Bonsai Boy
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Juniper bonsai dying and care. I need help!

i have a japanese juniper and it is starting to turn a grayish color on top and it once was bright green down its a faded green. I don't know what to do. if anyone would have advise on ho to care for it or what i should do let me know

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Gnome
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Bonsai Boy,

Hello and welcome to the site. You don't say here but in another thread you mention growing inside. If that is the case that is likely part of the problem. Junipers don't do well inside and if you search this forum you will find numerous examples of dead or dying Junipers.

There is also another, even more disturbing, possibility though. These mass produced bonsai (mallsai) are very often in distress before the enthusiast purchases or receives them. It's no accident that Junipers are used for this because they tend to look pretty good for a long time even as they are failing.

I agree with the suggestions you were given in your other thread, there are much better choices for indoor bonsai.

Norm

Bonsai Boy
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thank you norm
I have recently looked real good at my bonsai. I think that i have a spidermite problem and i think that is the problem. the tree has little black specks that fall off the tree and start to move when i tapped a branch on a piece of paaper. The tree has new buds appearing on it. but i took the tree outside and sprayed it with the garden hose on the mist setting. i was wondering if there was any way that i could get rid of them without using a pesticide? For a humidity tray could i use a black frisbee and some stones or fishtank gravel? oh and sorry about so many post earlier. i could show you what is happaning but how do you put pictures on here i havent figured it out?

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Gnome
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Bonsai Boy,

Good for you for being able to recognize the problem, or at least part of it. The water mist was also a good idea since many of these pests seem to thrive in warm, dry conditions. You might even try a more forceful setting to dislodge them in addition to the misting.

You could try spraying with any of several concoctions. Insecticidal soap or Neem Oil are two possibilities.

As far as the humidity tray goes, you can indeed use any sort of shallow container but keep in mind that the more square inches the more effective it will be. One more thing, I'm not sure I would bother with a humidity tray outside. The air movement would tend to negate the benefits I feel. If you insist on, or truly have no choice, keeping it inside, I'm afraid you will almost certainly be in for a disappointment.

Norm

Bonsai Boy
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thank you for your help

Denver Bonsai
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Norm,

I have a couple of questions regarding a juniper bonsai as well. It is my first tree.

I purchased it approximately a month ago, and so far, so good. Looks to be in great shape, and I have managed not to kill it.

My question(s) for you is this...

As I live in Denver, obviously we live in a very dry climate, where it can get quite cold over the winter. So far, I have been keeping my tree in a large south facing window in my office, where it receives 2-3 hours of direct sunlight a day, and then receives shaded light the rest of the day.

Should I continue to keep it in my office window like this? My condo has a shaded patio, I could keep it there instead, but Im not sure it will receive as much light. Do you think it would be better to keep it on the patio?

Finally, if I keep it in my office window, what should I do to ensure it gets a proper dormant period during the winter? If it is best kept outside on my patio, what should I do during the winter to ensure it doesn't die, as temps frequently dip down into the teens at night during the December-February months?

Thanks in advance for the advice!


ETA - my tree is six years old, and is not one of those mass produced trees. It has obviously been carefully cared for by the sweet little lady that sold it to me, so I really, really, really don't want to kill it!

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Denver Bonsai,

My first choice for Juniper would always be outside and, despite the less than perfect conditions of your patio, that is what I suggest.
Finally, if I keep it in my office window, what should I do to ensure it gets a proper dormant period during the winter? If it is best kept outside on my patio, what should I do during the winter to ensure it doesn't die, as temps frequently dip down into the teens at night during the December-February months?
Providing the proper dormancy in your office will be impossible. Some growers in similar situations try to use refrigerators for deciduous tress but since Juniper is evergreen the lack of light would be a problem. The only real solution is to keep it outside. Another problem with an office environment is the lack of humidity, air conditioning is tough on plants as it removes moisture from the air.

You can keep it on your patio over the winter with a little extra protection for the roots. I have left Junipers outside, in pots but buried, when temperatures dipped below 0F. The foliage is very hardy if the roots are protected.

Norm

Denver Bonsai
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Thank you for the Reply Norm. I have placed my tree on the patio. The patio faces east, and receives direct morning sunhit until approximately 11 am, and then is shaded the remainder of the day. Do you think this lighting scenario will suffice? Thanks Norm

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Denver Bonsai,
I have placed my tree on the patio. The patio faces east, and receives direct morning sunhit until approximately 11 am, and then is shaded the remainder of the day. Do you think this lighting scenario will suffice?
I think this should be pretty good, definitely better than in your office.

Norm



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