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Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:10 pm
Location: Florida, USA, just north of Daytona Beach

Juni's almost TWO

She has a couple months to go yet and a re-potting that I think will go better this year. I think I have figured out how to do it right this time! But she is healthy albeit not as brilliant green as she was as a baby. I'm not sure if that's natural or there is something I can do to bring back that lush greenness.
Juni is pretty stubborn, takes after me. I don't rotate her or change her surroundings so she has adapted to reaching out of her little house towards the sunshine. And since she sits up on a shelf, she has one main branch that reaches way out and down while the remainder just fill in a bit. But she remains pretty naked on her backside the faces the house.
She still seems very soft and springy, and smells very good. I wonder if the Florida sunshine has had a bleaching effect to her color. She doesn't seem to mind one bit and just reaches out for some sun whenever she can. We've had a pretty wet winter, not very cold, never freezing. But cool enough that she barely needs any water with all the rain we've gotten. She never gets direct rain but does see a lot of splash and gets very wet if the wind is blowing towards her. I think she's looking forward to a good drying out...

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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

I think the juniper looks great. The color difference may just be because some parts are getting more light than others or the color is changing from the juvenile to the adult leaves. When you repot, reorient the long branch to one side and replant slightly off center. It is bare in the back because that is probably the side that faces the wall. Also the reason why bonsai are usually in full sun (once conditioned to the light), so it gets light all around.

You can start to do some pruning, shaping and wiring.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Light levels are lower this time of year. Some of the green is going to be less.

Shake out (and rake out) soil, when you repot in your spring.

What will you be using for soil?

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Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:10 pm
Location: Florida, USA, just north of Daytona Beach

@Tom: Last year, I bought this huge bag of Bonsai soil at, same place I got the liquid and solid fertilizer. Last year, I was afraid to be too aggressive with her and didn't get all the old dirt out of the root-ball so I only replaced about 85% of the dirt. Afterwards, I read that "washing" the roots may help dissolve and remove much of that dirt. I do not want to break any more of the tiny hair-like roots than I have to.

I was 'shocked' last spring when I went to remove her from the pot and found that her roots had completely filled the pot. It's depth is barely two inches even though it is wider than the pot she came in. She seems to spread out and use all of the available space. I'm thinking if I soak her roots in clean water, I may be able to rinse away much more of the old dirt and be able to replant her with a higher degree of new soil.

I don't mind repositioning her just a little, but my original idea was to have her grow just as though she were out in the woods growing wild so she never really gets turned or repositioned. I know that I could force her to grow symmetrically simply by rotating her but to me, that's not natural. I like her this way. She shows me what she likes.

It was 83 here yesterday during the running of the Daytona 500, a few blocks from my house. I expect an early spring here so I am looking forward to repotting her pretty soon. She still lives in the same little house I built for her because to sit out in the direct sunlight would also expose her to the kind of rain we have here in central Florida. Often times, we get a rain that may only last a few minutes but drop over an inch. I'm afraid such rainfalls would quickly wash her right out of her pot. So she sits right on the edge of the shelf in her little house and under the eve of the house. So she is pretty well protected from the downpours but still gets the blowing rain and a lot of splash. I try my best to make sure she gets time to dry out before watering when we have a lot of rain. Often times, she only gets really soaked if it is a windy rain. Otherwise, she gets very little.

She's on the southern side of the house so she gets full sun from morning till mid-afternoon when the sun is blocked by the house and the remaining light is indirect. I have thought about cutting out part of the walls of her house that face East and West. I believe all that would do is increase the amount of light she gets but not by a whole lot. All the walls of her little house are painted gloss white so there is a lot of reflected light too. She sits right in front of my glass patio door so I can see her all the time. And it gives me the excuse to interact with her every time I go in and out that door. I thought about turning her but I know she would just turn around and grow the other way. And the huge branch that reaches way out and hangs down nearly eight inches below the level of the pot may not do very well if turned to the shady side of her little house. I can see turning her a little bit to fill in just a little more but her primary branch wants to reach out into the full sun and also expose itself to the heavy rains.

As long as she remains healthy and springy, I let her get hit by those heavy rains from a bit of an angle. With the pot right on the edge of the shelf, all of her that hangs out over the southern edge of her pot gets some serious rain. I only need to prevent the pot from filling up too fast too quickly. Imagine a very small potted plant and dousing her with a bucket of water real fast. I don't think that would be very healthy even if she did manage to stay in the pot. Much of the dirt would be washed out of the pot. More often than not, the rain here is very different than any place else that I've lived. Something to do with the two coastal fronts clashing with each other overhead.

So my primary goal is to make sure she survives. More than forcing her to grow in the shape I want, I want her to be happy and healthy. I just love the way she feels and smells so I get plenty of enjoyment from her just the way she is. I've thought about the wiring and forcing her to take on a shape predetermined by me. I may try that with another one. But Juni is going to live just like she was growing wild and free. I'm just trying to provide all the elements that mother nature would in order for her to thrive.

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