brandii111
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Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

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I am new to bonsai. Just got this one a couple of weeks ago. I do have it in the house. I have figured out that it needs to be outside. From it being indoors for this short period, could it be the cause of it turning brown on the tips? It was under a plant grow light. I have been misting everyday and watering every 3 days or so. I paid quite a lot for this one and really don't want it to die. I did also notice some small roots coming up out of the soil. Any help is greatly appreciated. I am completely new to this. .. should have researched first. I thought all bonsai were indoor. :( I have no idea where I am going to put this one.
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Brandii
Zone 6B
Springfield, Mo

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

Hi and welcome to the forum!

You didn't say where you are located. here are hardly any garden questions that can be discussed without regard to location/ climate.

But you did well to write in right away. Your juniper does not look very bad so far, should be salvageable. But yes, junipers DIE indoors. Especially if you are somewhere where you already have your heat on, indoor air is warm and very dry. That is why it is starting to brown.

And junipers need cold dormancy. It needs to rest outdoors. If you can keep it alive through the winter indoors with misting and lighting, then it will die next year from not having had the dormancy.

Don't water it on a schedule. Water it when it needs it. If it is dormant outdoors, when it needs it will be very infrequently.

Do some reading about bonsai care. You can start here: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/bonsai/

and with some of the articles at the top of this Learning Library section.

If you want indoor bonsai, look for ficus and other tropical evergreens. Plants in the tropics are adapted to year around growing. Temperate climate trees are not.
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tomc
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

I am terrible at photo diagnostics. But if the soil is dry enough to pull away from the sides of a pot it needs to be immersed for a few minutes, and checked daily thereafter with a chop-stick.
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brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

I am in Springfield, Missouri. Not sure what zone that is. Heat has been on during the early morning. I submerged it this morning. I pulled out a rock and felt the soil it was dry. Not completely dry, but close. I left it submerged for about 10 minutes. I'm getting ready to take it out to the patio. There are 3 seperate trees in this pot. Only 1 has the brown spots. Is the pot big enough for all 3?
Brandii
Zone 6B
Springfield, Mo

brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

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Brandii
Zone 6B
Springfield, Mo

brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

I am in zone 6B
Brandii
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Springfield, Mo

imafan26
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

You can put more than one tree in a bonsai pot in the forest style. You do need to remember bonsai tree roots are deliberately restricted to control the growth. They are usually repotted in bonsai mix. (Very porous material not potting soil and not dirt). The roots are carefully trimmed and the trees are fed often. Most bonsai prefer to be outside for as long as possible or have good light and careful attention to feeding and watering. Prune of the brown tips, they are not going to get any better.
Use the chopstick method to determine how often it needs to be watered.
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brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

I haven't repotted. I shouldn't fertilize/feed until Spring correct? I think mine should be getting ready for dormancy. I will prune the brown. We are supposed to be getting a few days of thunderstorms, will the bonsai be ok or should i move it to a covered area during the storms?
Brandii
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tomc
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

Juniper will grow as a ground cover all the way up to Alberta (Canada). It'll be fine outdoors. You can keep it under an eve if you think it is getting too much rain.

Your weakest link this winter will be frost cracking your pot.

I would not fertilize till spring.

Do some research about chopstick method (to check for) watering.
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brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

[/quote]
tomc wrote:Juniper will grow as a ground cover all the way up to Alberta (Canada). It'll be fine outdoors. You can keep it under an eve if you think it is getting too much rain.

Your weakest link this winter will be frost cracking your pot.

I would not fertilize till spring.

Do some research about chopstick method (to check for) watering.
Thanks a bunch! I will check into the chopstick method of watering. I will also look into how to save my pot from freezing and busting.
Brandii
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

There's various methods of winter protection. You can just put it in a somewhat sheltered spot and mulch over it.

Or you can bury pot and bonsai soil and all in the ground and then mulch. One step up from that is to dig a pit, that is a hole several times bigger than your pot and bonsai. Partly fill the pit with mulch and/or fall leaves, put your bonsai in it and then put leaves around it. Or just make a cylinder of chicken wire. Put leaves in the bottom, put in your bonsai and put leaves all around it. If you have deer in your yard, you will want to be sure it is covered, like in a chicken wire cage or something. Deer like to browse tender twigs.
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brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

rainbowgardener wrote:There's various methods of winter protection. You can just put it in a somewhat sheltered spot and mulch over it.

Or you can bury pot and bonsai soil and all in the ground and then mulch. One step up from that is to dig a pit, that is a hole several times bigger than your pot and bonsai. Partly fill the pit with mulch and/or fall leaves, put your bonsai in it and then put leaves around it. Or just make a cylinder of chicken wire. Put leaves in the bottom, put in your bonsai and put leaves all around it. If you have deer in your yard, you will want to be sure it is covered, like in a chicken wire cage or something. Deer like to browse tender twigs.
Thank you for the great suggestions. We do have lots of deer, so I will definitely have to get some chicken wire. They just about demolished my peach tree this spring. I didn't think they liked Juniper, so I really appreciate the warning. I really hate to cover it or bury it since it has all the design and figurines. I wish I would have known it was outdoor before I bought it.
Brandii
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Springfield, Mo

tomc
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

Yea, I have been putting up what I'm calling "athletic supporters" to reduce deer graze on apple trees I planted to field this fall.

A big old hardware cloth collar.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

RE: " I wish I would have known it was outdoor before I bought it." Yes, unfortunately caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) seems to be the rule in bonsai sales, especially if you buy from big box, or pop ups in the mall, etc.

From what we see here, it seems very common that people are given either no information at all (a label that says only "bonsai tree") or mis-information - sure you can keep it indoors, water it every day, etc. Seems designed to kill the tree so that they can sell more.

:evil:
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

What most people don't realize is that most bonsai are trees and trees want to be outside most of the time, unless you have a tree that is being grown way out of its' normal range. Ficus are probably the most forgiving but they will balk and lose leaves when their light is changed. I usually give my potted plants slow release fertilizer, so I am not as concerned about timing and my junipers will not go dormant. That is why knowing your local conditions and zone is important.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

I didn't read all of the answers, so I'm sure it's already mentioned, but you shouldn't bring juniper indoors for more than 4 days. If this was in October, hopefully you put it back outside without any problems. That is a Japanese cultivar or one similar to. As long as you're in zone 5-7 or higher or a little lower depending on the exact cultivar, you should be fine if it's outside now. Make sure it's safe from heavy rain or wind and make sure the soil stays moist but not damp, it can even tolerate dryness for a while since it is in a semi-dormant state. Prune lightly just before spring to give it a jump start but only after last frost.

Cut off the brown if you haven't already. Just go back to the next node down and cut above the node.

Have fun. Cool trunk, it can be a really nice bonsai when finished.

brandii111
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Re: Dwarf Juniper Bonsai Turning Brown On The Tips

I did put it out on the patio. I cut off the brown and it seems to be doing wonderfully. I really appreciate the help. I don't think it's cold enough yet for it to go into dormancy. We've had a couple of freezes, but for the most part it's been 50°F or above. Normally is colder this time of year. Crossing my fingers that the weather doesn't hurt it. Thanks again. :)
Brandii
Zone 6B
Springfield, Mo

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