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Bonsai Dormancy

Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:00 pm
i just got a juniper bonsai and am a little unsure how to go about the dormancy process especially since i live in an apartment in nyc and do not have a basement, garage, or other cool place to keep it. i do have a balcony, can i keep it outside or will winter be too rough? i've also read that i can just keep it by a window as long as it is kept cracked open.

Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:46 pm
by opabinia51
Juniper are pretty tough trees. You should be able to keep it outside but, just be sure that it is somewhat sheltered from wind, etc.

Posted: Wed Sep 07, 2005 5:45 pm
i guess I'm just worried about a winter outside since i bought it from a nursury that has wintered it indoors at 40-50 degrees for 8 years.

Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:22 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
And that's the recipe for success right there. If you can't duplicate those conditions, you might try the cardboard box on the balcony; styrofoam peanuts around the pot in an open cardboard box (You should be able to close the box on really bad nights) Styrofoam is not usually on my list of favorite things, but they work well here, allowing for watering and not holding pathogens. Wouldn't have believed it myself, but have seen a friend bring an urban bonsai through year after year this way...


Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:13 pm
ok, good to know.
one more question. i might be getting a new apt. in november and just in case there's no balcony to keep it on, what's the best way to winter it then? the care instructions that came w/ the tree say it's ok to keep it by a window if its cracked open at night. will that really work?

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:34 am
by opabinia51
Well, in one of my many bonsai books it says that windows are about the worst thing for bonsai because of the huge temperature swings that the bonsai will have sitting in the window.

It will recieve the warmth of the house during the day and virtually freeze to death at night. I guess if you left the window open all day, it would be okay though. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Maybe Scott willl have some better advice.

Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:40 pm
by The Helpful Gardener
Do have to be careful about burning the foliage with too much light, but a cracked window and the much longer rays in winter should take care of that. This is a tree that will handle indoor conditions for a while, but without the dormancy, even perfect handling will only allow for a few years at best, so better to give it the rest it needs...