To mist or not to mist?

Clicio

Chumono
Messages
979
Reaction score
1,606
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
USDA Zone
11a
If the answer is "it depends", then I really want to know why.

My own experience in a hot country is:
- If I don't mist and water properly, trees thrive anyway.
- If I mist daily and water properly, sometimes some trees get fungal issues. Maybe unrelated, but one never knows until asking.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
11,396
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
If the answer is "it depends", then I really want to know why.

My own experience in a hot country is:
- If I don't mist and water properly, trees thrive anyway.
- If I mist daily and water properly, sometimes some trees get fungal issues. Maybe unrelated, but one never knows until asking.
The correct answer is "don't" Doesn't do the plant ANY GOOD AT ALL. The humidity you provide lasts maybe a minute. If you're misting and watering, you WILL get mold/fungal issues, especially in hot weather, as trees sometimes experience temporary dormancy in those conditions. The water in the soil isn't necessarily being used when it's hot.

As a result, the soil will stay too wet, as the moisture that drips off of leaves goes into the soil and remains there.

The misting thing is done mostly by beginners and in movies and TV programs that know nothing of actual bonsai care.
 

Gustavo Martins

Chumono
Messages
803
Reaction score
997
Location
Azores
I get the fungal stuff but don't some conifers actually benefit from misting? I never do this except for my needle juniper. Its native habitat is the azorean cloud forestwhere it is always wet. So I just water from above every time I water. Never saw a problem.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
11,396
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
I get the fungal stuff but don't some conifers actually benefit from misting? I never do this except for my needle juniper. Its native habitat is the azorean cloud forestwhere it is always wet. So I just water from above every time I water. Never saw a problem.
You confuse collected trees in recovery with bonsai. Misting is a part of getting collected conifers back on their feet because their roots have been severely compromised and can't transfer water to the foliage. Misting an established bonsai doesn't do anything as an established bonsai should have a working root system.

Misting seedlings in an enclosed environment can help them get established for the same reason--a lack of adequate roots--at first. Those enclosures aren't meant for established plants.
 

River's Edge

Masterpiece
Messages
2,079
Reaction score
4,463
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
If the answer is "it depends", then I really want to know why.

My own experience in a hot country is:
- If I don't mist and water properly, trees thrive anyway.
- If I mist daily and water properly, sometimes some trees get fungal issues. Maybe unrelated, but one never knows until asking.
It depends;)
Hot and humid? So how would it help?
Hot and dry.( could be beneficial if uptake is limited)
Too Hot? ( cools temperature for trees that benefit from cooler temperature)
Just collected in recovery!
Different Species, does it have the capacity to take moisture through the leaves?
New cuttings with limited uptake capacity!
Already humid under a dome ? No likely harmful.
Misting can be part of a continuous system and not just defined as a spritz here and there.
It is often a beneficial routine performed by professional Bonsai collectors and practitioners. Even when working certain species in the workshop. Keep roots from drying out, Keeps foliage more flexible during wiring and bending activities.
Highly trained professionals worldwide teach their students when misting is beneficial and when it is not.
Fungal issues can be attributed to a lot of factors, continuous dampness is one, lack of air movement is another.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,261
Reaction score
11,396
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
It depends;)
Hot and humid? So how would it help?
Hot and dry.( could be beneficial if uptake is limited)
Too Hot? ( cools temperature for trees that benefit from cooler temperature)
Just collected in recovery!
Different Species, does it have the capacity to take moisture through the leaves?
New cuttings with limited uptake capacity!
Already humid under a dome ? No likely harmful.
Misting can be part of a continuous system and not just defined as a spritz here and there.
It is often a beneficial routine performed by professional Bonsai collectors and practitioners. Even when working certain species in the workshop. Keep roots from drying out, Keeps foliage more flexible during wiring and bending activities.
Highly trained professionals worldwide teach their students when misting is beneficial and when it is not.
Fungal issues can be attributed to a lot of factors, continuous dampness is one, lack of air movement is another.
Those conditions are very limited and misting should not be a regular practice with the vast majority of established bonsai. BTW, If a tree is too hot, moving the tree to a better, shaded location is a vastly better solution. Repotting and misting roots to keep them from drying is pretty temporary. A dunk into a tub of water achieves the same affect.
 

Anthony

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,044
Reaction score
7,695
Location
West Indies [ Caribbean ]
USDA Zone
13
Just took 30 fine leaf elm root cuttings [ we call it Ulmus Yatsubusa ] and
placed the saucer out of the sun in bright shade, though it may get an
hour of morning sun or dappled light.

It will stay there for about a month to six weeks and little green knobs will
tell, us, it is going to grow.
The tray is about 1.5 inches deep and a peatmoss/perlite / gravel mix.
Watered when it needs it --------- by eye.
Humidity presently, is ranging from 80 to 55 %.

First trays of other elms are already growing.
No misting needed.
Good Day
Anthony

* Same for cuttings.
 

kevinlovett86

Chumono
Messages
737
Reaction score
964
Location
ShenZhen, China
USDA Zone
10
I mist to keep my leaves clean, because this place is more dusty than a cowboy town. And because in apartment life, I haven't got a hose to water from the top of the tree
 

River's Edge

Masterpiece
Messages
2,079
Reaction score
4,463
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
It depends;)
Hot and humid? So how would it help?
Hot and dry.( could be beneficial if uptake is limited)
Too Hot? ( cools temperature for trees that benefit from cooler temperature)
Just collected in recovery!
Different Species, does it have the capacity to take moisture through the leaves?
New cuttings with limited uptake capacity!
Already humid under a dome ? No likely harmful.
Misting can be part of a continuous system and not just defined as a spritz here and there.
It is often a beneficial routine performed by professional Bonsai collectors and practitioners. Even when working certain species in the workshop. Keep roots from drying out, Keeps foliage more flexible during wiring and bending activities.
Highly trained professionals worldwide teach their students when misting is beneficial and when it is not.
Fungal issues can be attributed to a lot of factors, continuous dampness is one, lack of air movement is another.
I mist my Hemlocks all the time. Several times a week. Natural environment is high mountain misty conditions, Shore pines in and out of the fog all the time in their natural environment. I do it because Bonsai professionals i have trained with advised me to do so with certain species and under certain conditions. I understand it makes no sense if it causes fungal issues in your climate or with the species you work with.
 

GGB

Omono
Messages
1,596
Reaction score
1,548
Location
Bethlehem, PA
USDA Zone
6b
I was planning on twice a day misting to keep mites at Bay this season. Maybe I'm a dope
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
8,425
Reaction score
14,502
Location
OC, CA
USDA Zone
10A
I think there is a big difference between misting... and high humidity. Often times people mist when they really just want high humidity (i.e. in the case of cuttings, or seedlings, or trees with compromised root systems).
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,000
Reaction score
27,349
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
I mist. For practical purposes, all my trees are temperate, outside, and some afternoons the soil doesn’t need water, but the leaves always seem to perk up from a good shower, an increased local humidity, and a cooling of the pots. I’ve stopped missing my JBP. Post-collection, trees get misted as often as I look at them, sometimes every couple hours.
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,262
Reaction score
14,856
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
I agree with Brian. It aids in transpiration and helps cool the foliage. There is a difference between misting and overwatering. I know there are people out there that swear that getting the folieage wet is a great awful thing to do to a tree. These same people don't seem to have an answer to what happens in nature when it rains or a tree is drenched in fog? Misting a stressed tree is the best thing you can do provided you do not over water the tree by misting too aggressively and getting the soil saturated. Even when a tree is stressed it may not grow actively, as in extending growth, but it will attempt to expel moisture in an attempt to cool the folieage. Misting will slow this process down. The process of transpiration will consume from the reserves of glucose in the system, which is finite until the tree starts growing again. If the tree consumes the reserves of glucose before the tree becomes active the tree will likely burn itself out and die. Misting cools the foliage and slows down transpiration.
 
Last edited:

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,262
Reaction score
14,856
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
As to fungal issues?? If that becomes and issue you are probably not misting but just saturating the folieage. From a cynical point of view you can cure a fungus but you cannot cure dead.
 

kevinlovett86

Chumono
Messages
737
Reaction score
964
Location
ShenZhen, China
USDA Zone
10
As to fungal issues?? If that becomes and issue you are probably not misting but just saturating the folieage. From a cynical point of view you can cure a fungus but you cannot cure dead.
I think if your tree gets plenty of fresh air and you don't put it in a closed space, then you won't get fungal problems
 

Potawatomi13

Masterpiece
Messages
2,962
Reaction score
1,851
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
Since this is cause of water spots on broad leaf trees wonder how often is done with show trees? Except when foliar feeding weak or valuable tree personally do not normally do;).
 

Clicio

Chumono
Messages
979
Reaction score
1,606
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
USDA Zone
11a
We have...
The correct answer is "don't" Doesn't do the plant ANY GOOD AT ALL.
So... Don't.
It aids in transpiration and helps cool the foliage. Misting cools the foliage and slows down transpiration.
So... Do it.

As everything in bonsai, you never get a definitive answer. Which is good, one has to try for himself.
By reading carefully all the answers above, perhaps the probability of fungus in my area is more because lack of enough air circulation, than the misting habit.
I'll make an experiment with two similar bad trees, one misting and the other not misting, all the other factors kept the same.
Let's see!
 

Similar threads


Top Bottom