Newly Registered
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:00 am
Location: Chicago

Indoor lighting?

I'm a rookie and just got a Japanese Juniper. I have been reading that it needs a lot of light, which is where my problem starts. I live in a basement where there is not too much natural sunlight can I get a growing plant light bulb ( what kind should i get?) and how long should i expose the tree to the bulb daily? I really want this whole Bonsai thing to work, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

The tree is 6 yrs old if the helps?

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:07 am
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

No amount of light will allow you to keep a Juniperus indoors, sorry.

Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:00 am
Location: Chicago

Really? Not even if I get a grow lamp or something? So is there no one to keep the tree indoors?

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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:17 am
Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A


Welcome to the forum. While there are trees that can, with varying degrees of success, be managed as indoor bonsai, Juniper is near, or perhaps even at, the bottom of the list in terms of suitability. It's not just lighting, which would need to be exceptional, it's humidity which is very low in most homes. And then there is the issue of the required dormancy period. Junipers just don't adapt well to indoor culture, sorry. Search for 'indoor Juniper' and you will see that many have tried and it inevitably ends badly. This is an outdoor tree.

If you are unable to keep it outside you might as well give it away to a friend who can, even if that means planting it out as a landscape plant. There are other species that are more suited to indoor culture and we will be happy to make suggestions if you like. It sounds as if some form of supplemental lighting is going to be required, so that should probably be in place before you get another plant.


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Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:37 am
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

Brian, just to add to what Gnome mentioned.
Living in the Chicago area you will soon be experiencing some colder temps. and if you have your Juniper inside currently you should think about getting it back outside soon. If you keep it inside too long and then put it out after the cold weather hits it could experience shock and die.
If you don't have a spot for it at your house ask a friend if they will keep it at theirs to over-winter.

"As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines"
- Virgil
"I rarely agree with most of what I say........." -
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