zingzing2916
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Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

Hi, I received this Juniper Bonsai as a gift in January 2016. I keep it inside as I live in Colorado and its way to cold to keep outside. The plant has been doing wonderful until recently I noticed it had some brownish/yellow starting in the base of the plant. I don't water it too often but when I do, I use the underwatering method. Again this is my first Bonsai so im not sure if its time to prune it or what exactly is causing the color change. Can someone please help my plant Enya!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

RE: . I keep it inside as I live in Colorado and its way to cold to keep outside.

WRONG!! Juniper is native nearly up to the arctic circle. Hardy down to minus 30 degrees F or something like that. And it does NOT like to be indoors. Anyway it is spring now. Get your juniper outside and then leave it there. If you have lots of snow and ice, you may need to give it a bit of winter protection, but we can talk about that when the time comes.

Since it has been indoors, don't move it directly out to full sun, it will burn. Move it to a somewhat protected spot with indirect sun or just some morning sun. Then gradually move it out to full sun.

Drive around your neighborhood. I am guessing you will see a number of juniper bushes (not bonsai) growing just fine outdoors in people's yards. That is where it belongs.
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zingzing2916
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

The plant has been living very healthy indoors for a few months now. My concern is the color change? Any suggestions there?

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Gnome
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

zingzing2916,
The plant has been living very healthy indoors for a few months now. My concern is the color change? Any suggestions there?
RBG is correct, Juniper is not well suited to indoor culture, it really should be outside. It's hard to tell from the pictures but the soil appears rather organic. Eventually it will need to be replaced but for now monitor the soil via the chopstick method.
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.
Let us know how it goes.

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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

Junipers don't do well indoors. Most true bonsai plants need to be outdoors as much as possible. When you repot it in bonsai mix, make sure it is fertilized. Yellowing can be from over watering or it can be because your soil is going bad and taking the roots with it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

One of the things that makes juniper tricky to care for is that it is slow to show on the outside what is going on. Just because you haven't been able to see until recently that it was suffering, doesn't mean that it was okay until now. The "color change" is that the degree of difficulty it is having has finally become visible. The longer it stays inside, the worse it will get.
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

zingzing2916
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

Okay thank yall so much for the help! I got this plant as a gift and want it to be healthy and last. If I start transitioning it outside should I bring it in at night as were still in the low 30's at night?

imafan26
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

Transition it outside, to a sheltered spot. Once it is transitioned it can stay outside even in the snow. The only thing you really have to worry about is the pot. It might crack if it freezes. Most people keep it outside and either bury the pot in the ground or cover it with a thick layer of mulch. Most of the time if the pot cracks, it was because it was time to be replanted anyway. If the soil is loose and not a tight mass of roots, it has room to expand. What you can do since the plant is not that healthy is to repot it into a nursery pot and keep it outside to get healthy again before trimming the roots to fit in the bonsai pot again. Only use a pot or container that is large enough to fit the plant in, but not overly large or deep. You can trim the roots of the juniper if you need to get it to fit. You will also have a chance to check if the roots are rotting at the same time. If you have a local bonsai society, join the club. Usually members bring their plants to work on and the sensei will advise on training, potting, and care.

Junipers are like orchids, they usually die very slowly. In the orchid world we say orchids don't die, we kill them with love.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

zingzing2916
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Re: Juniper Bonsai turning yellow brownish

Okay thank you so much!!! If I get it transplanted asap and moved outside do you think it has a chance for recovery? This is the first Bonsai Ive owned so this is all new to me.

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