SamanthaT
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:48 pm

Juniper bonsai needs help

My bonsai leaves have been turning brown. I leave it outside unless it is raining and he receives 5-7 hours of sunlight a day. I have been misting the leaves more frequently as it has been very hot and watering every other day or so. I made the mistake of using an indoor plant food the first time as fertilizer which is why I think the moss looks like it is dead. The ends of his leaves are looking white. I did a scratch test and his trunk looks almost white under the bark and his roots are close to the color of the bark. Do you think he can make it?

SamanthaT
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Re: Juniper bonsai needs help

here are some pictures of him
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GardeningCook
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Re: Juniper bonsai needs help

I don't know where you are located, but Junipers are 24/7 outdoor bonsai. They don't need to EVER come indoors - even if it's raining. Or snowing for that matter. Watering when the pot needs it (via sticking your finger or a stick/chopstick into the pot to check) is the way to go rather than just watering arbitrarily every day or two, & Junipers do not require any sort of "misting". If you want to increase humidity levels, the proper way to do that would be to place your OUTDOOR tree on a humidity tray (a shallow tray filled with large pebbles that keeps the pot above its water level).

Whether or not your Juniper "makes it" is anyone's guess. Have you done any research/reading on caring for Juniper bonsai? This might be your next best step.
My body is a temple. Unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Juniper bonsai needs help

Here's a post I just did for someone else with an ailing juniper bonsai:

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 36&t=63840
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Re: Juniper bonsai needs help

SamanthaT,

Your tree does not look too bad to me. Inner "needles" will turn brown over time, no leaf/needle lasts forever. Indoor/outdoor fertilizer sounds like marketing to me. The NPK ratio is more relevant than the name on the package.

Heed GardeningCook's advice regarding placement and watering. It should be outdoors, always. Monitor the moisture of the soil rather than water on a schedule. This forum is replete with examples of Junipers that well meaning owners have pampered to death.

I have a different perspective regarding misting though. Misting can be beneficial to a Juniper in distress. Oh, the moss is not actually living, just topdressing. Nothing inherently wrong with that strategy, especially in hot areas. That loose moss does, however, impede your observation of soil conditions. The chopstick method is the way for new owners to go.
Another method is to insert a kitchen skewer or chopstick to the bottom of the pot and leave it there. Take it out daily to check it; if the skewer has soil stuck to it don't water. Touch the wood to your cheek or underside of your wrist, if it is damp there is no need to water.

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