Heather Leigh
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:27 am


Hey guys I have recently been gifted and asked to babysit a juniper bonsai tree. I'm not too sure how old it is but I was told just to spray with the water bottle once a day and give no more than two hours of sunlight well branches started to break off and brown a little so I switched up the watering and sunlight deal to watering the plant making sure the soil was wet all the way through and not just the top layer then spraying it a little. Lighting I have been putting it out in my back yard on the table to where it can get in direct sun light for a few hours then I bring it back in and put it at the window.
Now my problem is the tree is turning a light green possibly a yellow color. Branches are beginning to fall off as well. I live in Mississippi and it is fall soon it'll be winter. The bigger one isn't my tree and I do not want to kill someone else's tree so can anyone help me out here? Also I've just been gifted a smaller one so the advice would help for the newer smaller bonsai as well.
I love my trees just have very small knowledge on the up keep of them both.
Please help guys!

Posts: 12593
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.


The larger pot looks over potted. The media looks coarse enough, but if it is breaking down it will hold on to water longer. Yellowing may be a sign of overwatering. It is better to soak the pot thoroughly rather than mist . Misting is more for humidity. Soaking thoroughly waters the root system and flushes out salts. The pot should drain well and not sit in a tray.
Junipers prefer to be outside and really don't like to be indoors in low light. They are very cold tolerant.

The hardest thing to learn with any potted plant is how and when to water. Learn the chopstick, weight, or finger test to determine when the plant needs watering. The instructions are on the bonsai forum.

Everyone will water differently depending on their situation. It depends on if the plant is inside vs outside, the type of media, type of plant, glazed pots dry out slower than porous pots, and time of year as plants in summer and in the wind will need more watering than plants in the shade or in the house.

Bonsai pots typically have one or two small drainage holes. That is why the media is really mostly different grades of fine gravel and must drain freely.

The roots and canopy of a bonsai are pruned to keep the plant small. Most bonsai if you look at them have very small pots compared to the size of the tree. The pots are usually quite shallow and unless you have a very wide canopy like a formal upright or a forest, the pots are not that wide or deep. Taller trees need wider pots for stability.

I think your plants are getting too much water. If they are not outside all of the time, and in relatively large pots they may not need to be watered daily. So check the soil and determine if it is dry before watering. Junipers do not wilt easily and will tolerate some dryness but will not tolerate overwatering.

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