat evaporation,  and less leaf transpiration. That said, most newbies ask the question of how to water their tree, when the real question should be when to water it. How to water it is always the same answer - water completely, and due to soil surface tension, water again in about 5 minutes. When to water is the important part. Several years ago, I read a great article, ( don't remember where),  that explained about plants starting to loose moisture soon after being watered, and listed when the plant would need water again. Tropical plants were on one end of the list, needing to stay more moist, and the cactus was on the other end of the list, needing to  dry out between watering. Knowing where your tree falls in that range is the key.  For a juni, I would let the surface get fairly dry before watering. The problem with getting on-line advice on watering, is that one could write a book on the variables that enter in to the equation. Local environment, the amount of foilage and even the size and shape of the pot come in to play. But the biggest factor is probably the soil used. Bonsai soil MUST drain freely. If when you water it, the water rests on the surface, you have a big problem. If the surface is covered with little stones that are glued together, remove them. Also, a juni needs to be kept outside, but , if the person you bought it from had it inside, it would probably be better off to remain inside for the duration of the winter, and keep in outside next year . Good luck, Larry
Title: Re: Watering in the winter?
Post by: lindzh on January 18, 2011, 11:21 AM
Wow! Thanks so much for all of your replies. This is exactly what I needed to know....ya'll are so knowledgeable! Thanks again for the help:)