bdwighth
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:30 pm
Location: Pearland, Texas

New at this, need good advice.

I just recieved a Juniper bonsai tree as a gift and I want to make sure that it stays healthy. It is in a 8" x 4" deep ceramic pot. It stands about 11" high from the base of the trunk. The soil is just slightly moist (damp).
How heavily and how often should I water? I live in a climate that has very few freezes and I want to place it on my screened-in, covered patio.
Also, would it be ok to use General Purpose Miracle Gro plant food in the water, when I water the tree?
Thanks,
bdwighth

User avatar
djlen
Green Thumb
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:37 am
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

If I remember correctly Pearland is near Houston which would make it fairly warm, even in the coldest winter, right?
I'm sure someone can give you better advice for your plant than I based on those conditions.
I will tell you that a Juniper will probably like MirAcid better as it is more suited for evergreen plants.
Regards,
Len

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
- Len
_________
How To Post A Picture

Victrinia Ridgeway
Senior Member
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Bremerton, WA

The amount of watering a tree needs is dictated by just that... need...

You need to keep it moist but not wet... the way a tree takes up moisture is by vapor exchange in the soil... it does not suck up water itself. If the soil is too wet, then there is no vapor to absorb, and the tree will dehydrate because it can't take up the water. Then the roots will rot and die as well. This is also why a light and airy soil mixture becomes important when you get further along and come to a point when you have to repot it.

When you are checking soil moisture be sure to probe a little bit as the soil beneath the surface can sometimes be drier than the top. Especially if there is any fog/mist/rain that touches the soil surface but doesn't penetrate.

When watering make sure you water until the tree is freely running water out the bottom, then make sure it can drain throughly. Often times when teaching people about watering I'll tell them water throughly three times... once for the tree, the pot, and the soil. The reason being is that the soil will absorb a little more water with each watering. Soil that is dried out can't hold as much water, as soil that is already moist. Which is why in the "emergency care" threads on here you'll see references to dunking the trees in a tub of water... it's to rehydrate the soil... not the tree.

Also if you think you've overshot your watering window and the tree is a bit dry, misting the foilage is also a good measure as foliage can take in a certain amount of water.

Watering is the most important factor of keeping bonsai alive. The discipline of it can be the most difficult for people to master because there is no such thing as "doing it tomorrow" if the soil is dried out. I have about 100 trees, and believe me, there are days when it's a chore with twice a day watering. :wink:

My second concern is the amount of light your tree will get on that screen in porch. Because you don't have a heavy winter, and because it's a needle juniper, there will always be a certain amount of growth activity going on. As much light as you can let it have right now is also critical to it's health. Keep in mind that you'll want to protect it from blistering sunlight in the hotter times of year. But for the moment, please make sure it's in the sunniest part of the porch.

As to feeding, while junipers are acid loving, I'd alternate between regular Mircale Grow and Miracid during the active growing season. There is a certain amount of acid naturally occuring in soil, so you don't have to feed it Miracid each time. And it is not needed at this time of year, because the growth will be slow.

Given where you live this tree should grow like a fiend. :)

Enjoy! And welcome to the hobby of a lifetime.

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

User avatar
Gnome
Mod
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Victrinia,

I'm glad to see that you found us. We look forward to your contributions.

Norm

Victrinia Ridgeway
Senior Member
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Bremerton, WA

Gnome wrote:Victrinia,

I'm glad to see that you found us. We look forward to your contributions.

Norm
Thank you for inviting me... I hope to be helpful. :)

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
La belle cose prendono tempo... (Beautiful things take time...)

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”