jkrauseherron
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:42 pm
Location: southern VT

juniper bonsai kept indoors-help pls!

Hi, I was given a juniper bonsai as a gift. I've been following the very basic instructions that came with it. However, nowhere on the instructions did it say to keep it outside! So, it has been inside for several months, where it has progressively become more yellow and kind of brittle. It is mid-Oct in southern VT and about to start getting really cold outside. Any suggestions on what to do/how to keep it alive? Thanks for your help!

tomc
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Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: juniper bonsai kept indoors-help pls!

A brown and crispy juniper is most likely already dead. No juniper is ever an indoors tree. In zone 4, 3, 2, juniper may well need a cold frame to reduce snow pack., but it is ever a tree that needs a dormant rest from October to May.
Think like a tree
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rainbowgardener
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Re: juniper bonsai kept indoors-help pls!

Unfortunately, I agree with tom. Junipers die in slow motion from the inside out. By the time it is showing significant damage outwardly, it is probably already a goner. You can check by snapping a few branches (since it is likely already dead, it won't matter). If they break off readily and are dry/ brown inside, they are dead. Scratch the bark on the trunk, see if you can get to moist green inside the trunk bark. If not, the whole tree is dead.

If you want to replace it, keep your juniper bonsai outside, year around. It is cold hardy well down into negative numbers and it requires cold dormancy in winter and does not tolerate warm, dry indoor environments.

If you want an indoor bonsai, look for something that is native to warm climates and does not require cold dormancy, like ficus, sagaretia, bird plum, Fukien tea, etc.

It makes me mad that there are so many unscrupulous dealers out there that only care about a quick profit, mass produce juniper bonsai from cuttings and sell them with no information or flat out wrong information ("sure, sure, you can keep this baby inside, it is easy, requires no care," or whatever else will help sell product).
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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rainbowgardener
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Re: juniper bonsai kept indoors-help pls!

Any update? What did the scratch test reveal? Sorry we had to be bearers of bad tidings. :(

But welcome to the Forum anyway. Next time come back here and ask more questions first. We might have been able to help you save your juniper, if you asked a couple months ago....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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