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Chinese Elm Bonsai - Ok to water with Squirt Bottle?

i got a bonsai from walmart (which ive never done before) it was five dollars so i couldnt pass it up. ive had it for a month and the leaves are almost all dropping off. i left it in the window so it had enough light and ive watered it when it feels dry. ive been using a squirt bottle and it shoots out a jet of water instead of a mist. should i water it differently or is it something else.

Green Thumb
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: NJ

depends on your climate it's better for Chinese elms to spend warm part of the year outdoors instead of indoors by the window. I've rescued a Chinese elm/seiju variety from Walmart last year and it went from having a few leaves with bare branches to fully covered with leaves and totally healthy. Again, when you water bonsai. Pour water slowly into the soil and make sure the following happens. With completely dry soil, water will run through the drain holes right away without any being retained by the soil. Upon further watering the soil eventually start to absorb water. You want it to absorb and retain some such that what ever extra will drain through the hole. If yours is like mine it has a plastic water holding tray attached to the bottom of pot which is helpful in keeping the soil wet for longer. But if the soil gets too wet all the times which may cause fungus, the tray needs to be removed. If you are primarily using spray bottle to water, it's not effective unless you spray until the top of soil is wet, improving its ability to absorb more water, then dump in water from the bottle after removing the sprayer. If you have no choice but keep it indoors and it's not convenient to water in such high quantity as I described, you may want to consider soaking the whole pot in a bigger pot of water for a few minutes each time you water.

After a good watering session, try to avoid watering in small quantities. Let the soil become say 90% dry before giving it the next bath.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

Green Thumb
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:05 am
Location: Elizabeth, PA

A squirt bottle will probably not be sufficient. Read this, https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1479

Also, does your tree have glued in rocks on top? Because that would certainly affect your tree's ability to get water and air.

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