Sycrid
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What Kind of Bonsai is this & How to Tell if it is Alive

Alrighty, so my wife bought a bonsai tree/plant thing, about 5 months ago, and we're trying to both identify it, and also analyse whether the thing is still alive. We fear that it's dead, but would love to sprinkle some life back into the thing if it's alive at all.

So my questions are,

A) how do I know if it's alive or dead?
B) what is this thing? what kind of bonsiai
C) if it is alive, how can we make it almost jump out of it's pot, we want to give it some real life.


We water it, we even spray the leaves, but the leaves are solid as a rock, although green, and it is dropping them from time to time. The plant does not get much if any direct daylight as we live in a place without any and we do not have a garden... aka. basement apartment, although we keep it by the windows in the kitchen.

[img]https://dynamicexposure.com/files/IMG_0522.JPG[/img]

Sycrid
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Oh I forgot to add, that yesturday we took the plant out of it's old planter, and discovered the roots where all in a ball.. it just looked so artificial. We left them like that, but changed the soil, and replanted it, just encase there was a problem with the soil...

It was bought from Walmart, so we don't expect too much from things when we shop there.

TomM
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Glad your hopes and expectations are pretty low for this bonsai/plant thing.
It was once a rooted cutting from a juniper, plunked into a cute little pot with improper soil - less than helpful care instructions - and 'SOLD' through a mass marketer as Bonsai. It is not. Never was.

I believe it is already dead.

Junipers will not grow in a basement apartment. Sorry. But I think you already knew it. They grow outdoors.

Glad you asked.

Sycrid
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Ièm glad I asked aswell, seems my lack of knowledge in the world of trees/planty green things is not the problem, but the severe lack of care within the instructions that make us all want more once one has died. (Thus the repeat buyer)

Well if you think it's dead I may as well play with the thing. Disect it, and maybe even feed it to the elk that keep appearing at our window. Doubt they'd eat the thing but it'll atleast have a bit of productivity in it's death, if they do decide.

So TomM, sarcasm aside, thank you for your greeen fingers, which only vaguely answered the questions... "green fingers".. I wonder where you've had them, that just sounds sick. =0

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Sycrid,

We have seen many brown Junipers kept inside and there is almost no doubt that they are dead. Often a Juniper can appear to be in relatively good condition and be on its last leg, which may be the case here. But since yours is still green, from just looking at it, it may still be alive.

One thing for certain is that it has no future if you are forced by circumstance to keep it as you have been. And with winter approaching putting it outside now would probably not be wise. Junipers are one of the worst candidates for indoor bonsai, but if you don't mind running some supplemental lighting there are some species that you can keep inside.

Norm

P.S. After looking at the closeup more carefully I see that the trunk is very shiny and wet looking. Did you just mist it prior to taking the picture? with the needles being so hard I can't help but wonder if perhaps it was sprayed with some type of preservative. In other words was it actually alive when you bought it or was it simply a decorative arrangement?

Sycrid
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Yeah I did just spray the little guy.

That being said, it is likely the guy is dead, but we'll try and make him survive if he's on his last legs.

Anyway thanks for the help.

TomM
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Re: What Kind of Bonsai is this & How to Tell if it is A

"So my questions are,

A) how do I know if it's alive or dead?
B) what is this thing? what kind of bonsiai
C) if it is alive, how can we make it almost jump out of it's pot, we want to give it some real life."

The usual test offered here is to scrape a small area of the bark to see if any green color remains. That could indicate life. Though I believe that mass-produced juniper bonsai have been sprayed with a preservative that affects the color - causes the color to hold well past the death of the plant. So this test may be a bit inconclusive.

You say that the leaves are "as hard as rock". As if sprayed with hair spray? As you have been watering and misting and have changed the soil is there
any new tip growth - sign of recovery?

On how to make it almost jump out of its pot - can't help you there.

As Norm mentioned - with good supplimental lighting and high humidity some tropical plants will grow well indoors.

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