anguyenASU
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:11 pm
Location: Chandler Arizona

Bonsai Juniper Soil

Hi there I just received a juniper bonsai as a gift and am not sure if it came with the appropriate soil. It was watered 3 days ago and the soil still feels pretty damp an inch or two down. I live in Arizona and its been in the 50-70's here and I have been keeping it indoors for one night but have moved it outdoors now. I don't want root rot to start happening so should I repot with different soil or what should I do? thanks!

FLBonsai
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:15 pm
Location: Florida

We need the name of the plant, how old it is, how big it is, what size of pot it is in, what type of soil it is currently in etc...

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Sorry for the slightly less than friendly response, anguyen. Welcome to the forum; very glad you found us. There are a number of really expert bonsai folks around here; unfortunately I'm not one of them. Hopefully a few more will stop by.

You've already told us it's a juniper and the soil it's in sounds pretty organic, if it's holding moisture that long.

What I have learned from reading this forum a lot is that you did the right thing by putting it back outside-- assuming it is "back." Junipers don't do well wintering indoors. The trouble is you just got it and you don't know what conditions it's been growing in. What you wouldn't want to do would be move it from indoors (if it's been kept indoors before you got it) to very cold outdoor conditions without letting it harden off. But since your temps are so mild, it should be fine.

It sounds like you will want to repot it into some more free draining medium. I think now is not the ideal time to be repotting it, but someone who knows more than me, will have to help you balance out which is higher priority, getting it out of the too damp soil or waiting to a more ideal time to repot.

Pictures are always helpful... Here's the instructions on how to post pictures here.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Happy Holidays!

FLBonsai
Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:15 pm
Location: Florida

rainbowgardener wrote:Sorry for the slightly less than friendly response, anguyen. Welcome to the forum; very glad you found us. There are a number of really expert bonsai folks around here; unfortunately I'm not one of them. Hopefully a few more will stop by.

You've already told us it's a juniper and the soil it's in sounds pretty organic, if it's holding moisture that long.

What I have learned from reading this forum a lot is that you did the right thing by putting it back outside-- assuming it is "back." Junipers don't do well wintering indoors. The trouble is you just got it and you don't know what conditions it's been growing in. What you wouldn't want to do would be move it from indoors (if it's been kept indoors before you got it) to very cold outdoor conditions without letting it harden off. But since your temps are so mild, it should be fine.

It sounds like you will want to repot it into some more free draining medium. I think now is not the ideal time to be repotting it, but someone who knows more than me, will have to help you balance out which is higher priority, getting it out of the too damp soil or waiting to a more ideal time to repot.

Pictures are always helpful... Here's the instructions on how to post pictures here.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Happy Holidays!
Eek sorry, I wasn't trying to be snood but I have no idea what to tell anguyen without more details. This forum is much more personal than other blogs I have used so I apologize that my frankness seemed rude.

Welcome anguyen!

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Gnome
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Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

anguyen,

I think you're on the right track. You have realized that the tree does not belong inside and that more water is not always the right thing. I also agree that a re-potting is in order. Rainbowgardener has a point about not re-potting just yet. Now is not the ideal time of year. Also it is likely that the tree has been re-potted in the no too distant past. And until you have the materials on hand there is nothing to be gained by re-potting now. unfortunately since your climate is so different than mine I don't have any detailed recommendations about timing.

Take the opportunity to read up on bonsai soils and re-potting. Look here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3422
Junipers like a very free draining mix so you will need to be cautious in your watering for now. I have mine in a nearly 100% inorganic mix but in your climate a portion of composted bark will probably be a good idea.

We also have some general care tips that include watering, try the chopstick method that you will find outlined here:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1479

Here is a link to The Phoenix Bonsai Society:
https://www.users.uswest.net/~rjbphx/PhxBSWing.html
It is always a good idea to seek local advice if possible and a club is a good way to get specific information.

Norm



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