Should You Mist A Bonsai Tree?

Is your Bonsai tree looking a bit lackluster? Bonsai trees prefer a moist, humid environment. Indoor heating and air conditioners tend to make our indoor environments very dry with little relative humidity. If you are asking how to increase the humidity on your Bonsai tree, you have come to the right place! We've researched whether to mist a Bonsai and some of the best techniques.

Misting a Bonsai depends on the environment you keep the Bonsai. Outdoor Bonsai trees do not require any misting. Bonsai trees placed indoors benefit from a daily misting.

To effectively mist your Bonsai tree you only need to follow these quick steps:

  • Get a plant mister; you can purchase any of several different varieties.
  • Fill with room temperature water.
  • Spray the plant from top to bottom.
  • Spray the plant again from bottom to top. This guarantees all leaves have been thoroughly saturated.

Now that you understand exactly how to mist your Bonsai tree, we will discuss some common questions and take an in-depth look at misting your Bonsai. We will also provide enough information to determine if your Bonsai tree needs misting incorporated into its care routine. Or if your tree doesn't require any misting, if it's still a good idea or harmful to implement the occasional misting.

careful botanist spray water in bonsai plant in the garden, Should You Mist A Bonsai Tree?

Benefits of Misting a Bonsai

Common Bonsai species are cultivated from temperate climates. They require moderate temperatures, moderate humidity, and full sun in the summer months. When these Bonsai are kept indoors, they suffer from reduced humidity levels due to our heating and air conditioning systems.

For optimal growing results, you will want to keep the Bonsai away from vents or drafty areas. Subjecting the Bonsai to these can lead to excessive dryness in the leaves.

Misting these plants helps to improve their local ambient humidity. A downside is that it only offers the benefit of increased local humidity for around 15 to 30 seconds at a time. So in the summer months, feel free to mist as often as you would like during the daylight hours.

Check out this mister bottle on Amazon.

Another benefit of misting is removing the layer of accumulated dust on the leaves of the plant. This keeps the plant healthy, clean, and lively looking.

If a layer of dust is left to linger on a plant's leaves, it can affect how much sunlight the plant is receiving, thus disrupting the photosynthesis process. If you are misting for dust removal, you will want to perform the misting about once a week at sunset.

Check out this vintage mister on Amazon.

If after misting, dust still remains on your Bonsai tree leaves, you have a couple of options for removing it. One, if your leaves are big enough, you can take a soft cloth and wipe the leaves down after misting. Second, if your Bonsai tree has needles or textured leaves, you can take a soft bristle brush to dislodge the dust and then spray again, removing the dust.

Humidity Tray

Bonsai bath

In addition to misting, setting up a humidity tray underneath the Bonsai is very beneficial in increasing the local ambient humidity. A humidity tray is a small tray with pebbles on the bottom.

You simply place the bonsai pot on top of the rocks and fill the rocks about half full with water. This ensures that the roots are not saturated at all times, preventing root rot. As the water evaporates in the tray, this raises the ambient humidity for the Bonsai tree creating a humid environment they need.

Check out this humidity tray on Amazon.

How do you mist a Bonsai tree?

To mist a Bonsai tree, you will want to purchase a garden mister bottle. These come in many different sizes and varieties. 

Check out this garden misting bottle on Amazon.

You will want to mist the tree from top to bottom then again from bottom to top. This ensures that all the leaves are thoroughly saturated, and if the tree has any moss at the top of the soil, it also ensures it remains moist and healthy.

Do Bonsai trees like to be sprayed?

Bonsai trees like to either be misted or have a garden hose sprayed over them in a fine mist or light rain setting when suffering from dryness.

Here is a quick and helpful video on watering and misting your Bonsai tree:

Outdoor Bonsai

Outdoor bonsai on display

Outdoor Bonsai trees do not require misting. They may not even require regular watering. They should only be watered when the soil appears dry.

The exception to this is if you are in a dry climate or the Bonsai is in direct sunlight. In these circumstances, the tree will need to be watered on a daily basis and watched carefully for signs of dryness.

Elm with green foliage as a bonsai tree in portrait format

Growing moss on the Bonsai's soil can also help to retain moisture in dry arid climates or indoors. The moss helps to retain moisture and adds extra protection for the roots. Here is a simple guide to growing moss on your Bonsai "How To Grow Moss On A Bonsai."

The best method for watering outdoor Bonsai is with a garden hose set to a light rain setting. Simply shower the tree with water simulating a rainshower until water starts to drain from the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Allowing water to flow out the drainage holes in the bottom confirms the roots of the tree have been thoroughly saturated.

Can you overwater a Bonsai tree?

Yes, you can absolutely overwater a Bonsai tree. For an indoor Bonsai, some symptoms of overwatering are brown or black tips on the leaves and the tree becoming unstable in its pot. This is because overwatering results in root rot in the pot over time. This, in turn, causes the tree to be unstable in the pot, its roots not performing as they should, stabilizing the plant in the soil.

To remedy overwatering, you will want to move the Bonsai to a spot with sunlight but not in direct sun and only water when the soil is just barely damp to the touch.

To prevent overwatering, a great way to water the Bonsai is with a water bath. A water bath allows the plant to only drink up or utilize the amount of water it needs.

To use the water bath method of watering, you can plug your sink or use a waterproof container like a dishpan. Place your Bonsai tree in the sink or dishpan, fill with water until the water reaches about halfway up the Bonsai's pot. Allow the Bonsai to sit in the water for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Check out this dishpan on Amazon.

If you are wondering how often you should be watering your Bonsai check out our in-depth guide about watering, "How Often Should You Water A Bonsai Tree?"

What does Bonsai mist do?

There are several benefits to misting a Bonsai tree. One is increasing the ambient humidity around the plant. Indoor Bonsai are typically subtropical trees, so they enjoy high humidity, which our homes lack due to our heating and air conditioning systems.

The second benefit of misting a Bonsai is dust removal from the leaves of the tree. This maintains the health of the tree and a clean lively appearance. If the tree's leaves accumulate too much dust, it can disrupt the photosynthesis process for the plant, affecting their health.

Unhealthy plants attract pests, and you are less likely to notice any changes to leaf color or textures if a layer of dust is blocking your view. This keeps not only your plant healthy but your home's indoor environment healthy as well.

In Summary

careful botanist spray water in bonsai plant in the garden, Should You Mist A Bonsai Tree?

So even though misting is not a 100% necessary step in caring for your Bonsai tree, it is still a very helpful tool in caring for your plant. It is an easy and fast way to increase the ambient humidity of the plant and a wonderfully simple way to dust the leaves of your Bonsai, keeping it attractive and healthy, along with your own indoor environment.

With proper care, your Bonsai tree should be a mainstay in your home for quite a long time. We hope these tips have helped you learn about misting and determine if you should implement it for your plant care routine.

If you've enjoyed this article, consider these for further reading:

What’s The Best Pot For Bonsai Trees? [Inc. 11 Perfect Examples]

How Fast Do Bonsai Trees Grow?

My Ikea Bonsai Tree Is Dying – What To Do?

One comment

  1. When exposed to direct sunlight, misting may be necessary to ensure optimal growth and health (source). Indoor bonsai, on the other hand, may require more frequent misting due to the controlled.

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