cwares83
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:10 am
Location: IL

Help Me!! Im a NEWbie

Ive got two Japanese Junipers which I bought from a local nursery. I am trying to keep them indoors, because I don't really have an outdoor place for them(apt.). I am having issues with them drying up pretty bad. I have also noticed a very small "gnatlike" bug flying around my trees. I see them when I am watering them. I do not have them sitting in direct sun at all. I am having trouble figuring out where I can put them in some sunlight without having a problem (1 1/2 yr old daughter). If I could just get some feedback from some more experienced indoor growers, it would be much appreciated! Thanks

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Chances are great that you'll HAVE to find an outdoor position if you want these trees to survive. Junipers, despite being popularly sold, make very poor first bonsais, especially indoors. No way you could know that, of course. Your best bet will be to do what I did when I lived in an apartment in the city, find a window sill and place them outside. Bulid something to secure them if necessary. You can bring them in once in a while for enjoyment, but never for more than a day or two. You'll also need to build some type of shelter on the sill for winter keeping. If that sounds like too much work, perhaps you should sell them or give them away and maybe look into a more appropriate indoor tree? The various Ficus spp. make excellent first indoor trees.

cwares83
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:10 am
Location: IL

I am going to go ahead and figure something out to keep both my trees outside on a more permanent basis. Thanks for that, even though if I read most of all this forum's posts, I would have found out that I am not the only one keeping a Jap Jun indoors and slowly killing it! :wink: I am interested in possibly purchasing some sort of ficus to keep inside my apt. Is it a good idea or not to purchase a tree from the internet? I mean through some of these links that are around this forum, Tree360 and other bonsai wholesellers? I haven't really found much other than Junipers when "shopping" for bonsai.

kdodds
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Yah, sad isn't it. There are SO many species suitable for indoor bonsai cultivation, but only one or two are regularly offered in garden centers, malls, etc., and they're almost always unsuitable, or unsuitably prepared.

If you're starting with an older tree, you probably want to pick that out in person to be sure that there are no unsightly cuts, wire marks, etc. and that the design is acceptable to you. If you have more patience for growing your own (keeping in mind that it won't look like much for the first few years) there are a few sites that offer "starter plants". If you can't find suitable species in your area that are upto what you want, yes, you can get older trees on the internet. Ficus are very forgiving, so they'd be the older trees at which would want to start looking. There are a few sites that offer older Ficus, but, they're not necessarily going to be trees that are especially well care for and shaped, etc., especially if they're in an affordable price range. You can check out bonsaiboy.com and meehansminiatures.com for these trees.

Kenshin14435
Senior Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 pm
Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

No worries here.
I was a noob not too long ago(still kinda am)
Anyway, I bought a juniper at Disney World. It was an Ok tree and coulda been a great one but I'm young and I had LOVED the look of bonsai but I hadn't any clue on how to take care of it. It was one of those "opperator error" situations. I went back to Disney just last week(I got back at like 2 this morning)and they had an awesome looking juniper. But I didn't buy it because A. I was running low on "da dough" B. I prefer deciduous trees and pines.
I haven't bought a bonsai from the internet yet because, well, I have'nt the need(yet). I can find all the tees I like in my area. Take the japanese maple for instance. It's a beautiful tree and I fell in love with it. Now you wouldn't take it to be a tree that grows in VA. But you(as well as I) guessed wrong. In my neighborhood alone there are over a dozen of 'em.
And guess what. Most of 'em have thousands of wee little saplings around them. I currently have 2 itty bitty maples. Yes, it will take awhile to get them to the right size to start messing with thme but I'm willing to wait.
Anyway(that was kinda off topic), since your in a apt., take a little mini survey of the windows you have available. Choose one that gets mostly shaded sunlight for the most of the day. It needs to have a very slight breeze buat the same time needs to be sheltered from storm strenght winds, etc.
Now, if you have have a balcony or something of the sort I would use that if I was you.
But just go to the Home Depot and buy some wood(some 2 by 4's or something), preferably screws over nails, and a drill(if you don't have one already).
If you have a shaded spot then you can skip this but if you don't then I recommend buying some shade cloth or something.
Then just take some measurements of the window(s), measurements of you slected pot, and make a wood hangy thing that your pot will be safe a secure in. If you need the shade cloth the simply add 4 posts(like a 4 post bed) and staple the cloth into place. Or you could.......well.....nevermind.
(I'm starting to confuse myself)
Heres as simply as I can put it. Ya know those planter things that people hang out their windows and put said flowers in them?
Well just build somthing that fits your bonsai and better durability and voila..;........you have said planter.
Of course its complicated but hey, It's an idea.
Good Luck and Best Wishes!

Ken
~ Ken ~

cwares83
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:10 am
Location: IL

I have kept my jun's outside on a permanent basis since getting your great advice and help of the forum. I am not too sure however that they are going to survive. The trees foliage is rather "crispy" and starting to brown a bit. I am still committed to the trees in hoping for a survival. I am watering them only when the soil becomes a little dry. They are in a spot that sees about 4 or 5 hours of sunlight. I am keeping my fingers crossed and am still considering buying some indoor trees. If I was to purchase a ficus, would I need to worry about any of the indoor lighting which I have been seeing some threads/posts about?

alisios
Senior Member
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:25 am
Location: Sedona, Arizona

Kenshin14435 wrote: Choose one that gets mostly shaded sunlight
If healthy, Junipers take full sun - thrive on it, they do. They just don't like to be too wet for too long. Let it dry out between waterings, fresh air, well drained soil, pinch back growth, remove dead stuff, give it a misting frequently, and outside outside outside...

Your tree may already be gone, but it isn't over 'til its' over...

Good luck

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