bro33
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:59 pm

I need to keep this (Juniper) alive until Christmas

Hey, I just got a tree for my sister as a Christmas present (got the idea from a friend), and it arrived a bit earlier than I had expected. I really don't know anything about bonsai, but I need to keep this thing alive until Christmas. :)

I assume that since it's winter time (and only a month until Christmas) I don't need to bother cutting or fertilizing it. From a cursory reading of this forum, I see that watering is important and so I plan to check the moisture each day and water it when necessary (apparently this is about once a week during the winter--is that correct???).

Main question: do I need to keep it cool? My room stays about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but I've seen advice about keeping it cooler. Is this necessary?

Also, it's still in the starter plastic pot, and I really didn't want to transfer it out yet because my sister would love doing that and I don't want to spoil her fun. Is it going to be ok for another month?

Apparently it's a "Juniper Procumbens Nana," and it's 3 years old, if that helps any.

Thanks in advance!

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Give the stickies atop the forum a read and that should keep you and the tree going.

Good luck.


And DON"T put the tree in a window sill.


PS
Let us know what type of tree it is (tropical, temperate, what species) for specific advice

Newt
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1868
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 2:44 am
Location: Maryland zone 7

Opabinia, he did mention it's Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'. That to me would be an outdoor plant, but I'm not very knowledgeable about bonsai.

Newt

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

bro33,

Hello and welcome. Newt is correct in stating that Junipers are ill suited to indoor culture. I'm afraid that you and your sister are likely in for a disappointment. The tree will probably be OK until Christmas, Junipers are slow to show distress but this does not mean that all is well.

If you use the search feature at the top of the forum you will find many threads concerning Junipers, many of which are in distress from being kept inside. Here is another thread where I commented on keeping a Juniper inside.

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6565

You have not indicated your location. This has more than a little bearing on your situation. I take it you do not know the conditions the tree was kept in recently. Where was it shipped from?

Norm

bro33
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:59 pm

I'm in Maryland, fairly close to the Washington, DC area. It's been getting down into the 30s overnight lately so that's why I was hesitant to leave it outside, but we do have an enclosed porch area that I could leave it in if the temperature isn't a problem. Do I need to insulate it somehow?

It was sent from New York, and I have no idea what conditions it has been kept in. A bit of it looks very brown on the top so I'm guessing it's not in very good shape.

Some photos:
[url=https://img401.imageshack.us/my.php?image=photo3rg2.jpg][img]https://img401.imageshack.us/img401/1311/photo3rg2.th.jpg[/img][/url]
[url=https://img150.imageshack.us/my.php?image=photo6gj0.jpg][img]https://img150.imageshack.us/img150/5254/photo6gj0.th.jpg[/img][/url]

EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot--there's also a basement. I'm not sure exactly what the temperature is, but it consistently stays at least 10-15 degrees cooler than my room. That's where I've put the tree for now.

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

bro33,

My Juniper stays outside year-round. This does not mean totally unprotected though. Temperatures in the thirties are not a problem at all for a properly hardened Juniper. This means allowing the tree to experience the shortening day lengths and cooler temperatures from late summer on.
It was sent from New York
Assuming that the tree has been handled correctly up to now it should not be kept inside now, or ever for that matter. The porch is certainly better than inside your home. Even though it is evergreen light requirements are minimal during the winter.

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

Make sure that your sister is aware of these requirements as well. And to answer your original questions, no re-potting, fertilizing or pruning for now, this should wait until next year.

Norm

bro33
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:59 pm

Interesting. I've moved it to the porch, and I guess we'll see what happens. Since the instructions I got with it are pretty clearly in favor of moving it indoors during the winter, I suspect it hasn't been properly cared for.

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

bro33,

Those instruction sheets are notoriously inaccurate, sometimes deliberately so I suspect. More sales can be garnered from giving the impression that bonsai are little more than houseplants. Read the stickies and search the forum for more accurate information. Also explore the whole site of the links I gave you.

Perhaps a book to go along with the tree would help your sister as well.

Norm

bro33
Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:59 pm

Cool. Well, thanks everyone...I appreciate the input. Here's to a great Christmas and healthy trees. :)

Burner
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:26 pm
Location: Cottonwood, AZ

Just curious, did the little guy make it to Christmas? How did it go over?
:D

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Yes, I am curious as well.


Make sure that you direct the recipient of the tree to our site so that we can help them to grow a nice healthy tree. :wink:

Return to “BONSAI FORUM”