Bonsai Watering Wands, The Bonsai Watering Nozzle.
Like most of the tools we use in Bonsai there is a special tool for watering bonsai specifically, Also like many of the tools we use in bonsai when we start out we use what ever is available to us. In this case many of you are probably still using a regular watering nozzle on your garden hose to water your trees, and unknowingly causing problems. So lets take a look at why it’s a good idea to invest in a proper bonsai watering wand.
Avoiding Soil Compaction
When you water a bonsai tree the water falls from a height onto the soil surface, The heavier the droplets are the more impact they make when they hit the soil. This impact can compact the soils surface causing it to not percolate properly meaning the water may just run off the sides rather then actually penetrating the surface. Usually watering with a regular garden hose nozzle even on shower can be too much. So to avoid this we have special bonsai watering nozzles that still deliver a high flow of water but have far more tiny holes to create a very soft shower making the impact of water droplets less impactful on the soil surface.
Avoid Washing Away Fertiliser And Top Dressing
Blasting your bonsai tree with a regular garden hose nozzle can often times wash away any top dressing you may have applied or fertiliser you have sitting on the soil surface. Much like we spoke about above the harsher the stream of water the more power it has to move anything sitting on the surface. This can even cause soil erosion out of the pot over time, you may see your soil level in the pot getting lower and lower as it gets washed out with every watering.
Ease Of Use For Bonsai
Like everything that is specially designed for certain application bonsai watering nozzles have a clear advantage over regular watering nozzles with their long slender handles and compact shower head. This is why they are called a wand in the first place. The wand handle allows you to get the smaller designed head in and around the base of the tree and under low hanging branches, The longer handle also allows you to reach trees that are at the back of benches or in hard to reach places. This also gives you more control over where the water actually goes as well. If it is winter and you are just watering the soil and avoiding getting the foliage wet this is much easier with the wand design.
Long Lasting And Easy Maintenance
Anything that spends all its time outside in the elements is more prone to disintegration, Bonsai watering wands are made from materials that will last outside in the weather for years to come. There are cheaper plastic wands but once you move away from those into the more professional wands there is no plastic used which means a longer lasting product. Most of the wands also come with either the ability to replace the mesh in the watering head or to replace the watering head all together, This is very useful if you are watering with town water and are prone to calcium build up which clogs up the tiny holes. You can also just remove the mesh or head for cleaning and soak it in vinegar and bicarb soda overnight.
Pictured Above : Wand With Replaceable Mesh
Pictured Above : Wand With Replaceable Head
So now that we know why bonsai watering wands exist, what watering wand is best for you?
There are only a few things to consider, after all it is just a watering wand.
- Materials the wand is made of
- Valve or no valve
- Replaceable mesh or head?
Materials The Wand Is Made Of
So there are 2 main options you will see here which will be chrome plated steel, or brass. Obviously the brass is going to last a lot longer and be more resistant to corrosion, But the trade off here is the brass options are more expensive. Visually they look nicer as well but that has no effect on the use of the wand. The chrome plated option is cheaper but it can be more prone to corrosion if the plating begins to wear off. Even still it will be a long lasting product, just not as long as the brass option will last. Like mentioned earlier there is also a plastic option but I would only recommend that for people who cant spare the extra few dollars for at least the chrome plated version.
Pictured Above : Chrome Plated Wand
Pictured Above : Brass Wand
Valve Or No Valve
You will see the watering wands with the option for a valve or no valve, The valve is simply there to help control the flow of the water. Please note that the valve is not there to completely shut off the flow of water and if this is done it may cause the wand to come apart, leak or detach from the hose. On the watering wands without the valve you simply kink the hose to control flow.
Pictured Above : Wand With Valve
Pictured Above : Wand Without Valve
Replaceable Mesh Or Head
This is something to consider when purchasing your wand, you will want to see if the head can either be removed or come apart so you can maintain the wands shower head. Check to see if there are replaceable mesh inserts for your model of wand, or if there are replaceable heads. Some models like the chrome plated models have a removable mesh for maintenance but don’t have replaceable mesh options. So consider what kind of water you will be running through your wand, if you have very clean collected water then a wand with a removable maintainable head but not replaceable should be fine, If you are using town water with lots of calcium and mineral deposits then a wand with either a replaceable head or mesh would be the better option..
Now this isn’t a competition on who’s go the longest wand, its more about who’s got the harder to reach trees. Wand length comes down to where your trees are situated, if you can stand directly in front of your trees and water then a shorter wand will do just fine, but if you need to reach across benches or over long distances then the longer wand will be a better option here.
Finally lets talk about how to attach a bonsai watering wand to your hose
People can get a little bit confused when they see there is no hose attachment on the end of the wand. This is because the wand attaches directly to the hose. On the models with no valve there will be a smooth taper at the bottom to slide the hose up onto, the models with a valve will also have a bump on the taper to put a clamp behind so the hose doesn’t burst off under pressure. To get those hose on your will need to head it up by either submerging it in hot water or heating it up with a heat gun. Once the hose is hot and pliable you can slide it up onto the wand and let it cool and shrink. I recommend wearing gloves while doing this as the hose can get very hot. I would still recommend also using a clamp even with the models without valves just to be safe.
A final quick tip is if you want to have the nozzle be removable from the hose attach a small length of hose to the wand with a hose attachment on it, then you will be able to quickly remove it so you can use your hose for other applications around the house.
I hope this has helped you understand what a bonsai watering wand is for and what the best options for you and your trees are.
Watering Wands And Accessories We Special Order