Misting for "indoor" bonsai

Torgo

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Sorry for the misnomer in the title, I know there is no true indoor bonsai...I have some scheffleras and jades that are more like office plants at the moment, but I'd like them to stay healthy for their eventual journey into bonsai. Would it matter if we used regular (a la Walmart) spray bottles? Or would it be better to use something with a finer mist? These will be in air conditioning, with moderate light, and if I understood the care properly, watered only about once every 10-14 days.

Also, is "more often is always better" an accurate rule of thumb when it comes to misting?
 

Bill S

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Some say yes some say no it doesn't help. It probably does nothing but minimally raise the humidity, the drops of a spray bottle are large for absorbsion. But I do believe that a spraying or 2 a day is a good thing, it wets the leaves and trunk providing an irratant for some bugs, and gets you looking at them a little more than maybe usual.

Do some reading on watering bonsai, if you water something only every 10 to 14 days you should be planting in water, Ive only heard of cactus that likes to have minimal water. Minimal light is a problem as well not sure about the scheff, but the jade is tropical so light and water are needed more than minimal.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Water when the soil is dry to a depth of about 25% of the pot. In other words, if your pot is 4" deep, wait to water until the top 1" is dry, and you have to dig about 1" deep to get to damp soil. With the type of trees you mentioned, you're more likely to harm them by watering too often rather than not enough.

On misting...have at it, just don't let them sit wet overnight.
 

ml_work

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I mist the indoor tropicals 2 times a day, (with dollar store mist bottle) early morning and late afternoon. A few of these stay inside year around, which get much sun most of the day. So I think the mist helps or just makes me feel like I am doing something. When I bring the rest in for the winter, they get the sun but it is not as intense. But the central heat dries the air out, we have an aquarium in the same room and the water drops weekly. As Bill said it keeps you in touch with the trees on a daily basis too. I agree with Brain about the water too. Goes back to the summer heat (mine are in a sun room with large windows) and central heat in winter. Summer I have to water almost daily, fall it slows down, winter needs more because of the central heat. I think everyone will tell you never water per number of days, water per tree as it needs.
Sounds like you have access to many trees and you will grow some and you will kill some.
Have Fun,
Michael
 

dan kone

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as for the jade: it will not need any misting or at least not very often and the same for watering. jade is a succulent and that means that it stores water, much like a cactus does. i water mine like once or twice per month. the sheff will take more water than the jade. as stated above water only when the soil starts to feel dry.
 

Bill S

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Thanks Dan, kind of thought I was over watering it(jade) knew it was tropical though.

Could be off base on this, but another reason I "mist" ( more like spray) is so the leaves and branches get moved around a bit. My understanding is that as the wind blows a tree around the movement "damages" the cambium, and the tree scars a bit, adding wood.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Thanks Dan, kind of thought I was over watering it(jade) knew it was tropical though.

Could be off base on this, but another reason I "mist" ( more like spray) is so the leaves and branches get moved around a bit. My understanding is that as the wind blows a tree around the movement "damages" the cambium, and the tree scars a bit, adding wood.

You using a fire hose for this? :D:D:D:D
Is this like water boarding?
Ok...I'm done:rolleyes:
 

Bill S

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Well we are supposed to be torturing our poor little trees aren't we?:D

Wait till I pull off thier little leaves one by one.:eek:

Ok I guess with the few words I used I kind of deserved that Brian, talking about the small tertiary branching. I let my 5 year old deal with the biger branches.:p
 
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Brian Van Fleet

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I feel ya, my 2-year old brings me needles off the pines. He thinks he's helping, but doesn't quite distinguish that I'm pulling the yellow ones...
 

Torgo

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Thanks for the help all, my advice came from a bonsai nursery owner in Kissimmee and his tropical room is far more humid than my house. My scheffs were looking a little dry, so I'll spruce them up with some misting and a proper watering schedule.
 

Bonsai Nut

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If you want a humid environment for whatever gardening purpose you wish, you can always buy an automatic fogger. It does not work quite the same way as a mister, but if you are growing plants in an aquarium, or a humidity tent, or even a small greenhouse, it may be what you are looking for...

Here's a DIY fogger setup using a cheap household fogger from Walmart.
 

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