Bonsai juniper
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New Juniper Bonsai help!

I got a new juniper bonsai this lastt weekend. I didn't spray insecticide or feed it, just water. I gave it osmocot plant food pellets yesterday. I noticed a small spider yesterday that jumped out while watering. I water until i see the water drain out thrpugh holes. There was a small amount of rain this week. This morning the roots are showing and red. There is red and black on trunk. What can I do?
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Gnome
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

Bonsai juniper,

Don't worry about the red coloration, it's normal. Your soil, while certainly not the worst we have seen, appears to have a large percentage of bark, a mix more appropriate for a deciduous tree. My Juniper is in a much leaner mix, meaning little or no bark.

Take care with your watering habits, don't keep it too soggy. They are cold tolerant and drought resistant but hate wet feet.

You don't say where you are located but if you are likely to receive a lot of rain it would be best to shelter it from most of it. The combination of frequent rain and a more water retentive medium, such as yours, is not ideal.

Use the chopstick method to determine when to water.
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imafan26
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

Read gnomes tips in the bonsai forum on how to check when you need to water. Try to keep your juniper outside most of the time. Bonsai and especially junipers are not house plants.
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Bonsai juniper
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

So, its not dying? I live in Florida. It is always outside. What about bugs? I have malathion but I haven't used it yet. What soil mix would you recomend? The instructions they gave me said to water it daily.

imafan26
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

Water as needed. Depending on the time of year, humidity, wind, location, and media, the pot will dry out at different rates. Check the soil with a chopstick or your finger, if it is still moist, it can wait awhile longer.

Bonsai media is usually more like different sizes of gravel and does not usually contain a lot of water holding materials. With a dry mix and a bonsai outdoors, you can easily have to water it daily, but it will still depend on how fast it dries out.

Bonsai are deliberately stunted and will eventually become pot bound. they need to be fed, pruned and repotted regularly. Usually the pot is only large enough to accommodate the roots so there isn't that much media in it.

It is good you can keep it outside year round, it will be better off that way in full sun.

This might help with basic juniper care.

https://www.bonsaiempire.com/tree-species/juniper
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tomc
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

I will gently disagree, bonsai are not stunted. They are well watered and fed (or should be). Root and branch pruning are done to keep tree in good ratio between root and top size. Everything else is styling.

A pulik and a poodle (dog) are when shaved about the same size and shape. Every other difference is styling.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

ummm .... tom. Maybe we are using the terms in different ways, Depending on what kind of juniper it is, a creeping juniper in ground could easily be several meters wide, some juniper trees in nature are 10-15 meters tall. Compared to that, I think the little tree in the bonsai pot is stunted.
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Bonsai juniper
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

Ok, thank you all for the help. I was just worried that It was dying. I will do the chopstick test and make sure I don't over water it.

dredd15
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

In addition to using a chopstick to properly water, I would also recommend reading up on pruning juniper bonsai. Some folks who are just getting started tend to go about pruning the wrong way.

imafan26
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

I consider the juniper still a starter. There really has not been much training done yet. I would look up junipers and take a long look at the tree and the different styles for junipers like the cascade, formal or informal upright and others.

I usually go with what style the plant tells me it wants to be. Since I grew a prostrate juniper, it was an easy choice for me to do a cascade. It was harder to find a suitable pot. The juniper you have can go either way depending on its structure and how you direct it.

Sensei Tom, you are right in a sense, that bonsai are pruned and trained and kept small, but not stunted in the way plants stunt because of poor growing conditions. I do think of them as being contained with roots and top pruning to maybe not "stunt" the growth, but to control the growth. If I had not taken my 20+ year old bougainvillea out of the ground and trimmed the roots and top to curtail its' growth it would still have 25 foot stems reaching over the top of my plumeria tree.I have certainly shortened it, and it is still in training but it by no means "stunted", since it would still put out long canes if I did not keep cutting them.
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imafan26
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

This is my bougainvillea in training. I lost the first picture when I got the first consult. After the second consult with the bonsai sensei, he cut one of the main branches and turned the plant 90 degrees. It looks very different. I am growing it out again. I have the branch he cut rooting in another pot. Bougainvillea does not like to be repotted but it can be one tough cookie to kill when you want to.
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My bougainvillea after second bonsai master consultation from Pearl City bonsai club
My bougainvillea after second bonsai master consultation from Pearl City bonsai club
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rainbowgardener
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

it's beautiful!!
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imafan26
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Re: New Juniper Bonsai help!

I was told the plant has a feminine form and should be in a round pot to complement it. Right now, it is in a round terra cotta training pot that I put it in after I dug it out of the ground. I am using crushed black cinder for the media and since it is also in terra cotta, it needs to be watered every day or two. I have it in my entry in partial shade so I have to turn the tree about once a week to get the branches to grow out more evenly in all directions. I have started pulling some of the lateral branches down but I still need to let the top grow out and train a new leader. I have kept a lot of the stray branches I need to cut later since the tree has a habit of growing on the limbs I want to cut off instead of where I wish it will grow. I have learned through experience sometimes you have to let nature have its way.
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