Laceyy
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:36 pm

Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

A few months ago I received a Juniper bonsai as a gift from my dad. I was told that it's 4-5 years old. Up until maybe a month or so it looked good. I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong to make it look so gloomy. It's currently summer here in California so I've been watering it about twice a week and misting it here and there throughout the week. I'm thinking it was the amount of sunlight it needs. I keep it indoors in my room which is fairly dark majority of the day since my room gets really stuffy and hot during summer and I have a pet rabbit that doesn't do well in heat so I keep the blinds closed to keep it somewhat cooler during summer. I would put it outside about two times a week after I watered it. Most leaves are now becoming sharp and crisp and will fall off easily if messed with but there's also some newly sprouted ones towards the tips of the branches. Is there any hope for my little bonsai and does anyone have any tips to help it perk up a bit? I've added some photos if that helps. My phone didn't want to fully focus properly so if any additional photos are needed I can take some more. Thanks!

Image

Image

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

Juniper is not an indoor tree and particularly would not survive such a dark environment as you describe. It also should not be watered on a schedule. But in a dark, air conditioned (very low humidity) environment the watering is down on the list of insults it has suffered.

Unfortunately, I expect your juniper is already dead. Junipers tend to die in slow motion from the inside out. By the time it shows significant browning and crisping, it is probably too late to save it.

It would have been a good idea to find out what it needed first! Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings....

Here's another thread on this topic, someone else learning the hard way...

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =1&t=10995
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

Laceyy
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:36 pm

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

What a bummer but thanks for the reply. I was with my dad when he bought it for me and the guy didn't really mention anything about watering and sunlight and instead was just given a paper that suggest watering at least twice a week in summer and once a week in winter. May I ask if there any temperature that it too hot for a juniper? Here it can get upwards of 110 in summer so I was afraid that might be too hot for it.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

The juniper is an amazingly hardy tree. It grows natively clear up to the Arctic circle, and is extremely cold tolerant. But it is also quite tolerant of heat and drought. I can't say how hot is too hot for it, but I think the main problem would be the sun. Especially in a climate like yours, it would not handle full direct sun. If it can be saved, I would get it outdoors, but in a morning sun only location.
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

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

It is possible for bonsai in very small pots to need watering more than once per day. Science as it applies to watering is never to use a schedule. Always test by poking soil with a bamboo chop-stick or big splinter. If the probe comes out damp, it is not time to water. If dry, water liberally.

This needs be done at least daily, and if you think its hot, check more than once a day. IMO picking up your tree and inspecting it closely (heft, color, bugs, etc) as you learn how to diagnose the insults any tree gets is your bare-bones begining. If you wait for a juniper to tell you how its doing, it will have already expired,
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

Laceyy
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:36 pm

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

Thanks for the replies. It's been a little over a week since putting it outside and I believe it is getting greener. There's spots here and there that are a healthy green and not dry and brittle. I'm wondering now how I should go about the dead spots on the tree. Should I just leave them be or should I clip them off for new leaves to grow in? It seems like on a lot of the dead spots there's a newer green spot on top of that dead part so I'm afraid to clip it.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

Don't clip. It is not likely to grow back from any dead area. For looks you can just brush dead needles off.
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

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Juniper bonsai is looking gloomy.

A soft toothbrush aught to serve as a curry-comb. Be gentle, this is part of your daily handling drill.
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

Return to “Indoor Bonsai Forum”