Bonsai Blog

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Keeping my bonsai watered in Texas

Now that the six juniper procumbens are behind me, I can now concentrate on my other trees as before. Here in Texas we’re deep into summer with temps quite often in the 100F range. Because of this, watering has become a three time a day chore – leaving no room for anything less.

During the hottest time of the day most of the trees are in shade, but that’s not the case for the black pines. They must be in full sun all the time.

Because of this, certain precautions must be taken. The main one being keeping the pots of those trees from becoming too hot. If they become excessively hot, the roots inside that sometimes straddle the sides of the pot on the inside and will become damaged and possibly cause the death of the tree.

For this reason all the pots that are in full sun are covered with thick towels to protect them from that unbearable heat, as you can see in the following two pics:

Bonsai protection from sun

Bonsai protected from sun 2

The towels, when wet from watering, actually keep the pot humid and cool for a few hours and can be very beneficial in this instance as well.

While your at it, look at the foliage on those pines. These trees are very healthy and ready for decandling. Decandling should never be done on an unhealthy pine. What you are seeing here is the result of a good fertilizing program and the correct type of soil for these particular trees.

I recently took a little time to work on one of my juniper procumbens since I was more or less in the mood after working on the other six for the series. I really felt this tree needed only one thing done to it at this time, and that was a new and slightly bigger pot. All that was needed was to slip it from the smaller pot to the bigger one with new soil.

For this reason the term slip potting is used by bonsai enthusiasts. The pic below shows the tree in the new pot:

Juniper Slip Potting

Go back to the introduction of the six junipers to see this tree from its beginning at purchase, to the recent pot it was in.

Finally, doing bonsai in my little part of the world can be somewhat challenging at times. This is what I sometimes have to wear to water my trees, part of a bee suit.

Bee suit

My neighbor behind me has been raising bees for the past few years and since then they know where to come for that desperate drink of water. Just about all of my pots look like what you see below, thirsty bees enjoying some fun time in the moist soil and moss.


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So as I’m watering, bees are buzzing around me as though I was in the midst of their hive. So far no stings as of this writing, I just hope it stays that way.

Now this next pic made me make a run for the nearest door to the house. At various times bees will swarm from their hive and look for a new place to take up residence, and that’s usually in my back yard bald cypress. During the swarm it can be pretty scary until they settle down like you see here.

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Next time I hope to give you an update on the JBP seedlings and one of the six junipers from the recent series. 🙂

Thomas J.

One thought on “Keeping my bonsai watered in Texas”

  1. Some good tips especially now with this extreme weather we are experiencing. Your right about keeping the pots cool, if standing in the full sun for too long that can often get to hot to pick up. Oh, and I love the bee’s, maybe it’s time to start an additional hobby…

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