Newly Registered
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:28 pm
Location: idaho

Help Bonsai dry and needles dying; fell off desk

I have an evergreen Bonsai (I think a Juniper). I have had it since late summer and have kept it indoors. I water by submersion twice a week. My husband has an identical tree that is doing fine, but mine is drying up. The needles are totally dry and will break off at the slightest touch despite watering. The only difference between his and mine is that mine fell off my desk at work. I replanted it quickly in its container but it hasn't been right since. I took it home and put in my bathroom thinking the extra moisture would help, but it's not getting better. Anything I can do to bring this little guy back?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Your trees should really be kept outside in a somewhat protected area such that they can go dormant for the winter. Though if temperatures are to low, you will shock your tree if you just move it outside now.

If the daytime temperatures are somewhat mild, you can put your tree outside during the day and take it in at night for about 10 days to harden it off and then move it outside.

In winter when the plants should be dormant they won't need as much water as they need for the rest of the year.

Also, don't water your tree on a schedule, test the soil with a toothpick by pushing the toothpick into the soil, if the soil sticks to the toothpick; you don't need to water.

And use organic vs. synthetic fertilzers for your trees, synthetic fertilizers can burn your tree and they may also be the culprit.

User avatar
Posts: 5122
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Junipers are one of the least appropriate species for any type of indoor culture, a desk at work is a very poor situation for a Juniper. Look here for some tips on Junipers.


This is a direct quote from that article, emphasis mine:
Never try to grow Junipers indoors, though they may seem to tolerate indoor cultivation at first, poor humidity, lack of light and dormancy will eventually kill them. Do not trust a vendor, seller, book or website that claims Junipers can be grown successfully indoors! Dead Junipers can continue to display normal foliage colour for weeks or even months after they have effectively died.
The fall from the desk may have been "The straw that broke the camels back" The other Juniper will eventually weaken and fail as well. If either is lucky enough to survive until next season they should be placed outside and remain there.


Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:44 am

Yes, you cannot keep juniper indoors for very long without them dying. Additionally, always watering by submersion is not recommended.

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