Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:41 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Winter Juniper Bonsai inside at night/out at day?

I have a Japanese Juniper bonsai that is 12 years old (per the tag) which I bought this summer as my first bonsai. I am worried about winter care and have found many helpful things online. One question however, is I have been bringing it inside at night when temperatures are falling to the freezing mark here in St. Louis. Each day I take it back out to its morning sunny spot, and bring it back in at night. Is the temperature fluctuation ok for the tree? Is this a good idea in general? And is there any other options or suggestions for winter care for me? Thank you for any and all help with my first bonsai!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:28 am
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

Hardy trees such as junipers require dormancy. What you are doing is interfering with the natural induction of the winter life cycle. Being outside in the sun during daytime and indoors - assuming a dry 65/70 degree home environment - at night time - would be like, well, Southern Mexico. (bad example?) Japanese Junipers will not grow there. Other junipers might.

Point is that for proper dormancy most junipers need to freeze and go to sleep for the duration of winter. St. Louis weather should not hurt your tree, but now you will need to acclimate it to the cold more slowly. A good idea would be to place it in an unheated garage or shed rather than outdoors. While in dormancy it will not need the sun. When snow is available place some on the soil and around the pot. Check it from time to time but basically leave it alone for the winter. It needs its sleep. :wink:

Learn all you can about dormancy.

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

I agree with TomM, Juniper is certainly hearty enough to overwinter dormant in St Louis.

Its light needs are minimal, it will still need checkiing if you garage or otherwise shelter it for moisture.

Um, if its in a ceramic pot you'll need to slip it into something less splitable.

Senior Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:50 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO (Zone 6)

I live in stl,
ive seen several procombens nana growing in pots year round.

several people use clear plastic tents or keep them garages during the coldest months . They shouldnt die altogether, the only risk is losing the fine twigging or ramification of secondary branches.

I would recommend coming the greater st louis bonsai club, they meet first Tuesday of every month, and are very open to beginners (quite informal). face to face q and a is far more helpful.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 749
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:28 am
Location: Cedarville (SE of Utica) NY, USA

I'll go along with that. Good local club advice is the best way to learn what works (or doesn't) in your area. It is different from region to region with outdoor varieties.

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