Wetting Agent for collected bonsai

Anyone have experience with using a wetting agent, like EZ Wet Soil, on bonsai? I want to use it to water deep into the root ball core or “shin” of collected trees. I recently repotted a collected tree and observed the core was bone dry. I removed native soil at that site but feel it won’t be sufficient. The tree is strong and healthy.


Hi @George ,
Careful. Once you get that kind of rootball wet, it may not dry out and you could get rot. I would want to let the tree send out new fine roots before messing with the rootball.


The Mirai practice is to build a new root system in good substrate around the shin over the next few years after initial potting. Once the tree is established and vigorous, a second repot is done to excavate the shin and remove field soil from the dead area. Backfilled with good substrate during the second repot, roots will then populate that area.

If you use that product and the shin stays extra cold and wet, it will be counter-productive.


I like to use a wetting agent when the trees I keep become root bound and the drainage aka percolation becomes stagnant. Wetting agents have gotten me through some tough watering situations through many growing seasons, allowing me to re-pot trees at a time that is more appropriate.

When collecting keep as much roots as you can and as intact as you can. Generally pot into pure pumice, medium size. With proper watering you should get a fully soaked root ball.