How Long Can Bonsai Go Without Water? (Explain Details)

Bonsai trees are one of the most popular ornamental plants. They are small in size with beautiful shapes. The beauty of bonsai trees is the imitation of large and healthy old trees in nature. They often have trunks with many unique shapes and poses to attract viewers.

One of the problems that many people grow bonsai trees in recent times is the problem of watering. Many people think that bonsai trees are usually small in size and sturdy, so they will be able to withstand water shortages for a long time.

However, is this information true? How long can bonsai go without water? Do we need daily watering for bonsai trees? All the details are already in the article below.

How Long Can Bonsai Go Without Water?

Although bonsai trees are small and sturdy, they can usually only tolerate a lack of water for up to about three weeks. The maximum time will also depend on several different types of bonsai trees. However, after 3-4 weeks without water, the bonsai tree will encounter many serious conditions and die later.

For plants, water is one of the most important and indispensable elements for healthy growth and development. Therefore, it is extremely important to provide enough water for the bonsai tree to maintain the ideal humidity.

For each type of bonsai tree, the need for water can be different. However, some species need to be watered 1-2 times daily. Meanwhile, some bonsai plants only need to be watered 2-3 times a week. Regarding watering for bonsai trees, you will need to pay attention to many issues such as time, amount of water, soil drainage, soil moisture, or evaporation rate.

Most bonsai trees are small in size and are usually grown in pots. Therefore, the soil has a lower ability to retain moisture than underground plants. You need to check the moisture in the soil before watering to avoid waterlogging. Waterlogging is also easy if you water every day and the soil is poorly drained. Excess water will accumulate and cause root rot in the bonsai tree.

how long can bonsai go without water

What Should I Pay Attention To When Watering Bonsai Trees?

Water according to the actual needs of the plant by checking the moisture in the soil with a hygrometer or using your finger. You should only water when the soil surface is 1-2 inches dry. Should not water your bonsai tree according to the established schedule because factors such as temperature and humidity in the air will change from day to day or from season to season.

You also need to check the pot regularly to make sure the drainage hole is working properly. After a long time, moss or compacted soil will clog the drainage hole. From there, the excess water cannot drain out of the pot and causes waterlogging and root rot.

To avoid waterlogging, you need to check the quality of the potting soil. Components such as gravel, buffalo footstone, or coconut fiber work in creating gaps in the soil to help plants absorb oxygen and avoid waterlogging. Using a little perlite in the bottom of the pot will help reduce waterlogging and better air circulation for your bonsai.

When watering, you should not water the leaves because moisture on the leaves will create favorable conditions for fungus growth. In particular, if you water or mist the bonsai tree in the evening, the moist environment on the leaf surface will be an ideal place for harmful fungi and bacteria to grow.

You should water in the morning and place the pot in a place with indirect sunlight to dry the leaves. You should also not place the pot in direct sunlight for a long time because the leaves of the bonsai tree can get sunburned. When there is sunlight, the rate of evaporation and moisture in the soil will evaporate faster. Therefore, you need to regularly observe and water the bonsai tree continuously.

How To Know If A Bonsai Tree Is Lacking In Water?

Like other plants, the first sign of a lack of water is that the leaves begin to wilt or droop from lack of moisture. Yellow spots will begin to appear on the leaves and then the entire leaf will turn yellow, falling off if there is a lack of water for a long time.

You can also observe that the leaves and stems will begin to wilt and droop. The edges of the leaves may curl, dry out, and become more brittle to the touch. This is because they are shrinking the area on the leaf surface to minimize the rate of evaporation through the stomata on the leaf.

Leaf wilting in this case is a symptom of a lack of water passing through the cells of the bonsai tree. Plants have pores on the surface of their leaves called stomata. They allow air to enter the entire stem and the cells on the leaves. When plants don’t have enough water, they close the transpiration hole to prevent transpiration.

You can also observe the soil color on the potted plants. If the soil is too dry, it is light brown and has cracks in the surface. You can also use a moisture meter or your finger to check the moisture in the soil. When the surface of the soil is 1-2 inches dry, you should water the bonsai tree to avoid water shortage.

If there is a shortage of water for a long time, your bonsai tree can lose all its leaves and affect its ability to recover. Therefore, you should try to water them at least 1-2 times per month for bonsai trees if you do not have much time to take care of them.

Can I Save A Bonsai Tree From Lack Of Water?

The revival of the bonsai tree completely depends on the actual level of water shortage. If your bonsai tree only shows signs of water shortage in the early stages such as wilting leaves, yellow spots appearing, and leaves drooping then you just need to add water to help the plant fresh again. For a few days after that, you need to water every day whenever the ground is dry so that the water can reach every cell of the bonsai.

You also need to place the potted plant in a place with indirect sunlight, suitable temperature, and good air circulation to facilitate photosynthesis. When the bonsai tree absorbs enough water, it will start biological processes as normal.

However, if your bonsai tree is deprived of water for a long time, the leaves have completely fallen, the trunk is withered and cracked, and the level of revival is very difficult. To overcome this situation, you need to soak the bonsai tree completely in water for 10 to 30 minutes so that the water can penetrate the entire leaves and stem in a short time.

After that, you need to water the bonsai tree continuously and mist it every day to provide moisture. If, after a few days or weeks, you see the trunk returning to freshness or sprouting new shoots, your bonsai tree should be able to revive in the next few weeks.

Therefore, you should not water too few bonsai trees for a long time even though their stems are sturdy and look healthy. Remember water is an important element for plants and they cannot live without water for a long time. You need to provide enough water to help plants grow and develop well.


Bonsai trees can only tolerate a lack of water for about 3-4 weeks depending on the type of tree. For some bonsai trees, you need to water continuously 1-2 times per day, while some other plants need at least 2-3 times per month.

Therefore, you should observe the bonsai tree regularly to water when the tree shows signs of lack of water such as wilting leaves, yellow spots, weak stems, and dry and cracked soil surface. Make sure to provide enough water for bonsai trees so that they can grow and develop at their best.

If your bonsai tree dies due to a lack of water for a long time, it will not have a chance to revive. The level of regeneration of bonsai trees will depend entirely on their lack of water. They can be revived immediately if watered in time.

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