Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Hi, new Juniper owner

Hello, i like many here are new got questions. Ive read thru and have gaining much knowledge. So most of my questions are to confirm what ive read or specific to my living situation :)

I recieved a 6 year bonsai and love it much. Its in great condition and was purchased from a cute Japanese couple vendor. I have questions as to its care. I live in Salt Lake city, utah. Where the summers are dry and hot. Very little humidity. During the winters it gets as low as 10deg F.

To my best knowledge i should keep this plant outdoors esp during winter to allow its dormant cycle. Is that type of winter too cold for it? If not, should i keep snow off of it? If so, I was thinking of placing it in my garage. NOt heated, but its insulated and has direct sunlight thru a window. OR am i completely wrong and can keep this plant indoors?

With how dry and hot it is still here. (After all utah is still considered a desert) Should i be misting the leaves dailey? Ive been watering it, what seems to be 2x a week. Mostly based on the soil and its condition.

Thanks for any advice you hvae for a newb. I really want to add this type of thing for my life and move into more peaceful types of hobbies. :P

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

Snow will provide an insulating layer for your plant so, don't worry about keeping the snow off of it. What most people do with their bonsai's in the winter is actually bury them (pot and all) in the soil before it freezes. (I don't mean bury the tree itself. I mean bury the pot and root ball.

Might be a good idea to pile some straw around the plant after burying it as well. But, as I said: the snow will provide an insulating layer.

Yes, a daily misting should keep the tree nice and healthy.

You may wish to search the web to find your local bonsai club as they will be able to offer you advice that is pertinent to your local climate. And bonsai books are always a good investment. When I first started out, I looked for information on the internet but, really got to know bonsai after I got my first book (I now have three). And I've read countless others at the library.

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Thanks for your answers.

Another question if I may....

When the juniper goes dormant is there a way of me telling? Will it dry up? Or will it keep its green color, but just not growing much?

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

When the Juniper goes dormant it won't dry up but, instead it's foliage will become darker. I don't know if you have naturally occurring conifers in your area but, they do the same thing in the fall.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions. Scott (The Helpful Gardener) is also very knowledgeable on the art of Bonsai. He and I have actually had a few really neat discussions on bonsai techniques.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

That bonsai might well do best in the garage with a few caveats.

NO running the car in there while the tree is in there. CO is not a nice gas for trees.

Water every two weeks or so; it does go a little dormant but not all the way. Check and see what it needs; learn the weight of that pot when it's well watered. I use that almost as much as anything to check how everybody is doing for water...

That window is the ONLY place that will do for the winter; these guys still need light as well as water this time of year, so not RIGHT in the window, but pretty near...

All that and outside (with frequent moisture, as noted by Opa) for the spring summer and most of the fall and you will do famously...

THG

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

The Helpful Gardener wrote:That bonsai might well do best in the garage with a few caveats.

NO running the car in there while the tree is in there. CO is not a nice gas for trees.

Water every two weeks or so; it does go a little dormant but not all the way. Check and see what it needs; learn the weight of that pot when it's well watered. I use that almost as much as anything to check how everybody is doing for water...

That window is the ONLY place that will do for the winter; these guys still need light as well as water this time of year, so not RIGHT in the window, but pretty near...

All that and outside (with frequent moisture, as noted by Opa) for the spring summer and most of the fall and you will do famously...

THG
Thanks. I do appreciate it.

Of course you are just making me have more questions lol.

Whats a caveat? In relation to my plant in the garage during winter?
Ill be poking around tons perhaps ill find out more then. :D

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Caveat would be a small rule. Consider it a word of warning...


More questions is OK...

:D

HG

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

I was really thinking or hoping rather the trunk will get wider. Whats the best way to do that? I realize that its getting to the end of summer so perhaps its growth will slow down till spring so perhaps I will need to wait. Just leaving its branches on to encourage it.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Time is the best cure there. There are some old tricks to add thickness, but they can be damaging, so I hesitate... :?

Scott

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

From reading i understand it is best to wire in the fall (or least for my juniper) Does the book "Bonsai Survival Guilde" by Colin Lewis give help for this? I saw you recommended it to another poster. :)

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

You will find some wiring tips there...

The best overall bonsai booksfor styling are John Naka's guides (I own both editions). Not really a beginners book and all the illustrations are B&W line drawings, but the info is superb. It is also not cheap (Think I payed $100 for the pair).You might find it cheaper on Amazon's used line...

Scott

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Thanks Scott.

Perhaps this weekend I will upload some pics and get some advice if i should even touch the thing. :wink:

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

More questions :)

I have ordered some books that you guys have recommended. Still waiting for them to come. But my question is about wiring. I know its done to shape the tree, but is it the very fact that they are wired that makes them twisted? Or once you have the wires on you actually bend the branches towards your liking. I see alot of the trunks bending and twisting is this a result of having the wire on the tree?

2nd question: Ive heard that watering the bonsai from above keeps the salts building up. Ive been filling a container and then placing the pot inside it to soil lvl....allowing the bubbles to come up then remove it. Which is better?

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Which is better? Breathing? Or drinking water? :lol:

I do both, and I have different reasons for each. Watering from above washes foliage and most importantly, pulls fresh atmosphere in after it as it moves down into the pot. Submersion watering soaks the soil and the pot to saturation. Neither accomplishes what the other does, so don't choose one or the other; do both... :) ( I water from above most of the time and submerge once a week)

Scott

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Thanks.....



Thanks :lol:

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Here are some pics i loaded up. It looks quite healthy to my noobish eyes. I know i should take out the rocks, but why? Its a split pot. I was thinking of bending the long branch back up...but perhaps a semi cascade is in the cards for this guy. :D

[img]https://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload5/MVC-058F.JPG[/img]

[img]https://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload5/MVC-057F.JPG[/img]

[img]https://upl.silentwhisper.net/uplfolders/upload5/MVC-059F.JPG[/img]

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

AH the old split pot...

A noobish thing to bonsai in it's own right...Obviously you don't need to worry about the cliff, but if the pebbles are glued over the soil side, they got to go...

Scott

Sharp
Senior Member
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:42 pm

Nope, its all soil baby! :D :D

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