TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

New to Bonsai Trees - Need Help with Juniper

Ok, so i bought a Bonsai Tree from my local Wal-Mart today and was wondering a couple things.

The bag-thing it came in said to soak it once a week 3/4 of the way up the pot, using fertilizer only once every 2 weeks.

1. What kind of Bonsai did i purchase? Every employee i asked didn't know and it didn't say on the package...

2. How do i change pots in which it grows? I REALLY like the rock setting it has right now, but iv been reading a bit around here and was told the glued-together-rock thing isn't good for the plant itself, and that it will take away from the nutrients and water that the plant gets...
And honestly, i don't like the cheap plastic tray it has at the moment....

3. Where can i find detailed information on when/how to change it's appearance using wires?

Im completely new to plants, this is honestly my very first plant...
I live with my parents and they are both avid plant growers, but neither of them have ever owned a Bonsai.

4. Is their anything that i might need besides what i have currently in the pictures i provided?

5. What type of soil, fertilizer and pot should i be looking to get to keep my Bonsai healthy?

6. Is it ok to sit in my room window in the light (but not direct sunshine)?


It's summer here in Alberta, although it's not that hot - i worry about going to work and leaving it in the window like in my pictures....
Please help me with anything that i should know, i really want to keep this alive and healthy for as long as i can....
Thanks ALOT for reading, and/or responding.
ANY help is greatly appreciated.
Here are the pictures:

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0006-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0005-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0004-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0003-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0002-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0001-1.jpg

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TeKmInIbI,

Hello and welcome.
What kind of Bonsai did I purchase? Every employee I asked didn't know and it didn't say on the package.
You have a Juniper, not sure of anything more specific than that.
The bag-thing it came in said to soak it once a week 3/4 of the way up the pot,
The directions for this type of mass produced bonsai are notoriously vague or often just plain incorrect. Watering by this method should not be necessary and if it is you have other issues. Please read the sticky threads found at the top of the bonsai forum for basic information regarding watering and soil composition.
using fertilizer only once every 2 weeks.
This is fine for an actively growing plant that is in good health, remember though that fertilizer is not a substitute for good practices, nor is it medicine.
How do I change pots in which it grows? I REALLY like the rock setting it has right now, but iv been reading a bit around here and was told the glued-together-rock thing isn't good for the plant itself, and that it will take away from the nutrients and water that the plant gets...
Please don't rush into anything, re-potting will serve no purpose until and unless you have some knowledge of bonsai soils. Again I refer you to the stickies. The rocks do not so much "take away" from the plant as impede or interfere with watering, aeration and fertilization. They also make it more difficult to judge the condition and moisture level of the soil. Please remove the glued on rocks and post a picture of the soil.
Where can I find detailed information on when/how to change it's appearance using wires?
Slow down, this is an immature plant and really will require some years to grow out before such styling techniques are necessary. For now just try to keep it alive and enjoy it for what it is, a learning vehicle.
And honestly, I don't like the cheap plastic tray it has at the moment....
This is not important at the moment, the plants health should be first on your agenda for now.
Im completely new to plants, this is honestly my very first plant...
I live with my parents and they are both avid plant growers, but neither of them have ever owned a Bonsai.
Your parents can help you, while bonsai has some specific techniques it is, ultimately, a potted plant.
Is their anything that I might need besides what I have currently in the pictures I provided?
After removing the rocks find a spot outside that gets sun in the morning and some shade during the hottest part of the day. Later, after it has been acclimated, it should be placed in full sun. Do this gradually as the tree has been in low light conditions for some time.
Is it ok to sit in my room window in the light (but not direct sunshine)?
No, it belongs outside. Junipers are ill suited to indoor culture, besides even tropicals should be outside during the summer.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Juniperus.html[/url]

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Posts: 17
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Gnome wrote:TeKmInIbI,

Hello and welcome.
What kind of Bonsai did I purchase? Every employee I asked didn't know and it didn't say on the package.
You have a Juniper, not sure of anything more specific than that.
The bag-thing it came in said to soak it once a week 3/4 of the way up the pot,
The directions for this type of mass produced bonsai are notoriously vague or often just plain incorrect. Watering by this method should not be necessary and if it is you have other issues. Please read the sticky threads found at the top of the bonsai forum for basic information regarding watering and soil composition.
using fertilizer only once every 2 weeks.
This is fine for an actively growing plant that is in good health, remember though that fertilizer is not a substitute for good practices, nor is it medicine.
How do I change pots in which it grows? I REALLY like the rock setting it has right now, but iv been reading a bit around here and was told the glued-together-rock thing isn't good for the plant itself, and that it will take away from the nutrients and water that the plant gets...
Please don't rush into anything, re-potting will serve no purpose until and unless you have some knowledge of bonsai soils. Again I refer you to the stickies. The rocks do not so much "take away" from the plant as impede or interfere with watering, aeration and fertilization. They also make it more difficult to judge the condition and moisture level of the soil. Please remove the glued on rocks and post a picture of the soil.
Where can I find detailed information on when/how to change it's appearance using wires?
Slow down, this is an immature plant and really will require some years to grow out before such styling techniques are necessary. For now just try to keep it alive and enjoy it for what it is, a learning vehicle.
And honestly, I don't like the cheap plastic tray it has at the moment....
This is not important at the moment, the plants health should be first on your agenda for now.
Im completely new to plants, this is honestly my very first plant...
I live with my parents and they are both avid plant growers, but neither of them have ever owned a Bonsai.
Your parents can help you, while bonsai has some specific techniques it is, ultimately, a potted plant.
Is their anything that I might need besides what I have currently in the pictures I provided?
After removing the rocks find a spot outside that gets sun in the morning and some shade during the hottest part of the day. Later, after it has been acclimated, it should be placed in full sun. Do this gradually as the tree has been in low light conditions for some time.
Is it ok to sit in my room window in the light (but not direct sunshine)?
No, it belongs outside. Junipers are ill suited to indoor culture, besides even tropicals should be outside during the summer.

[url]https://www.bonsai4me.com/SpeciesGuide/Juniperus.html[/url]

Norm
Hello, and thanks for the informative post.
It's really late here at the moment, and i can't remove the rocks - i will when i getup tomorrow morning.
That site you directed me to says to grow this outdoors, but Canada's summers aren't very hot and right now it's probably only 5degrees Celcius outside, with high-wind (so am i being over-cautious to leave it outside overnight?).
Tomorrow should be pretty nice out, so i think i'll take the top layer of rocks off and post pictures of the soil itself - leave it while at work then bring it back in for the night (unless you would recomend otherwise)

I was also reading that i shouldn't repot it for atleast 2 years, and like you said i need to keep it healthy before i do anything major. But is the pot it's growing in right now ok?

Thanks again for the information,
I will have pictures up as soon as possible of the soil itself.

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TeKmInIbI,
Hello, and thanks for the informative post.
You're welcome.
But is the pot it's growing in right now ok?
Unless the pot lacks adequate drainage it is not an issue now.
That site you directed me to says to grow this outdoors, but Canada's summers aren't very hot and right now it's probably only 5degrees Celcius outside, with high-wind (so am I being over-cautious to leave it outside overnight?).
Tomorrow should be pretty nice out, so I think I'll take the top layer of rocks off and post pictures of the soil itself - leave it while at work then bring it back in for the night (unless you would recomend otherwise)
Your concern is misplaced. Junipers are fine outside, under almost any weather conditions. Some protection can be helpful during winter but there is absolutely nothing to prevent it from staying outside 24/7 right now.

My only Juniper spent this last winter in the garden. I slipped the root-ball out of the pot and planted it temporally in the ground. We had a very cold spell here last winter with temperatures dropping to 0F. The tree did not miss a beat.
I was also reading that I shouldn't repot it for atleast 2 years, and like you said I need to keep it healthy before I do anything major.
You'll probably find that the soil is not that great and a re-pot will be in order but until you acquire the proper soil, or components to make your own, there is little to be gained.

Did you read the information regarding watering? This is probably the single most important thing you can do now, learn to water correctly.

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Gnome wrote:TeKmInIbI,
Hello, and thanks for the informative post.
You're welcome.
But is the pot it's growing in right now ok?
Unless the pot lacks adequate drainage it is not an issue now.
That site you directed me to says to grow this outdoors, but Canada's summers aren't very hot and right now it's probably only 5degrees Celcius outside, with high-wind (so am I being over-cautious to leave it outside overnight?).
Tomorrow should be pretty nice out, so I think I'll take the top layer of rocks off and post pictures of the soil itself - leave it while at work then bring it back in for the night (unless you would recomend otherwise)
Your concern is misplaced. Junipers are fine outside, under almost any weather conditions. Some protection can be helpful during winter but there is absolutely nothing to prevent it from staying outside 24/7 right now.

My only Juniper spent this last winter in the garden. I slipped the root-ball out of the pot and planted it temporally in the ground. We had a very cold spell here last winter with temperatures dropping to 0F. The tree did not miss a beat.
I was also reading that I shouldn't repot it for atleast 2 years, and like you said I need to keep it healthy before I do anything major.
You'll probably find that the soil is not that great and a re-pot will be in order but until you acquire the proper soil, or components to make your own, there is little to be gained.

Did you read the information regarding watering? This is probably the single most important thing you can do now, learn to water correctly.

Norm
Yes, i read the information about Watering - but still don 't know how i should go about watering my Tree...
I have a mist bottle, and when i bought it yesterday i did soak it for 20 min in a sink of water (I won't do it again now i know that it's not really good for it)
I have been keeping a toothpick poked through the rocks and into the dirt so that i can (hopefully) keep track of the moisture levels, and can figure out when to water it.


OK.
I just took off the layer of glued together rocks and i kind of poked my finger into the soil a bit - it's really wet my finger actually had ALOT of water on it, i don't think this pot is draining well enough...
Pics:
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0011-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0009-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0008-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0007-1.jpg

I'm going to leave it outside like you said for tonight and see how it does,
The soil looks like ordinary pot soil with a mixture of small white rocks (either that or it's fertilizer)

Thanks again for your help,



Edit: IF you notice the soil in the pictures, it's really damp... should i even water it today? I think the glue-rocks were keeping in alot of moisture, and i dumped out the bottom tray that hold any excess water and their was very little.

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TeKmInIbI,

Yes, I read the information about Watering - but still don 't know how I should go about watering my Tree...
Then perhaps you should re-read the stickies and follow the links. It is all there.

I just took off the layer of glued together rocks and I kind of poked my finger into the soil a bit - it's really wet my finger actually had ALOT of water on it, IF you notice the soil in the pictures, it's really damp... should I even water it today?
I think you know the answer to that question, but to keep thinks simple, NO.
I think the glue-rocks were keeping in alot of moisture,
Of course it was, that is one of the reasons I suggested that you remove it. It should dry more readily now.
The soil looks like ordinary pot soil with a mixture of small white rocks (either that or it's fertilizer)
Yes the soil is, as I suspected, entirely inappropriate. The white particles are probably Perlite, a good component but not nearly enough to be effective.

A re-potting will be in order but not now. Re-read the stickies, paying particular attention to watering and soils. We'll be here when you have more questions.

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Gnome wrote:TeKmInIbI,

Yes, I read the information about Watering - but still don 't know how I should go about watering my Tree...
Then perhaps you should re-read the stickies and follow the links. It is all there.

I just took off the layer of glued together rocks and I kind of poked my finger into the soil a bit - it's really wet my finger actually had ALOT of water on it, IF you notice the soil in the pictures, it's really damp... should I even water it today?
I think you know the answer to that question, but to keep thinks simple, NO.
I think the glue-rocks were keeping in alot of moisture,
Of course it was, that is one of the reasons I suggested that you remove it. It should dry more readily now.
The soil looks like ordinary pot soil with a mixture of small white rocks (either that or it's fertilizer)
Yes the soil is, as I suspected, entirely inappropriate. The white particles are probably Perlite, a good component but not nearly enough to be effective.

A re-potting will be in order but not now. Re-read the stickies, paying particular attention to watering and soils. We'll be here when you have more questions.

Norm

Ok,
I just re-read the watering stickies.
They say to thouroughly soak the soil then let it drain for 10min, then repeat.
But since my soil is already heavily wet, and you suggested i don't water it again, then this will have to wait till another day.
Im going to leave it outside and check everyday if it needs to be watered.
Im also going to print off the stickies list, and the page you directed me to about basic tips, and read them in hopes of understanding everything a bit better.

I gave my Mom instructions not to water it, and to leave it today in the sun on our deck.

Im going to read up a bit more on soil compositions, so that when i do need to move it that i have ready soil.
Im just wondering the soil that it's currently growing in you said isn't very good, if i made a mixture - do i repot it or just replace the soil itself and keep it in the plastic container?
I'm going to try my best to read up more on how to care for my Tree.

Thanks alot Norm for the information,

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TeKmInIbI,
But since my soil is already heavily wet, and you suggested I don't water it again, then this will have to wait till another day.
Correct, just as important as how to water is when not to water. It can be difficult, I know, but try to curb your inclination to pamper the tree. It will do better under a regimen of benign neglect. In other words first do no harm, then meet its basic requirements and let it be.
Im going to leave it outside and check everyday if it needs to be watered.
Excellent.
Im also going to print off the stickies list, and the page you directed me to about basic tips, and read them in hopes of understanding everything a bit better.
Traditionally, it is said in Japan, that it takes several years just to learn to water properly. If you overlook this basic skill you will kill your trees. If you stay with bonsai it can become a life-long endeavor and you WILL kill trees, it is inevitable. That is how you learn, by your mistakes.
I gave my Mom instructions not to water it, and to leave it today in the sun on our deck.
It is your tree, you take responsibility for it. Too many cooks spoil the soup.

I previously wrote:
After removing the rocks find a spot outside that gets sun in the morning and some shade during the hottest part of the day. Later, after it has been acclimated, it should be placed in full sun. Do this gradually as the tree has been in low light conditions for some time.
A sudden move into full sun may not be fatal but I think I would ease into it. Slow down, you will have this tree for years/decades if you don't kill it first.
Im just wondering the soil that it's currently growing in you said isn't very good, if I made a mixture - do I repot it or just replace the soil itself and keep it in the plastic container?
The whole point of re-potting, in this case, is to replace the inadequate soil. As I mentioned before the pot itself is fine, there is no need to get more elaborate. In fact experienced growers never put such young material into bonsai pots as this only slows their development. For now though you should enjoy your tree as it is, use it to further your skills/interest and look to the future and your next tree. Look
[url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3343]here[/url] for inspiration. If your only exposure to bonsai is the type of trees you have seen at box stores you will be amazed.

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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It seems to be doing ok outside, it's been out in shady/sunny area.
Im just wondering, do most or all Bonsai start in this soil?
I haven't needed to water it yet, the soil is still really wet..

Also, i looked through my moms tubs of stuff for planting and came across:
Sphagnum Moss
Hydraphonic rocks
Orcid Chips
(I can post pics if need be to identify them)

And was wondering if any of these are beneficial to my situation.
I'm trying not to move to quick, but won't it die in this soil?
Thanks again for all of your help,

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TeKmInIbI,
It seems to be doing ok outside, it's been out in shady/sunny area.
Much better than inside, at least now it has a fighting chance at survival but you are not out of the woods yet.
Im just wondering, do most or all Bonsai start in this soil?
No, this is typical for the type of mass produced bonsai that are sometimes referred to as 'mallsai". Young material potted prematurely into bonsai pots, intended to appeal to the uninformed. Not trying to be rude here, just honest. Many people have their interest kindled with similar trees. Some give up and some move on to better material.
I haven't needed to water it yet, the soil is still really wet..
It is bad that it is in such a state but good that at least you realize it. Don't rush the next watering but don't let this soil dry out entirely either, due to the high peat content it can then become difficult to re-wet.
Also, I looked through my moms tubs of stuff for planting and came across:
Sphagnum Moss
Hydraphonic rocks
Orcid Chips
Glad to hear that you are taking some initiative, the success of your tree is in your hands not ours. Is the Sphagnum Moss long fibered and coarse? If so it may be of some use to you in the future. My Juniper is in a nearly 100% inorganic mix that drains exceptionally well. Not sure what the "Hydraphonic rocks" may be, perhaps "hydroponic". If they are small rocks or gravel they may also be useful. The Orchid chips are bark, I assume, if so they too may have a place in a bonsai medium. Although the size may be inappropriate this can be remedied. If you post some pictures it may help us help you to decide.
I'm trying not to move to quick, but won't it die in this soil?
It is possible to mange it in the soil it is in but it is true that it will be more difficult than if it were in a good free draining mix. You say that it is still pretty cool in your area and summer has not really kicked in yet? You may still be able to re-pot it this year, keeping in mind that you may experience problems. I assume your parents have experience re-potting other plants, perhaps they can help you.

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Hey,
Thanks again for responding.
Your help has been extremely valueable.
Iv read that most 'mallsai' are extremely hard to care for and usually end up dying :(. Have you ever owned one that has been alive for a long time?
Here are the pictures:

Sphagnum Moss
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0012-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0013-1.jpg

Hydraphonic rocks
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0015-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0014-1.jpg

Orcid Chips
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0018.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0016.jpg

I read that: Akadama, Peat, Bark and Kanuma have worked for others.
What would you recommend?

I really want to keep this tree for as long as possible - and if worst comes to worst, and it does die - find a better species or nursery (Walmart haha?) to buy one from.
Thanks again,

ynot
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A belated welcome to you TeKmInIbI :D

Every time I have checked into this thread there was nothing to add due to Gnomes awesome contributions...8).

I will just comment on where we are at now.
TeKmInIbI wrote: Iv read that most 'mallsai' are extremely hard to care for and usually end up dying
It is not that they are hard to care for in any respect, It is perhaps more accurate to say that often they are neglected beyond saving [Terrible living/shipping conditions] before you even get them.

When you add this to the fact that they are often in substandard soil and sold [species unknown] to uniformed/unprepared customers with minimal [In the best case] to entirely misleading [In the worse case] instructions....

They are fighting against the odds all the way you know...
(. Have you ever owned one that has been alive for a long time?
I've never had one for more than a year or so, People used to give them as gifts to me [Until I talked them out of it ~" :shock: Please, Don't do that!" ...:lol: ] and I would pass them on.

[I bought quite a few of those little pots for 1$ off of the bargain table after they let the tree die though ;)]
Their life expectancy is entirely reliant on the owner, Like all bonsai.

Ingredients:
The moss looks fine to me [If chopped up a bit].

Are the rocks absorbent? They seem too large to me. The bark is definitely too large but you could fix that easily enough.
I read that: Akadama, Peat, Bark and Kanuma have worked for others.
What would you recommend?
Skip the peat entirely, Kanuma & Akadama are an ex$pen$e that you may not want to get into as of yet. Both are fine ingredients though Kanuma is primarily used as an inorganic component for trees that prefer an acidic soil.
I really want to keep this tree for as long as possible - and if worst comes to worst, and it does die - find a better species or nursery (Walmart haha?) to buy one from.
As Gnome pointed out you WILL kill trees, Everybody does. Consider it your tuition and try to learn from it.

When shopping for bonsai[url=https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/nurserys.htm]consider this.[/url]

ynot

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TeKmInIbI,
Hey, Thanks again for responding. Your help has been extremely valueable.
You're welcome, glad to help.
Iv read that most 'mallsai' are extremely hard to care for and usually end up dying
Other than usually being young, there is nothing inherently inferior with 'mallsai', they are just plants after all. Problems arise from several sources, inferior potting mixes, inadequate instructions, poor care both before and after the sale to name a few. These shortcomings can usually be overcome. Of course your tree will probably never become one of the fine old Junipers you may have seen, but it can still be a valuable learning tool for you and a good introduction to bonsai.
Have you ever owned one that has been alive for a long time?
No, not exactly, but I do have a Chinese Elm that was probably mass produced, just a little further along when I bought it.

The components you have shown are not ideal, the moss has its place in bonsai but most people would not use it for Junipers. The rocks are too smooth and regular but could probably be used in a pinch. The bark is a bit on the large size but you can reduce it in size. It might be a PITA but since you only need a bit, no big deal.
I read that: Akadama, Peat, Bark and Kanuma have worked for others.
All of those components have a place in bonsai culture and have been used by others. I avoid imported products because of their cost, there is no reason that domestic products cannot be utilized.
What would you recommend?
Whatever you can get locally. Seriously, when mixing your own soil in bulk one of the most important considerations is availability. I have been using [url=https://www.hpbhaydite.com/Haydite_Soil_Amendments.htm]Haydite[/url] recently, because that is what I could find locally in bulk. I have also used [url=https://www.turface.com/sports_fields/product.cfm?category=1&product=trf_mvp]Turface MVP[/url] in the past but shipping was high. I am also using lava rock. A typical mix for me might be 4 parts Haydite, 4 parts lava, and 2 parts bark. This of course is adjusted according to the species. For instance I have included moss in place of bark for Azaleas, and my Juniper is in a nearly 100% inorganic mix with just a touch of bark.

Honestly though it will be a lot easier on you to purchase it ready-made, it can be difficult/impossible to locate locally so it is usually purchased on-line. Here are a few suppliers of components and pre-mixed mediums.

[url]https://www.trappist.net/estore/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=BM&Category_Code=soil[/url]
[url]https://www.dallasbonsai.com/store/potting_medium_index.html[/url]

There are many others, including E-Bay, but I have dealt with these two before. If you intend to re-pot this year I suggest you move quickly.

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Gnome wrote:TeKmInIbI,
Hey, Thanks again for responding. Your help has been extremely valueable.
You're welcome, glad to help.
Iv read that most 'mallsai' are extremely hard to care for and usually end up dying
Other than usually being young, there is nothing inherently inferior with 'mallsai', they are just plants after all. Problems arise from several sources, inferior potting mixes, inadequate instructions, poor care both before and after the sale to name a few. These shortcomings can usually be overcome. Of course your tree will probably never become one of the fine old Junipers you may have seen, but it can still be a valuable learning tool for you and a good introduction to bonsai.
Have you ever owned one that has been alive for a long time?
No, not exactly, but I do have a Chinese Elm that was probably mass produced, just a little further along when I bought it.

The components you have shown are not ideal, the moss has its place in bonsai but most people would not use it for Junipers. The rocks are too smooth and regular but could probably be used in a pinch. The bark is a bit on the large size but you can reduce it in size. It might be a PITA but since you only need a bit, no big deal.
I read that: Akadama, Peat, Bark and Kanuma have worked for others.
All of those components have a place in bonsai culture and have been used by others. I avoid imported products because of their cost, there is no reason that domestic products cannot be utilized.
What would you recommend?
Whatever you can get locally. Seriously, when mixing your own soil in bulk one of the most important considerations is availability. I have been using [url=https://www.hpbhaydite.com/Haydite_Soil_Amendments.htm]Haydite[/url] recently, because that is what I could find locally in bulk. I have also used [url=https://www.turface.com/sports_fields/product.cfm?category=1&product=trf_mvp]Turface MVP[/url] in the past but shipping was high. I am also using lava rock. A typical mix for me might be 4 parts Haydite, 4 parts lava, and 2 parts bark. This of course is adjusted according to the species. For instance I have included moss in place of bark for Azaleas, and my Juniper is in a nearly 100% inorganic mix with just a touch of bark.

Honestly though it will be a lot easier on you to purchase it ready-made, it can be difficult/impossible to locate locally so it is usually purchased on-line. Here are a few suppliers of components and pre-mixed mediums.

[url]https://www.trappist.net/estore/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=BM&Category_Code=soil[/url]
[url]https://www.dallasbonsai.com/store/potting_medium_index.html[/url]

There are many others, including E-Bay, but I have dealt with these two before. If you intend to re-pot this year I suggest you move quickly.

Norm
Ok, thanks ynot and Gnome ;)
I would like to repot it because i believe that it doesn't have enough drainage in the pot it's in right now.
I'm going to check out my local greenhouse tomorrow and see if i can obtain some of the supplies to mix that you guys have suggested.

I have no clue how to repot it properly though, and iv heard this is one of the toughest parts..

For now, the pot was dry the toothpick i stuck in came out pretty dry - so i gave it a watering - holding it out to see how it's draining (which is barely is) this will be it's first in 2 days.

I'd like to obtain a new Bonsai that has a better chance of living, but honestly otherthan my local greenhouse, i don't have a clue where i can get one.

I guess ill re-read the stickies on repotting, and hopefully i can do it successfully.
Thanks again guys for the help,
This new hobby of mine is turning into an obsession - and i don't wanna get attached to a poorly cared for plant like the one i have.

ynot
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TeKmInIbI wrote:
I'd like to obtain a new Bonsai that has a better chance of living, but honestly otherthan my local greenhouse, I don't have a clue where I can get one.
Did you read the link in my previous post?
I guess ill re-read the stickies on repotting, and hopefully I can do it successfully.
I assure you it is easier to do than to describe.
Thanks again guys for the help,
Your welcome 8)
This new hobby of mine is turning into an obsession - and I don't wanna get attached to a poorly cared for plant like the one I have.
Too bad... It happens :P :lol:.

ynot

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Gnome
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TeKmInIbI,
I'd like to obtain a new Bonsai that has a better chance of living, but honestly otherthan my local greenhouse, I don't have a clue where I can get one.
There are many routes to bonsai they need not be purchased as such, in fact many of the best trees are collected not grown out. There is also, as Ynot has directed you to, the possibility of using nursery material. Here is the Juniper I mentioned above, I purchased it about a year ago form a conventional nursery, in other words not a box store but a real nursery.
[url=https://img464.imageshack.us/my.php?image=juniperkz6.jpg][img]https://img464.imageshack.us/img464/4975/juniperkz6.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Here is a Boxwood that a friend dug from someplace unknown to me. I found it on my doorstep one morning in 2004. It was really a mess, perhaps I'll post a few pictures showing the progression in the gallery.
[url=https://img464.imageshack.us/my.php?image=boxwoodsh2.jpg][img]https://img464.imageshack.us/img464/6357/boxwoodsh2.th.jpg[/img][/url]

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Well, thanks for the replies!
I watered my plant this morning before i left for work, it sat in the sun most of the day. I came home and it was dry (using my finger, and a toothpick) so i watered it again.
It now looks alot brighter, but some of the leaves are quite yellow/brown..

Are these roots sticking out?
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0015-2.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0014-2.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0013-2.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0012-2.jpg


Cool pictures btw, thanks for sharing them with me.

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

In some of the pictures it's really quite brown, it looks to be growing and i scrathed a tiny, small place on the trunk and the tree is still green inside...
Iv looked everywhere for Haydite/Turface/Pine Bark...
Can i use something else instead of these?

Cedar Mulch / Potting Charcoal / River Rock / Concrete Sand Mix?
I saw that at my local greenhouse they had an Orchid mix that had Charcoal/Bark and something else... but the pieces were quite big each...


Anyways, im going to try a mix of Sphagnum Moss, those Bark chips, and the Hydroponic Rocks.
Of course, im going to mulch the bark and moss in a coffe grinder to make it quite a bit smaller.
Ill post a picture when i finally get it mixed.


Edit:
Picture:
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0019.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0018-1.jpg
https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/combo-nation/DSCF0017.jpg

This is the pot my mom used for her orchids, and no longer uses.
It has many holes along the sides, and a couple in the bottom as well - it also has a dish to catch excess water.
Im guessing since im using such a holey pot, im going to need to check my plant ever MORE than i was and make sure it properly watered.
I did however, when i changed pots, clip some of the long/thicker roots like it says in the sticky, only leaving smaller ones to actually feed the plant. About 20% was clipped.
Also, i used my coffee grinder to mix and crush some of the ingredients.
The Hydroponic rocks broke into smaller pieces, and so did the bark.
The Sphagnum moss also was shredded to a mulch, but not dust.

It drains quite freely now, i watered it once and held it out to drain well.... waited 20min then checked the soil - it was a barely damp so i gave it another short watering to moisten the new soil better.

I tried to get as much of the old soil off the roots as i possibly could, but i didnt wanna ruin the bulb.
According to my mom who grows orchids, the rest of the soil (with watering) will break free and drain out.

For a first attempt, even if the plant dies - i think the soil mixture turned out pretty well. It seems to keep only as much water as the mixture can hold, then drain out the rest.

Please tell me your thought and considerations,

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TeKmInIbI,

Well you certainly jumped in with both feet didn't you? All in all I feel you have made an improvement but I do have some reservations about a few aspects of your work. So here goes.
It has many holes along the sides, and a couple in the bottom as well - it also has a dish to catch excess water.
The extra holes are fine, a bit large but it certainly should drain well. I have been using pond baskets for about a year now. If you don't know what they are there is a thread here with a similar title, search for it.

The pot is rather deep but what's done is done. Don't get second thoughts and make matters worse. Make sure that any water that may be in the tray cannot ever wick back up into the pot.
It drains quite freely now, I watered it once and held it out to drain well.... waited 20min then checked the soil - it was a barely damp so I gave it another short watering to moisten the new soil better.
This is much better than what it was in before but be aware that the particle size is now on the large size and diligence on your part will be required to ensure that it does not dry out. Out of the frying pan and into the fire! :wink:

You will probably find that it will need watered every day, maybe even twice sometimes, this is not an endorsement of any kind of schedule but simply a heads up. Check it daily, water as required.
I tried to get as much of the old soil off the roots as I possibly could, but I didnt wanna ruin the bulb.
According to my mom who grows orchids, the rest of the soil (with watering) will break free and drain out.
Bulb? It sounds like you should be OK. Next time it wont seem so daunting.

Iv looked everywhere for Haydite/Turface/Pine Bark... Can I use something else instead of these?
I realize that it is too late now but for future reference, yes other inorganic components can be used. Some possibilities are chicken grit, granite not oyster shell. Pool filter sand of an appropriate size. Lava rock if you can locate it in the proper size, I've crushed my own but it is no fun. Grit/small rocks from a creek, river or lake shore. It will need to be cleaned and sized with various size screens. The parent company of Turface (Profile) also makes products intended for aqua-culture that can be used although I never have. Starting to get the idea? Look around, read more, google more. Something will turn up.

Pine bark is sold as decorative mulch but usually is too large but I guess your coffee blender has that covered. It is also sold partially composted as 'soil conditioner' Some growers prefer Fir bark but I have never used it.

Norm

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Hello Norm,
I watered it twice after repotting, and checked on it every few hours during the day - night after.
The morning dew here has kept it moist, but i think im going to need to water it before i leave for work.
And im going to place it in a mildly shady place while im gone,
I touch a branch where their was brown, and it kinda just fell off...
Like i said though, when i scratched the bark the tree looks still alive.
Im just not sure anymore, i guess time will tell me if its alive haha.

ynot
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Im guessing since im using such a holey pot, im going to need to check my plant ever MORE than I was and make sure it properly watered.
The holes are just how the water escapes the pot and have nothing to do with the actual retention of moisture. This is determined by the components of your soil and their particle size [Which as Gnome notes is fairly large].
A really large particle size often means there will be an excess of large air spaces {which do not hold moisture} and due to this {and despite having a fairly organic soil} it will not hold as much moisture and requires more frequent watering.
TeKmInIbI wrote:I touch a branch where their was brown, and it kinda just fell off...
You mean the foliage, Right? This will happen to dead foliage... As you note in the quote below it is still actually alive though so hopefully it has the strength/reserves to put out some new foliage.
Like I said though, when I scratched the bark the tree looks still alive.
I guess time will tell me if its alive
It IS still alive, Time will tell if it stays alive. :)

ynot

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

ynot wrote:
Im guessing since im using such a holey pot, im going to need to check my plant ever MORE than I was and make sure it properly watered.
The holes are just how the water escapes the pot and have nothing to do with the actual retention of moisture. This is determined by the components of your soil and their particle size [Which as Gnome notes is fairly large].
A really large particle size often means there will be an excess of large air spaces {which do not hold moisture} and due to this {and despite having a fairly organic soil} it will not hold as much moisture and requires more frequent watering.
TeKmInIbI wrote:I touch a branch where their was brown, and it kinda just fell off...
You mean the foliage, Right? This will happen to dead foliage... As you note in the quote below it is still actually alive though so hopefully it has the strength/reserves to put out some new foliage.
Like I said though, when I scratched the bark the tree looks still alive.
I guess time will tell me if its alive
It IS still alive, Time will tell if it stays alive. :)

ynot
So,
Before i goto work, im going to check it.
If it's mildly moist, should i give it water? or just let it sit in a shady area?
The morning moisture has made it a bit wet, but today is going to be hot..

ynot
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TeKmInIbI wrote:
So,
Before I goto work, im going to check it.
Good policy :D
TeKmInIbI wrote: If it's mildly moist, should I give it water?
Moist where? in the depths of the pot?... Mildly moist [Which is subjective so my version of that.:arrow:.] should be fine but as you mention it will be hot...
TeKmInIbI wrote:
TeKmInIbI wrote:or just let it sit in a shady area?
The morning moisture has made it a bit wet, but today is going to be hot..
The real question [& one I cannot answer] is will it NOT be bone dry when you get home.

Considering Junipers like it on the dry side I would be tempted to not water it & leave it in the shade to see where it ends up [Moisture-wise]

...I am not sure what to suggest to you though as 'mildy moist' and 'hot' are both subjective you know...lol

I am reconsidering that actually when I take into consideration the large particle size you have there...I think that experiment would be better attempted on a day when you could be around to check it you know

Water it and experiment later.... That is my advice..

Sorry for thinking 'out loud' through this post... Just letting you see a bit of how I came to my opinion.

ynot

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

ynot wrote:
TeKmInIbI wrote:
So,
Before I goto work, im going to check it.
Good policy :D
TeKmInIbI wrote: If it's mildly moist, should I give it water?
Moist where? in the depths of the pot?... Mildly moist [Which is subjective so my version of that.:arrow:.] should be fine but as you mention it will be hot...
TeKmInIbI wrote:
TeKmInIbI wrote:or just let it sit in a shady area?
The morning moisture has made it a bit wet, but today is going to be hot..
The real question [& one I cannot answer] is will it NOT be bone dry when you get home.

Considering Junipers like it on the dry side I would be tempted to not water it & leave it in the shade to see where it ends up [Moisture-wise]

...I am not sure what to suggest to you though as 'mildy moist' and 'hot' are both subjective you know...lol

I am reconsidering that actually when I take into consideration the large particle size you have there...I think that experiment would be better attempted on a day when you could be around to check it you know

Water it and experiment later.... That is my advice..

Sorry for thinking 'out loud' through this post... Just letting you see a bit of how I came to my opinion.

ynot
Well, i snipped a piece of hard white paper - stuck it in and let sit for 5min - brought it out and only a little bit of soil was stuck to it and the paper was barely moist. It went about 3/4 of the way down the pot.

I guess it would be a better idea to water it before i leave and let sit in a shadier area, i think 7 hours of no water might just be too much for it.


79°F, 26°C right now
Barometer:
29.95 in and rising
Humidity:
39%
Visibility:
9 mi
Dewpoint:
52°
Wind:
ESE 2 mph
Sunrise:
5:11 am
Sunset:
9:54 pm
79°

High: 84°F Low: 56°F

Is what Yahoo.com describes today at. And it's really quite hot out already, and it's only 11:44.

ynot
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TeKmInIbI wrote:
Well, I snipped a piece of hard white paper - stuck it in and let sit for 5min - brought it out and only a little bit of soil was stuck to it and the paper was barely moist. It went about 3/4 of the way down the pot.
This was down the edge of the pot wasn't it? [Not the best point to check actually, About halfway between the tree and pot wall is an optimal place for the chopstick I am about to mention ]
Moist after only 5 minutes ...is moist.
If I use a test like this I use a chopstick that stays in the pot all the time.
I just check for the change of color where the wood is moist. [Soil sticking to it is most emphatically not an issue at all As far as that goes I don't think this is an effective way to test your soil considering the particle size you have, Proper bonsai soil in general is too chunky for this to be effective But that is another issue entirely.]
I guess it would be a better idea to water it before I leave and let sit in a shadier area, I think 7 hours of no water might just be too much for it.
I think you are a bit off as to it's requirements [I see potential for being prone to over watering in this statement.] It is moist right now correct? It is not as though it has no moisture at all...
It is not 'water' [As in needing to be soaking, dripping wet (To exaggerate)]
It is 'moisture' that is important. Especially as Junipers prefer to be a bit dry [Again...lol] It will take you a while to find out how long it takes for your specific pot full of soil components takes to approach the point where you need to water again.

This is also an example of why no book or website has perfect information about 'when to water' as you now can see the difficulties of trying to answer a question like 'How often do I water?'...

Know what I mean ..:)
79°F, 26°C right now{/snip}...
... 11:44.
LOL... I appreciate the info, But I am not a meteorologist. None of that tells me [Or you] how fast your specific components in your location will dry to a moisture level that will be lethal for your tree, That information only comes with time and attention to your tree.

ynot

TeKmInIbI
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta

ynot wrote:
TeKmInIbI wrote:
Well, I snipped a piece of hard white paper - stuck it in and let sit for 5min - brought it out and only a little bit of soil was stuck to it and the paper was barely moist. It went about 3/4 of the way down the pot.
This was down the edge of the pot wasn't it? [Not the best point to check actually, About halfway between the tree and pot wall is an optimal place for the chopstick I am about to mention ]
Moist after only 5 minutes ...is moist.
If I use a test like this I use a chopstick that stays in the pot all the time.
I just check for the change of color where the wood is moist. [Soil sticking to it is most emphatically not an issue at all As far as that goes I don't think this is an effective way to test your soil considering the particle size you have, Proper bonsai soil in general is too chunky for this to be effective But that is another issue entirely.]
I guess it would be a better idea to water it before I leave and let sit in a shadier area, I think 7 hours of no water might just be too much for it.
I think you are a bit off as to it's requirements [I see potential for being prone to over watering in this statement.] It is moist right now correct? It is not as though it has no moisture at all...
It is not 'water' [As in needing to be soaking, dripping wet (To exaggerate)]
It is 'moisture' that is important. Especially as Junipers prefer to be a bit dry [Again...lol] It will take you a while to find out how long it takes for your specific pot full of soil components takes to approach the point where you need to water again.

This is also an example of why no book or website has perfect information about 'when to water' as you now can see the difficulties of trying to answer a question like 'How often do I water?'...

Know what I mean ..:)
79°F, 26°C right now{/snip}...
... 11:44.
LOL... I appreciate the info, But I am not a meteorologist. None of that tells me [Or you] how fast your specific components in your location will dry to a moisture level that will be lethal for your tree, That information only comes with time and attention to your tree.

ynot
I did like you said, half way between the pot and the base of the tree i measured using a popsickle stick.
I went to the bottom, and it's quite moist - so im going to position it in the shade and then leave it till i get home tonight.
Hopefully, i doesn't dry out.
Thanks again ynot / Gnome for the information.
It has proven to be extremely valuable. ;)

LCsontos
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Location: Hamilton

HELP!!! My Bonsai is malnurished...

I have a Juniper Bonsai. I've had it for three months and I have been following the directions on how to water it. It get sufficient light thru my living room windows...I think. It has ben inside since i got it The guy who sold it to me at the mall told me to water it once a month and spray the branches everday.

But its loosing its colour...Its starting to turn white on a few of the branches and become stiff and dry looking which makes me believe its not getting nutrition somehow.

What do I do???

Its in cool temperatures at all times, inside. I spray it with water every day as directed, I water it when the soil feels dry...What am I doing wrong???

Can anyone help me with this??

ynot
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WHY DID YOU NOT START ANOTHER THREAD? Or even read this 1

LCsontos wrote:I have a Juniper Bonsai. I've had it for three months and I have been following the directions on how to water it. It get sufficient light thru my living room windows...I think. It has ben inside since I got it The guy who sold it to me at the mall told me to water it once a month and spray the branches everday.

But its loosing its colour...Its starting to turn white on a few of the branches and become stiff and dry looking which makes me believe its not getting nutrition somehow.

What do I do???

Its in cool temperatures at all times, inside. I spray it with water every day as directed, I water it when the soil feels dry...What am I doing wrong???

Can anyone help me with this??
Yes,

Start by reading this thread from the beginning. Be sure to notre Gnomes first post which is full of information you can apply {Read the links also}.

If you have already done this... Somehow you completely missed the fact that your tree should be outside ALL THE TIME.

The white stuff is potentially mold or hard water deposits.. Pictures would be extremely helpful here. Stop misting please and learn to water properly.

Please review the stickys at the top of this forum as well as the one about helpful pictures in the gallery.

A search of the bonsai forum using 'juniper' will bring many relevant threads also. Over 200 of them in fact:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/search.php?mode=results

Get back to us after you have done that.

ynot

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