star_gazer2020
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:10 am
Location: AR

New to Bonsai

Hello, I have just purchased my first bonsai. It is a 6 yr. old Juniper. It is in good health and has already been wired for shape. I live in an apartment which makes outdoor planting difficult. Will my tree survive indoors? I have it on a window sill that allows for 4-6 hrs. of direct sunlight. I have it in a humidity tray and keep close observation on the amount of moisture. Will I be able to maintain proper health indoors? Also, I have been told that the wire should remain for about another 3 months. It has recently been added (in the last month). I am asking for any advise that you can provide. It is a gorgous tree and I hope to have it for a long life. What can I do to ensure its survival?

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

The window might work for a year or even two (we had one woman who managed five years like that, but only with optimal care), but it is NOT a long term overwintering solution.

If the outdoors is right out, 8 weeks in the fridge with a weekly water should be enough to simulate winter and give your tree the dormancy it needs. As for the window, watch out for burning or drying out; I answer a LOT of those letters. WIre is o.k. for those winter months, but make sure to have it off for spring so as not to cut into the bark. And remember, overwatering is as least as deadly (if not more, I think, from the letters I get) than underwatering, so careful with that watering can...

HG

star_gazer2020
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:10 am
Location: AR

Simulate winter, watering advice

Is there a particular time of year that I should put into the fridge? Also, should I do it a little at a time or just straight in for 8 weeks? I am careful with watering and do not want to over water my plant. Is there any more advice as to monitor the moisture level? I've been watering every other day, with a misting in the late afternoon everyday.

star_gazer2020
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:10 am
Location: AR

Window Ledge

I do have an outside window ledge facing north/east. Would it be alright to get a window planter for my bonsai? It would only receive about 5-7 hrs. of sunlight from sunrise to 1-2 pm. Would this be better suited then indoors? I am simply brainstorming ideas. :idea:

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

That's not a bad one; my hesitation there might be the top drying out in the wind, but there are anti-dessicants on the market (I like "Wilt-Pruf") that would take care of that. Put the pot in the box, fill it with pine bark or the like for insulation (heck, you could use styrofoam peanuts or paper just as well...), wilt-pruf the foliage and you are good to go. 8 weeks outside would work just as well as the fridge, then back in for the rest of the season (before it gets really nasty). Sounds like a viable plan to me... :D

Scott

star_gazer2020
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:10 am
Location: AR

Fridge dormancy

You suggested putting my bonsai in the fridge to simulate winter. If I went that route, how would I go about it? A little at a time, all at once, take out for sunlight, watering, etc. ???

I will be unable to use my window ledge due to apartment rental issues. They do not agree. :evil: I could possibly put it in a flower pot on my walkway that faces south/west. I simply worry about someone stealing my tree. Right now it is still in the window sill facing west. It has not been there long, but already seeing effects. White follage in some areas, and brownish in others. I do love my tree and would like to have it for many years to come.

Any suggestions :?:

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

White and brown are NOT colors we want to see on a Japanese garden juniper ever. How is the moisture in the soil? Could be too close to the window and afternoon sun is frying it. This needs immediate attention...

The fridge would work well for the two month period; I would hesitate to bring it in and out and in again as it might be confusing to the time schedule for your tree. I'd just do it as soon as you get some vigor back in that tree (think green)...

HG

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”