Logan09
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Getting new Bonsai Junipers..

Hi
Im new to Bonsai but I ordered some bonsai junipers from ebay I got 10 of them for $45 to me that seemed like a good deal. I hav'nt recieved them yet but I was wondering if anyone could help me out on where to put them. I live in upper Michigan so the winters here are pretty cold.

I took a digital thermometer/hydrometer and put it in my porch. The temp was 37°F and the humidity was around 50%. But it was a rather warm day today around 32°F.

I was just wondering if anyone could tell me if this seems fine? I know its an outdoor bonsai but its to late to do anything to it now.

So if anyone can please help. Thanks.

arboricola
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Hi Logan09 and welcome;

First of all your porch is good for these plants.

I have one question. Are these plants being shipped to you bare root? Without pot or soil. I would like you to come back when you get the plants and we will go from there.

Phil...

Logan09
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HI
Thanks for the Quick response at least I know where to put them now. Also I should be recieving them next week so I'll let you know. But I think
Their being shipped in the pots is that good or bad?

arboricola
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No that's not bad. We have to wait til you get them to see what's to be done.

Let us know when they arrive and we may be able to help more...

Not much information to go on right now.

Phil...

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Logan,

Some more information that will also be relevant is how they have been kept recently. Where are they coming from and if they were managed properly/hardened off? Perhaps you could inquire from the seller.

If they are coming from a part of the country that is much warmer than yours, or from being kept in a greenhouse, there might be cause for concern. Otherwise I agree with Phil, that the porch should be OK.

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,
I emailed the guy and this is all he had to say "the temp ranges from 40 to 80 here, they are in full sun and we water daily." I purchased them from Florida. (Under 80 seems a little strange for florida to me.)
So that might be a cause for concern probably? With the being watered daily and that. I'll ask him again if he knows the exact temps he kept them in..

..Logan..

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Logan09,

I have no reason to doubt the conditions the grower has quoted you so lets assume that they are correct. If he is watering daily this probably means that they are in a free draining mix, which is a good thing.

Considering your, and his, location I would not have purchased Junipers from him this time of year, but that is water under the dam now.

Read this for some concerns regarding Junipers this time of year Make sure to follow the links that I provided, they will answer many of your questions.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6771

The first thing you will have to do is get them through the balance of the winter. Considering where they are coming from your porch may be a little too cold in the short term. If you have a spare room that can be kept unheated or perhaps an attached garage that may be a better choice. You will have to provide lighting of some sort as well.

This is always a difficult scenario, and one which I have not had to deal with. Once you get past this winter they should be kept outside from then on. I don't know how much of a risk taker you are or how willing you are to possibly lose the $45.00 investment but you have a decision to make.

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,
I looked at one of the sites which was evergreen gardenworks and found this " Dormant evergreens do not need light as long as the temperature does not rise above 40F for very long. Evergreens stored in the dark at temperatures around or below freezing (32F) will survive the winter nicely." So as you said if I put them in one of or rooms that doesnt get heat I found the best one to be at 57°F-hmidity 50%. We have a 5 bedroom house so it gets cold in winter. Would that be fine do you think if I put growing lights in it/ flourescent lights that would be fine? Also If you can answer me this how long do you think I should leave the lights on for, because here in the winter it gets dark around 5:00 PM. I will probably end up planting some in our yard if everything fails at least to sve some of them.
Thanks.........Logan-

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Logan,

I'm glad to hear that you are doing some research. The spare room sounds like a good compromise, but it is just that a compromise, far from ideal. Supplemental lighting is a necessity. 57F is too warm to go without. In two months it will be March and you can begin to transition them to the porch in preparation for their new life outside. This might even be possible sooner, depending on the weather, but as I said this is not something that I have ever had to do so???
Also If you can answer me this how long do you think I should leave the lights on for, because here in the winter it gets dark around 5:00 PM.
Since these trees are not acclimated to your conditions it does not matter what time the sun sets there, you are in control of this variable. I don't keep anything (except when forcing poinsettias) at less than 12/12, I would consider this a minimum but I don't keep Junipers inside.
I will probably end up planting some in our yard if everything fails at least to sve some of them.
I'm not sure I follow this. Are you considering putting some outside now? I am reluctant to endorse this considering the circumstance but it may work out for you. Please keep us informed.

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,
I seem to be in a bit of a jam but I'll see what works and I'll try to find some cooler areas in the house.
But do you think putting them in my porch with having the least amount of light get to them work? (I know like you said you never had this problem) Also another cause for concern probably is them being shipped here. Which is going to be very cold. One more thing with the 12/12 is that 12 hours of light and 12 hours with out light?

But I will definitely keep you informed.Seems now I just have to wait until they get here..

Thanks....Logan

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Logan,

The lower light levels on the porch are not my main area of concern. I assume that they will get some reflected light and as you noted at lower temperatures the requirement is reduced.

It is the sudden change of temperatures that I am unsure about. Consider where they are coming from, daytime highs in the 80's and brief dips into the 40's at night. Now think about what kind of temperatures you are likely to experience in January and February, possibly even into the single digits or lower, right?

Had they been hardened off throughout the fall and early winter this would not be an issue. I may be being overly cautious and ultimately it is your decision.

Norm

Logan09
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Well I should be getting them tuesday. He shipped ups so its taking longer than I hoped. Also I have 2 24" Lights of America grow lights do you think this will be enough light for them?

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Logan09,

I take it that these are fluorescent lights, is that correct. I use 4 ft fluorescent tubes for Ficus, Jades and whatever else needs to come inside. They're OK but not spectacular, more of a maintenance type thing until I can get them back outside. If I was more serious about indoor culture I would invest in better lighting.

This is the same in your case, it is a compromise. In about 8 or 10 weeks they will go outside and stay there. Make sure to find the coolest spot you can for them and get them outside as soon as the weather permits. Next year you will not have to deal with this.

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,

Well I got them today. Now it seems like all I have to do is put them somewhere and hope for the best. Like you said in "8-10 weeks It should warm up and I can put them outside." At the rate its going here it might be sooner than that.(Global Warming)
Anyways do you think when that time comes to put them outside should I leave them in the pots their in now or pot them in different ones or wait until summer?

___Logan

alisios
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Hey Logan - post some pictures if you can!

Logan09
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Cameras kinda sucks but here it goes.

[url=https://img100.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dvc00467ay3.jpg][img]https://img100.imageshack.us/img100/8800/dvc00467ay3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img267.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dvc00468nr1.jpg][img]https://img267.imageshack.us/img267/3892/dvc00468nr1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img267.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dvc00469ew3.jpg][img]https://img267.imageshack.us/img267/6585/dvc00469ew3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img259.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dvc00470gj3.jpg][img]https://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4040/dvc00470gj3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

[url=https://img100.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dvc00471gh3.jpg][img]https://img100.imageshack.us/img100/4844/dvc00471gh3.th.jpg[/img][/url]

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Logan,

Those are pretty nice plants for $5.00 each. With ten of them you have the opportunity to be a little aggressive with them. After a few years of working on these you should have a pretty good grasp of Juniper culture.

You asked earlier about re-potting; I don't have extensive experience with them, only having one so far. It was purchased in 2006 and not re-potted until late spring 2007. I wanted to get a feel for its daily care before re-potting, so I spent the first year just maintaining it. When I did re-pot I used a mix that was nearly 100% inorganic. A mix of Haydite and Lava with a small portion of Pine bark, probably less than 10%

Pop a few out of their pots and take a look at the roots. You should be able to tell if they are root-bound or not. If you think you are going re-pot this year you should begin to gather the proper components.

Also consider using pond baskets for pots. They come in various sizes and provide excellent drainage and aeration which favors the development of fine feeder roots. Look here for a little information.
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4281

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,

Well I took some of them out of their pots and their root bound but doesnt look that bad.But im still most likely going to repot them. I looked at the pond baskets and im going to definitely consider getting some but the ones that im looking at are 7" by 7" by 3" do you think 3 " tall would be good enough? This leads towards my next question---

Does it really matter how small your bonsai pot is?

_Logan_

alisios
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Logan - those look great! You have a lot to work with there - nice opportunities for experiment with styles, soil, etc - you're bound to have a least one survive!

:)

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Logan,
I looked at the pond baskets and im going to definitely consider getting some but the ones that im looking at are 7" by 7" by 3" do you think 3 " tall would be good enough?
Actually I rather like that ratio. Working toward a wider but shallower pot is what you want eventually anyway. The pond baskets I have seen all are taller than they are wide. Could you post a link to the retailer where you found this size?

This leads towards my next question--- Does it really matter how small your bonsai pot is?
Many people, myself included at times, tend to use bonsai pots too early in the process of creating bonsai. Once tree are placed in small bonsai pots their growths slows. This is good for trees that are ready to be refined/ramified but is counterproductive for younger material that still needs development.

This is not to say that a huge pot is the way to go either, this has its own issues. Larger pots tend to stay wet longer than more appropriately sized ones. A better situation is a soil that needs watered on a daily basis. This daily watering also means that fresh oxygen is drawn into the pot as the water drains out. Soils, particularly those with higher percentage of organics, that stays wet breaks down sooner than a mix cycles between wet/dry quicker. Larger pots also take more material to fill which means more expense.

Brent discusses over-potting here:
[url]https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overpot.htm[/url]

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,
Heres the site:
https://www.4littlepets.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=1719

-Logan-

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Logan,

Thanks for the link. The round ones shown are the same ones I used for my Pine seedlings. So I guess I was mistaken when I wrote this:
The pond baskets I have seen all are taller than they are wide.
But I don't see the low profile baskets you mentioned. Did you perhaps post the wrong link?

By the way that company back-ordered part of my round baskets last year. I did get them all in time though. Just thought I'd mention it so you know to order early.

Norm

Logan09
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Norm,
[/quote] But I don't see the low profile baskets you mentioned. Did you perhaps post the wrong link?

I was talking about the square ones. Im not a fan of round pots/baskets.

[/quote]By the way that company back-ordered part of my round baskets last year. I did get them all in time though. Just thought I'd mention it so you know to order early.

I'll take that into consideration, being that their a low price im sure they sell alot of them. I also like to have everything before hand.

-Logan-

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Logan,

I may be over-looking something but I am still confused. Earlier you mentioned baskets that measure 7" x 7" x 3" tall. The baskets on the page you linked to are considerably smaller than that. It's hard to tell without something to provide scale but I suspect that those baskets will be too small for your new Junipers. I used the 5" round ones for seedlings that were only a few inches high. There are other retailers that have a bigger selection if you are interested.

Norm

EDIT:

I see now what I was missing, sorry. :oops:

Logan09
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Norm,
The baskets I was talking about are the square ones that are 7"W x 7"L x 3"H that are located on the link if you look on the right hand side they should be under the shopping cart. Theirs also square ones that I might consider that are 9"L X 9"W X 5"H do you think those would be better?

-Logan-

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Logan,
that are located on the link if you look on the right hand side they should be under the shopping cart.
I can't see your shopping cart, mine is empty. :wink:

I did finally notice the drop down menus. I don't know how I could have over-looked them at first. :oops:

As far as what size you need, I can't really say. I don't recall you mentioning the size of the pots they are in now, use your best judgment. They obviously must be larger than what you have now but not excessively so. Keep in mind that you will probably not be re-potting again until at least 2010.

Norm

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Norm,
The size of the pot their in now are 4" wide and 3" deep. I might just wait and see how things work out with them first until I worry about re-potting them.

-Logan-

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Well its been a while now since I had them and im happy to say their all alive. I would have thought some of them would have died. I'm sure they would have should signs if they were dying (could be wrong though)
I can only wait until it starts to get warmer.

-Logan

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Logan09,
Well its been a while now since I had them and im happy to say their all alive.
Good for you, the basis of bonsai culture rest upon the ability to keep your plants alive from year to year. Until you master the basics more advanced techniques are not attainable. Don't feel the need to rush into anything.

Norm



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