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Help: Can you grow a Juniper Bonsai indoors and outdoors?

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:22 am
by EvoXRacer
I just got a Juniper bonsai as a present a few days ago, and its actually a dream come true considering that I've wanted one for quite a few years. It's 20 years old and not the smallest I've seen if I say so myself. I know that Junipers aren't indoor plants, but I don't have much of a choice due to lack of space... Also I like the look that it brings into my room, so I set it by the largest window where it can get plenty of direct sunlight from sunrise to about 12:00, and after 12:00 it receives shaded sunlight due to the sun being obscured behind a nearby tree. The location its in also doesn't build up excessive heat, so it's nice and warm all day without overheating. I live in Connecticut and its summer, so it gets pretty humid and windy here considering that the central A/C is never on in my house. I only water my Juniper when the soil is noticeably dry, and I plan on fertilizing it every two or three weeks. Should my Juniper be okay in these conditions?

Also, my Juniper's survival in the winter concerns me. I'm aware that it's an outdoor species and requires a dormancy period, so I planned on propping it on a large roof outcropping by the window where it can sit in the snow and cold winter air for two to three months. I'd then proceed to water it every week or so to insure that the soil doesn't get too dry or frozen. Problem is, will Connecticut's heavy snowfall be too much for my bonsai, and will the dry winter air not have enough humidity or be far too cold for it to survive in? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :-()

Re: Help: Can you grow a Juniper Bonsai indoors and outdoors

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:56 am
by rainbowgardener
I don't know... with lots of light and no A/C, it might make it for awhile indoors. You are right about the cold dormancy though. It does need to be out in the cold for winter. Pretty much no amount of cold is too much for them. They grow natively right up to the Arctic circle. They are cold hardy down to NEGATIVE 30 or so. Look around your neighborhood and see how many juniper shrubs are planted in the ground and sitting there all winter.

Re: Help: Can you grow a Juniper Bonsai indoors and outdoors

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:09 pm
by GardeningCook
In my opinion & experience, Juniper bonsai really do need to live outdoors year-round. I sometimes bring mine indoors to grace a table setting for a few hours for an Asian dinner, but then back outside it goes. I also bring mine indoors when winter temps are going to drop below 20, but even then they are placed right up against the interior of the outside door (which is cold), to ensure that dormancy doesn't break.

As much as you enjoy waking up next to your Juniper bonsai, keeping it indoors & switching it in & out isn't going to work for it healthwise, & the fact that you have a lovely 20-year-old specimen would have me thinking more about the tree than my enjoyment waking up next to it.

My advice would be to treat your Juniper as it needs to be treated, & buy yourself a dedicated indoor bonsai to wake up next to. :)