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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:58 pm
Location: Miami

Pale Green Juniper

I purchased a juniper from a bonsai garden about two or three weeks ago. I placed the tree outside on a pedestal where the tree could get full sun and I would water her when that the soil was dry on top. I was told by the person who sold us the plant that it had just been fertilized and it wouldn't be needing to fertilized for another few months. About a week ago she started turning pale green and since I live in Miami and the heat is really strong I moved her to a shady area (still outside). It is getting worse by the day and I fear like most post that its been dead. Can anyone tell me why it got this way or if it can still be salvaged.

*This is where is started off (sorry its a night pic but picture no shade at all during the day

*This is where I have it now when the sun changes direction it gets shade.

*How it looks when I took of picture of it inside for like two minutes. There is like one small branch with its original green color.


Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:07 pm
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

No part of the tree looks very promising to me. Someone who sells you ANYTHING expecting you to take on faith that "I just did [this crucial bit of care that I really have no clue on] that", well, that's a sales rep I generally want to RUN from FAST, especially when it pertains to bonsai and tropical fish.

You should not be watering on schedule, nor should you wait until the top of the soil is "dry". Research "chopstick method" here with regards to watering. Fertilizing should be done, usually, weekly during growing season. Not "every few months". And, a fertilizer strong enough to warrant a seasonal fertilizing is a fertilizer that can VERY easily kill a bonsai.

My suggestion would be that this tree is probably already well past saving and that, if you choose to pursue bonsai further, you purchase or borrow a good book before even considering what to do next.

I apologize if that sounds harsh, it's not meant to be, it's just reality and, if you do a search on Juniper Dying here, I am sure you will find MANY threads where your questions have already been answered, so I've tried to be terse here, which might also lend to the harsh flavor.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Bonsai (for me anyway), that grow successfuly are ones that need, need my daily attention.

My fingers need to weed, or get stuck in soil to check for moisture, or to pinch out the akward leaf set, something.

I'm 99% sure that a juniper or a pine exhudes the impression of stability, vitality, and unchanging permanence. But the grower has his-her fingers on their tree at least as much (if not more) than I do for a crab apple, larch, or beach plum.

While I want mine to change from month to month, I want the passage of season to hearten me, and do the ephemeral things that deciduous trees do.

That apperance of what their is for 'art' of bonsai cannot be done standing back. if you really want to do bonsai, your gonna read something just about daily, and you are going to need to be up close and touching your bonsai at least daily.

Every successful bonsai grower I have met and talked to, can't wait to get within arms reach of his-her bonsai, and often has morning coffee while at audience with trees.

If your not cleaning crumbs of soil and pinchings out of your pockets when its time to do laundry, your not spending enough quality time with your tree(s).

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Senior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:54 pm
Location: Toronto, ON, zone 5a

And here I am trying not to fiddle too much :p

Too much attention lavished on a single tree would probably not be a good thing. I am glad I got mine some company...

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1436
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:07 pm
Location: Airmont, NY Zone 6/7

Agreed, too much "attention" is often as bad a too little, or worse, sometimes. Of course, if you keep your trees in "show shape" 24/7, and you've more than a few, that can certainly be a job in itself.

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