Justin088
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Repotting question concerning Juniper.

So i got this guy in the mail today.

[img]https://i450.photobucket.com/albums/qq225/nostrangers08/KGrHqQOKjoE1uCtlYTNBNiqlYihP_3.jpg[/img]

Can somebody walk me through the potting process. How big of a nursery pot and what kind should i put him in? I also recieved my soil as well today and I would like to know the proper way to pot him. I've read many articles and i just can't seem to understand it. Maybe you guys can help.

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JustinBoi
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What I do, (but I'm not sure if people will agree) is:

1). Take tree out of pot if came in.
2). Wash away all the remaining old soil that it came with.
3). Stuff Sphagnum Peat Moss into the roots.
4). Put a little soil just to cover the bottom of the pot.
5). Put the tree in the new pot.
6). Fill around the tree/roots with the free draining soil.
7). Pat it down so it stays firm.
8). Gently water the soil.
9). Keep it in partial sun for a few days so it can get used to the new pot.
10). Don't over-water it, Don't under-water it.
11). No pruning till a few weeks after re-potting.
12). For now, LEAVE IT ALONE!
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

Justin088
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Cool. What kind of watering tool is used for bonsai... i feel like a garden hose would just distress the soil with the pressure? Lol I'm new to gardening in general.

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JustinBoi
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I do not incline that you go online and buy this but if you want you can!
I got this can from Dallas Bonsai (online store).

[img]https://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l612/Justin_Broughton/Newcameraphotos006.jpg[/img]

Or you can go to Lowe's/Home Depot and buy this:

[img]https://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l612/Justin_Broughton/Newcameraphotos007-2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1126.photobucket.com/albums/l612/Justin_Broughton/Newcameraphotos008-3.jpg[/img]

The Online store one is more expensive so you minds well get the cheaper second choice. :)

I took pictures since lots of New people get very confused.
I must be generous and provide pics on Friday's :)
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

Justin088
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Cool i appreciate the help.

Here's a pic of the work. critique please. Is that drip tray supposed to be touching the bottom of the pot?

[img]https://i450.photobucket.com/albums/qq225/nostrangers08/mail.jpg[/img]

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froggy
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It's ok as long as you empty the drip tray :) - what you don't want is for the pot to be standing in water, that'd defy the idea of using a well draining soil...

You can put gravel in the drip tray to keep the pot above the water level - that adds humidity to the air around the tree and some trees really like a humidity tray...
If you are using your drip tray as a humidity tray, just make sure you rinse it (and the gravel) out every once in a while - the nutrients from soil and fertilizer encourage algae etc, which can lead to smellyness :P
;)

Justin088
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ewww thanks for the heads up. Any ideas how old he is?

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JustinBoi
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The only way you can find out it's age is usually by cutting near the bottom of trunk and counting the rings.
Which if you want to chop off the whole tree and count, it's your choice. :)
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

Justin088
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Nah I'm good. :D

TomM
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I'm hoping our administrator will move this thread on juniper out of the INDOOR BONSAI forum and over to the general BONSAI FORUM since juniper is an outdoor (meaning hardy) plant. Having it here further confuses people and leads to the misconception that they can be grown indoors. Thanx.

About his age - I would venture a guess that he's a 2, maybe 3, year old rooted cutting. Just a kid! :lol:

Justin088
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Now were in the right place! So i've potted these guys and ill wait a couple of months before i even think about maintenence. I just want to be prepared. What's the process like? It will be around the end of may before i start exposing these guys to sun. Anything i need to be aware of during these critical times?

Justin088
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I noticed something very discerning today. I was looking at my newly acquired soil and i realized(after potting unfortunately) that all the finer particles of the compust had sifted its way down to the bottom of the bag. I'm pretty sure i just potted these plants in nothing but lava rock. Any word of advice as i heard repotting twice has some bad consequences.

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Gnome
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Justin,

Don't worry about that, actually it is preferable. Bonsai enthusiasts often sift their soil/soil components in order to remove the fines. A uniform mix is desirable, since the smaller particles will reduce the drainage of the coarser medium.

Now here is where experience, or a local mentor, is important. I don't know much about growing in your climate since mine is much milder. Organics are included to help retain some moisture and in a harsher environment may be necessary, Still, the organic components should not be much different in size than the others.

So to sum it up, coarse particles are good but you may need some additional organics. Don't re-pot now though, instead keep a close eye on the plant and evaluate the type of soil you now have noting its performance, particularly when the weather warms up. When you next re-pot you will have a better idea of what works for your climate and can adjust the mix accordingly.

Norm

TomM
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Norms advice is good. The fine dusty stuff should be sifted out. Generally the courser the mix the better for most trees - for providing the best drainage. The better the drainage the lower the chances of root rot. With good drainage you can not over water. Over watering when there is too much organic material (leading to root rot) is the number one killer of bonsai for the new bonsai enthusiast.

BUT you will need to water more frequently in a hot dry environment, less if it is cool and wet. Goes with the territory.

Justin088
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Yeah the weather has been awesome lately so i've been pretty lucky. Things dry up pretty quickly out here so i water once a day atleast. I heard when you start seeing the top layer of soil changing color its time to water. This seems like im letting the plant dry out a bit too much. Is this ok? I usually water about once a day if things are dried up. If still a little moist I'll wait till that evening or the next morning.

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JustinBoi
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I think once a day may be a bit too much.
It's 90 degrees here and my plants got watered once a day and still got some root rot.
So maybe try to wait 2 days then water, so there is no chance of getting the root rot.
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

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froggy
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Don't worry about a watering schedule - just water when needed - maybe try the chopstick method if you're not sure...
Once you get to know the soil, the color or weight of the pot will let you know when it's needed..
But yeah, a bit less is usually better than too much...
;)

Justin088
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Cool the thing is in a plastic pot so i can actually see the moisture content further down into the soil. I'll let it dry more in the middle of the pot and then water. Sound about right? Thank you guys for your patience and answers :oops:

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JustinBoi
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Thats what were here for :).
And keep us updated!
"It's not just a 'hobby', it's a type of lifestyle."

Justin088
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Def will!

Justin088
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Hey guys i have another newbie question on watering. I read in a couple of watering method articles that the top of the soil changes color when dry and plant should be watered when the top 2 centimetres are dry. Is this true. I mean i can see through the plastic pot and the pot is still moist. But not the top of the soil. I feel like the rest needs to dry out a bit before a good watering would ensue. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.

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froggy
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Search the forum for chopstick or skewer method, I think it might be more reliable than guessing at the color of the soil...
;)

linlaoboo
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For your next repot in the future you may want to get it in something that's doesn't allow lights through like the transparant one u have now. Roots need to be protected from direct sun and the right pot will reduce algae growing in the soil.
ficus, maple, elm, juniper, pine

Justin088
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Will he be ok in this pot? I mean i don't really have a choice now i don't think. Any quick fixes?

Justin088
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I've noticed this tree is really taking a long time to dry out. Only first inch of the soil is drying out but when i put my finger down in the soil it feels damp. I'm thinking this juniper has stopped taking in water.

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